Sold is Not a Four-Letter Word
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Written by Robyn T Braley
Sales is the fuel that drives the engine of business. No sales, no revenue. No revenue ... well, you know the ending and it’s not pretty.
Wherever you are reading this, look around. Everything you see is made of products that someone sold to someone else.
What? Me Sell?
In a sour economy, some are forced to start their own business when all other job pursuits have failed. Some companies challenge the entire staff to think sales.
“But I’ve never sold anything,” you exclaim. “I don’t have the personality!” There are traits that sales people tend to have:
- Creative thinking
- Strong communication
- A distinct fear of starving
You may need to set high expectations that will take you beyond what you and others see as your limitations.
The wonderful thing about selling is that for every rule there is a champion who broke it. You often hear the term born salesperson. The term is only partly true. You may be forced to overcome a lack of certain skills by enhancing ones you have.
Remember the story about the door-to-door bible salesman who stuttered? He sold thousands of bibles.
When the home-owner opened the door he asked in his halting way, “Would you buy one of my bibles?” He quickly followed the ask with an offer to read it.
I haven’t mentioned education. I know multi-million dollar sales people who flunked out of high school. I also know some with university degrees who tried but couldn’t sell.
However, you must know your product and that may require formal education. For example, I would hesitate to buy a bridge from a self-taught engineer.
Quality Products and Services
Sales success requires quality products. A dog food company experienced a severe drop in sales. They hired a hip agency to rebrand them and invested millions into a national advertising campaign.
Sales continued to plummet so they organized a conference bringing their national sales force to head office. After explaining their marketing brilliance, a grizzled sales person stood way at the back madly waving his arms.
When finally acknowledged, he yelled out, “I think I know what the problem is. The dogs won’t eat the darned food.”
What Drives You to Sell
After generating millions and winning all the awards, what will motivate you to make that next call? It must come from inside of you.
I use the sales philosophy called a win-win. I like to win, but I like to help others while doing it.
The belief is based on the belief that I can win at life as well as in business by meeting customer needs. Helping them advance their goals helps me advance mine.
Top Five Sales Tips
Selling can easily become routine which isn't always bad. When doing the same old thing in the same old way forms good habits, that’s a good thing.
However, routine can also allow bad habits to creep in. Growth in sales requires consistent growth as a professional.
- Adopt a methodology for selling. I use the counsellor selling approach. Identify needs, then meet them
- Use a customer management system (CMS). As your lists grow, disorganization will become your worst enemy.
- Develop an arsenal of marketing tools including engaging presentation material, quality website, social media program, membership in industry associations, networking, listing in directories
- Plan time for learning through webinars, books, conferences, professional magazines
- Plan for personal, family and community time. It’s called balanced living. Success is hollow with no one to share it with.
Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, and speaker. He is a media commentator and owns UniMark Creative. He speaks and blogs about branding.