TALKING SALES 3: “Why we sell” – Ian Lowe

Ian Lowe Why

Why we sell versus how we sell?  

I had a fascinating discussion with Ian Lowe on this subject – I would like to share it with you.

Ian is the CEO of Go-Givers Australia. He’s an expert in sales transformation, and his speciality is in helping people understand why they sell versus how they sell. So I asked him why.  This video is his answer.


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John: Hello, welcome back! Today I’ve got Ian Lowe with me. Ian’s the CEO of Go-Givers Australia, he’s an expert in sales transformation, and his specialty is in helping people understand why they sell versus how they sell. Welcome, Ian!

Ian: Happy to be here, John!

John: Why they sell versus how they sell. Can you tell me a little bit about what that means?

Ian: So many people have a dysfunctional relationship with that word “sales”. You know, so many people have a backwards view of what sales really is. I suppose it’s understandable, right? There’s so much coverage of negative behaviours of salespeople. Anyone who saw The Wolf of Wall Street or…

John: Oh, yeah.

Ian: [laughs] Or has been following the media coverage of the aggressive sales tactics employed by a couple of the big banks in their dealings with financial advisory customers.

John: Dreadful stuff.

Ian: Yeah. They would’ve had their most negative fears about the character and behaviour of salespeople and the trustworthiness of salespeople in the organisations they work for confirmed, right?

John: When you say transforming and why we sell versus how we sell, what do you really mean by that?

Ian: Well, I think the traditional view of the salesperson’s mindset is that they’re out there to try and get the client’s money into their pocket as soon as they possibly can.

John: Yeah, the poor ones. I mean, the good ones maybe not.

Ian: Sure. But, you know, some of the big banks, right? I mean, big brands.

John: True.

Ian: You’d think you’re safe with those big brands, but yet the behaviours of the salespeople and the culture they clearly developed was contrary to the interest of the customer. Our view is that sales has less to do with about trying to get the client’s money and it has more to do with trying to give the client value.

John: Okay. Yep, that makes a lot of sense. So it’s really all about positioning as a giver of value, a creator of value for your client, versus having a focus on trying to get something from the client.

Ian: Absolutely.

John: But that’s why we’re there though ultimately, to get the order. Right?

Ian: Sure.

John: And we follow a process to do that.

Ian: Yeah. I mean, it’s important to have a sales process. You know, a sales process is important, but in and of itself it’s incomplete. What you really need to have is a purpose and a philosophy that is focused. Your entire organisation, your mindset is 100% focused on trying to consistently and constantly create value for the customer. And that’s ultimately why people buy, right? They will buy from you not because you have a target to meet or because you have a product to sell or because you have a boss that’s on your back trying to tell you to make more sales. People will buy from you [03:00] because they see there’s value in them doing so.

John: So, the bottom line point you’re making then, as I understand, is: the top salespeople need to be givers and not takers, they need to be creators of value for the customer, and that should be their whole philosophy knowing that they’ll receive as a result. True?

Ian: Absolutely, you nailed it!

John: I’d like to talk more about that next time we get together. Thank you very much, Ian!

Ian: Fantastic! I look forward to it, John!


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John leads three related organisations, Custell, Strategic Selling Group and Sales Masterminds APAC. These help B2B selling organisations, who recognise the need to transform their sales capability, to respond to the tsunami of change that is starting to wash over us all. He works with people who recognise that to survive they must more strategically support their customer in their buying journey - and understand that they must become specialists in the customer's domain in order to be of value to them. He also helps sales teams build differentiated personal brands and leverage the digital and social worlds to engage to create trust and value.

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