My friend, Pierce Marrs, is an expert sales coach.
Just about everyone who comes to him says they are not a salesperson – and are just not good at selling their product or service. He smiles and nods in an understanding way.
As an ardent observer of people, he is apt to notice the person is carrying a designer bag or driving a nice vehicle.
He may ask, “How do you like your new car?”
The person will often say they love that new car.
“Really? Why is that?” Pierce may say.
They will go on to elaborate on how fast it goes, how smoothly it rides, or how many interesting gadgets it offers. “In fact,” they may suggest, “You should go check out the dealership and ask for John. He’ll take good care of you.”
This same person who, two minutes earlier, claimed not to be a salesperson was now “selling” my friend Pierce a car.
Why is this?
It is because (1) they really liked the car, (2) they felt comfortable carrying on a conversation with him and (3) they sensed his interest in the car, and so suggesting he visit the dealer was simply their way of helping him.
The point of the story is simply this: We can all sell something if we (1) believe in the quality and value of the product or service, (2) have a genuine connection with the other person, and (3) feel that the product or service will help that person.
Taken to a corporate level, this “I am not a salesperson argument” sounds a bit like this:
- “We’re having trouble generating new business.”
- “Income reports are grim.”
- “My employees are not engaged.”
- “I can’t get my team to do what needs to be done.”
- “I am not seeing results.”
These, at the core, are sales issues. And sales issues at the core are “help” issues.
Use that simple formula as a checklist to identify the gap(s).
Do you and your employees believe in the quality and value of the product or service?
Let’s face it, it is hard to sell something you don’t like. Are your people familiar with what your company does enough to get excited about sharing the “why” of the product or service? Is the quality at a level everyone would feel comfortable recommending to a friend?
Are there connections?
- Are you as a leader connected to the people (employees and customers), product, and process? You may have earned the right to that corner office; but if you never get out of it long enough to connect with your people and your business, you may not like the reports you see.
- Are your employees connected to the mission and the people they serve? When leaders connect their team to the vision and mission of the company and provide them an opportunity to hear firsthand how their company is helping others, engagement and productivity rises.The Huffington Post had a good article on this subject which showed how connecting team members to the outcome increased effectiveness (in their example) by 170%. Your team needs to see in a very real way that what they do makes a difference in the lives of others.
Does your product or service meet the needs of your ideal clients?
A TV game show took some flak recently for having a treadmill as a prize for a lady who was in a wheelchair. It was an honest mistake, but not one a company can afford to make on a regular basis. To serve client needs, you must know your clients well. If you and your team are connected to your clients and know that what you offer will help them, then the “sales pitch” simply becomes an offer to help them. It creates a natural conversation that is a win-win situation.
Everyone in any business is a salesperson. Whether you’re selling a new business plan to your team or selling a product to a customer, it boils down to sales…and selling is helping.
Go into any conversation with one thought in mind, “How can I help the other person?”
You will see results.