I love sales, and I’m good at it. But it wasn’t until recently that my “secret” to great sales came up in a conversation.

It was actually during a discovery call with a potential client. We were going over my method for lead generation and this person’s skill for closing sales came up. We went back and forth on the subject, unequivocally agreeing on this fact:

The key isn’t convincing someone to want your product or service; the key is determining whether the person ALREADY wants or needs your product or service and then helping them to recognize it.

The Downside of “Convincing”

If you’ve ever been convinced by a “good salesperson” to buy something you didn’t really want or need, you get it.

Perhaps you were guilted. Maybe you wanted the sales conversation to end. Regardless of the reason, you bought what the individual was selling and then regretted it. You let the product or service go unused and mourned the loss of money wasted.

Whether I’m selling on behalf of myself or a client, I don’t even want to talk to individuals who will end up regretting a purchase. To me, it’s depressing. What I enjoy about business is providing people with products or services they need.

A Different Approach to Sales

How does this change my approach to sales? Quite simply, it makes it better.

Instead of reaching out to people asking them to purchase, I’m reaching out to gauge interest. There is a subtle, yet important, difference here. When you reach out to someone with the tone of, “Hey, what I’m selling is amazing, you should buy it!” it puts people on their heels. They feel affronted and used.

When you reach out with the tone of, “Hey, I’m selling an amazing thing and would love to know if it could be of use to you!” you are shifting gears from focusing on you to focusing on them.

You are filtering through the throngs of people or businesses who fit your ideal target by getting personal. You’re asking if they have a want or need.

Isn’t that nice? They’ll certainly think so.

Why It Works

There are a number of reasons this approach works.

1. Your Prospects Are At Ease

This relaxed, just-checking-to-see-if-you’re-interested approach gets your sales cycle started the right way. Instead of being on the defensive because someone is being a self-absorbed salesperson, your prospect may feel appreciation right out of the gate that you (at least seem to) care.

2. It’s Personal

I don’t have an email list because I consider it impersonal. Whenever I get a stock email from someone that is geared toward selling, I get annoyed and delete it. If someone is trying to sell me with the same message he or she is selling 400 other people, it’s not personal to me. I want to feel special. Reaching out one-on-one to gauge interest with a potential lead makes them feel special.

Disclaimer: Email marketing can absolutely be done “the right way” with this same tone I’m speaking of — in fact, I just subscribed to a service this morning from a great email!

3. You Save Time

This approach can be quick. You’re shooting a quick note to see if someone is interested and they respond with a yes or no. Done. You are saving time, which — in turn — boosts your morale and keeps you going.

Need Help?

I love this process. If you’re looking for help weeding through potential leads on LinkedIn, reach out to learn more about my services. I can take over that part for you, sending quick notes to gauge interest and then handing over people ready to hear your best pitch. Reach out and we can set up a call.

About Chrissie Zavicar

Chrissie Zavicar is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or contact page.