Why You’ve Been Selling All Wrong (and the Secret to Doing It Right)

According to Ian Altman’s book Same Side Selling, businesses need to do away with the adversarial gamification of selling and instead create relationships with clients to find solutions.

Tim Albright

It has probably been twenty years or so since my last book report.

However, this book, and one of its authors, really struck a chord with me. His name is Ian Altman.

In addition to being a columnist for Forbes and Fortune magazine, consultant, and co-author of this book, he will also be one of the speakers at this year’s InfoComm AV Executive Conference.

The book, Same Side Selling, makes the argument that in order to really drive customer engagement and satisfaction, you need to be on the same side of the table as your client.

They do away with, and rightly criticize, the adversarial gamification of selling. According to the book, businesses need to work toward a common solution with their clients.

This takes some getting used to if you are new to selling.

As someone who is still developing their sales strategy, it really connected with me.

Why wouldn’t I want to do what is best for my client? I am there to help them achieve a goal.

One of my business and sales mentors is Brock McGinnis from Westbury National. He has tried to drill into my head the idea of relationship selling—selling from a position of trying to help someone out you are in a relationship with, not just filling an order.

That is this book.

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Same Side Selling also takes the bold approach of saying you may not have the solution to help your client. I agree with this.

At AV Nation, our underwriting isn’t for everyone. It may not help solve your particular issue.

This is when you need to be honest with yourself and your client.

At this point, you have the opportunity to really become a valued consultant and refer your client to someone who may be able to help them.

Be careful in how you phrase this and make certain you have more than one, but giving your client direction on this project will give that company the trust in you when the next project comes along.

The book is a very easy read and both Ian and his co-author Jack Quarles provide some great insights into the idea of being on the same side as your client.

Mr. Quarles provides a buyer’s perspective and gives buyers’ insights throughout.

If you are struggling or tired of adversarial selling, pick this book up. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Ian Altman at the InfoComm AV Executive Conference.

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