Stop Selling… Start Listening. A Tip That Also Applies to Social Media

We’ve gone from the horse and buggy to the automobile. We’ve gone from lanterns to electricity; and we’ve gone from traditional marketing to social media marketing.

The switch from the old marketing media to the new didn’t diminish the need for effective marketing and sales skills.  Sales and marketing tips that worked before the advent of Social Media still apply.

Even though a strategic Social media campaign can produce unlimited leads at virtually no cost, you still have to sell.  In business… nothing happens until something gets sold.

For the last 25 years, that’s just what I’ve been teaching people all over the world to do: market and sell effectively. Since 2008 those thoughts have become part of what is known as Contrary Marketing™.

I pledged to share these thoughts with you because they work, and from time to time you’ll find posts that reflect that pledge.

This little story covers a really big Contrary Marketing sales tip.

What happened was… I forgot to practice what I preach. My bad.

I didn’t listen. I didn’t diagnose before I prescribed. I didn’t manage the buying process. I tried to sell. It nearly cost me the opportunity to help a friend.

I fixed it. It’s all better now. Here’s the story.

I have a client who happens to be a friend of mine. He runs an optometry clinic.

He came to me and asked me to work with his staff. He wanted them to become more effective at featuring additional products and services during patient visits.

This was perfect timing because I’d been busy updating a six week sales and customer service training program and wanted to see how the new stuff worked.

We talked. I followed the steps in my Contrary Marketing selling system, for a little while at least, but since I had a solution for him already, I stopped helping him buy what he wanted to buy. I began selling him something I wanted to sell.

I didn’t ask what he was looking for specifically. I didn’t ask what type of training he had done in the past. I didn’t uncover budget. I started to tell him about my super-duper program.

I told him how this training would be perfect. Plus, this was a new version. I wanted to try it out on his staff. I would value his help during what was basically a BETA test. I would reduce the fees accordingly. Blah, blah, blah. He listened (which meant I was the one talking… another bad sign in itself).

I understood his problem. I was talking to the decision maker, but I stopped using my system .

He said he would get back to me.

We played phone tag for a few days, and when we finally spoke, I sensed something amiss. He said, “You know, the program you told me about is not really what I was looking for. It sounds great, but not right now.”


I was ready to start selling again. Then, I heard the little voice in my head say, “Use your system. Ask a question.” Duhhh.

It’s amazing how a little question like, “What do you want?” can make such a big difference.

He wanted me to conduct a 90 minute, motivational/new sales ideas session. I do that for companies all the time. It’s a cost effective way to share the basic principles of Contrary Marketing and have an instant impact on sales.

He was happy. I was happy.

So here’s the tip: Stop Selling and Start Listening. Diagnose Before You Prescribe.

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