"What has been the key to your sales success?" I asked my new friend at a recent Meetup networking event.
"Oh, I don't sell. I develop relationships," the insurance agent "countered."
"Me, too. I educate others. I don't sell," the financial planner chimed in.
In the words of Charlie Brown, "Aagh!"
Selling is helping. Developing relationship and educating others are important steps in the process, but they certainly are selling- in a terrific way.
Remember that the words we speak determine who we are, what we do, how we perceive ourselves- and of course how others perceive us. If you don't believe in what you offer, why would anybody else? If you believe why would anyone want to talk to an insurance agent, a financial planner, a mortgage broker, a phone salesperson, they why would they? Any time you "pride yourself" on "not" being a salesperson, that's a red flag to those you speak to.
It hollers unprofessionalism, a lack of confidence and can actually be an insult. Why? Because everybody is a salesperson- in a great way.
I will never forget a prospecting seminar I conducted recently to a 50 person telecommunications company that included the CEO, 3 sales managers, a VP of Marketing and 40 salespeople. I asked everyone to introduce themselves and their title. When it came time for the CEO to speak, he proudly said, "I'm James Shaver and I'm in sales."
So why do salespeople often apologize and not fully appreciate that the difference between a consultant and a salesperson is only our own perceptions and that of others?
The answer isn't merely a lack of a selling process, because everyone claims they have a process. The issue is to be truly spectacular at selling and to get over your own blockage, you must recognize where you are IN the process at any given time.
Yes, developing relationships and educating are part of the process. But so is the scripted initial benefit statement to suspects, prospecting to first contacts, cold calling to empower gatekeepers, uncovering needs through challenging questions to warmer prospects and asking for the order.
You can't get where you are going if you don't know every step of where you want to be.
The quicker you realize that, the more clients you will have. Let me correct that, the more people you will HELP.