Hints & Tips Blog

Your business’ secret weapon – the ‘s’ word.

In recent emails we have focussed on achieving growth and how your people strategy can support that. But it is worth remembering that successful selling is the fundamental part of business success. Without selling you have no business. Yet for many in your business ‘sales’ may be something to avoid at all costs, seen as a pressurised ‘dark art’ they don’t understand and don’t want to get involved with.

How do your employees feel about selling?

We’re not talking about your sales team here, but your whole team? If sales is a dirty word, then you could be missing out on a powerful tool in increasing your growth potential.

We’re not suggesting your accounts, operations or delivery teams should all be ‘sales masters’, but imagine the impact if every employee in your business was happy to tell everyone they met how great your products, services and company are, and how it can help them?

At a wedding a couple of years ago I sat next to a finance manager who worked at an independent recruitment company. Asking her about what she did she enthusiastically talked not about her day job, but why she liked working there, about a new approach the company was taking to partnering with clients and why it was different. Someone on the other side of her overheard and became interested, having just had a bad experience with a recruiter and looking for alternative options.

This was not a ‘sales’ situation, this person was genuinely happy in her role and was proud to explain and endorse what the company could do, even when she didn’t need to. Roll on 2 years that company is still working regularly for the person who overheard the conversation. Not because it occurred to this person to ‘sell’ to them, but because she was engaged with what her company was doing, knew enough about what they could offer to speak with enthusiasm and then realised it might be useful to get her MD to follow up.

So how do you get your ‘whole team’ to be a ‘sales team’?

You need 3 things in place;

  1. You have to get them to want to do it– so they need to genuinely enjoy working for you and believe you are a good company that delivers for customers.
  2. You have to give them the ability to do it– if they don’t know what the key selling points of your products or services are they can’t explain them. Sharing a simple, but compelling ‘elevator pitch’ about what your company offers and the benefits with all your employees, regardless of their role, can not only engage them in what you do, but give them the ability to share it with others.
  3. You have to show them it’s worthwhile– this could take the form of incentives (employee referral schemes for example) or by getting them excited about the growth of the business and what opportunities it might deliver for them.

All of your employees will have networks outside of work; friends, family, social groups. Useful contacts can come from the most unlikely of places and these can all be sources of future customers, employees and suppliers – the first step is getting your employees to want to talk positively about what you do, whoever the audience is.