We’ve all played the sales game at one time or another. When I was younger, I sold lemonade, vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias and magazines. You name it. It’s a process of learning and uncovering the benefits of a product and knowing when to shut up and let the product sell itself. You must believe in your product. When you fully understand it and you believe in it, your role becomes considerably easier. You can speak with ease and with the conviction that you would buy the product yourself. The buyer will sense this confidence.
Everyone is in sales – and that even includes you. Before you start to debate on how you have nothing to do with sales, consider that on any given day in one respect or another you have to sell someone. Whether you’re in an administrative role, back of the warehouse, the front desk or at an executive level within the company, you are selling to someone at some point of the day. You might need to convince someone of an alternative view on how to best handle the client needs. But in some roundabout way we all have an agenda and need to convince others to see it our way. Your fellow employees in your organization are your internal customers. They are just as important as your external customers. If you can’t convince your internal customers then how are you going to convince your external customers? It’s everyone’s responsibility to insure success through every touch-point of your communication. Whether or not you interact with your external customers does not relieve you of that responsibility.
In the 90’s I was so busy working and trying to get ahead that I barely paid attention to people. Sure people were important in my life, in fact a great many people. I was always trying to chase the sale. I found myself caught in the day-to-day mode of running the business. I had no idea of what a relationship looked like. I didn’t think relationships were that important. It’s not that I didn’t like people. I just didn’t put the time in to develop quality relationships. I was guilty of putting the sale ahead of the relationship. Guilty as charged.
When September 11th rocked the world, it devastated the advertising community. Everyone was so caught up in this world-changing event that everything else seemed unimportant by comparison. Like many others our business took a hit. Companies were going out of business and people were simply not buying. Well, let me tell you, I found out real quickly how important relationships were to sales. I promised myself shortly thereafter to develop the very best relationships possible. I made it my number one goal.
No longer did I want to rely on just the sale. It wasn’t a matter of people just knowing the company and what it stood for, it was a matter of people knowing the man. I spent decades building business and chasing the sale without ever realizing the value and the strength of creating great relationships.
I kept my promise to myself and set out to nurture the best possible relationships that I could. I made a commitment to get involved in the community. I associated my name with things that mattered. I set out to make a difference in the world around me. I discovered it wasn’t just about my business and the almighty sale. It was much more than that. It was about helping people. Making an impact in the community around me and putting people before the sale. It was about developing relationships.
The brink of an idea! Instead of focusing on money, focus on how you can make a difference in someone else’s life. How can the benefits of your product or service make their life easier and richer? Does it improve their quality of life? If you can connect your product or service to making their life better – then the sale is made. Help people solve a problem and they’ll buy from you. Be sincere, straightforward and honest – even if it cost you money or the sale. Now that can be a challenge for some. Especially if you have to pay the mortgage or buy a loaf of bread. But you’ll be rewarded with more sales and better relationships than you ever imagined.
The golden rule in developing relationships is not to sell people out. People are not for sale. I define money as ‘a dirty substance’ that elicits the worst in people. When you know your product or service and you do the right thing, money will take care of itself. Dirty Money Disease is one of what I call the ‘5 Human Ailments’. You can learn more on the ‘5 Human Ailments’ by watching my Video Book:
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That’s a hard lesson to learn folks. We’re all anxious to make a buck. BUT… Don’t sell your soul for that buck.
DIRTY MONEY DISEASE IS THE RESULT OF GREED.
- How can the benefits of your product or service make life easier and richer?
- Does it improve their quality of life?
- Focus on buying vs. over selling
- Focus on the real benefits of the product or service
- Go the extra mile – whatever it takes
- Always do the right thing no matter what
- Get the details down and you’ll shine above all else
Remember, people do business with people they like and trust. Straight talk works wonders and people will feel your honesty and that alone will separate you from the pack.