Recently, I was at a business conference for Certified Speaking Professionals (CSPs) and Hall of Fame Speakers (CPAEs). This is a time for those of us with these certifications, to get together, invest in our businesses and learn how to better serve our clients. The weekend is intense and incredibly beneficial when it comes to gaining knowledge and expertise. This weekend is not about how we love selling.
Because we were in sessions from early morning well into late evening, a group of us would meet before. to walk. And, it turned into a bit of a mastermind. All throughout the weekend, the topic of sales came up over and over again. Do you cold call? Do you sell? Why or why not? For most at that conference, sales is not something that we do and certainly not something that anyone likes. Anyone other than me, that is. In fact, I was one of the few that not only sells – but actually loves selling.
See, I believe that sales is the life blood of any business, and something that no matter how successful you are, everyone needs to do. The moment you take your foot off the gas as far as sales go – is the moment you put yourself in a vulnerable position. You’re vulnerable when it comes to your competition, customer loyalty and this economy.
So if sales is so important, why do we hate to do it? I think it is attitude. As I walked with my friends each morning, I discovered the way I thought about sales and my approach to it was not the norm. For most people, sales is a pushy, aggressive and uncomfortable process. A process with one goal, to close the sale. No wonder we don’t love selling. Who likes to be pushy and aggressive?
For me, sales is just the opposite. It is a chance to understand the challenges my clients are facing, to offer solutions and not to invest in whether they buy or not. Sales is about your client – It is not about you. Your job is to share the information. If they buy it, great – and if not, then let it go. The moment you invest in closing, you make the sale more about you than it is about them.
Sales needs to be a lifestyle, not a task. The only way you can sustain it, is if you believe you are helping people and selling a product that can truly make a difference for them. I learned this years ago, when I worked for a group of ophthalmologists. My job was to build their referral network. Now, this was back when the rules on marketing medicine had just relaxed. Even though you could do it, very few doctors did.
Because of that, people questioned me all the time. How could I “sell” my doctor’s services? How could I push medicine on people? And it was then I noticed that my attitude towards medicine was so different. I worked for a group of doctors that did over 1200 cataract surgeries a year when most did less than 300. Thus, I did not think of it as selling, I thought of it as educating. I felt the public had a right to know that there were surgeons out there with that much experience. I did not care if the patients ultimately chose us our not. My job was just to educate. Those that valued what I was saying would choose us, and those that did not would go somewhere else.
My point is, I felt patients had a right to know. That is why I “sold”. So, don’t your potential clients have a right to know how you can help them? Why you are better than your competition? What you can offer that no one else can? Yes, they do. And that is why you must learn to love selling.
Three Sales Strategies That Will Make You Love Selling
In your potential clients that is. The key to love selling begins with really listening. Take a genuine interest in who people are, the challenges they face and the opportunities they have. Forget about your goals, products, and services; and just invest in listening. If you ask great questions and listen, it is amazing. People will tell you exactly what they want and what they need.
Help vs Push
Adjust your attitude to understand you are helping people. Your goal is not to push your product or service. Your goal is to give them ideas for and solutions to the challenges they face. After we ask those great questions and people tell us what they need, our heads ought to be going crazy with ways our products or services can help them achieve their goals. Notice I said help them achieve, not push them to achieve. Sales is about helping.
Let It Go
Stop thinking about the close or hitting your goals. Let go of the end game. You need to be selling from a place of power rather than a place of need. Meaning you cannot be more invested in closing the sale than you are in helping your client.
Sales is a lifestyle, not a task. The more people you focus on helping, the more sales you will close. The more you focus on closing, the less people you will help. So, let go of the end game, stay present and focus your energy on helping clients before you help yourself.
And there you have it, the three sales strategies that will ensure you love selling. I think selling is the most important skill any person can have. The better you are, the more consistent you are. The more consistent you are, the more successful you will be – no matter what this economy does.
Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, “Own It: Redefining Responsibility: Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose”. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail. https://meridithelliottpowell.com