If you were to ask a person off the street what they think of salespeople, you would hear things like, “pushy,” “aggressive,” “dishonest,” “huckster,” and “talker,” among other descriptions, some not suitable for print.

“How” you sell can be more important than “what” you sell. You need to look and sound different than everyone else, especially the typical salesperson that annoys all of us. “Sameness” is a problem in sales.

Here are some signs and symptoms of selling like the typical salesperson that turns everyone off:

  • You don’t have a clearly defined, written “best” client profile thinking “everyone” is a potential customer
  • You don’t have a clearly defined, written sales process.
  • You talk too much.
  • When you’re listening, you’re not really listening, but waiting to respond.
  • You interrupt and don’t let the other person finish their thought.
  • You’re uncomfortable with silence.
  • You think talking about the Broncos (insert your local team) is building rapport.
  • The prospect asks all the questions.
  • Your fact finding/needs analysis is all intellectually based.
  • You don’t disqualify prospects.
  • You use trial closes.
  • You sell features and benefits.
  • You do proposals without knowing specifically what the buyer wants in it and without knowing exactly what happens next.
  • Your pipeline is full of “think it overs” and “maybe’s.”
  • You have lots of “stalled” deals.
  • You frequently have price objections.
  • You discount frequently.
  • There are always lots of other bidders.
  • You frequently leave sales calls thinking, “She (the prospect) likes me. What a great call.”

Selling like a typical salesperson can work, especially if you have a hot product/service or good territory. The problem is it takes a lot of effort and you look and sound like everyone else so it becomes all about price. “Sameness” is a problem. So be thinking, how can I look and sound different than all the other salespeople calling on my prospect? Because “how” you sell matters.