Invisible Partner

Sales Isn’t a Dirty Word

By Patti Waterbury
Thinking of yourself as a salesperson may make you feel uncomfortable. In fact, if your vision is all about delivering value and making a difference, selling might even feel contradictory to your core purpose.
Some people see selling as bragging about their abilities, while others feel the sales process is manipulative or unethical. This challenge can easily be compounded by the belief that they shouldn’t charge much for services that come easily to them. With even a few of these beliefs piling on top of each other, the sales process can be very uncomfortable. As a result, selling themselves, their services or products becomes the last thing they do – if they do it at all.

I struggled with some of these mental barriers for several years, but eventually realized that without the sales process, there is little or no business. And I quickly found that it takes money to make my vision of helping others a reality.

Shifting Your Perspective.
If you can relate to this, read on. I had to shift my perspective and let go of my limiting beliefs around the sales process and my own worth to move forward. I’ll focus on the sales process this time, leaving other limiting beliefs for future posts.

Successful people everywhere are paid for doing their jobs (what comes easily for them) well. In fact, I’m sure you gladly pay experts to handle tasks that you’re unable to do. And you pay their fees without feeling you were manipulated into purchasing those services, right?

Business credibility begins with building relationships with people. The starting point makes all the difference. If my focus is on making a sale rather than really understanding what concerns you, then I will fail at building a sustainable business even if I make the sale. When we take time to really listen the challenges people are facing and engage in a sincere conversation about how our knowledge, skills and abilities might help them, we build trust. And because they’re willing to talk about their problems and how we can help them, we aren’t manipulating them into buying unneeded products or services.

Think of the selling process as simply providing solutions and benefits to clients. Customers need solutions. They want someone to solve their problems. Combine your desire to help others with the solutions you can provide and the selling process becomes simple!

Emotional Triggers In The Sales Process.
People buy products and services based on emotion. And there are many different emotional triggers that cause people to make purchases. Some common ones include avoiding pain (pain comes in all shapes and sizes-emotional, physical, monetary, etc.), seeking pleasure, being heard, feeling accepted, being recognized for accomplishments. The list is long and has been scientifically tested and established through the years.
Everyone buys based on emotion. And often those emotions are tied to problems they’re experiencing. If you have solutions to their problems, you can be of service to them and help them get past those issues. You aren’t manipulating them into purchasing something-they are searching for your solutions.

Negative or Positive?
Our problems can often cause us only to focus on the negative aspects of a situation. However, often that only makes it more difficult to see solutions. We think about what when wrong, the length of time the problem has existed, why it feels impossible to solve, and so on. Before long, we’re so drained just from thinking about all the negative issues surrounding the problem that fixing the situation really does feel impossible.

Switching our perspective from the negative to the positive allows for some wonderful changes in a problem or situation. I’ve found this to be a good starting point:

 

  • State what is creating anxiety
  • Identify the real (underlying) concern.
  • Shift your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want.
  • Visualize the results of achieving the goal.
  • Next, consider all the benefits you’ll enjoy when you achieve this goal.
  • Then decide if those benefits outweigh the perceived costs of achieving the goal.

By now, you should be feeling much better about the problem. Placing your attention on the positive aspects, you’re more energized and ready to take on the project.  You’ve just experienced a shift in perspective, turning problems into goals. The next step is to take this shift to potential customers or clients to help them solve their problems. Because people buy what they want, not necessarily what they need, it’s important to hear how they perceive issues and understand the benefits that matter to them.  As I stated before, the sales process is based on building relationships. When we are genuinely interested in people, it’s as easy as having a conversation with them. Use the above process of turning a problem into an achievable goal as a basis for those conversations. Guide clients to view their issues from a positive perspective.  Remember, people make purchases based on emotions. The emotions your prospects feel about their problems will guide you in determining just how you can help. Once they see their issues from the positive perspective and you’ve helped them visualize possibilities, ask them, “Would you like a partner to help you achieve those goals?”  As easy as that! You have just become the key to their solutions.  The beauty of this approach is the customers do all the selling for you. You ask the questions and their answers point out the benefits while they visualize the results. Best of all, because you’re having the conversation with them and helping them understand how to find solutions, they’ll visualize you as the partner who can help them achieve those goals.  Shift your own mindset to create the confidence to reach out with confidence. Then, ask potential customers about the goals they want to reach and what holds them back. When you have something valuable to contribute, let them know how you can help them. With that foundation, it will be natural for them to turn to you for solutions.

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