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Hey Salespeople! Stop Thinking So Much and Help People!

Help people, don’t sell people to be successful.

I applaud when any salesperson practices. When they ask to do it as a part of our coaching session, it’s even better and that’s exactly what happened today. My client asked to role-play sales calls with me, and it was challenging but I give him a ton of credit because he’s actively working to improve.

Oh, you want me to sound more like I do with a friend when my friend is not thinking clearly. Yes! Help people. Add value. Offer a fresh perspective. 

How do we do that effectively? We must understand their situation; their issues, needs, and aspirations and we get this information by asking questions. The answers are the tip of the iceberg; the bigger goal is to determine if we can be of service and if they want help.

Be Curious

Listening to the words and tone while noticing body language and facial expressions is the key to getting the answers. Be curious—it’s not an interrogation. Do their words match their expression? Does it all make sense together? Asking follow-up questions or gently calling out a mismatch is often required.

“I heard you say that you’re happy with your current marketing group but your voice seemed hesitant and you winced which confuses me a bit. Is there something else you’d like to share?”  

Don’t be a Jerk

Tap into your empathy and help instead. When someone struggling or has had a problem for a long time, making them feel worse won’t help you sell. Everyone wants to be heard so acknowledge what they are saying and show understanding. Salespeople who listen and actually make the person feel heard have much deeper conversations and relationships.

“I see why it’s been a tough month. All those delays would be costly and frustrating.”

Toss the scripts

Throw away anything taking you away from listening and making you sound like an insincere robot. You build rapport and trust when you lean in and listen with the intent to understand and help. No trust, no deal!

Maybe you noticed—I never said prospect or customer.  I would bet most of your prospects and customers are people like you and me first and foremost. This perspective is less intimidating for you and more enjoyable for them—don’t psych yourself out before you begin!

I made this short video and would love to know your feedback. If it raises questions, let me know.


With 30+ years of experience in business development, sales coaching, and sales management positions, Walter has gained deep understanding of, and rare insight into managing and implementing a sales process. His unique, best-in-class sales assessment tools and CRM software have proven to be exactly what businesses need to transform their sales team and process.

You owe it to yourself and your sales team to find out how Helix Sales Development can transform your business. Schedule a call today, and discover a renewed sense of potential for your business.