Is selling evil?

Selling is evil or not depending on the question in the seller’s head.

Many networkers are afraid to admit they’re selling for fear that others will shy away from them. And it’s true, that IS how most people respond to sellers these days.

The reason? It’s the question networkers are focused on when they see you:

“How can I get this person to see the value of this product, buy it and stay on it?”

That’s the kind of question that makes the seller say and do anything to get us to buy even if the thing is totally irrelevant to us. Evil.

Here’s a different question a seller might have in their mind as they’re looking for customers. It’s designed to 1) find the right person for your product 2) earn that person’s trust and 3) gain credibility:

“What goal might my potential customer have, that I can help them move a step or two closer to?”

That means you have to know where your potential customer would like to be that they’re not, yet, as it relates to what you have to offer them. Your job is to move them closer to it, even one step. And it will probably not include selling your product yet.

How could you know where your potential customer might want to be, where you can help move them toward that place?

Ask yourself: What has the product done for you? From where to where did it move you in some part of your life?

This is step one in defining who your best potential customer is – when you’ve identified someone whom you can help get to where THEY want to be – just like your product helped YOU get someplace you wanted to be.

Make sense?

P.S. This is a mini version of the piece, plus exercise, that subscribers to the Customer Enchilada Priority Notification upcoming expanded program got today.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Dear Kim,

    For years I have practiced this type of selling, although initially I was trained that everyone was fair game.

    I have tried to explain the difference by teaching trainee that they should be looking for ways to do something FOR their potential customers instead of doing something TO their customer. For example, Ms. Customer is very excited about reducing her energy costs with her replacement window rather that I got her to bite at $24,000.

    The greed factor we all carry around to greater or lesser degree is what causes most salespeople to practice “evil”. It is hard to over come until you learn to take the focus off yourself and genuinely look for ways to help your potential customer get what they want. I am not talking about some hypothetical euphoria derived from involvement in your program. I am speaking of solid product benefits that are right on target with the potential customers desires and goals. Something that is deliverable in reality, not in a dream.

    Kim, you asked how a salesperson can know where that potential customer wants to be? In my primary business we filter (marketing) for the ideal client for us and then we communicate with them to determine if we can deliver want they want. In fact one question that I use a lot is, “How do you picture this in your mind when we are finished?”

    Do it for ’em, not to ’em,
    Tom Doiron

  • Selling is not “evil”, however, when most people think of selling,they think of the salespeople that jump on you the second you hit the used car lot, the clothing store, etc… These people are clearly paid on commission and they will do “whatever it takes” to make the sale.

    The difference is that they are limited to the time you are in that store, so they feel that they have to pounce.

    We are so much luckier because we are not limited to the time someone is in our “store”. We can do the right things BEFORE they enter our store so they already have a great view of us and our products.

    I recently helped a team member who was struggling because she wanted so badly to talk to nurses (someone like her) about the stresses they are under and how she has found products to help alleviate that stress. I taught her a no pressure way to be able to get in front of these nurses and talk to them about her products.

    It’s not as hard as it seems.

    ~Roxanne Green~

  • In our economy, nothing happens until somebody sells something. Sales is necessary. However, we can do without the highly annoying sales tactics.

    One way to differentiate yourself is to take “no” for an answer. Do not press for an appointment, overcome objections, or convince people. Simply find the ones who want what you have to offer. Use the right language to quickly find out.

    This removes pressure, builds mutual trust and respect, and more business gets done. You’ll also be less likely burn out and quit.

    Paul Eilers

  • >Is selling evil?

    Though not of course in any way resembling the usual connotation of ‘evil’, at times, sure it is – if you accept the dictionary definition of: ‘harmful; injurious; anything causing harm; morally bad or wrong.’

    Needn’t be though – when undertaken authentically with respect (for self and prospective client).

    >”How can I get this person to see the value of this product…?”

    Maybe there’s lessons to be learned from how people like Apple, Newman’s Own, J Peterman etcetera operate – rather than the usual MLM/Internet Marketing ‘power-packed’ dross. And, in terms of more-directly comparable product, the ‘charm’ of Method with their PeopleAgainstDirty pitch.

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