How do you define sales?
When you think of the word ‘sales’ or ‘selling’ what comes to mind?
Does it conjure up thoughts of pushing someone to do something they don’t want to do, convincing them to buy something they don’t need, or manipulating them to get to a ‘yes’ through coercion and force.
In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink shares that 80% of the adjectives people use to describe selling are negative.
Words like “pushy, difficult, yuck, sleazy, hard, annoying and dishonest.”
No wonder it’s something we avoid and procrastinate doing. If picking up the phone or sending out an email is going to annoy, manipulate or question our integrity with a potential client, why on earth would we subject ourselves to this kind of activity.
It’s not all doom and gloom. In Pink’s study there were five words that put the act of selling in a somewhat positive light: “necessary, challenging, fun, essential and important.”
How does something that is so necessary, essential, and important get such a bad rap?
ABC – always be closing,
hungry and hustle,
…are key contributors and all have one thing in common.
I presuppose that the reason we have such bad feelings about the word sales and the function of selling, is because our focus has shifted to the wrong thing.
We think of selling as something we are getting, versus something we are giving.
The lens of our attention has shifted to our interests and investment, rather than on the outcomes and concerns of our clients.
I realize this sounds self-centered and it’s something we may not want to acknowledge. But there’s a fine line that’s easily stepped over because we have interest in the deal. When we focus on our products and services, our expertise and brands, our goals and targets, our top line revenues and bottom-line profits – that’s when selling feels incongruent. All this me, me, me, attention is triggering the bad, ugly, and guilty feelings about selling.
Overcome the “Ick”
There’s a simple fix.
Put your client in the spotlight of everything you do.
I remember hearing a story of how Jeff Bezos founder and CEO of Amazon, would have an empty chair in his boardroom meetings. That empty seat represented their customer. All their meetings had their customer present, in mind and spirit, so they never lost sight of what was most important. We all know what’s happened to Amazon.
Because there is self interest in the sale, you need to be extra vigilant on where your attention goes and always remembering to re-direct it back towards your clients’ interest. Is it a chair in your office? Do you need to read client stories and testimonials to re-focus? Do you need to be spending more time out there talking to real clients, instead of analyzing spreadsheets and sales forecasts?
Having a client-centric focus, takes conscious and deliberate effort.
Remember your cause is your client, and the effect is when they reward you with their business.
You are not selling to manipulate, push, or coerce. That is selling from fear.
You are selling to help your clients solve their problems, achieve their goals, align to their values, and fulfill their dreams using your products, services, and expertise, as a gateway to make this possible for them.
Selling is an act of service and when we sell from love, we never lose sight of the most important thing – our client.
Now it’s over to you.
What is your experience of selling? Where do you get stuck?
Drop me a line at email@example.com to let me know.
PS: Earlier this week I shared some exciting news. I was taking a pulse to see if you’d be interested in participating in the Sell From Love Academy. This is a 7 week online course that will teach you how to get clients with confidence using the Sell From Love principles. We’ve already had a few people register (this is so exciting!). If you want to take advantage of the Founding Member’s Invitation please do let me know. I’ll be sharing it more broadly next week, and I wanted you to be the first to know to take advantage of the goodies I’m including in the Founding Member package.
You can learn more about the Founding Member’s Invitation here.
If you’re IN! All you need out to do is email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the registration link.