Demand-Side Sales 101

Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress

by Bob Moesta

I picked this one up after Jason Fried tweeted about it, and I'm glad I did.

Recently at work what I've become increasingly involved with working with sales, that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned as it means I get to see a broader perspective on how we market and sell our product.

Demand Side Sales 101 comes at a good time, then. It's fascinating reading Bob Moesta's take on what sales should be, and there's nothing I disagree with here. Fundamentally it's about becoming closer to the customer and understanding what problems drive them so that a product can be positioned appropriately according to their needs. Not according to a generic feature spec like a larger screen, longer battery life or whatever.

Great salespeople don’t walk around in a sharkskin suit, selling for the sake of profit. Great salespeople are real people: they ask questions, they listen, they learn, and they help you make progress in your life. Salespeople help customers solve problems and make progress in their life. Instead of pushing their product, they represent their product and how it fits into your life. Sales is about perspective—think concierge, mentor, or a coach, not an order taker. It’s about looking through your customer’s eyes, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, and understanding what they mean. And there’s nothing icky about helping people. Period!

This is a really short one and well worth a read if, like me, you're finding yourself working across sales as much as marketing.