The COVID 19 and related issues have brought about a plethora of “Should We Be Selling” articles. I’ve made my position clear in previous posts. But I saw a headline that caught my attention.

Should we be selling?
The answer is simply, “no”. We should be humanizing.

I was struck by this, not for what it said, but by the clear implication that selling is not about “humanizing,” and we should, in this crisis, shift our focus.

This, I think is the root of what has gone caused so much to go off course about selling over the past several decades. We have lost sight, that at it’s core buying and selling is an intensely human and personal endeavor.

Our job has always been about helping our customers, organizationally and individually. It’s about helping them identify and address opportunities to grow, to improve, to be better. Our job is to help them achieve their dreams and goals, whether it is to improve revenue, reduce costs, improve profitability, grow, address new markets, find new customer, improve their operations. And this includes their personal goals, which may be a simple as bringing sanity and clarity to their lives.

We maximize our own success and goal attainment by maximizing the value we create with those we can create value and not waste our time on those we can’t.

We know from research and our own experience that our customers are, increasingly struggling. The current COVID-19 crisis adds another layer and sense of urgency, but they have always been struggling. Complexity, risk, uncertainty, overload and overwhelm, information overload, shifting priorities, new technologies and many other things impact our ability to get things done and succeed. I, and others, have been talking about sense making and decision confidence for some time.

Selling, and buying, has always been about people. At it’s core it’s been about helping our customers solve their problems, achieve their goals and dreams, and helping them make sense of their lives. And when we do this well, we should be achieving our goals and dreams.

The statement that now, during these times of crisis, we should shift from selling to humanizing demonstrates how far we have drifted from understanding and executing our jobs.

We have lost the customer–the people who are trying to achieve things. We have focused on ourselves, our own effectiveness, efficiency, and how we manipulate the customer to achieve our goals.

Should we be selling? Absolutely, because selling is about helping our customers find clarity and achieve their goals. The great sellers have always known this, and they continue to sell in this crisis because they know it is the most responsible thing they can do.

It’s tragic this crisis has caused us to now recognize that selling is about people and helping people. Let’s hope this lesson sticks as we move forward.