Good horsemanship is built on solid basics…so is good business!
Envision yourself: confident, proud, humble, prepared. Sounds like you're getting ready for a horse show doesn't it? Why not approach "sales" in the same way?
There are lots of things that we do to get ready for a show.
And then if things don’t go well, we take time to reflect and determine what those reasons are for not having done well. Maybe we’re new at it. That means more practice, practice, practice. Maybe our horse really isn’t suited for this discipline. Maybe the competition was really seasoned in this field. In any case, we rehash it and work to improve for the next outing.
So when was the last time you evaluated your sales style in this same way? Since most people shy away from the concept of sales itself, it would not surprise me that you have not considered sales in the same vein. So let’s have a look at this.
There are different sales styles as I’m sure you’ve encountered over your life. Take a few moments to reflect on sale styles that you actually appreciate as well as those that bug the heck out of you. Jot down the characteristics and behaviors that you respect and admire. Does your list include: integrity, professional, passionate, depth of knowledge, good listener, creative, dependable, makes it about you… and what else is on your list?
Now make a list of the traits and behaviors that irritate you: Hard sell, aggressive, does more talking than listening, overbearing, it’s about them, deceptive, misleading… Why is it that when we think of “sales” we think of these first? It’s time to reframe your thoughts around the positive characteristics. When you do that you’ll be able to be much more effective in how you approach this concept.
John Jantsch said, “The difference between Sales and Marketing is that Marketing owns the message and Sales owns the relationship.”
And Randy Fishkin states, “Best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.”
These two sales and marketing gurus focus on the RELATIONSHIP. If you work more on building relationships then you’ll really come into your own regarding sales. You’ll find yourself able to engage in conversation without being pushy, rather than remaining silent and missing a “selling moment.” I think of selling moments as those times when you can create awareness about what you do and how you may be able to help the other person in some way. Remember the sales funnel from a previous post? Awareness is step one. So this doesn’t mean that you jump in with both feet and push for sale right then and there. It means that you are taking the first step to building a relationship.
In the next post we’ll take a look at some of the tools that you’ll need in order to be effective. The tools match up with the positive view you are now developing about sales and the sales funnel. Please share your thoughts here about your new visualization of yourself as someone that is successful with selling your business, ideas, and skills.