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The Greatest Compliment for a Seller

2 min readApril 6, 2021

“He doesn’t sound like a salesperson.”

The organizer of an event at which I was speaking overheard one audience member say this to another about me.

This is one of the greatest compliments I’ve received.

Not being “salesy” is something I’ve worked on my entire career.

Truth be told, I’m not entirely certain what a salesperson sounds like.

However, like many, if not most, people I carry a vision of what that is in my head. And, it’s not good.

If a stranger can identify your profession because you conform to a stereotype…yeah, well, that’s not good either.

I believe that not sounding like a salesperson should be the goal of everyone in sales.

How do I avoid being “salesy?”

It starts by focusing on what your buyer needs from you.

What your buyers need you to be is a curious, open-minded, informed, insightful, analytical problem-solver.

That’s what I built my entire career on. That’s what enabled me to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of products and services around the world.

Helping sellers learn how to succeed in sales by not being salesy is one of the main motivations for starting my podcast. (Episode #900 was released this week.)

So, how’s a seller supposed to sound?

Like a human being.

Someone who’s curious and interested in connecting on a human level.

Someone whose agenda is serving rather than selling.

Someone who embraces uncertainty and asks great questions to challenge assumptions.

Someone who listens to answers without judgment. Who listens to understand first.

Someone who always tries to deliver something of value to help the buyer move forward in their process.

Follow Andy on LinkedIn.