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Sales sucks right. I mean we’ve all been forced to be a salesman at some point as a small business owner and it is generally akin to pulling teeth for many of us. Asking for someone else’s business and money can be downright scary, and feels like the most disingenuous thing a small business owner can do. It just doesn’t feel right. And don’t even get me started on the fear of rejection we have all felt at some point. Yeah sales sucks for most of us.
But the question I ask is: does it have to be? Sales is of course a necessity when you’re a business owner, big or small. Sales is the lifeblood of your business and is the only way you’re going to build that dream company you’ve always wanted. The thing is sales gets a bad rap for various reasons, with the more popular beliefs being that to be good at sales you need the “gift of the gab” and need to be pitching to absolutely everybody you see!
But hold the phone here if you stop and think about that type of fast talking, pushy pitching type businessman, I think you would agree you’d be quite annoyed with that person very quickly. So if you can pick up on the disingenuous and pushy pitch and you don’t like it, nor do you want to become like that, what else is there for you to do?
We all want to deal in real.
The key to improving at sales is to be authentic. Think about that for a moment, who would you most likely deal with: a pushy salesman with a pitch (and a hidden agenda) or a genuine person who takes the time to listen to you and then try to match your problem with their solution? Think of your Doctor – imagine walking in for the first time with an ailment but instead of the doctor first ascertaining as to what is wrong, they immediately prescribe a course of action with zero idea of what you actually need. I doubt very much that you would have much trust in the prescription or your doctor for very long.
This is where a relationship based approach to sales is the better way forward. It’s what we like to call a ‘value exchange’ here at Inversion Marketing. Below you will learn about 4 steps to become better at sales, an approach that works much the same way as you normally would as a real, honest and genuine person.
1. Think of a sale as a solution for people
So if you want to feel like you’re genuine when you’re out getting new business then the first step would be to stop thinking about sales as an annoyance and something people don’t want. Think about your product or service as a solution for people instead. We’re pretty sure, but don’t take our word for it, that people aren’t experts in everything, they need help just like you do. Just like when we go to a restaurant to enjoy someone else’s food (or you don’t feel like cooking!), so your product or service will help others solve a problem they may have. So if they’re already looking for it – why shouldn’t it be you that they find?
The second step is to stop thinking of money as evil. It isn’t. The place money has in our society is often one where “money is the root of all evil” however this is not actually the case, an absolute love of money is evil, not money itself. You need money to run a business and make a living so it is necessary. And so is asking for other people’s money if you offer what other people are looking for.
2. Truly believe in your service or product
This step seems obvious but too many small business owners just don’t seem to connect the dots between feeling genuine and honest, and truly believing in what you do. If you believe that your product or service is better than anyone else’s or it solves a problem other people may find useful, then you absolutely owe it to the marketplace to tell others about yourself and your business. They’ll thank you.
Remember when you think of your product or service as a solution and that it will help other people in some way then it is okay to ask them to use you. That is totally okay because they have a problem and someone needs to solve it, and if you’re the one with the best solution then they’ll gladly accept your offer of help. Just think of how Uber solved peoples transport needs. If they didn’t believe their service was better than the poorly run taxi service, the world would be a little worse off.
3. Ask questions before you talk about you
Nowadays it’s all about me, me and more me. And in the business world a pitch is just that, talking about yourself. But just like in the doctor example above, you should rather ask questions and open a dialogue about who they are, what they do and what problems they may have that need resolving before you even think about talking about yourself.
The tricky part about this is being able to position yourself in the conversation in such a way as to find out if they have a problem that you can actually solve. There is no point talking about a problem they have for hours on end but you do not offer that service or product. Big waste of time. This is where you use questions in general conversation to get them to open up about problems that your business can solve, which of course allows you to start talking about you.
However remember one thing: If there is no sale opportunity don’t push it, just walk away. If there is no sale there is no sale. Move on. You’ll feel better trust us – we’ve been there.
4. Get out there and be noticed
This one kinda goes without saying. If you take heed of the above points you’ll be absolutely fine getting out there and promoting yourself and your business. Remember if you truly believe in your service or product, think of a sale as a solution to someone’s problem and realise selling is just simply making conversation, you owe it to the marketplace to let others know about you.
Once you are confident in the above going to networking events, seminars and other gatherings will allow you to feel comfortable meeting new and exciting people. People who struggle with the above points may find themselves huddled in a corner in their ‘safe zone’ with another person looking for safety. Remember sales and promoting yourself is not bad, you’re not a shark nor is asking for other people’s money evil, you’re simply there because you believe that you can solve other people’s problems by using your awesome products or services. We believe in you!
Listen to what Wes Schaeffer, aka The Sales Whisperer, says on becoming more comfortable and effective at sales.
Sales is not about being disingenuous, not is it about trying to sell to everyone you meet. You don’t need the gift of the gab to succeed. What you need to become comfortable in sales is to realise that you are solving other people’s problems through the use of your products or services because you truly believe in what you do. You’re not unscrupulous when you ask for other people’s money because you’re going to be doing a better job than someone else would, and if they’re looking for your product or service, why shouldn’t it be you?
Thus the key takeaways are:
- Think of a sale as a solution for people
- Know that you can truly provide the best solution
- Put yourself in the right situations that you’re invited to bring up your product or service
- Don’t think of money as evil
You’re now good to go! Get out there you good thing and sell yourself and your business to the world!
Just kidding 😉
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**Video was first seen on Infusionsoft Blog