I am determined to shift the myth that goes with the term selling. Our great nation has never placed the same importance on this vital management activity as say the US. In the UK I still believe that selling is viewed as being the mucky end of the stick, the reality is, if as an entrepreneur you can’t sell – your business will never reach its true potential. It still amazes me that no enterprise policy maker has quite understood this and put it on the agenda. High growth companies are great at selling, period.
The challenge I believe comes with the definition. For many, the term salesman, conjures up images of a spiv in a sharp suit turning up with only one aim – to get the order what ever it takes. This is not strategic selling. Great sales people have a particular mindset:
- They Live in the Customers World – this means that the starting point of any negotiation places the customers views and needs at the heart of the debate. The professional sales person is a consultant; this means they have intimate knowledge and understanding of how their products and services can solve their prospects problems.
- They think Win – Win – Recognition without any shadow of a doubt that solving a customer’s problem comes at a price. They truly believe in the value they are bringing to their customer. As well as the customer winning and getting what they desire, fair reward is paramount to the salesman. This makes closing a natural thing to happen. Anything but a win-win will fail to build long-lasting relationships
Over the last few weeks I have spoken at some 5 events trying to get this message over. It still amazes me how many entrepreneurs struggle with the concept of selling and how many break out in a cold sweat when they even think about closing a deal.
I keep trying to reinforce the point that before turning up you must convince yourself that your offerings will be of benefit to the customer. If you don’t belief it and you signal this to your customer or prospect through your voice or body language, then don’t be surprised if they become disengaged. Whether it’s a phone call you are making, face-to-face presentation or pitch – getting your head into gear is vital. This means you must keep telling yourself what you have to offer will make a difference and add value to the customers personal or business situation.