I get sick of hearing people in business say they’re not sales people or they don’t sell. I’ve got news for you, we all sell and the sooner you realise that the better. It is as though sales is a dirty word, but without sales we wouldn’t have a business. And by sales I don’t mean marketing; they’re quite different things.
You can have the best credentials, be the best at what you do, have the most stylish office, the technically better product but unless you can sell, these attributes mean nothing. Whether you’re a law firm, a cleaning company, you sell coffee, a teacher, a husband, whatever you do…you have a sales function and a significant need. So if we can see this is a big part of any business, wouldn’t it be better, more rewarding to be the best at it that you can be?
You see I believe that when most of us think about selling we think about the telemarketer that rings during dinner, the terrible used car salesman, the snake oil salesman. These are all bad examples and if that’s what you associate with selling then I can see why you don’t sell. But what if you changed the term sales to helping others, filling a need, adding value…would you do that? What if you associated sales people with Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah…different picture?
Selling is simply the provision of goods or services in exchange for payment. We all do it especially business owners. The only real difference is some do it well and many don’t.
My quick tips with regard to selling:
- Have a target list and actively manage your pipeline utilising nurturing plans and account development plans;
- Implement a proven CRM system;
- Plan and track activity. Measure your and your team’s effectiveness;
- Utilise your network, your colleagues, your friends and family and that thing called the internet to gather information that could assist you. Share information and you may be surprised what you get back
- Don’t be all about products and services or features and benefits. Add value first, second and third and then think about selling;
- Only pitch or sell the next step not the kitchen sink. Make the next step safe. A no brainer; and
- Most importantly listen! You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in that proportion.
We sell to grow our businesses, we need to. It is not something that just happens. It takes work and structure. So if you have to do it (and I am saying you do!) then do it well.