We business owners (and entrepreneurs) avoid the sales and selling parts of our businesses more than other functions. We would rather market, create product, work on our websites and particularly stay in the office. This is because we feel safer in most every other area than a sales and selling environment. When we sell, we risk being rejected, feeling uncomfortable, appearing pushy, and worst of all, gaining the reputation of a sales person. In reality, most of our fears about sales and selling are made up. Sound Sales Strategy is important.
If we don’t learn how to sell (or hire a qualified sales person), we generally fall well short of our revenue expectations. There are exceptions. For example, web based businesses generate money entirely through web sales. I wasn’t able to find data on how many internet marketers make money entirely online, but I found a lot of how to make millions online articles. It is safe to say that unless we become 100% internet marketing focused in our small business, we need to develop a face to face sales strategy.
There are four ways to start the process of becoming a great sales person:
(1) Real Sales People Listen, Teach and Add Value – Which means we don’t have to join the ranks of intimidating, sneaky, deceptive and downright offensive sales people to make money. We all know the sales person we don’t want to be like. We can all sell exactly how we want to and feel good about it. Quality sales people ask questions that draw out need, are excited about their solutions, are experts in the solutions they provide and want to sell only if there is a good fit. Most people want to buy from quality sales people a second time. Neil Patel explains more about hiring a sales person in “What interviewing 31 sales people taught me about Sales” which also applies to understanding ourselves as sales people.
(2) “No” Is Not The End of The World – Intuitively, we all know this. As parents, we hear no all the time. The thought of hearing no or being rejected by a person we are selling to can seem overwhelming. What if I told you that hearing no is the start of the sales process. No can mean a person doesn’t have enough information to make a decision, an opportunity to ask clarifying questions and most importantly, a reason not to turn and run. We are all taught that polite people don’t push when as person says no. However, if we use No as a signpost and guide, we can get curious and try to figure out why. For those who want to work more with how we deal with and get past “No”, check out William Ury’s books on Amazon.
(3) Develop a Sales Process – The first thing we have to understand is that “Sales is not so much about personality as it is about process.” Most of us believe that great sales people are born. There are some people that have a natural talent for persuasion, but persuading someone to buy a product or service isn’t always a good practice. If and when we realize we were persuaded to buy something, we often ask for our money back. Developing a sales process is very dynamic and the process itself will change many times before we are satisfied. I can help you develop a sales process in my small business owner workshop or through one to one coaching.
(4) Become Comfortable With Discomfort – When we start selling, we feel like a fish out of water. We can expect to make a lot of mistakes, talk to much (listening is the key), and to face rejection. However, once we get comfortable with this new skill, we open the door to higher income and more control of our business. Becoming comfortable with the notion of feeling uncomfortable is a powerful skill/talent. We can use this skill/talent in other areas of our lives as well.
We decided to be business owners the day we put out our “open for business sign”. Now it’s time to decide we are sales people and take our business to the next level.