Stop Resisting the Only Skill that Keeps You in Business
Some things never change
The No. 1 mistake that most professionals make when it comes to selling is avoiding it. For many, selling is a task greeted with little enthusiasm. Even though sales is the only way to stay in business, many people tell me they would rather market their product or services than sell them. If it was still 1982 that may work, but that outdated thinking will destroy your business.
The professionals closing more business, winning more clients and gaining an edge on the competition are tapping into the skill that guarantees they keep it that way – modern sales.
Selling has been pushed to the back burner for far too long, and in the process, many smart professionals have been caught off guard and are unprepared for how to best sell their product and services to today’s savvy consumer. Modern selling skills provided the strongest possible opportunity to be perceived as the first and only choice for a prospective client.
To most people, the word selling conjures images of the stereotypical, obnoxious individual who won’t take no for an answer, someone who uses high-pressure gimmicks and cheesy techniques to close the deal.
Traditional, old-school sales training methods are largely to blame for perpetuating this perception. It is imperative that you set conventional notions aside or erase them from your memory. When you do, you will never experience a drought in your practice again. Sales are like oxygen. You need sales to survive. Sales are how you get paid.
Many of the professionals with whom I work come to me with a love-hate relationship with sales. They enjoy what they do, but they hate to sell. They love their client work, but they hate the process of finding new business. They love meeting with potential clients, but hate the idea of having to sell themselves. To them, sales is a daunting and unsavory chore.
Given how essential sales are to the bottom line of every business, I am often shocked at how many people would rather have a root canal or a colonoscopy than make their businesses thrive. There is nothing but upside to learning how to sell.
The professional with an anti-sales attitude sounds like this: “I’m not a natural salesperson. I am not comfortable with selling. I don’t want to be perceived as pushy, aggressive or manipulative.”
They drop their lip, stomp their feet and use these mantras as a way of letting themselves off the hook when it comes to selling. They give themselves permission not to develop the skill that will keep them in business. That garbage only works until you run out of money, all the while passionately proving to yourself that you don’t have to or like to sell.
On the flip-side of those power-depleting declarations, I have heard others make statements of the opposite kind: I know that if I don’t embrace selling for my business, I won’t have a business. Selling is uncomfortable for me, but I will find a way to make it fun and appreciate the process. I know that I need sales skills to grow my company.
You can learn the greatest skill on earth. Refuse to let a fear of or a distaste for selling threaten your business and profits. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sales pursuits. There is only something wrong with your perception of them. Every single business is sustained by sales, including yours. Sales are the lifeblood of every business.
Don’t run your business into the ground by demonstrating you’re not a natural-born sales person. Just like anything else, selling is a skill that must be learned, nurtured and practiced to improve upon it. If you ignore the act of selling, you do so at your peril. Your practice won’t last long if you can’t bring new clients in the door.
Why not gain the expertise that is needed to close and win more business? Every penny invested in learning how to sell will return to you in the form of new clients and endless referrals.