If you’re in business, you’ll be only too aware of the pressure put on pretty much everyone in pretty much every organisation to sell more. Whether it’s your bank cross-selling additional services or a waitress in a restaurant tempting you to the larger glass of wine, sales are everywhere. As consumers we’re constantly faced with buying decisions. Why then are so many people who run their own businesses frightened or even embarrassed by being a salesperson? Surprisingly, even some business development managers and sales teams struggle from time to time.
Arthur Daley and Del Boy
There is a perception of sales people being grouped into clusters of undesirables and stereotyped by the second-hand car salesman trying to hide the harsh reality, or the insurance salesman who asks you for names of friends and family he can pursue. This type of selling is a red flag to most of us as consumers and is quite rightly something we don’t want to be associated with as business owners.
The fact is, most business owners would be horrified to think of themselves as salespeople. But get this – no matter how cool, innovative, effective or disruptive your solution, if no one’s buying it, you’re not running a business. You’re indulging in a hobby – and probably a very expensive one at that.
Sales are the lifeblood of every business
Let’s cut to the chase. If not enough people are buying your solution, it probably means that you’re not selling – or you’re not selling effectively. And if the sales aren’t coming in, your business won’t last long. Even if you are in a sales role your skills might need refreshing.
Selling isn’t about persuading someone to part with their hard-earned cash for something they don’t need; something that won’t improve their life or their business; or something that isn’t suited to their situation. Effective selling is about investing the time to really understand what makes your customers tick and about demonstrating that you know what wakes them up in a cold sweat at 4am. It’s also about describing your solution in a way that makes a connection with them.
Selling no longer means knocking on doors
Selling today has changed. There are few reasons to go (literally) knocking on doors to find or warm up a prospect customer. That’s good news for most of us. But the problem is that there are now so many ways that business owners can (and possibly should) be selling that they often end up in a state of complete inertia caused by confusion, or fear of making the wrong choice.
If you’re someone who runs a business, and selling is a dirty word or something you can escape, it really is time to think again.
At a basic level, selling is your survival kit. At a higher level, it could be the key to scaling up your business and enjoying even more success. There’s nothing to stop you selling in your own way by finding your own style of selling. And if you think you haven’t got time, you need to find the time. Ignore selling at your peril. We’ll say it again – a business without sales isn’t a business at all. Yes, it might survive on a faithful network and some momentum, but normally that doesn’t last forever. Having a sales strategy that fits your business and feels like “you” is the best way forward all round.
So whether you run your own business, you’re “in” sales or business development, take your selling skills to a new level get in touch.