You know you have to sell, it is part of your job description or part of being an entrepreneur, but you really don’t like it. Recognise this?
Selling is to some people equivalent to force-feeding someone with something they don’t want.
The interesting part is, that these people often sell and sometimes quite often. They just don’t count that for selling – perhaps because no force-feeding took place.
Selling has a bad rep
We often think of a used car salesman or the management consultants from the HBO series House of Lies when we think of selling. However, I have worked with a lot of salespeople, even management consultants, and they are rarely like that. Even if you might meet this cliché of a salesperson, you don’t have to wear a suit, lie or hide the truth behind paint to sell. You can actually just be you.
There are no tricks or quick steps to selling. One of the best ways getting you out there is actually to stop selling. Really. If you don’t identify yourself with a salesperson and you try to be, it will come out awkward. So don’t. Have a dialogue instead.
Sales is really just a dialogue where you identify a need and perhaps you have a solution to that need, perhaps you don’t. Either or, it is good information for you to have at an early point.
The simple steps to get you started
Before you indulge yourself in books on selling techniques try instead to think of the last time you closed a deal. What did you do? I bet you had a conversation about your client’s needs, something that didn’t work as wanted. What did you say? If you asked questions what were they? Be specific.
At some point you narrowed down the conversation to an agreement. How did that happen? What were the steps? Again be as specific as you can.
Finally, how was your energy in your body when you had the conversations? What did you believe in to act and say what you did?
If you have closed several deals in different ways, go through two or three and notice the links between them.
Write down the answers to these questions and you have a sales technique, which is uniquely yours. It will tell you specifically the type of dialogue you have and the physical and emotional state you are in when you sell.
If you have not sold anything before then don’t worry. You can always borrow from others. Ask a friend or colleague someone you can identify with or you admire. Ask them the above questions about their selling process. I bet you they will be happy to share, most people are.