Stop Complaining That You Hate To Sell And Do Something About It
Given how essential sales are to the bottom line of every business, I am often shocked at how many professionals would rather have a root canal and a colonoscopy on the same day than put themselves in a selling situation.
Many business owners talk about wanting to attract more clients and close more sales without having to sell. Huh? Some would rather complain (and whine and bitch) about their distaste for sales instead of putting in the work and learning how to do it well.
Some people turn their noses up at the thought of having to sell themselves and their expertise, so they never take the time to fully develop that skill. They dabble in selling. They do it half-assed. Avoiding the parts of selling they dislike and only doing what feels comfortable.
I am a huge golfer, and I take my game seriously. I participate in one-on-one and group lessons, commit to practicing, hit the driving range and practice some more. My mindset and skillset are aligned. I play in a league with others who choose not to partake in the same golf rituals. It does not bother me until they begin to grumble about their shots or moan about their lousy score. Going on and on about wanting to play better, but doing nothing to get better. I ask them to join me on the practice range and take a lesson with me to improve their game. I've had no takers so far.
I am not a big complainer and have a low tolerance for those who do. Particularly when the complaints revolve around something someone has full control over. Complaining is easy. Executing is hard. You can learn how to sell well. It comes down to identifying what it is that you want, formulating a plan to get there and then working until you reach your desired goal.
If you hate to sell, you're doing it wrong! You have a choice. You can learn the skill that will keep your business alive. Or, you can hang it up and get a job at the post office. If you dislike sales and you're unwilling to sell, you will go nowhere except to the graveyard of entrepreneurs and business owners. Tackle the problem head-on, figure out what you can do about it, and then just freaking do it. Crappy salespeople taught you to hate sales. They were so bad at it that you did not want to touch selling with a hundred foot pole. Traditional, old-school sales methods are largely to blame for having perpetuated this perception. Shitty salespeople exist, and there will always be unscrupulous people in every profession who will use force and sleazy tactics to get someone to do something they don’t want.
Sales have changed so much over the past decade. You will still find old-school sales trainers, gurus, and experts who continue to teach strategies that were created in a different time, for a different consumer. These experts and gurus keep teaching the same miserable model since the 1980s that aggravate and irritate the smart and modern buyer who can spot that crap from a mile away.
You are smarter than that. You get to choose how YOU want to sell.
With love and compassion, I say, drop your sales baggage and get over it. Sales are like oxygen. You need sales to survive. Sales are how you get paid. Someone has to hand you money for what you do, in the form of a closed sale.
I hear these mantras every day. "I’m not a salesperson. I don’t want people to feel like I’m selling to them. I am not comfortable with selling. I don’t want to be perceived as pushy, aggressive, salesy, or phony. I’m not good at sales."
People use these mantras as a way of letting themselves off the hook of selling. They believe that if they stomp their feet and throw an adult tantrum that they don’t have to sell. That baloney only works until they run out of money and waste time passionately proving that they don’t like or hate to sell.
On the flip side of those power-depleting declarations, I have heard other smart individuals make statements of the opposite kind. They declare,"I know that if I don’t embrace selling for my business, I won’t have one. 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 and thrive."
Drop the negative energy and mindset around the only thing that keeps your business alive and growing: sales. This negativity will no longer serve you on the pathway to profits.
Your transformation and reinvention require a willingness to take a big bold step to learning the skill that saves you from taking the long and nauseating ride on the revenue roller coaster. It is imperative that you set traditional negative sales perceptions aside or erase them from your memory. When you do, you will never experience a drought in your business again.
If you ignore the act of selling, you do so at your peril. Your business or practice won’t last long if you can’t bring new clients in the door.
Sales and selling are not dirty words!
Many outstanding professionalsuse new, modern, non-sleazy methods to build their business. Selling is about helping people get what they need. Selling is about leading and moving people to action. You are the facilitator of that transaction. When others take action, you are compensated. Selling is about exchanging your value and expertise for money.
This is no different from an architect drawing up plans for a new home, a tax accountant doing a tax return, or a mechanic putting in a new transmission. Services are rendered, and money is exchanged. It is a simple, straightforward transaction.
Don’t think for one second that if you are remarkable at what you do, clients will beat a trail to your door, your phone will ring off the hook and money will fall from the sky into your bank account. If your compensation depends upon your ability to generate revenue and close business, at some point, you will have to sell. You and everyone else know that sales correspond to revenue!
There is a modern and more comfortable way to convert clients, sell your expertise and your services.
People don’t like to be sold to. They never have, they probably never will. No one, including you, wants to be convinced, manipulated, or persuaded. Everyone wants support in helping them to make the right decision for them. Treat people like the human beings they are, and watch what happens to your bottom line.
Liz Wendling is the author of two books (and counting): The Unstoppable Business Woman and Everyone Sells Something; a columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine; and one of the first nationally credentialed facilitators for Napoleon Hill Mastermind groups. Learn more at lizwendling.com.