3 Easy Steps For Engaged Selling


You’ve all likely heard the phrase “sell without being salesy” but it’s not often explained in a way that helps us understand how “salesy” hurts your bottom line revenue.

In this article from Kellie Daab of  iDo Collective, she tackles the definition of “salesy” while providing the 3 easy steps for engaged selling. 

You wake up one morning after a terrible night’s sleep confused and troubled, with a problem that even coffee can’t fix. You turn around to stretch and all of a sudden realize, it’s your mattress which has caused your sleep problems.  You determine in that moment that it’s time to buy a new mattress.

What happened here? You had a problem that needed to be fixed.

Your potential clients are arriving to you with the same confusion and trouble. They are looking for you to solve their problem. It’s up to you to solve their problem in a way that gets them to buy from you.

You head out to the mattress stores to find the mattress of your dreams (see what I did there?). You walk in and see the sales person. He’s eating his Chipotle and in slow motion sets down his fork, stands up, and saunters over your way. He proceeds to follow you around the store telling you about each of the mattresses and then goes in for the kill. The offer expires in 30 minutes… and he’ll go take a minute to talk to his Chipotle bowl and see what kind of additional deal he can get for you.

This is selling for selling sake. This is not selling to solve a problem. This is forcing your pitch and asking them to make a decision.

Let’s envision a different mattress store shopping experience. You walk into the mattress store and are greeted with a friendly hello, welcomed to look around and try the products, and encouraged to ask questions as needed. The sales person steps back behind the counter allowing you time to look and try the products without being watched. After you’ve spent some time experiencing the store the sales person returns and asks one simple thing.

Tell me about your sleeping habits and complications? Why would you like to purchase a new mattress?

This sales person didn’t pitch you anything or attempt to put you on a time clock. You were allowed to choose which product you liked while they observed your behaviors in the store. Then, a simple dialogue was started,  allowing you to explain your problems.

Through a series of questions, they can identify how much you value the product, are you making a final decision today, how long have you been searching for the perfect mattress, what other mattress stores did you visit, what brands do you like, and if you sleep on your left or right side.

This sales person created a relationship with you that now allows them to offer the best product that fits your needs and you believe they’re giving you expert advice on why this particular one is the best fit for your needs.

This isn’t so different from event sales, is it? You aren’t selling mattresses but you may be selling event space, catering services, event planning services, or design.

You most certainly have features of your products or services you want to sell. More assuredly, you have a booking calendar to fill and bills to pay!

But this process of feature based selling is actually hurting you and what your potential clients feel about you! It isn’t about the features, it’s about the relationship.

Enter Engaged Selling.

Now that you understand the difference between salesy selling and relationship selling I’d like to discuss the definition of engaged selling.

Engaged selling is a sales approach that engages the potential client in a serious of questions and interest alignment. It allows you to sell without selling.

The same is true with your potential clients. Selling that is built on the trust and alignment that a personal relationship brings, is essential for selling to your modern event buyers. Each one is looking for a tangible, relatable experience with you, the seller. Without this you’re just the mattress sales person eating Chipotle.

So, let’s break down the 3 Easy Steps For Engaged Selling:

  1. Ask Questions– You cannot learn anything about a person without asking them questions. Begin a meaningful conversation with your potential client. Ask them why they are looking to make this purchase, explore their values, explore their buying power through questions. Listen actively for keywords that trigger or are related to products, features, and services you offer. Remember them. Listen to understand not to respond.. Using questions that cannot be answered with a few words is ideal and can breed a better understanding of the client’s needs.
  1. Educate-. The education step allows us to compile the information we gathered in the question step and give them expert advice that proves that we understand them, know how to help them, and are intimately understanding their problem. Through education we are showing our knowledge, value, and expertise in our area of the industry. This step is crucial in building value with our clients and showing them that you are an integral purchase and are necessary to the success of the event. During the education step, you sell nothing. You simply act as a resource offering advice, expertise, and knowledge.
  1. Solve the Problem– By offering the services and products that best solve their problems you can very easily help potential clients close the gap between problem and solution. How can you solve their problem better than anyone else available to them? How does your product or service not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations? Explain to them why you believe that this proposed solution is the best option for them. Repeat the trigger words they used during the question phase. Explain how you solve those triggers and your processes. Don’t sell them anything. Show them. Ask them if you’re on the right path. Ask them if they feel other services or products are a better solution for them. Ask them what services or products you can provide that will fulfill their needs and meet their desires. Then solve the problem in the most efficient and effective way possible.

This Engaged Selling technique also means that when it comes time for those “negotiating and clarifying” questions that come between the sales meeting, proposal, and your retainer – can be much easier to negotiate. And will allow you to continue to offer value, show your expertise, and reiterate your problem-solving solution.

Remember, activating sales isn’t about selling. It’s about solving.



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