TALKING SALES 44: “What is sales?” – Wayne Berry

Selling is helping“Sales is a noble profession focussed on helping people” –  3 Minute interview by John Smibert



Wayne BerryIn this interview the Top Gun sales coach Wayne Berry talks about sales, why we sell and what the better salespeople focus on.

Wayne has a simple explanation of what sales is; “Selling is simply helping people”.

He explains that the most successful salespeople have this mindset as their primary purpose.  He goes on to say “they are very giving people – they genuinely care about others, they ask questions, they make the right recommendations”  – and they are proud of their profession.

He emphasises that what is in your inner self (your giving and helping mindset) is reflected in your outer self – your behaviour. See the full interview below

Wayne Berry is the Top Gun Sales Guru and Coach and has authored 5 best selling books on selling.



John: I’m delighted to have with me Wayne Berry, Australia’s top gun sales coach – welcome, Wayne!

Wayne: Thank you, John! That’s a lot to live up to, isn’t it, Australia’s top gun sales coach?

John: [laughs] Well, that’s what you call yourself!

Wayne: Absolutely – I’ve been around for some time now.

John: You have, haven’t you? How many years?

Wayne: 38 years now doing this.

John: Very, very successful background, and I’d like to congratulate you — I know you bring a lot of value to a lot of sales teams in Australia, so thank you for that!

Wayne: Thank you!

John: I wanted, on our first interview, to get you to really nail what you think the definition of sales is.

Wayne: Well, it’s really interesting, because a lot of salespeople, particularly new to sales, really think that selling is a dirty word. In fact, they prefer to call themselves anything except salespeople.

John: Yes, business development manager, or account manager, or… Yes.

Wayne: Yes, all these titles. And it’s because of the way they perceive selling, and they perceive selling as something that you do to somebody, and there’s a lot of very unprofessional people running around doing terrible things.

John: Just that!

Wayne: Yes, absolutely.

John: Yes, even big banks and so on. There have been some dreadful stories in the last few years, hasn’t there?

Wayne: And people don’t like to be ‘sold’, but people love to ‘buy’. So, what I teach them is that selling is simply helping people. If you have a mindset of helping people, that comes through; whatever you hold in your heart comes out. I often say your outer world is always going to be a reflection of your inner world, so if you believe that you’re truly helping people then that’s going to come through to them. And, of course, the best way to help people is ask questions, listen to what their needs are, understand their needs, make the right recommendations.

I think Zig Ziglar, my friend and mentor Zig Ziglar whom I used to bring to Australia to do his seminars in the 1980’s, he said it well when he said:  “You can get all that you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.

John: Yes.

Wayne: What a great definition of selling!

John: Absolutely, and to me it’s great… I remember interviewing Sue Barrett, and I think you know Sue.

Wayne: Yes.

John: Sue reminded me that the word “selling” really means “to give”, because the original Old English word sellan, from which the word “sell” comes from, is “to give”. So, whether you’re helping, giving, whatever – it’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Wayne: Well, I’ve studied high-performing salespeople in a variety of industries across 13 countries now, and the most successful salespeople are very giving people. They genuinely care about others, they ask questions, they make the right recommendations, and if what they have is not right for them they will not force anything on to anyone. In fact, they’ll tell them the truth, and say “What your needs are I don’t have a solution for, but I know somebody who might be able to assist you.”

John: I personally believe that 9 out of 10 salespeople are focused on doing that. It’s the 1 out of 10 that does damage to our industry.

Wayne: Indeed.

John: And we’ve got to do something about that, but that’s another subject.

Wayne: Indeed. And we should feel proud about being in sales, because it’s really all about helping people.

John: Okay. So, the bottom line is that sales, as a definition, is about helping people.

Wayne: Absolutely. That’s what we teach.

John: Simple – I like it! Look forward to talking to you next time!


See more of the ‘TALKING SALES’ series here


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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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