People buy from people (is a sales myth)


I was repeatedly told by well-intentioned sales directors throughout a 15-year sales career that people buy from people. I’m sorry, but apart from a small minority of people (probably sales directors) this simply isn’t true.

If people buy from people then why the exponential growth in online sales over the last ten years? Why the success of eBay and Amazon? Why the prevalence of unmanned tills at supermarkets?

Rather than buying from people, it seems many of us prefer to be left alone to make informed buying decisions in peace. Moreover, we’ll even go out of our way to avoid having to deal with sales people, fearful of falling prey to sycophantic charm and fake patter from someone desperate to reach a close, earn commission and achieve this month’s sales target.


The Sales Process

Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not an anti-sales rep rant, far from it. I have and will always be a sales person, and I strongly feel that a good sales person fills a vital role by offering a valuable service to the customer. This rant is about an all-too-common lack of recognition that people make a purchasing decision based on four simple things:

1. They are aware that your product or service exists

2. They understand your product or service

3. They like your product or service

4. They are convinced your product or service is worth purchasing

In other words, people buy because they are well informed, and I feel that forms the cornerstone of what good marketing is all about. And where do we turn to for information?  Of course, the internet.

Marketing and online marketing are inextricably linked .  And they both underpinned by clarity. Guiding people politely through the steps above.  No fluff, ambiguity or vacuous nonsense, just good old-fashioned communication.

A well-marketed product is easier to sell…

If I learned anything from my sales career it’s that a well-marketed product is easier to sell, which is why I eventually took an ”if-you-want-a-job-done-properly” attitude and became a marketeer (plus it means I get to spend less time on the M25). Beside, sales and marketing are not separate and distinct disciplines, they are simply different players on the same team.  (See our post on “Marketing with a purpose“.)

Food for thought? Well intentioned advice for sales directors? I hope so.

If you have any questions relating to fluff-free marketing, call us now on 01787 464023 or email me.




Author Andy Glass

Talks sense about marketing. Talks nonsense about everything else.

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