What is the difference between mere sales techniques and authenticity?

The difference between mere sales techniques and authenticity is that the first is seeking only to sell, while the second is seeking to offer.

Author: Michelle

Michelle lives in New Zealand. She is a mother, a writer, and a doctor.

16 thoughts on “What is the difference between mere sales techniques and authenticity?”

  1. Interesting thought – how would even the most commercially minded individual/group sell without offering something? what would you be selling then? I would think the difference lies in whether there is any ongoing engagement post ‘sale’ at which point there is little to no gain for the ‘seller’.

    1. It’s an excellent thought…I have been exploring this question of boundaries with sales techniques just over the last couple of weeks. My exploration above was along the lines of autonomy: that a person who is motivated more out of service, it seems to me, is happy to leave the decision making in the hands of the ‘consumer,’ hence my notion of ‘offering,’ in contrast to ‘selling.’ The one who is seeking to sell has a predetermined outcome in mind, while the one who is offering allows that outcome to be decided by the consumer.

      1. Agree here however its very difficult to proactively sell with a sense of detachment and still be optimistic of the end result.

        However, as Ive always believed with most things in life – the right answer almost always lies somewhere in the middle…

        1. Hmmm…One can be proactive without be prescriptive, though. What is the end result? To my mind, the end result is the offering: not the other person’s choice in response to the offering. That is up to them.

          My perspective reflects the fact that I’ve always been strong on autonomy.

          1. Selling, authentic or not, relies on the principles of exchange between two parties.

            What you describing above borders on the definition of charity, not selling.

            While there is absolutely nothing wrong with charity, it is a very different entity to selling.

          2. Agreed, selling involves an exchange between two parties. But I was referring to sales techniques: techniques employed in order to bring about a sale. Those techniques may be employed merely to shift product/make money, or to actually genuinely serve the interests of the buyer. And these two possibilities might exist for charity or for business.

    2. I agree with your meaning behind the ongoing engagement post ‘sale,’ and I resonate with it. Sadly, though, this post sale phase can also be geared toward further sales, and further sales, which is why to me the real answer for authenticity resides in a letting go of the outcome in the entire process.

    3. Most folks don't understand that the Arab Spring was about bread and debt. Which curiously, is also the crux of the Our Father. Politics as a religion would make an atheist out of the pew warmers, and bishops and Popes out of the busaeucratr.

  2. Sales techniques are sourced in the end goal of shifting product – whatever it is. What did you mean by ‘authenticity’ in that specific respect? Quality of the product? For selling, this is only one of many considerations, oftentimes not even the highest.

    1. By ‘authenticity’ I meant that the claims made in the attempt to shift product are actually real, and any expressed attempt to serve the interests of the buyer is actually genuine: as opposed to mere techniques intended only to make money for personal gain.

  3. Just a thought, fulfilling a need is to Offer, feeding want is Sale!

    It is always 2 parties involved in a transaction, For a seller, there are no emotions attached unless he is small time seller, whereas for a buyer yes! Unless the seller is not selling dreams then it is not hard selling… a simple example can be like using a cosmetics one will become fair! Entire business will be a barter system if people does not have wants…

    1. Hi, Deepak! Another interesting perspective…Do you think there are no emotions for a large time seller? The sales circles I have engaged with recently do show emotion: but you’re right, it is in the context of selling dreams, interestingly, and likewise the hard sell. (Not with makeup, though: that would never entice me. 🙂 ) Offering for a need, selling for a want…again, an interesting perspective…I can see where you’re coming from there, though, of course, many sales involve need as well. How do you see needs as changing the system to bartering?

  4. Hi Ladies & Gents,
    First off – thanks Michelle for the invitation to your blog. I’m sure it’ll be fun exchanging ideas, etc.
    So, my take re sales & the related authenticity? I’ve been in sales virtually all of my adult life, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if one doesn’t passionately and fundamentally believe in a product/service that he/she is selling, then it’s a wasted exercise. Being in sales simply to earn a salary is one thing; passionately believing in what you’re selling it totally different, hence infinitely more success and love for the task(s). This, I reckon, is the authenticity that Michelle alluded to.

    1. Hey, Zack! Good to see you here!

      How fascinating you have been in sales…we have more in common than perhaps we realized. 🙂 I totally agree with what you have said about passion and fundamentally believing in what is being sold.

  5. Wow, guys: great to have all your different perspectives! Nice to see the investment (excuse the pun!) into a topic that’s been important to me of late.

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