As a business coach, I am talking to business owners every day and there is definitely a stigma around the word ‘sales’ and about being a ‘salesperson’. Firstly, can I say ‘sales’ is not a dirty word! There is a mindset out there that business owners don’t want to be a salesperson because they draw up in their minds images and descriptors of what sales is about … words like:
- Money hungry
- Immoral …. and the list goes on.
For those of you openly and proudly in sales – hold on! I know you’re feeling offended, and disagree – keep reading you will see where I am going.
When you are in business, especially a small business where you don’t have dedicated sales people, YOU are in sales. You are selling your services and products. To stay in business you need customers and to get these, you need to sell. Every time you meet with a new client or take a customer enquiry over the phone (or in person, or via email) you are in sales mode.
Now before you start thinking “Damn! I don’t want to be in sales!” let me reinforce that ‘sales’ is not a dirty word. Most (there are of course exceptions) in sales are ethical, honest and not overly pushy. Sales people are there to do two major things and that is to educate and to provide a solution.
91% expect salespeople to educate them
People these days don’t want to be ‘sold to’ and given the hard sell, they want you to explain how you can help them, what solutions you can provide, how that will work. They want to be educated. They expect you to be confident, knowledgeable and ask relevant questions. Asking great questions is always part of a great sales process. (Follow up is another critical component of a sales process.) A prospective client or customer wants to know things like:
- How does the service or product work?
- How it will help them – this can be addressing a pain or problem, or possibly providing a pleasure and sometimes even both. Think about a travel agent. The pleasant is the forthcoming trip, the pain can often be having to organise it, find the time and not stress you haven’t made a mistake.
- They want to know your expertise, previous results, history or how you have helped others. This will give them the confidence to know that YOU are the right person for the job or the company you represent is the right choice.
- They want to know how you will deliver your product or service.
- Things like warranties, terms, conditions and contracts (all the nitty gritties) are often important too. Please be honest and upfront; if you require a huge deposit to start, or have a 6-month wait list or have long term locked-in contracts, don’t hide this information. That comes back to ethics. Someone who ‘signs up and then discovers these things after the fact is likely to withdraw, or at the very least start the business relationship with you unhappy, disenchanted and untrusting.
- People need to know the price. Remember also to give them the opportunity to ask questions.
- Finally, they want to know how to get started. This is not being pushy, it’s just giving them information.
What does all the above equate to? Quite simply – honest and open communication.
Put yourself in buying mode, what would you want to know? What information would you require? Now, reserve the role and you will better understand your prospective client’s needs.
Let me share another thought with you. You provide an exceptional service, you are great at what you do, you genuinely care about your clients and customers and the solutions that you share really change people’s lives. Why would you want to hold that back, keep it a secret and not share that with other people? Do you feel people out there don’t deserve to receive your expertise or products? Of course, they do. So don’t keep yourself and your products and services a secret. Sell, sell proudly and share what you do.
As I mentioned, I provide business coaching, but I also mentor leaders (and salespeople) who have challenges around selling, confidence, leading their team or networking. If you’d like to know more or these packages or my business coaching, please call me on 0411 622 666.
My passion is your potential!
Business Coach & Salesperson