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Do You Have to Love What You Sell?

Do You Have to Love What You Sell?

Selling is about appealing to the head while drawing upon the heart. You have to convince your customers to make a purchase based on rational arguments. No matter what facts and figures you pull together to make those arguments, however, they need to feel you believe them at your core. Though

Selling is about appealing to the head while drawing upon the heart.

You have to convince your customers to make a purchase based on rational arguments. No matter what facts and figures you pull together to make those arguments, however, they need to feel you believe them at your core.

Though many brands talk about the need for being authentic and genuine in their marketing, sales is the part of the journey where those qualities can make a particularly big difference.

Customers can tell when a rep isn’t truly in love with their firm’s own products.

It can come across as a general lack of energy, a tendency to be vague on details or simply talking so excitedly and over-the-top that it raises suspicion.

When that happens, customers don’t just decline to buy. They often buy elsewhere — and let others know about what seemed like a con job.

When you do, in fact, love your product

There might be times in your career where loving the product you sell is easy.

You might have started out as a customer yourself, for example. That means you’ll be able to talk about it with first-hand experience and guide people with insights about key features and ways they could somehow customize the way they use it.

In other cases, the product might be universally fun to use or possess. It could be a gadget with interesting functionality or something you know you would enjoy, like a house or luxury vehicle.

This doesn’t always mean that racking up sales or crushing your quota will be easy, but it might make you more persuasive when you’re standing in front of customers, talking to them on the phone or even composing an email.

There are inevitably other sales jobs, however, where you’re not the target customer, and never will be. The product might be complicated for you to operate yourself. It might not seem to be marketed as successfully as the more similar products from your competitors.

Don’t despair in these situations. There are other kinds of love you can bring to the table as a sales rep, even when the key product you’re selling doesn’t inspire much:

1. Love the community you’re serving

Imagine you’re selling an appliance or tool aimed at single mothers. You might be a married man with no children of your own, so speaking about the product enthusiastically might seem like a stretch.

Instead, you may find great fulfillment in serving that community of women. You might have been raised by a single mother, or know some whose lives could be positively affected by purchasing the product.

The same goes for products aimed at those in certain sectors like healthcare, where you know your product could help take care of people or even save lives.

There are also communities based on roles, like lawyers, whose purchase and use of your product might help them in some way pursue justice for those who need it.

Love those communities (or learn to love them) and you’ll likely be a more effective rep.

2. Love the problem you’re solving

Assuming they work as advertised, most products and services address one of three things:

  • They save people time.
  • They save people money or effort.
  • They help people find an answer or learn something they need to know.

Often these kinds of problems are long-standing within the community of customers you’re serving. People may have been frustrated for eons and have had to find workarounds or put up with things they shouldn’t, all because they haven’t been able to overcome the challenges in question.

The more you sell products and services that let them tackle those challenges, the more you might come to love the ability to give it to them. You’ll become an expert in why the challenges are so difficult or have been neglected by other companies for so long.

There’s nothing quite like seeing the relief on someone’s face when they realize an age-old pain point will be removed. That’s worth leaning into as you make the business case for them to purchase your product.

3. Love the value you’re providing

Selling is not just transactional. It’s a form of relationship building, which is why we have the “R” in “CRM” to begin with.

As a rep, there are so many ways to provide your customers value. There’s direct value in terms of offering a more competitive price, though that’s dependent on the product and how the company produces it. There’s value in acting as a trusted advisor, where you not only pitch a product but also help share best practices in how it is used by other successful customers in multiple contexts.

There’s also the value of helping customers arrange things like the installation or deployment of a product or service, and value in introducing them to subject matter experts within your firm or peers within your base of existing customers. There’s even value in offering thought leadership, when you share guides, videos or other content that will educate and inspire customers in ways that go beyond what they’ll do with your product itself.


These are all different kinds of “love” than the kind when you love what you’re selling, but they are just as important.

You might notice a common thread among all three of them: they are based on having deep empathy with who your customers are, what they aspire or need and how best to make them happy.

This kind of empathy is the true essence of being “customer centric.” It’s not really about a product at all, but what happens when a rep forges an honest connection with a customer with the best of intentions.

No matter which of these kinds of “love” apply to you, be straightforward with customers in how you tailor your sales pitch based on them. If you’re really immersed in your customer community, for example, be upfront about how that is what’s driving your sense of purpose. If it’s about the problem you’re solving or the value you’re providing, organize your pitch around those themes.

In these kinds of sales discussions, the customer will hopefully come to love your product, but more importantly, they’ll love buying from you.

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