SALESPEOPLE ARE BAD
Matt was on point with a potential client. He knew his facts and was able to clearly and concisely articulate to his prospect all of the benefits associated with purchasing the fitness membership he was selling to her. In order to achieve his sales goal and make a bonus that month, he had to make this one last sale. He was determined and confident, but regardless of his self-assurance, could not close the prospect and missed the sale and his bonus that month.
Mary wanted her daughter to follow her rules and respect curfew, however, her youngest daughter wanted to break the rule in order to hang out with her friends most Friday nights. As a single mother of three kids, she couldn’t understand why her youngest child had to rebel, unlike her older siblings. Each and every time she told her daughter to “be like her older brothers and follow the rules”, the more rebellious and out-spoken the daughter became with her.
Rose asked her boss for a raise, and he responded with questioning as to why she feels she is entitled to a raise at this time. She didn’t understand why he was asking her to explain herself or to remind him of her outstanding performance. She felt frustrated by his line of questioning and dropped the conversation as she knew she was terrible at self-promotion. She changed the subject and so did her boss.
These examples are all connected to sales. Direct-selling to a client, getting your teenaged daughter home on time, or asking your boss for a raise are all examples of how selling is a part of all of our lives. Whether you have the words ‘salesperson’ on your business card or not, whether you are exchanging money or not, you are selling. Convincing a friend to go to a movie, making your kid eat their vegetables, convincing your family of your first choice for a holiday destination or selling your services as a solopreneur, are all considered part of the big “S” word that so many are afraid of. You may feel that you are absolutely qualified to do what you do, and you love serving your clients. However, you hate having to sell yourself. And as far as a career in sales, that is totally for others. Maybe you have an unconscious belief that, no matter how amazing you are at your business and how motivated you might be as an entrepreneur or by the appealing attributes of a career in sales, you are just not able to sell. In the back of your mind, selling is being pushy and that is just not who you are. Salespeople are bad, right?
When you sell, you hate being perceived as pushy. You are consistently not charging enough for your products or services. You feel unauthentic because your sales efforts are geared towards bringing you a paycheque instead of serving your client’s needs. You are trying to get your clients’ attention and somehow, you find it hard to be recognized through their busy agenda. You feel alone, being your own cheerleading team. You find it hard to faithfully execute the professional Sales Mastery. You are constantly prioritizing other tasks above your sales efforts because of all the other distractions of a solopreneur. You take it personally and hate hearing a NO which in time, makes you unwilling to ask for the business.
If you can relate to any of these, you may want to re-address some limiting beliefs and rephrase them. The first step is to change the limiting beliefs you may have surrounding sales. In Rose’s example above, she gave up on a raise opportunity as she was afraid of having to sell herself. This may happen to you too. The words: “Never mind” may be too quick to come out of your mouth when it comes to selling or asking for what you want. The tools below will help you stand up for yourself and get what you deserve.
SHIFT YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT SALES
If you are an entrepreneur, parent, spouse, friend, or wear any title that would require you to influence people, you may want to shift one major limiting belief: “Sales People are Bad”. Switch it to: “Sales People are Serving”. When helping clients or other businesses from a strategic perspective, you have better chances of growing your business than when you are working to make money alone. A strategic focus allows for long-term profitability for both your client and your business. By putting the other person first and focusing on their benefit, you will be able to optimize your mindset around why and how you sell, better aligning your personal values with your actions so that you can sell in a genuine way that is authentic to you. Coming from a new mindset perspective will show you that selling can actually be fun and even easy!
IF YOU ARE IN BUSINESS, YOU ARE SELLING
This section is not directly about making money. It is about adopting an improved mindset that makes the sales process more natural for you. Because of this increased authenticity, you will improve your wealth. Therefore, if you are seriously interested in a significant increase in your business’ profitability, we will teach you, in the next section of this book, how to propel your business growth or send you upward in your career.
Sales are the only generator of business revenues. Whether you want to admit it or not, without a strong sales effort, you do not have a business. You will realize that the sales department is the only department that is not pure overhead. Whether you are a solopreneur, are an employee in an organization or have people on your payroll, you will realize how everybody in every company is involved in the sales process. Even if selling is not your ‘favourite thing’, it is the only skill that allows you to do that ‘favourite thing’.
You have a gift, there is one thing that you LOVE doing and that you don’t even consider to be work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills. Not because you are not good at it. Simply because you are not equipped yet with the skills you need to be able to sell your gift.
Most of us see our business life go by year after year and we wake up one day and, we say: “Why am I not more successful?” “Why is everybody else making more money than me?” “Why did I waste so much time on details and not spend enough time on actually selling my services?”
I coached a very confident entrepreneur who was extremely qualified in her work. She even had written fourteen books in her field and was an undeniable expert. There was one problem. She did not like to sell her services and had a limiting belief that selling was bad and that salespeople were always trying to extort money from her. After the fifth session with me, cleaning up and transforming her limiting beliefs around sales and her confidence about selling herself, she sold a six-figure contract.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SALES TOOLS
Sales skills, scripts, responses to objections, charm, and motivation are tools that one can use in order to convince someone. They are useful of course. Being prepared is always an empowering way to build your confidence and embark on a selling journey. However, none of these will close a sale.
In Matt’s example at the beginning of the chapter, although he was prepared, convincing, determined and motivated, he lacked one element; he applied a cookie-cutter approach and did not consider the personality style of the person in front of him.
In Mary’s example, she applied the same rules to all three of her children. The same way of raising a child will generate as many different results are there are individuals involved. Because every kid is different, they need to be approached differently. If you are a parent, this is not news to you. Without knowing the extent of it and having identified or tested your children to know their STYLE-L.I.S.T., you do know that some tricks work better than others, depending on who you are interacting with.
This was an excerpt of my latest NO.1 Best Seller THINK Yourself® A RELATIONSHIPS PRO written in collaboration with Mo Hagan. You can find more about it here.