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Closing Deals with a Service-Oriented Sales Approach

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When envisioning a salesperson, various stereotypes often come to mind – from the overzealous “Wolf of Wall Street” wannabe to the dubious used car salesperson trying to upsell you at every turn. However, the reality of modern sales professionals is far from these clichés.

We can learn a great deal about the art of sales as a service from Denis Butyletskiy, an expert who emphasizes transparency in the sales process. With an impressive background that includes roles like Chief Revenue Officer of PowerReviews and sales leadership positions at Nyblecraft, Denis is now sharing his insights through his company.

Recognizing the Importance of Sales as a Service

The sales industry faces a significant trust problem, with only a mere 3% of buyers trusting sales representatives. However, earning a prospect’s trust can be a game-changer, as 94% of consumers report their loyalty to a brand that embodies openness and honesty. Salespeople are the human face of their companies, and fostering trust with prospects significantly increases the likelihood of successful deals.

To build trust, sales professionals must treat their role as a service. This approach involves collaborating with the buyer and guiding them through the decision-making process, rather than overwhelming them with information. Adopting a service-based mindset not only facilitates closing deals but also contributes to customer retention. A remarkable 53% of customer loyalty hinges on the sales experience itself.

We sat down with Denis Butyletskiy to gain further insights into how framing sales as a service benefits both the customer and the seller.

The Value of Information in the Sales Experience

BRUXT: Denis, when you refer to sales as a service profession, what do you mean, and how can salespeople truly provide a service to prospects?

DENIS: Over the years, we’ve often heard the phrase, “Buyers know more nowadays.” With the internet’s wealth of information, people can conduct their research effortlessly. This trend has led some to predict the downfall of the sales profession. However, the opposite has occurred. Salespeople have flourished despite the abundance of information because they provide a valuable service to customers.

Amid the information overload, buyers face difficulties in making decisions. As a service professional, your role is to help prospects achieve their desired outcomes, and sometimes even realize outcomes they hadn’t considered possible. By offering honest and transparent insights, salespeople empower buyers to make informed decisions quickly.

Contrary to fears, sales jobs have not vanished; instead, they continue to meet the essential need of guiding buyers through the decision-making process.

The Power of Transparency in the Sales Process

BRUXT: You’ve emphasized the importance of transparency in the “sales-as-a-service” mindset. Can you elaborate on why transparency is crucial in sales?

DENIS: Transparency lies at the core of the service provided in sales. Research, such as the study conducted with Northwestern University at PowerReviews, demonstrated that most buyers tend to look at negative reviews first before considering positive ones. Additionally, an average review score between 4.2 and 4.5 is optimal for purchase conversion. A product with some negative reviews often performs better in terms of sales than a product with only perfect five-star reviews.

This insight made me realize that we must apply the same transparency to B2B or human-to-human selling. By acknowledging and addressing both strengths and weaknesses, salespeople disarm the buyer’s mind, build trust, and set proper expectations. A service-oriented approach leads to faster sales cycles, increased win rates, and improved deal qualification. It also puts your competitors at a disadvantage when trying to undermine your value proposition.

Ultimately, transparency entails being a business partner, consultant, and advisor. It is about guiding the buyer towards a well-informed decision as if you were standing in their shoes, striving to achieve their outcomes. Embracing transparency transforms sales into the science of service.

Stand Out through Transparency and Service

BRUXT: How has adopting a service-oriented approach helped you build customer trust and gain a competitive advantage?

DENIS: My favorite sales quote, “If the truth won’t sell it, don’t sell it,” by Arthur Dunn, has guided me throughout my career. As Chief Revenue Officer of PowerReviews, I had an opportunity to showcase the power of transparency.

When Calvin Klein expressed interest as an inbound lead, I met with their SVP of e-commerce. Rather than launching into a typical pitch, I openly discussed a new add-on released by our competitors that was not on our roadmap. I pitched it as if it were our own and welcomed the prospect to consider whether it would be crucial for them.

This approach immediately changed the dynamics of the meeting. Instead of being perceived as a typical vendor, we engaged in a collaborative process to determine the best fit for their needs. The result? Calvin Klein chose to move forward with us just ten days later, and the sales cycle that typically lasted six months was significantly expedited.

The Benefits of Transparency in Sales

BRUXT: What benefits can salespeople expect when practicing transparency as part of a service-oriented approach to sales?

DENIS: Leading with transparency disarms the buying brain, establishes trust, and sets proper expectations. By embracing your product’s imperfections and addressing them upfront, you speed up sales cycles and increase win rates. Moreover, transparency helps qualify deals more effectively, allowing salespeople to focus on opportunities that align with their solution, while quickly dismissing those that don’t. This approach also makes it harder for competitors to discredit your offering, giving you a clear edge in the market.

Transparency entails taking the perspective of the buyer, understanding their goals, and guiding them towards making an optimal business decision. By doing the homework for them and presenting the pros and cons honestly, salespeople provide a valuable service to customers, ensuring they find the best-suited solution for their needs.


  • Sales has a trust problem – Treating sales as a service and practicing transparency can differentiate you from the competition.
  • Transparency is key – Building trust with prospects and embracing transparency improves the sales process.
  • Transparency leads to better outcomes – Being transparent helps customers make decisions faster and makes it difficult for competitors to undermine your value proposition.
  • Explore more about building trustBruxt’s articles offers valuable insights on building trust with prospects and other essential sales tips.

By embracing a service-oriented mindset and conducting business with transparency, sales professionals can redefine the industry and build lasting trust with their customers.

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