Lazy as a Fox; The Non-Selling Posture
The non-selling posture incorporates the concept of stop selling, presenting, answering objections and closing, and let your customer self-discover their own issues and come to their own conclusions, independent of your selling agenda. The sales person who adopts the non-selling posture is as lazy as a fox, because the majority of the burden of proof lies with the customer. Let them work hard for their proof of concept (motive to change).
The true art of selling should be effortless. The process is not outcome driven, rather it is driven by inquiry and inquisitiveness and a deep commitment to finding the truth. The casual observer might have difficulty differentiating the seller from the buyer in this give and take exchange. The process might appear as if both parties are just trouble shooting a problem, looking for the best mutually beneficial solution, or just thinking out loud. It does not look like the typical buying/selling roles that often cause distrust.
The non-selling posture can be challenging for the uninitiated because it forces sales people to face the truth. It is human nature, conditioning, and basic instinct that we devote so much energy and resources escaping reality and running from the truth, rather than facing reality and the truth.
Sales people are well served when they stop trying to make their customer conform to their own picture of reality. Sales people who are effective in maintaining an equilibrium and a non-selling posture know that what happens to them is inconsequential compared to what happens in them.
"Your shortcomings and flaws, be it yourself or your product, actually increases your personal power exponentially when you reveal them for the sake of setting an example, righting a wrong, extending trust, or accomplishing a greater good," says Hank Wasiak. Meet reality instead of trying to control it.
Many sales people will feel compelled to resist the non-selling posture simply for the reason it subordinates their ego. There is nothing glamorous and self-affirming about this process for the sales person and that can be very intimidating. It puts the sales person and their product in the background and puts a spotlight on the customer.
The reality is the more we believe and project right off the bat that we have all the answers, the more we miss key insights of our customers, hidden concerns, better alternatives and new opportunities. Knowing that you really "do not know" is the best way to begin to truly know.
"The belief that knowing is better than not knowing is one of the fundamental dysfunctional beliefs of our culture," says Susan Campbell. Nowhere is this more true than in the sales profession. When you come to a meeting empty-handed everything becomes clearer. If you desire to find the truth regarding your customer, hold no opinions.
Never underestimate the power of disclaimers. Too often disbelief follows the absence of disclaimers. Open discussions of risks, unknowns, and uncertainties only increases trust.