Let’s start with a question…
What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word sales?
For most, the connotation isn’t great.
I ran a masterclass recently for women entrepreneurs and leaders through the One Roof Community and I had posed a question “When You Think of Sales or Selling What is the First Word that Comes to Mind?”. The top five answers were unanimously negative - pushy, sleezy, difficult, annoying and manipulative.
According to Wharton, a study that was done 10 years ago with close to 2000 people in the US had the exact same words come up.
How is it that after a decade we still feel the same way about the function of selling?
Because many of us are still thinking of the stereotypical “used car salesman” we see on display in movies, or the “infomercials” on late night TV.
Most people are uncomfortable around sales because they feel like it involves being tricked or hoodwinked into buying something they don’t really want by smooth talkers.
The problem is, we’ve got the concept of “sales” linked to an old school feel; the era where men went door to door and women hosted Avon parties. All that’s changed now.
Here’s a little secret (or maybe not so much a secret)…You Are in Sales.
We’re ALL in sales now.
Hold up, what now?
Think about it. We sell ourselves, our thoughts and our ideas every single day.
When you create your dating profile on Tinder.
When you convince your partner to see go to one cafe instead of another.
When you ask your boss for a pay rise or promotion.
When you ask investors for funding for your business.
And with astonishing numbers and ferocious energy, we go online to sell ourselves - on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and more.
As entrepreneurs and employees, many of us devote our time to selling whether we know it or not.
We are persuading all the time – this is also known as non-sales selling.
The problem is many entrepreneurs and start-ups do not think sales skills are particularly important. The idea is that a product or service should be good enough to sell itself, this is a myth!
And marketing is not sales - marketing informs and attracts leads and prospects to your company and product or service. Sales especially with B2B businesses, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of the company's solution to convert prospects into customers. And that’s the fundamental basis of what a business is.
So what should female entrepreneurs and leaders do to succeed? Follow the ABCs (just not the ones you think).
The New ABCs of Selling
There’s a very famous scene from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin teaches the salesmen in the room: ABC, “Always, Be, Closing.” That phase has been the traditional mantra of salespeople for quite a long time, it’s also something that has helped contribute to the negative view of salespeople by others.
Today and beyond, the only way to sell is to be honest and transparent.
To sell is no longer to guard information and hand out little pieces – it’s a service, helping people to navigate the wealth of information, explain it to them, and getting them to make the best decision, the one that’s right for them at the specific time.
As entrepreneurs and employees we need to build the ability to influence, persuade and change behaviour (sometimes) while striking a balance between what others want and what you as a business can provide.
According to Daniel Pink, author and best seller, the new ABC’s for selling is about “Moving People.”
A skill that I have honed in and use every single day from being in sales to a senior manager in large corporations globally right up to being an entrepreneur over the past twenty five years. Today, I teach and help startups and SME’s harness the new ABC’s for greater success in their businesses and careers.
What Are The New ABC’s of Selling?
Attunement: Today’s sales is not about just making a close. It’s about understanding the buyer to provide them with the best product. Learning your buyer’s perspective is one of the most important things you can do. You must listen to know what they need, a simple idea that many people fail to do. Listen and consider feedback to stay attuned to each situation.
Buoyancy: As business owners or salespeople, you hear “no” all the time so you need to get used to it. Don’t take it personally and move on. Rejection is inevitable, the key is how to properly handle it. Ask questions on how to improve for the next time but then keep going- rejection is only temporary.
Clarity: Clarity is all about “helping others see their situations in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify the problems they didn’t realize they had.” You’ve seen this in action. When you started your own business, the advice is to find a problem and solve it - the ability to highlight problems others didn’t even know they had and provide a solution. A big part of that can be learning how to ask better questions. These will help you get to the root of the actual problem, which is often not the one first identified.
It’s not much of a stretch to accept the argument that we are all salespeople now.
What is important to realise is how you can expand and improve your own powers of persuasion and influence. Today, it’s all about tapping into the psychology and emotions of the people you’re trying to “sell,” - making real connections and providing incredible value, education and service.
If you’re able to combine those factors, you’re well on your way to a winning combination.
If you are READY to make the powerful shifts required to build and scale your business, then schedule a FREE strategic growth consultation with me.
You can use this powerful consultation to:
- Lay out your vision
- Clarify the key obstacles to growth and how to overcome them
- Effectively communicate using the new ABC’s of sales and persuasion
- Pinpoint the specific actions you must take to accelerate growth.
To get your FREE strategic growth consultation, click here.