“I don’t like selling. But I’m the best salesperson we’ve got . . .”
Have you heard someone saying this recently?
Or, worse, have you caught yourself making this comment or something similar?
Many professionals suffer from sales embarrassment – the notion that selling their services is somehow unseemly or demeaning.
They know they need sales to generate revenue.
They know that selling is part of sales.
But they feel bad about it.
They “sell” reluctantly, imagining their sales call, conversation and offer are an imposition on their prospect.
There’s a problem with this approach.
Selling reluctantly doesn’t work as well as selling enthusiastically.
In other words, if you don’t like selling there is a good chance you are hurting your sales.
What causes sales embarrassment is the subject of much debate. Some point to negative experiences with “pushy” salespersons in the past, others to a natural fear of rejection.
We don’t necessarily need to know the causes of sales reluctance to limit its destructive impact on our work.
The key is to know that it can be an issue and develop a responsive strategy.
Abandon the Adversarial Sales Mindset
One great way to overcome sales reluctance is to change your frame of mind about the sales process.
Many of us think of sales as an almost adversarial process – we [the salesperson] need to get something [the sale] from our prospect.
But what if the sale is really an opportunity to benefit your prospective customer?
If you understand your product or service as something will enhance your customer’s experience in a demonstrable way then your sale is great news for that target. When you get the sale your customer gets that benefit.
The concept of benefiting the customer reaches well beyond the actual close of the sales transaction.
A sale that is of benefit is a privilege to bring to the customer because your offer creates the possibility of bringing that benefit to their life or work.
Such a possibility also limits the problem of rejection because the whole sales process becomes one of collaboration.
You aren’t subject to rejection because you aren’t trying to get something from the prospect.
Instead, you’re collaborating with the prospect to improve his or her situation.
Your sales pitch itself is actually a service to that prospect because it allows you to show how you can help her achieve her goals.
If that help sounds attractive or useful at this moment in time the prospect can choose to become a customer. If not, it’s the specific benefit that is being rejected, not you as the salesperson.
Does this mindset strike you as only a modest shift?
I agree – it is modest. But it is a modest shift with a potentially huge impact.
Give it a try next time you’re on a sales call. See whether and how it affects your experience to think of your visit as a positive in your prospect’s day that can have a lasting positive impact.
And let me know how it goes.
Anne Clarke, is a personal and executive coach and principal of ABClarke Coaching. She helps individuals, professionals and entrepreneurs achieve success – however they define it. Contact Anne at [email protected] or on the web at www.setting-and-achieving-goals.com