What if Your Salespeople Stop Selling?

Meet Larry Bailin


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Larry Bailin to talk shop. Larry is a talented internet marketer and a nationally sought keynote. Larry’s in his second edition of his book, “Mommy, Where Do Customers From” and enjoys continued success at his firm Single Throw located in Wall New Jersey.

The two of us sat across from one another and covered all the requisite mainstays like what portion of your mix should comprise PPC, how much of your social footprint should be automated (Larry says none and incidentally, I think he’s right) and the two of us agreed that Seth Godin is a keeper. But the typical talking points of our conversation, while enlightening and entertaining in general, didn’t move the needle.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s fun to talk to other internet marketers – particularly those that the industry leans on as much as it does Larry. But no. The conversation was cool, but the majority of the time largely academic. The majority that is. You see, something fascinating DID happen. Something was unearthed. A fortuitously excavated idea emerged from an otherwise casually enjoyable dialogue between two passionate internet marketers.

The Fortuitous Idea

So what was so gripping about our talk? What topic emerged that did, in this marketer’s opinion, move the proverbial needle?

It was this: salesmanship. Specifically, how to disarm buyers when engaging them.

Nothing special right? I mean who among us doesn’t understand that disarming buyers is critical to earning a customer’s confidence? None that I know. But Larry helped me stumble upon a model for appealing to buyers that, for me, called upon marketers and product makers to sell as much, if not more, than is expected of the sales team.

It’s an uphill climb … Salespeople are gods of optimism. Salespeople have a tough job. We all know it.

Selling well takes a scientific understanding of the human condition. Being great at it requires all that, plus the grace of a ballerina, the poise of a Super Bowl quarterback, and the precision of a brain surgeon. This is why selling is often perceived as Herculean. Just ask any seasoned seller. They’ll tell yah: sales is not a vocation for the weak. And it’s because the nuance and complexities of the sales dance, that establishes trust with buyers is a salesperson’s toughest obstacle — they face built-in quantities of both skepticism and doubt.

To their credit, the ever-hopeful salespeople press on, despite a century of data that tells them every day that 95 percent of their effort, or better, is a waste of time.

Wow. Nearly 100%? Just wow!

It’s Time Salespeople Get a Hand

What if your salespeople weren’t the only ones selling? What if she wasn’t the only one attending the all those breakfast briefings, tradeshows and mixers? Not so novel you’re thinking, right?

Scott, our salespeople do travel to these events with product specialists and marketers.

I know, I know. But let’s dig a bit deeper into the potential role that supporting cast could play in securing that sale for our valiant sales peeps. We’re bringing them, but are they helping?

Ok so, what if – just what if – the salesperson wasn’t the salesperson?

What if the product makers were also marketers … what if marketers were also salespeople? What if every person on the team was all three?

I told Larry that I never seem to come off appearing like the salesman toward buyers, although I’m always selling my stuff.

Says Larry, “It’s because you’re not the salesman, Scott. Someone else is the salesman. You’re just Scott. A nice guy with great ideas.”

And the church choir erupted in sonic ecstasy! And birds softly propped on slate roofs everywhere, all at once, scattered in a flurry into the dewy fog of an early May sunrise! And there it was.

“But Larry, my brother, I am selling!”

I am the salesman, the marketer and the product expert all at once. And I should be all these things if I want to help my sales folks make the sale. And because I am not actually the salesman after all, I get to say, “Hey buyer, I’m not the salesperson.” When I bring the salesperson to meet the buyer, I get to say, “This is Jane. Jane handles sales. I’m Scott. I just help.”

This tag-team method of prospect engagement builds relationships in these ways.

  • It disarms the buyer.
  • It tells the buyer that they’re not dealing with a pushy, pressure-fraught situation.
  • It likewise tells buyers they’re dealing with a person who helps with problems and isn’t driven by thinly veiled sales agendas.

It’s been my experience that the buyer ultimately ends up saying to me,” Hi Scott. What’s your story?” And the sales process has begun.

So before your sales team gears up for the next event, get your product people, your marketing people, and your salespeople in the same room to talk about how to evolve your sales process.

How might your team captivate buyers with a disarming and helpful approach?

Kudos Larry. Great talk.

Author’s Bio:
Scott P. Dailey is a Web designer, copywriter and internet marketer. Scott’s blog, ( scottpdailey.com ) makes connections between social networking etiquette and the prevailing human social habits that drive on and offline business engagement patterns. You can connect with Scott via Twitter at @scottpdailey.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!


  1. says

    I totally agree that everyone is a salesperson. And I like the ideas of bringing support people to meet the clients.

    One thing I would like to add to this is that if everyone is a salesperson, then shouldn’t everyone be given some basic sales training?

    Everyone should be taught; how to read a clients reactions, what type of probing questions to ask, how to increase likeability etc.

    Good article, thanks!

  2. says

    Glad you enjoyed it. And you make a nice point. Everyone who may encounter prospects should be provided some basic training. Sales is no longer the job of the sales team. It’s a shared responsibility in a sales climate where transparency in approach to sales is more and more rewarded.

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