We don't want to be a used car salesman. We want to sell value.There are few things about business that are more despised than selling. But I tend to think we’re looking at sales the wrong way and I was guilty of it, too. The thing is, we’re all conditioned to hate selling because we think about the proverbial used car salesman. And we all know that guy doesn’t sell value; he’s just offloading cars.

Even if we’re right about that guy offloading cars, we’re still wrong about selling.

To sell value, start with understanding the problem

You can’t sell value if you don’t put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Broadly, you need to know how your target market is impacted by the problem you solve. But with each individual you speak to, you have to take the time to meet them where they are and address their unique concerns. Relate to the problem they have and build trust by showing them how you’d address their concerns.

Women have a gift for making personal connections that involve empathy and nurturing. That’s what you need to remember when you sell value – you’re empathizing with the problem and nurturing their success by offering a solution to a problem.

To sell value, your solution must be perceived as valuable

And I’m not talking about dollars and cents. Monetary value is only relevant when it comes to the price they’re willing to pay. But perception is reality when it comes to how people see your products and services. This is where knowing why you do what you do can help you connect with a prospect or customer on a deeper level. Simon Sinek shows this very effectively.

The belief that your why matters to the work you do can give you greater confidence to walk away from clients and customers that feel wrong to you in your gut. Because you don’t need clients who don’t truly want what you have to offer them right down to the core of why you do it.

To sell value, change how you think about selling

When someone calls or emails you to ask for information about your products or services, it’s an invitation to help. Not everyone who gets in touch needs the same help or even your help. But, as you discuss their needs and explore the various ways you can help, you’ll likely stumble on a human truth that reveals the real story.

  • For the woman who doesn’t enjoy cooking and doesn’t want to make time, a chef service can avert starvation and food boredom.
  • For the man who has a shoebox full of receipts, a bookkeeper could actually save him money and probably reduce stress.
  • For the businesswoman who needs a trusted partner to handle her non-genius work, a virtual assistant is a good point person.

I could go on and on.

You can keep disliking sales. I get it. But don’t let that stop you from helping your customers. It’s no different than volunteering other than the part where you get paid.


Check out our upcoming events so you don’t miss out! Thank you to everyone who came out to the Annual Meeting of Members this past month. We’re looking forward to another year of helping promote the success of Ottawa’s women in business!

Karen C. Wilson, WBN President
WBN President, 2015-18
Chief Marketing Strategist and Storyteller
Karen C. Wilson Communications