I am on a mission! I want you to love to sell. I want you to learn how to do it, love using the word, and enjoy the sales experience. Selling is the one skill you need in today’s economy to put you in control of your success. When you know how to sell, and sell correctly, you put yourself in the driver’s seat.
I am not sure when it happened or exactly how it happened, but somewhere along the line sales became a dirty word. “Sell” became one of those four letter words no one wants you to use or say out loud. You only have to mention the term and people make a face, turn up their nose or quickly change the subject. I find it so funny that organizations, businesses and individuals hire me to help them increase sales performance, develop sales leaders, and build a culture of sales, yet they want me to call what I am doing anything but sales. I get asked to use terms like relationship building, partnering, advocating for the client and service cultures. As if, simply by calling “it” (sales) something different, employees will want to do it and consumers will embrace our process.
It is not the term we need to change, it is our attitude towards it and our approach to doing it. People hate to sell for one reason: they don’t enjoy it. When you ask them why, they say it feels pushy, aggressive, rude, and as if they are constantly bothering people. I say if that is how you feel about sales, then I completely understand. It is not the selling you hate, it is the way you were taught to sell.
Sales used to be an honored profession, then somewhere along the line the business of sales went horribly wrong. Books, magazines and workshops were produced that taught us how to “win” at the game of sales. Terms like “upsell”, “cross sell”, and the “assumed sale” changed the way we look at sales, teach sales, and how we approach the process. The point of sales became to beat your competitor, rather than to help your customer. And for a while that worked. Professionals who knew how to “sell to win” usually did.
Well, welcome to the new economy! One of the major benefits of living in times of stiff competition, globalization and overly demanding consumers is now the only way to win at sales is to be on your customer’s team. I love it! If you are passionate about what you do, and you truly believe that your product or service can help other people, then this is your economy and this is your time to sell!
Let’s face it: with advancements in technology and increased competition, consumers can buy our product or service anywhere. We may be selling a product or service, but it is the relationship that consumers are buying.
So where do we start, and how do we learn to love to sell?
1. Begin by shifting your paradigm – the truth is, you sell every day of your life and you’re good at it. If you have ever convinced your child to eat his vegetables, your friends to try a new restaurant or your co-workers to listen to your ideas, then congratulations! You are a master at sales. Begin to look at selling in your professional life the same way you do in your personal life: with the sole purpose of helping others.
2. Start Small – this is a marathon, not a sprint, and this is not a skill you have to perfect in a day. Just get started. Look at your existing client base, and commit a small amount of time each week — a few hours, half a day — to go out and have a conversation with them. Thank them for being your client, ask questions and really listen. If you really listen, you will hear your customers share their biggest challenges, their biggest opportunities and all the ways you can help. You’ll discover unique ways you can add value and make a difference, and all the while you will be selling.
3. Get Moving! – If you start, you’ll grow. The reason I called my business motionfirst is because good things happen when you just get moving. You don’t have to know it all, you don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need all the answers. You just have to do it! The more you do it, the more your confidence will increase and the better you’ll get.
I am on a mission! I want you to learn to love to sell. Investing the time and energy in getting comfortable with the process is one of the best investments you can make. I truly believe that if you learn how to sell the right way, you’ll find sales to be fun, easy and incredibly productive!