I often hear people say, “But I’m not good at sales” or “But I don’t like sales”.
My answer is always the same, “Rubbish!”
Nod if you’ve ever had a date, got a job, presented an idea; hell, if you’ve been fed by someone else without having to pay. Every single human being is good at sales and has been doing it since the day they were born. It’s a natural ability you’re born with.
However, as a business owner you slowly start to think you don’t really like sales and then that becomes a habit. Worse yet, because of your newly-found habit, you buy the same nonsense from your staff.
By now I know you’re about to hit the ‘back’ button or move on to the next article. Please just read a little further before you do.
I’ve yet to meet a business owner who didn’t at least love the idea of their business. Their current passion for the business may have dwindled, mostly because of the seemingly never-ending challenges that have to be overcome, but they started the business for a reason. They were, at least at the beginning, excited about the future and how their product or service would provide value and benefit others.
When they speak about their business or their most exciting product or service, their eyes still light up. They get excited talking to the ‘right’ people about how they can benefit from what the business does. If that person happens to be in their target market, and in doing so is a potential ideal client, they often get the business.
The reality, therefore, is that they’re actually pretty good at sales. Potential clients buy their passion, confidence and absolute belief in what they do and how they, as clients, are better off buying. And buying now.
So, how do you fall back in love with sales and then share that love with your team?
Reconnect with your passion and the original reasons for starting the business in the first place. Write it down and share it with anyone that will listen – your staff, your existing clients, friends and family.
Define, and by define I mean write out with a pen, and document your entire sales process. This should be from the first walk in, telephone enquiry, etc. through to when the cash is actually in your bank account. Yes, ‘sales’ only end when you get paid.
Get clarity on exactly who your ideal client is and then go about targeting more of those specific people with your marketing.
Ask questions to understand what your potential client’s needs are long before you starting matching those with the value you can provide. Don’t assume … ASK! Don’t speak … LISTEN!
Get back to doing some selling yourself. If not permanently, at least with the big ticket clients, or occasionally going out with your sales teams. As business owner you always retain the title of CRM (Chief Rainmaker).
Train and invest, and then train and invest some more, in your sales skills and knowledge, as well as those of your staff. You can’t be great at consistent and profitable sales, if you’ve not recently read anything on sales or attended a sales training course, or five.
Then trust this new-found belief and take action. If you believe you can, you’re right. Belief allows for more action and action reinforces the belief. Get going.
Everyone really can sell, so don’t worry if you’ve temporarily forgotten how. It’s like riding a bike. Implement the simple 7 steps above and you’ll see the results. Take action now!
Article written by Harry Welby-Cooke from Action Coach for Sanlam Business Market.