The Myth of Selling What You Love

A few days ago I was talking to a person who suddenly found themselves in a sales position.

They were quick to say how they would be able to do the job well, because they really love what they are selling.

Oh, what a quaint thing to say, but oh how wrong they are in saying that.

Yes, I was quick to compliment them and wish them well in their new job, but at the same time I couldn’t help but think about what it was they were saying.

Their comment meant they themselves loved the product they were being asked to sell, and although that sounds good, it misses out on a key point. 

A salesperson may like what they sell for a few very good reasons, but what happens when they encounter a customer who doesn’t like the product or service for the same reasons the salesperson does it?

Chances are there is not going to be a sale made.  When we love too much what we sell, we become fixated on the reasons why we love it.

Sales is not about selling what we love. It’s about loving to help people and that is a big difference.

If you don’t love helping people and showing them how what it is you sell will help them, then what you’re doing is not called selling.  I’ll argue what you’re doing at that point is merely taking orders.

Selling is about helping people and that means you might be selling something you don’t like, but if it helps the customer with the benefits they’re looking, that’s fine that you don’t like it.

My insight to you as a salesperson is that if you are focused primarily on the fact you love what you sell, you’ll help far fewer customers than you should be helping.   You’ll also be under delivering to your employer, because you won’t be coming close to maximizing the profit potential of what it is you are selling.

Go ahead and sell what you love, as long as your first love is helping customers.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.




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2 thoughts on “The Myth of Selling What You Love”

  1. James Blackmore

    Sofia – you help them look cool and have a good time 😉

    But I’m not quite sold on your concept, Mark. Certainly loving a product isn’t enough, you also need strong sales acumen, but I don’t think that loving a product, company, service etc. can ever be a bad thing in sales.

    As a matter of fact, often times the best “sales person” a reference or referral from another customer who can speak highly of why they love it. Ask Apple or any other successful business, fans can do a lot of your selling for you.

    And just because you really love one benefit your product delivers doesn’t mean you’re blind to the other benefits, so I’m not sure I get your point.

    Imagine trying to sell a product you think is terrible (unfortunately there have been times in my career where I didn’t have to imagine; thankfully, that’s changed now). It’s ten times more difficult because you basically have to put on an act and you feel like you’re conning people; which is almost impossible to mask.

    I believe that if you don’t strongly believe in the products and vision of the company you work for, then you should really work your butt off to find a role working for a company that you can believe in, because you’ll be many times more effective.

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