selling vs begging for the sale

Are Your Salespeople Selling? Or Are They Begging?

Gee Ranasinha Sales

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Are your salespeople selling, or begging?

By that, I’m not asking you if your sales team are hitting their sales targets. What I mean is do your salespeople actually ’sell’, or are they simply asking their prospects whether they are interested in buying?

On the (thankfully rare) occasions when I have no choice but to visit a fast food restaurant, I tell the person behind the counter what I want, and he or she takes my order. A minute or so later they’ve given me my food, I’ve paid them, and I’m on my way.

Look at that situation again. Would you consider what the fast food employee did to be ‘selling’?

Clearly it’s not. I guess you’d agree with me that what the fast food establishment’s employee did was simply take my order and fulfil it.

Are You Selling To Me, Or Just Taking My Order?

Now imagine the same situation. This time when I give my order, I’m asked if I want large fries instead of regular for only an additional fifty cents. Or if I wanted a ‘menu’ special that included a large drink AND large fries for a dollar extra.

Is that selling? Again, I’m guessing that most people would say it’s not.

OK, final example. Supposing that I’m in a restaurant and my waitress recommends a choice of accompanying wines based upon what I’ve ordered as a main course. Or suggests a light refreshing sorbet for dessert because she noticed that I didn’t want dressing on my salad or a cream-based sauce on my chicken.

Is that selling? Yes, I’d say that absolutely was.

Selling Is More Than “Order Taking”

I often hear stories from underperforming so-called salespeople. When asked why their prospective customer didn’t buy, they reply something along the lines of “I asked them if they wanted to buy my product/service, but they said no.”

Really? THAT’s the best you’ve got?

If your sales pitch is simply to ask “Do you want to buy this?”, I’ll bet that you’re used to disappointments. If your entire sales strategy is to go visit a customer, drink their coffee, show them a worn-out, dog-earned product catalog and then ask them if they want to buy, you’re a disgrace.

You’re the reason why customers HATE salespeople. You’re the reason why the sales professionals who do actually give a stuff have an uphill battle on their hands to win over potential customers who’ve been subjected to your pitiful excuse of a sales call.

If you’re doing little more than simply asking people to buy, then you’re not selling: You’re begging.

You’re not interested in helping your customer. You couldn’t give a stuff about actually taking the time to learn about their issues, and understanding their concerns. You couldn’t give two hoots about solving their problem, in making their lives easier. You’re only interested in trying to close a sale.

You’re lazy, disinterested, and self-serving. And it shows.

About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha is CEO and founder of KEXINO. He's been a marketer since the days of 56K modems, lectures on marketing and behavioral economics at a European business school, and was noted as one of the top 100 global business influencers by (those wonderful people who make financial software).

Originally from London, today Gee lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son.

Find out more about Gee at Follow him on Twitter at KEXINO, on Facebook at, or on LinkedIn at


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