For more than a few people, sales ranks up there with cleaning gas station bathrooms and sitting on a cactus in terms of their popularity. Why? Sales and salespeople tend to have a nasty reputation. Pushy, deceitful— anything to get another notch on the sales quota belt, people think. (Guess what? If you have ever planned or if you plan to influence or convince others to see things your way or to sell them on an idea or a product, YOU’RE IN SALES. Did your opinion of sales just change a little bit???)
While there are always a few of the proverbial bad apples in every bunch, the majority of people involved in sales are honest and hardworking. I should know. I work with quite a few from this population.
With that, here are a few easy-to-follow tips that I use on a daily basis to get myself in the right frame of mind for each day, whether I be in a sales situation or in a “Brian Kolb: Regular Guy” situation.
1. Give up power.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be happy?” (Anyone with children needs to permanently tattoo this question onto their brain.) Being right doesn’t always equal victory— winning equals victory. By that, I mean giving up power allows me to focus on client needs and wants rather than engage in a volley of trying to get the upper hand, which, in turn, increases my sales and my bottom line. THAT, in the sales world, is winning.
2. Be positive.
If you aren’t happy with what you’re selling, why should your potential customer(s) be happy with it? Being positive and having a healthy attitude tends to cause walls to crumble and negativity to dissipate— you’re less bitchy and your customers are more receptive to what it is you are offering. Want to tip the sales scale in your favor? Put on a happy face, speak in an upbeat manner, and be friendly.
3. Forget about elevator pitches.
The days of bursting through an elevator door to have a few moments of someone’s time are, for all practical purposes, over. People don’t like to be bothered on elevators and thanks to Twitter, they don’t have to be. Twitter offers you an opportunity to pitch to anyone at anytime. But Twitter giveth, and Twitter taketh away. It gives you the “in” but it forces you to convey your message in 140 characters or less, so you better become good at being succinct. But that’s a good thing in today’s fast-paced world. Your message has, on average, a few seconds to convince someone that what you are offering is worth their time and money. Twitter forces you to get to the nuts and bolts of what your product/service can do for them. Start thinking # to start your discussions trending or to join a trending topic. Utilize @ to steer your conversation(s) to the desired recipients.
With a few tweeks here and there, sales can be a rich and rewarding experience for both you and your potential clients. Honesty, friendliness, and a genuine belief that your product/service will benefit them goes a long way. And that, my friends, will never change.