If I had a better way to describe it, I would. But, I don’t. It’s actually even more complicated to explain than it is to label. Yet, it’s also very simple … don’t sell. Sounds crazy, but it works. Throw every sales technique that you have ever learned right out the window. We’re about to go stealth.
In its simplest form, stealth selling ditches conventional selling techniques. Handling objections. Going for the close. Conquering stalls. Features and benefits. We are able to do so because the people who work for the company, the company that you are selling to, do none of these things.
Yet, they are the ones who still drive change within their company and they are often the people who are involved in making decisions about what those changes might be. Changes like considering your product or service. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you are about to make a career change.
You might work for your company, but you have a new side gig. Hell, they say that we are living in a gig economy so … get to gigging. Even better, every customer is a potential side gig and one that might compensate you handsomely without all of the annoying H.R. paperwork.
The key is positioning
And the way to get there is by exhibiting employee, vs. salesperson, behaviors. Language. Attitudes. Company goals and expectations. Problem solving. Identifying hazards. Arguing both sides of the options. Providing reasons to move ahead as well as reasons to stay put. Employees do these things. Salespeople do not.
You need to be able to do all of these seamlessly and effortlessly and that is going to take practice. It’s not something that can be forced or it will instantly be recognized as being unnatural behaviors. This is the tough part. Practice yields reflex where these behaviors do not require thought.
I’m able to do this effortlessly because my style is such that this is my natural role. Let’s talk about language. The term inclusive comes to mind. It’s not you or us. It’s “we”. Remember that you are now on the company payroll vs. someone who is there to perform a cash extraction. A walletectomy.
Now, you are going to be tempted to revert to your natural selling behaviors, but please don’t. This takes time and you will have to direct your senses toward becoming aware of when important changes begin to take place. These will be subtle and gradual.
At some point, providing you have done this correctly, you will see these changes in customer behaviors toward you. It might be their language. Maybe attitude. Being copied on internal emails. Getting invited to meetings. Being asked your opinion on unrelated matters. Congratulations! You have arrived!
Let’s clear up the nagging question that some of you may be having …
“Isn’t this all just some sort of charade designed to separate this client from their money??”
Wrong! Dead wrong! You are showing genuine concern for the well being of the customer. I can tell you that the last thing that I ever want to see happen is for me to put a client in something that they don’t need or, even worse, will not meet their needs.
I will go the extra mile to tell them why they might not want my product. I’m going to tell them about all of the areas that my product won’t solve. After all, I’m an employee, not a salesperson. I don’t ask for the order. Instead I might ask “So what do we want to do?”
Merry Christmas! My gift to you