More and more when I meet business owners at conferences or events and exchange introductions, the conversation quickly turns to “Selling” for the owner and how difficult it is for them. Most often, they say, “I just don’t have enough time to get out there and sell.”
But what I really hear is,
“I’M NOT A SALES PERSON, so I don’t make SELLING my priority.”
And if I dig just a tiny bit further, what I find is they have no Selling Strategy and definitely no Sales Process to repeat consistently to gain results and grow the business.
This is a problem we solve frequently, building Sales Strategy and marrying it to the Sales Process and coaching the owner or new sales team how to successfully work the strategy through the process – which includes making the TIME to sell and making it a high-level priority.
Most business owners know SALES are critical to survival but loathe to think of themselves as the Chief Sales Officer of their company. SELLING makes most people cringe when they think it means they have to be pushy, sneaky, or inauthentic.
Which is why many people have asked us,
Yes. Yes, there is. It’s not much different than how we train and coach professional sales or business development executives. For business owners, solopreneurs, service professionals, and even non-profit development pros, there is a way to position your product, services, programs, or causes so that you can confidently and consistently earn your customers’ trust and business.
I’ll break this down over several posts into 3 critical parts –
Successful Selling for Non-Sales People –
- Shift Your Mindset and Change Your Outlook
- Create a Strong Strategy
- Build a Repeatable Process
Step 1 – Shifting your mindset and changing your outlook.
You know that setup . . . when someone asks the audience, “Who here is in sales?”
And, of course, it’s a trick question. EVERYONE is in sales in one way, shape, or form.
You as a business owner, YOU ARE IN SALES. And accepting and embracing that is the first step to increasing your sales efforts. Even doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, bankers, financial planners are in sales. It’s not a dirty word. If you operate with integrity, there’s no reason to be reluctant to sell. And if you fear selling because of the rejection, think about sales in a different light than being a “Winner” or “Loser” in each scenario, your objective is to achieve a “Win-Win” situation, where you have the best solution for your customer’s needs. Collaborating with your customers to create winning solutions is problem-solving, consulting, and not at all sleazy or pushy, right? (YES, that’s right!)
Understand that SELLING IS ARTICULATING YOUR VALUE – in a way that is valuable to your customers. Whether you’re selling commercial real estate, a hot new lipstick, a vacation plan, dinner plans, or your pick for a movie . . . you apply reason, persuade, and use your resources to articulate why you think your choice is the winner.
Value is subjective to each person. What I find valuable, you might find useless. Smart selling is understanding how what you have to offer is relevant, important, useful . . . Valuable to the person you’re selling to. Reflecting the context of their value, their language, and stories to relate to your audience is how you connect and compel.
Again, not pushy. Not one sized fits all. You’re providing insights that tie to your customers’ currency.
And you’re HELPING PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS AND BUY CONFIDENTLY. Selling is now, as it always should have been, helping people buy. When you think of it that way, you can shift your outlook or perhaps even your opinion of selling and sales people. Helping people make successful, informed, and educated decisions is an important job.
Everyone fears making the wrong choice. Look at the difficulty a five-year-old had in choosing an ice cream cone flavor. Now think about choosing a new cell phone plan, a new piece of software, or an accounting firm. Everyone has the same fear of regretting our choice – whether it’s thinking we might pay too much, not like the people we work with, or pick the wrong solution.
Easing the burden of those fears and lessening risk is all a part of selling to your customers.
Are you convinced?
Selling is how you increase SALES, yes.
You are in Sales and Selling is Articulating your Value while Helping People make Buying Decisions.
So, stop hoping, start SELLING!
Next post . . . Your Sales Strategy.
PS – Feel like you need personal coaching and training to make SELLING your priority?
Click here to look at our Strategic Intensive Tracks. Power packed, deep dive sessions to build your confidence, create your strategy, and get you executing and selling to grow your business.
Great article-very insightful. Over the years we have found that many non-sales people are loath to think about selling because they have preconceptions about what makes a good sales person. These preconceptions are mostly rooted in images of sales people that frankly are rather unflattering as they are largely based on the caricatures we’ve all seen in movies and on television. Truth be told there are many many different “styles” of successful sales people. It is really just a case of being an appropriate fit for the role at hand. If non-sales people had an objective assessment of there own style and how this relates to sales they would have a better idea of how to go forward. As well they would be more likely to succeed since they would obviously work from a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much, Dave! I agree with your thoughts about the self assessment. What I see many times too, is that when Non-Sales People talk about how they reach and earn customers, they are truly shocked to learn they ARE selling and they ARE actually very good at it. Their misconceptions of what “Selling” is supposed to look like cut off their ability to see that they are in fact, Selling – which is really just helping people buy.