By Steve Henke, Founder, Harpeth Marketing
Have you ever uttered one of these statements?
- “I don’t like selling.”
- “I’m no good at sales.”
- “I don’t want to sell.”
I think one of the reasons I hear those things all too often is because of the perception of the profession of selling. Try this… when I say the word, ‘salesman,’ what sorts of images comes to mind? The stereotypical used-car salesman? That guy near Disney World selling timeshares? Or (for those of you in my generation) maybe Herb Tarlek, the brash, plaid polyester-suit clad radio ad salesman from the late ‘70s sitcom, ‘WKRP in Cincinnati?’
And I understand. No one wants to associate with “salespeople” like that.
Now consider these real-life scenarios:
- Your physician is talking you through the pros and cons of a delicate procedure she thinks you need.
- Your personal banker is discussing the best ways to invest that small inheritance left to you by your uncle.
Make no mistake about it… the doctor and the banker are both selling, but their approach is 180 degrees from Herb Tarlek.
Instead of trying to ‘force’ you to buy something they want to sell, the doctor and banker are working with you to help you make a smart, informed ‘buying decision.’ You don’t see them as salesmen… you see them as trusted advisors – helping, not selling.
And it’s that same mindset that will help you when selling in our industry. Rather than pitch a sales prospect on everything you have to sell, work with them to understand their needs, their challenges, and their goals. Ask a lot of questions. Really get to understand their business. Only then can you recommend an appropriate solution.
Yes, as ‘salespeople,’ you all have sales goals that you’re committed to achieving. But rather than focus on those goals and worrying about what you have to sell… instead, focus on your clients and prospects. Help them to solve their business problems and to achieve their goals. Be a resource, a problem-solver and an advisor. “Seek first to help… then to sell.”
Take that mindset into the marketplace… and the new business opportunities will come.
Good luck and good selling.
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