Please buy - begging vs selling

Are Your Salespeople Selling?

Gee Ranasinha Sales 2 Comments

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, the person behind the counter simply takes my order. Is that selling? Clearly it’s not: it’s simply taking my order and fulfilling it.

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

Now and again, I may get asked if I want large fries instead of regular. Is that selling? Again, I’m guessing that most people would say that it’s not.

However, supposing that I’m in a restaurant and my waitress recommends a choice of wines based upon what I’ve ordered as a main course; or suggests a light refreshing sorbet for desert 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 it 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.” If your sales pitch is simply to ask “Do you want to buy this?”, then I’ll bet that you’re used to disappointments.

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. In solving their problem. In making their lives easier. You’re only interested in trying to close a sale.

And it shows.

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About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

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After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. As well as CEO of KEXINO he's an author, lecturer, husband, and father; and one hell of a nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son. Find out more about Gee at

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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    This post remind me of my first ever job after college, because it falls under Sales. I personally envy people that can do good sales talk, because I’m one of those people who’s not good with selling products. But then again I think the key in generating sales is to make sure you know your product well. Then it will be easier for you to market to people and eventually sell them that product.

    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

      Hi Erica,

      I agree – education is a key element, knowing your product or service inside-out. I think that successful salespeople translate features into customer benefits based on the particular customer that they’re talking to at the time. I used to say “It’s not about what you’re selling; it’s about what your customer is buying!” By that, I mean shaping the business value proposition to address the needs, wishes or aspirations of the prospect.

      Thanks for taking the time to post your comment!

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