Like it or not, if you run a business you are in sales. And don’t breathe a sigh of relief if you work for someone else – because you are also in sales. If you have a job, and you want to keep it – you’d better be a good salesperson because you need to be able to sell yourself as a critical member of staff who the company would be lost without. Especially if you ever want to be promoted.
But let’s get back to being a business owner. Lots of people hate the word ‘sales’ and even many salespeople would rather have anything else on their card rather than ‘Sales Representative’ or ‘Sales Manager’ (which always makes me laugh when they are the only sales person in the company. What are they managing? Themselves?).
So why is it that people feel like that about sales? Sales, is a good thing surely? If they were no sales, there would be no cash, and if there is no cash – no-one has a job. So, what is it with this fear and hatred of ‘sales’ and ‘salespeople’.
The Reason Most People Hate the Word Sales.
Well – let me tell you. There are 2 reasons why people hate thinking of themselves as sales people. The first reason is this. The number one fear of the majority of the human race is ……wait for it……rejection. We will go to almost ANY lengths to avoid rejection. We start supporting the football team that our mates like – even though we are not that bothered about football. We follow the latest fashion trend so that we fit in with the cool kids. We buy the latest gadget, so we can be popular in the office. Most people – at some stage in their lives – have pretended to like something or someone because they didn’t want to be laughed at, criticised or rejected.
But wait, I hear you say – I thought fear of public speaking was the number one fear. Well, yes it is. But what is at the bottom of that fear? You got it – the fear of making an idiot of ourselves on stage and BEING REJECTED.
You see – when we were cave men and women – we were the target for many predators. The reason (one of the reasons) humans survived and flourished was that we realised the best way to beat the predators was to collaborate, live in groups, and work as a team. There is no way one caveman can take down a mammoth – but 10 cavemen – well they have a fighting chance. Therefore, the biggest fear for our ancestors was to be ostracised or rejected – because if you were not in the group, you would probably die. Literally. And we see that to this day in nature.
OK – so no-one wants to be rejected and if you are ‘selling’ and someone says no – then POW – they rejected you and ‘Oh No’ – that is not good. Got it.
So, what’s the second reason, you might not like to associate with the word sales?
Well, many people interpret the word ‘sales’ to mean – making people buy stuff that you have, that they don’t necessarily want or need. That may well have been what ‘sales’ was like in the 80’s, but it definitely is NOT what ‘sales’ is today. Everybody is a sales person, from the small child who wants some sweets in the shop, to the husband who wants to watch the footie, to the credit controller who wants to get the money in and keep their job.
Now let’s look at what sales ISN’T. Sales isn’t – let me repeat that – sales IS NOT ‘making people buy stuff that you have, that they don’t necessarily want or need.’ No – it’s really not. If you manipulate someone into buying something they don’t want or need, then 2 things are going to happen. 1 – You will get a lot of refund requests or cancellations. 2. You will lose a potential customer forever, and worse than that – get someone bad mouthing you all over ……social media.
You see – one of the great things that social media has done – IMHO – is to highlight how difficult it is nowadays to get away with being a total shit. Whether that is as a person – or as a company. Companies with poor customer service can expect to have hundreds if not thousands of people on social media telling everyone else about their poor experience. And that is a good thing. Time to shape up or ship out.
But the other thing social media teaches us is that sales is not about selling. Sales is about creating relationships, creating value and educating people. If you educate people – if you demonstrate that you add value and if you treat potential customers as you would want to be treated – as a friend, then (and only then) will you be in a position to watch your sales go up. You will be selling more, more often without trying. Because people will be buying. People hate to be sold to, but they love to buy.
There are people out there who need what you have. They want what you have. Their only decision is when to buy it and who to buy it from. If you are there – in their social media, at their networking events, in the publications they read etc. telling them the stuff they need to know about your industry and the products that you have, in a way that interests them and educates them and ADDS value to them. If you also then engage with those people without ‘selling’. If you inform them when there is something potentially valuable to them on offer. Then the sales will come.
Don’t think – how can I sell more. Think – how can I add value.
I will be running a webinar or a FB Live on “Selling” on Social Media in the next few weeks. Do me a favour and let me know what time of day would be best for you if you were going to attend the webinar. I’m not asking you to commit to attending, I’m asking what time of day would be best for you IF you were going to attend. I just want to make sure I schedule it at a time which is best for the majority – so please click here and just put the time at the end of the pre-populated subject line.
Thanks in advance !!