A raging case of sales-phobia
Every business owner is a salesperson in disguise. Everyone is selling somebody something. Every day I hear business owners declare they are not salespeople, they are business owners. What I see is a raging case of undiagnosed sales-phobia.
A paradigm shift is in the making and business owners are finally waking up to the fact that they have to sell. The effort put into selling is what makes every other activity possible in business. “No sales” eventually turns into “no money” and without money, no business. A very basic formula and a hard fact. Sales are the only way to keep your business in business.
Sales are the backbone of your business. If you are in business to make a living, you have to be out there selling. I can’t think of a single exception to the rule. The old adage states that in life, nobody gets out alive. Well, in selling, no business survives without sales.
Regardless of what industry you are in, the sales process is in play every day, and it is complex. You are selling your solutions but you are also selling your actions, beliefs, point of view, ideas and recommendations. You are selling to users of your products and services, but also to management, your investment panel, committees, task teams and special interest groups – these are all consumers. You sell you first and your products or services next. The success of your business is directly related to how well you sell. Not embracing and owning this hard fact will paralyze your business success.
Like it or not, selling is a game of winners and losers – people who expect to succeed and those who act as if they were destined to fail. Much of selling is a contest where you have to beat out someone else to win the prize. Refusing to believe you have to sell will put you in second place every time, and as the saying goes, in sales there is no prize for second place. Having a fear or distaste for selling will cripple your efforts and take down your business. You don’t have to like it; you just have to do it.
I talk to business owners who think that selling is about convincing and pushing others to buy their products or services. This approach can be discouraging and difficult to implement as a business owner, and it is one of the factors that cause business owners to dislike, or even hate, the process of selling. If you think you have to push people to buy, then you are going about it the wrong way.
As a business owner, in order to be competitive, you wear many different hats – the boss, marketing manager, bookkeeper, and supervisor, to name a few. When you start a business, you may not necessarily know all there is to know about marketing, for example, but you talk to people, ask around, study and practice, and eventually you gain proficiency.
If you are not very good at bookkeeping or management, things could get a bit messy, but it will not be fatal to your business. But selling is pivotal. If you are not proficient at selling, you will not have a business. It does not get much simpler than that. So you have a vested interest in learning as much about sales as you can.
Turn your sales phobia and into sales action. Face your sales phobia and solve it. Honestly, it is the only way you are going to be successful generating much needed revenue for your business. Remember, it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell.