The New ABCs of Selling
There are a lot of findings and I think the biggest one, the biggest picture finding, is that we’ve moved from a world of buyer beware to a world of seller beware. In the old days sellers had a lot more information than buyers, and that gave sellers an opportunity to rip buyers off. Today, that information asymmetry that defines the sales relationship is becoming something closer to information parity. That shifted us into a fundamentally different world – a world where now sellers are in notice, and selling in a world of seller beware is different in kind, not different in degree, is different in kind than selling in a world of buyer beware.
I think that it’s happened so quickly that we haven’t really grocked how significant this change is. We’ve gone from this world where buyers have not much information, not much choices and no way to talk back, to a world where they have lots of information, lots of choices, and all kinds of ways to talk back. That’s fundamentally different, and that transition from buyer beware to seller beware calls on a fundamentally different set of skills. Now, there are always skills that have been deployed at some level in sales, but these are skills that have become more urgent, not only actual practical, tactical skills but even approaches to the enterprise itself that I think are fundamentally different from the ones that we relied on even fifteen years ago.
The biggest takeaway is we have to get our heads out of the old fashioned way of selling, that “Always Be Closing” way of selling, and recognize the new ABC’s of selling that are the qualities that are necessary to flourish in this new remade landscape. They are A – Attunement, B – Buoyancy and C – clarity. Attunement is perspective taking. Can you get out of your own head; see something from someone else’s point of view? Buoyancy is: can you stay afloat on the ocean of rejection that is sales? And clarity is: can you go from accessing information to curating it, to making sense of it? And can you go from solving existing problems to finding existing problems that people don’t realize that they have? So I think the biggest takeaway is to master this new ABCs – Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.