Sales Has Nothing To Do With Selling

I am at the Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ADMA) annual conference this week. This morning’s opening business session featured a presentation by Rick Farrell with Tangent Knowledge Systems titled “Sales Has Nothing To Do With Selling.”

Farrell says that effective sales people aren’t the ones who spend their time trying to sell their products or services. Instead, they focus on learning about the problems the potential customer has and then communicating how their products or services can solve that problem.

One attendee (let’s call him Dave) asked Farrell, “I am a good sales person, but often have difficulty closing the sale. What can I do?” Farrell said that the point is not to focus on talking (telling them how great your product or service is), but instead to spend time listening.

It is sales 101, right?

But Dave just didn’t get it. At lunch, you could hear him proudly proclaiming to others at his table, “I think some of my customers enjoy me pummeling them with my aggressive sales technique. I think they really like it.”

Dave is probably the best sales person his competitors could ask for.

I have a lot of meetings with aviation companies each year. The employees at successful companies have many common traits. They are passionate about their company, not arrogant. They are knowledgeable about their products or services, not ignorant about them. They act with integrity and character, not lies and deception. They communicate the strengths of their company, not the weaknesses of their competitors.

The bottom line is that if you act with character and integrity, take the time to understand and listen to your customers’ needs, and help them overcome their challenges and problems, everything else will work itself out.

I guess Farrell is right – sales has nothing to do with selling.

Thanks for reading!

Joe Escobar

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Joe Escobar (
Editorial Director

Greg Napert (
Publisher, Sales & Marketing

Bob Graf (
Director of Business, Sales & Marketing