1.1. Selling today

Much of the selling that is done today focuses on persuading people to buy things that they might not really need, at least not yet. Cut-throat pricing, fierce competition and high, short-term sales targets drive salespeople to behave in ways that can be painful for buyers – and often uncomfortable for the salesperson too.

To understand this better, we asked the salespeople that we worked with to tell us how they are currently perceived by the buyers they work with. Then we asked them how they would like to be perceived. The results were remarkably consistent across different industries and we think they neatly summarise the challenges facing salespeople today. We’ve reproduced them in the table overleaf.

Next, we asked ourselves ...

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