How to Sell Without Selling Out

Apr 4, 2022
Collin Stewart

Andy Paul is the author of two award-winning sales books, one of LinkedIn’s Top 50 Global Sales Experts, and a leading voice in the outbound sales industry. His latest book, How to Sell Without Selling Out, was a #1 New Release on Amazon.

Andy joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss why we need to do away with outdated sales tactics and focus on a humanity-driven outbound sales process.

The problem with traditional outbound sales behaviours

Unpersonalized pitches, robotic messages, and spammy LinkedIn requests are just some of the ineffective tactics sellers use to catch a prospect’s attention. The problem with these behaviors is that buyers instinctively resist them. No one enjoys being sold to this way, and yet salespeople continue to use these outdated methods.

The issue can be traced back to the way salespeople are trained. Most outbound sales reps are taught that their job is to persuade the prospect to buy their product, and if the buyer disagrees, then the salesperson’s job is to keep pushing. This approach has given outbound sales a bad reputation and made buyers distrustful of the sales process.

How to stop selling out and start selling in

The opposite of selling out is what Andy calls selling in–a buyer-centric approach that starts by understanding your ideal customer on a deeper level. In this view, selling isn’t something you do to a buyer, but a collaborative process you undertake together. 

An outbound sales rep’s job is to go out and listen to the buyer, understand what’s most important to them, and then help them get there. 

How outbound sales leaders can encourage their team to sell in

The first step to changing your sales team’s behaviour is to recognize where you’re falling short. If buyers are having a bad experience or your close rate is extremely low, there are obvious areas for improvement. 

As a leader, it’s your job to initiate change. Oftentimes sales managers can become locked into a particular process, but it’s important to remember that processes don’t win deals–people do. Start training your salespeople to sell with humanity. 

outbound-sales-development-enablement-blog-podcast-andy-paul-sell-without-selling-out

The four pillars of selling in

In Andy’s methodology, there are four pillars of selling in: connection, curiosity, understanding, and generosity. An important distinction is that all of these are innate human traits, rather than learned behaviours.

Outbound sales reps aren’t innately wired to be pushy or self-interested; they’re taught those behaviours through training. But as human beings, we’re all predisposed to seek connection, look for answers, and give generously to others.

The first step to selling in is to apply that innate curiosity and understanding, and determine what’s most important to the buyer. Instead of ticking off boxes in a playbook, focus on building a real connection. Determine what the buyer is looking for and how you can help them achieve that outcome.

Customers buy from companies that make them feel understood. And in an increasingly digital world, humanity can be a core differentiator from your competitors.

The problem with outbound sales processes

Having an outbound sales process is crucial for scaling, but some leaders become overly reliant on the process and forget that every salesperson is an individual. Each outbound sales rep has a unique way of selling and as a leader, your job is to help them become the best version of themselves–not force them to conform to your process.

When salespeople are given more agency, they’re more productive, more fulfilled, and more likely to stay at the organization long-term. Allowing reps to make their own choices can go a long way to reducing churn. 

Processes can provide a great framework, but let each rep find what works best for them. They’ll reward you with greater close rates and more company loyalty. 

How to scale without selling out

One of the most common misbeliefs about this individualistic approach to selling is that it’s not scalable. But in reality, selling this way allows you to shorten the sales cycle and accelerate growth. 

By investing more time upfront to understand what’s important to the buyer, decisions are made much quicker. The buyer feels heard and understood because the seller has prioritized the buyer’s needs.

A common problem in scaling is having a hard time understanding the buyer journey, their decision-making process, and their needs in order to even consider the buy. If you can relate to that feeling, we can help you get this process down on paper and start building a playbook that will help you scale faster and predictably. Book a free call with us to find out how! 

One of the ways to gain a better understanding of your customers in the meantime, is to ask questions like, “What do you need from us to make a decision?”, “Why did you buy from us?” and “What can we do better?”.  

The answers to these questions will not only be helpful in the sales process, but also for hiring future reps. Match job descriptions to what the customer is looking for and you’ll find salespeople who are a natural fit for your company.

Conclusion 

The first step toward a better outbound sales strategy is to change your perspective around selling. Have an internal discussion about the culture you’re trying to create in your organization, and whether your sales process meets those expectations. 

If you want to connect with Andy to learn more about how to sell without selling out, you can reach out on LinkedIn or visit andypaul.com.

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The tips in this book will help you navigate a better outbound process, one that focuses on human connection over quotas. Because ironically, focusing on your prospect instead of the sale will make you a more successful sales rep.

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