To Sell More, Sell Less

Today’s customer is overwhelmed with too much information and not enough time and attention span to digest it all. As such, the best salespeople have evolved and simplified their sales approach to be more responsive to over-burdened and over-saturated customers.

Today, in order to sell more, we need to be hyper-focused on what is of most importance to the customer. As such, the three keys of sales today are:

1. Listen to WII-FM

No longer can we give presentations about how great our company and / or our product is. Instead, we need to question and listen intently to the customer’s WII-FM (What’s In It For Me). It is all about and only about the customer:

  • What matters most to the customer?
  • How will the customer benefit from buying our product or service?

2. Focus on the Customer’s 2 – 3 Hot Buttons

By listening to the customer’s WII-FM, we can quickly determine her 2 – 3 hot buttons – what really matters most to her and will determine her decision. Then, we need to focus our sales time and attention exclusively on these hot buttons, showing how buying our product or service satisfies these hot buttons.

3. Say no more (sell less)

Now comes the difficult part. Once we have focused and proven our product’s benefits on the 2 – 3 hot buttons, we are done. We need to say no more. Any more information or discussion of benefits will dilute the effect of how perfectly our product satisfies the 2 – 3 hot buttons. Customers will believe that we can satisfy their 3 hot buttons; they will not believe that we can satisfy every one of their requirements. Further, our additional sales efforts may end up confusing the customer.


The net effect of these three keys will be that our sales teams talk less and listen more. But, that is exactly what our customers want. As an example, the industrial conglomerate, GE, regularly surveys its customers about what they think of the GE sales team. In year after year, one comment wins out over all the others:

Your salespeople talk too much.

So, let’s take that customer feedback as our guide and keep all of our sales meetings and sales communication short, simple, and hyper-focused on the most important hot buttons of each of our customers.

And nothing more.


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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