The Entrepreneurial Engineer

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A pessimistic love of selling

Jack Krupansky has a blog post here entitled You Have Got to Love Selling, but the post betrays a deep distrust of the role:

I have no problem with providing information or showing a consumer how they can benefit from a product or service, but to my mind, there is a line between providing information that a consumer voluntarily wants and trying to manipulate the consumer in an involuntary manner.

There are lots of gray areas here, and many people are all too eager and willing to exploit those gray areas, but my inclination is to avoid the gray areas unless it is crystal clear that any "selling" is strictly informative and voluntary in nature, and not manipulative or involuntary in any way.

I think there are far too many people who enjoy the manipulation aspect of selling. My strong suspicion is that real selling can be done without the manipulation, but the evidence strongly suggests that my view is the minority view, or that a lot of sales people are unwilling to label many of their practices as "manipulative."

I can agree with the sentiments expressed here, but many salesmen misunderstand that salesmanship is first and foremost an act of empathizing with the customers needs and seeing the situation through the customer's eyes. This is the approach taken in the section We Are All Salespeople on This Bus, in chapter 7 (The Human Side of Engineering) of The Entrepreneurial Engineer.


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