If You Do Sales Calls, You’ve Lost – by Todd Schnick

Todd Schnick

I was on a “sales call” yesterday, talking with a medical practice about integrating social media into their marketing efforts.

As you probably know, I don’t sell. I engage in creative sessions with my prospects.

And I do that for two reasons:

1. It is way easier on me. No pressure to close anything. Just sitting with the prospect, listening, offering ideas and helping. This actually becomes fun. And honestly, I always learn something.

2. More importantly, it is much easier on/better for the prospect. They may not ultimately engage me, but they get some value, learn something, get some new ideas, but also learn to trust me, and get a sense of what working with me would be like.

I like to go into these sales calls (and I hate calling them sales calls) PURPOSELY not selling. Trying to close something puts my focus on closing, which means my focus is on ME and what I AM doing and saying.

The focus should be on THEM.

It almost reminds me of Br’er Rabbit’s approach to escaping his captor, and uttering “Please don’t throw me in dat briar patch…”

So yesterday, it was music to my ears to hear someone say “Imagine what ideas he’ll spit out after we pay him.” That is exactly what I want people to think and feel when they are talking with me. We had a great time, sharing ideas, had an honest and open discussion, and in the end, we all had a fun conversation.

I like my chances of serving these folks much better than if I had gone in there with some big agenda, scripts, and intent on delivering a fine sales pitch.

In my humble opinion, a “sales call” connotes this old way of selling, the pressure-packed (for both sides) method of pitching and hitting all the right message points, where you are more worried about your sales performance than the performance of your prospect’s business.

If you do sales calls, you’ve lost. Instead, build, serve, care, converse, engage, and just try to help. You are still selling this way, but with this approach, you will be liked, trusted and appreciated when it is over…

What do you think?


Todd Schnick is a writer, speaker, marketing strategist, and radio-show host and producer.  You can find him at his website http://intrepid-llc.com/ and sign up for his content marketing class at http://intrepid-llc.us1.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=54c611c3a51549083168e81dc&id=cb7d944475. Todd’s book The Zen of Sales is available at Amazon.com.


On December 21st, I published a guest post from my friend Dave Brock entitled “Making A Difference In 2013: Help 1000’s Get Access To Clean Water!” I hope you’ll take a moment to reread it: http://www.sellingfearlessly.com/2012/12/21/making-a-difference-in-2013-help-1000′s-get-access-to-clean-water-by-david-brock/ I know you’re inundated by charity requests this time of year, but I hope you’ll pay attention to this one, even if it’s only for a few dollars, because it’s a great cause and it means a lot to a terrific guy–Dave Brock. Here’s a post Dave put up recently on his site; I hope you’ll take a moment to read it, too: http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/thinking-of-others-water-changes-everything/ Again, even if it’s only a few dollars–it’ll mean a lot!