I once met a guy. Let’s call him Tom. Tom was very smart. He had a gift for technology and worked hard. This guy had several degrees, qualifications and read lots of books on IT. Bottom line, Tom was brilliant at his job as an IT consultant at one of the big 4 firms in the world. Through his brilliance, he eventually made it to partner. Things were now different for Tom. He found himself struggling. Now he had to go out and network. Meet all these strangers! This made Tom uncomfortable. He sucked at building rapport. And the more he spoke about how much he knew, and all his experience, the more these strangers switched off. He found this rather odd. Each time a potential client gave him an objection about why they didn’t see value in the engagement, or why the project wasn’t out of scope, he had no idea how to respond, and sometimes even got into arguments.
Have you ever come across someone like this? Or have you had a similar experience?
I’ve spoken to many individuals like Tom and most initially believed that their skills and talent alone are all that matters. But usually that’s not the case. If we don’t know how to build rapport, ask effective questions, negotiate and build lasting relationships, then talent and brains won’t get us far.
For many people, sales is a taboo word. It may make them feel uneasy too. What they may not realise, is that we are all sales people if we like it or not. Whether it's selling yourself on a first date, selling your skills and attributes at a job interview or just trying to grow your business. We need to firstly accept and embrace it or be the person in the corner of the room watching everyone else with envy getting ahead. Because it doesn't matter how talented, smart, technically brilliant and certified we are. If we have no idea how to communicate, influence and network effectively, then we won’t get very far.
Many people may not realise this, but without the sales and marketing people in their organisation, their job may not even exist. The salespeople in your company are the ones driving growth.
Many organisations understand that in order to grow and succeed, sales is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone is taught sales, from the receptionist to the CEO. I recently met a director of a big consulting firm in Australia who told me that they have huge slogans all over there office walls with the sentence. ‘Everyone is a salesperson.’
So what is sales and how can we make it work for us as non-salespeople?
Firstly, we must be aware that there are two types of sales people. The 1990’s pushy salesperson types, and the consultative sales person, who is here to serve and help you. Always aim to be the second type.
A good consultative type of salesperson:
There are lots of advantages to learning this art and science of building relationships, communicating, as well as understanding psychology and human behaviour
Are you a non-salesperson who needs to sell and has sales targets in your organisation? If so, what are some things you may need to do to make it work for you?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments
Selling for non Salespeople Workshop