Hints & Tips Blog
Learning to love ‘Sales’ – Part 1
‘Sales’ can get bad press. But no matter how innovative your product, or amazing your service, if you’re not selling it then you will never have a thriving business.
It’s true most people don’t leave school or University with a burning desire to forge a career in sales, and I suspect few parents dream of their child becoming a salesperson. Arguably most people fall into sales rather than starting out with that intention, and even those of us who’ve started and grown businesses might be shy about applying this label to ourselves.
But sales is the engine room of your business, driving its success, and while marketing might have sexy technology, social media and clever branding, sales is the backbone of orders being made and relationships forged.
We need to change our and our team’s mindset about what ‘sales’ really means and create a culture of enthusiasm and warmth towards it that permeates across everyone in the businesses, not just the sales team.
So how can we do this?
Give sales a ‘re-brand’
Many people have a perception of sales as a high-pressure activity that involves pushing people to buy something they don’t want, don’t need or can’t afford. Double glazing and used cars leap unbidden into our minds and in a sense, it’s something we’d prefer to avoid if at all possible.
If we want people to see the importance of sales, whether they are in the sales team or not, we need to change the narrative. Sales is not about being pushy, but equally, we should not be afraid to proactively tell people about something we can provide that will solve a problem for them, make their life easier or meet a personal need. Sales is about educating them, sharing information about how you can meet that need, and building the relationship that allows them to trust that you can. If you are proud of what your company does, believe that what you offer is valuable to others and will really make a difference to them or their business, then you could argue you are doing them, as well as your own company, a disservice if you are not telling them all about it.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
A sales trainer I know once commented that ‘We all love to buy, but hate being sold to’ and it’s very true. We all enjoy a good purchase, especially if we feel we’ve got a good deal or that it will improve our life in some way. But if we put ourselves in our customer’s shoes they don’t want to feel that your agenda is different from theirs, that you just want to sell to them regardless of whether what you’re selling is good for them or not. We need to ‘find their pain’. By taking time to understand their challenge or problem and how your product or service might solve that, in collaboration with them rather than talking ‘at’ them, you can show your aims are aligned with theirs and they will feel more confident about buying.
In the next blog, I’ll share more ways to help your people learn to love sales, but if you’re interested in hearing how we can support you to maximise your sales effort contact us.
Our team at BHP Consulting all run successful businesses, we understand that businesses are unique and our approach involves sharing this experience to improve your business. For an initial telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting, click here