I’m Not A Salesman
Do you know how many times I hear this statement?
I mean really, do you really think you’re no good at sales?
Have you ever thought about going into sales but hit a brick wall because you didn’t think you had what it takes?
Or do you believe you’re just not cut out for convincing people to buy things they don’t want to buy?
Well this post is for you.
I’m going to talk about what’s known as a paradigm shift on what you think sales is about and the fact that you actually sell stuff every day.
Your Definition Of Sales
I’d like you to consider what you think of when you think of a salesman:
- A used car like guy selling me something I don’t want
- A money hungry sales guy who doesn’t listen to what I really want but sells me whats going to make him the most money
- Someone convincing me to buy something I have no use for
- Convincing someone to buy for my own reason and not theirs
- I feel like I’m taking advantage of anyone if I make money on them
I could go on but if any of those stigma’s ring true to you then your paradigm of sales can be changed to serve you and others.
I think just the word sales kinda sucks anyway. It’s taken out of context just by the shear verbiage of it.
“People don’t like to be sold, they like to buy.”-Common Sense Proverb
*Unless you’re like me & my friends where you like people to sell you stuff so you can see what they do that works or doesn’t work. It’s a great way to learn what to do or what not to do. 🙂
Generally it’s not the selling that is the problem but the mindset of the person doing the selling. Generally the person who thinks that selling is evil and dirty won’t have a chance in hell selling anything to anyone. Except for maybe their opinion aboutt selling. Which ironically they will sell you on to the 10th degree given the chance.
People Who Hate to Sell Are Selling HARD Every Day
You see, “selling is nothing more than a transference of belief.”
- People are selling you on their opinions daily.
- People are selling you on their beliefs daily.
- Your friends & family are selling you on their beliefs, philosophies and personalities…that’s right, daily.
Here is where the problem starts, when people are selling you something and their actions aren’t congruent with their thoughts or beliefs. This is when they come off as shady sheisters or they lose all of your trust & their credibility. Example:
- Someone who is trying to sell you something they don’t or wouldn’t own themselves.
- A friend or relative you find out is living the do as I say not as I do thing. They were selling you on something they didn’t really believe themselves.
In network marketing I have people sell me on the fact they aren’t a salesman all the time, which makes them good at sales. And believe me, they are reeeeally good at selling me on the fact they aren’t a salesman at times. They can be very passionate about it.
I let them, and they walk off feeling as if they have won. Mean while they continue to get on the same rat race as they always do, wake up, go to work, get off do it again tomorrow. Yup, they closed the deal. 🙂
Why? Many people would rather be right than be rich I suppose. Harsh but true. I know because I lived that way for a long time.
Their paradigm of sales is distorted. Chances are someone came along who did exactly to them what they felt was uncomfortable and they adopted the fact this is what sales is. I hear a lot of this in network marketing and the dreaded Amway stories that have been going around for decades. I have a philosophy set around leveraged language vs. linear language which over comes this unprofessional way of approaching people in network marketing however I’m not going into it here. Maybe in another post.
Back to the fact people are selling something all the time…
Let me give you a good example:
- Have you ever went to a good movie?
- Did you tell someone about the movie?
- Did you really care if they went to see the movie?
- Even if you did or didn’t it doesn’t matter. You had a good experience and it naturally came up in idle chit chat.
- Now when your friend went to go see the movie, did the theater send you a check for referring them?
- Of course not. But you sure did sell them on your experience of it didn’t you?
This is a simple example of how people who don’t see themselves as sale people are selling something every day. The reason it seems so effortless and unlike sales is because they had a good experience and they weren’t attached to the outcome of whether the person went or not.
Consider this one for a moment: Are you married or have a spouse? Even a girlfriend or boyfriend? Guess what? Every day you’re selling them through your actions or words why they should be with you as a partner.
Now you have to ask yourself what experiences are you selling people on every day?
What opinions of yours are you selling people on every day?
If you’re married or in a relationship what are you selling them about yourself every day?
The list goes on as to what your selling.
The question is are you purposely selling?
What Is Purposely Selling
Professional sales people (I’ve been one in the past I like to think) purposely sell and many do a fine job.
However a far greater number don’t.
Many people in sales are doing it because it’s a job, a paycheck or they need to get by. They don’t really believe in what it is they are selling. Usually this can be traced back to low self worth and lack of vision for themselves. [That’s another blog post.]
These are the ones that just show up and make a modest living. I doubt you’ll hear anyone bragging about how they sell stuff they don’t believe in.
When I was in the manufactured home industry I did my best when I was passionate about my work and truly believed in it. Align that with a high self worth, a vision for what I wanted to create for my wife at the time as a family and you have the start of a recipe for success.
It was towards the end when It lost it’s luster, there were shady dealings and the big paychecks no longer felt fulfilling. My actions were no longer congruent with my beliefs and I felt inauthentic. (No I never did anything illegal on my part) I knew it was time to move on and this is when I actually found the hybrid network marketing/B2B company I’m with still today 9 years later.
A few great things I learned in the manufactured home industry was how to purposely sell. I was able to direct my belief and passion into a scientific experience. Then coach people to decisions that met their needs as well as was profitable to myself and my company.
Here are a 3 insights as to directing your belief and assisting people with solutions:
- Identify Your Belief -I wouldn’t have been able to do it if i didn’t believe in the product. I had grown up my last few teen years in a mobile home from the age of 13 until I moved out when I 18. I knew what it was to live in affordable housing. I knew my grandparents had went through bankruptcy and it was all they could do to provide shelter. Hence my belief level when years later I went into the industry to learn sales.
- Become aware of your customers needs-I learned I had to really listen to people and know their problems. I had to listen more and talk less so when I did talk it meant something to the customer. I also learned negotiations, the 4 personality types and emotional triggers.
- Know your product and the solutions it provides– That’s right, see your product or service as a solution. Once you’ve listened to your customers problems, what is your solution? You’ve heard me say it before, people don’t want a drill, they want the hole the drill provides them. What is the “hole” you’re providing people. Assist them and help them navigate finding the hole and the price won’t matter.
Once you come from a true place of belief in your product or service there is nothing wrong with understanding and implementing the science of sales to help people make decisions. Profit is not a dirty word!
“Entrepreneurs solve peoples problems at a profit.”-Unknown
Some of this may sound like manipulation however it has a far different definition than persuasion in my opinion.
Manipulation–Generally it means not providing the person with all the facts or only out of context facts to lead them to a decision & convincing them to do something for your benefit and not theirs. You profit they don’t.
Persuasion– Getting someone to see a different viewpoint, belief or experience they normally may not have had based on their prior beliefs so they are able to view it in a different light and there for choose for themselves what’s in their best interest.
Don’t bother looking those definitions up in the dictionary because you probably won’t find them there. 🙂 These are my beliefs and my beliefs alone. If you like them great, if you don’t….don’t.
Don’t Be Attached To The Outcome
This is a big problem for most novice sales people or even seasoned sales people who find themselves in a tight spot. Being attached to whether the person purchases or not can really have you enter into the dark side of sales. The part you hate so much. When you need a sale you start to convince and even manipulate. This is bad bad bad.
The key is to be have a sense of urgency but not be attached to the outcome. If you’re filling your pipeline so to speak with the right activity it will come to a point where you don’t require strong arming tactics. You will have enough business coming to you or being referred to you because you did right by people the first time around.
Now believe me I came from an industry where there were very rarely 2nd chances. Selling mobile homes was like selling cars attached to real-estate. It was at times very very competitive business. Even cut throat at times. However I never sacrificed my ethics or beliefs for a sale.
Remember, the general public loves to buy but generally hate to be sold.
But My Industry Is Different Tony
Listen this statement may be true, however…how you feel when you’re done with the sales process is paramount and to me is non-negotiable. If your industry requires you to strong arm people and force them into make a buying decision right then with out consideration if it’s in their best interest, then you’re not congruent with your beliefs and you’ll be miserable after every sale. You’ll begin to resent getting up in the morning and you’ll find yourself living a life of Al Bundy’ism. Living mediocre.
I’m not saying those are bad business models I’m just saying it may not be a business model that is congruent to your needs. If you’re not being authentic and living a life of congruency how can you possibly be providing the very best value to your customers with their best interest at heart?
It’s All About People But You First
If you’ve noticed I’ve gotten into a little bit of how to information on selling but primarily I’m focused on you and your definition of selling. You have to sell yourself on the fact you’re serving people buy sharing your beliefs. How you communicate those beliefs are paramount to the customer and whether they buy from you.
Because people buy people not products and people these days are pretty perceptive. Many can tell if you’re selling congruently or not. Many people can pick up on if you’re bullshitting your way through something and just trying to make a buck.
Repeat business and referrals are the best gauge of how well you’re actually “selling.”
If you believe in what you do, believe you’re providing a serious value to customers and meeting their needs then you’re doing a serious disservice by NOT sharing the product or service with them. Otherwise how will you effectively capture their hearts and make a long term impact? This is what creates long term customer relationships and long term profits.
You have to believe this.
Put the spot light on the customers problem/pain and make your efforts all about sharing your solution to their pain. If people are aware of the pain enough and realize you have the solution they will pay you whatever is necessary to solve the problem or get rid of the pain.
Oh and it will majorly help if they trust you and like to boot. 🙂
If you have any opinions around selling or some how to information to add please comment. I’d love your feedback. These are my opinions and my opinions only that have helped me serve lots of people. These are a few other insights I go through in the free 15 page report “Why You Won’t Be Successful…10 Massive Mistakes People Make That Keep Them P.O.O.R.”
You may want to check it out if this post dug up any pain around selling. There may be a solution to your pain in the report somewhere. 😉