For a recent client project, we are doing extensive strengths assessment around the topic of sales.
“I am not a sales person!” you may be thinking.
The fact is, we ALL sell on a daily basis.
We sell products or services, and we sell ideas. If you communicate with anyone during the day, it is likely you are making a sale. Not all of those sales are paid, but they follow the same principles.
Selling is influencing and persuading.
For example, let’s say you want a raise. You have worked hard and feel you deserve it. You will need to sell the idea to your employer. How do you do this?
There is a wrong approach, and many try it to no avail.
It goes something like this: “I’ve been working really hard, and I feel like I deserve a raise. Can we discuss that possibility?”
Chances are, the answer is no.
Why is this a wrong approach?
It doesn’t work because it is all about YOU. What does work – how you can sell them on the idea – is to look at the situation from THEIR vantage point, not yours. While you may indeed be working hard and deserve the raise, that point will not make the sale.
Instead, consider this approach.
1. Identify the leader’s strengths style.
Perhaps you have noticed that he or she is very driven and fast-moving. They are quick decision makers, and they value results.
2. Identify the leader’s needs.
Their list of needs may be as follows:
1. They have a problem that needs a solution.
2. They need some ideas for increasing revenue.
3. They need to cut costs.
Now you put these two things together…
You craft a solution to the problem you know they want to solve, and you outline how that solution will both increase revenue and cut costs. Then bring in your track record as evidence of past performance.
Take that narrative and boil it down to 3-5 bullet points.
Your “sales pitch” may look something like this.
“Good morning, John. I appreciate that you are a fast-mover and like to get things done. I see a need for _______. I have an idea that will solve that problem, while also bringing in $150,000 of new revenue. AND I’ve also done some calculating, to where it appears we could save 50% on the cost of production. Based on my experience with _______ project, I believe I could help you get these results.”
Nowhere in this conversation did you ask for a raise. You have simply offered a viable and beneficial solution to someone who values results.
You have not sold them on the idea of a raise, but you have likely sold them on the solution…which would then be delivered by you.
Sales is all about identifying the person’s style and needs.
One tells you HOW to communicate with them, and the other tells you WHAT to communicate.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.