Written by John Cheney, CEO, Workbooks
If Boris Johnson were to re-enter the jobs market, could a career in sales be his calling? There can be no denying he knows how to sell. But would you hire him as a Sales Director at your business? A quick LinkedIn poll suggests probably not – at least amongst my connections, only 9% of whom answered yes.
So as a business, what constitutes good practice when it comes to sales?
At its core, ethical selling is about both parties benefitting from the transaction: the business acquires a client and generates revenue, and the client purchases a product or service that creates value for them, too. This is especially true in a B2B sales environment where a transaction can take several months. A relationship is built over time, which needs to be underpinned by trust.
Of course, making the sale is important. But when sales professionals come under fire for being pushy or aggressive, it’s often because they have adopted a ‘sales by any means necessary’ approach in the hope of closing a deal faster.
It may seem obvious that this isn’t a good strategy in the long term. However, it can be tempting to seek out a quicker route to short-term success, rather than taking the time to understand how a product or service will create value. This is especially true in times of economic volatility, when the pressure is on salespeople to hit targets and sell to a market that isn’t in a mindset to buy.