So You Think You Can’t Sell

You are trying to get your kid to eat her vegetables. You are telling someone about the movie you saw last night. You are praising someone else’s work. You asked your friend for a favor. You are trying to convince yourself that today’s a good day to start your diet. What do these scenarios have in common?  You guessed it. You are actively trying to sell someone or something. ‘That’s not selling!’ you say? Then what the heck is selling? Well, technically speaking selling is a form of influence to reach a desired outcome. We are so used to describing selling as the used car salesman’s pitch but it’s more than that. It is also an essential life skill that goes back to the Stone Age and something that everybody does everyday all day. The reality is that some people are just better at it than others. And that sucks if you aren’t good at it.

What is the hardest sales pitch?  Selling YOU to YOU! It’s damn near impossible to sell, convince or influence yourself when the controlling voice in  your head slams the phone down on the sales call day after day. The common denominator to your success and failure is….YOU! If you constantly blast yourself with external, negative crap that doesn’t mean anything except what you make it mean (the I am not good enough, I can’t do this, it’s too hard…that crap) you will never close the deal with yourself. It comes down to choice; will you or will you not listen to that little voice that can stop you dead. So if you can’t sell YOU to YOU, then you will have an even harder time selling something to someone else.

Try this on for size; change the word sell to help. Instead of selling, you are helping. Zig Ziglar taught us:  “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Shifting your mindset from selling to helping will change your behavior and your sales results. Giving and helping activates the power of reciprocity.

The greatest competitive advantage to you and your business is the art of selling or helping. Master it! Blow it up! Milk it! Do it like your life depends on it! Selling is the #1 skill you need to have in your business and in your life. Sales = Income. 95% of businesses fail because the proprietor believes the product or service will sell itself. That’s craziness. That’s laziness. That’s failure in the making.

Picture the IBM sales person: why is it that you can have two people doing exactly the same business in the exact same environment with the exact same tools and one does better than the other?  Selling is a learned skill, not an innate way of being. The bottom line is this; if you aren’t good at sales, life will be more difficult for you. Period. So what do you do about it? Listen and learn and practice, practice, practice!

You do not need a fancy car or fancy shoes to be a sales person. You do not need a ‘sales force’ in your business. You don’t even need money or education to sell your business. The bottom line is this: If there is a cash flow problem in your business, then you don’t know how to, refuse to or think it is not important enough to know how to sell.

Here are more than 30 ways to be more successful at selling. Implement the easy ones first then tackle the rest one a time. There are a ton more tips, so create your own list.

•        Work hard on sales, but work harder on yourself

•        Dress like you don’t need the sale

•        You’ve got two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk

•        Change the word Selling to Helping

•        Change the way you think about selling vs. helping

•        Have a positive attitude

•        Be willing to learn

•        Don’t lie

•        Be prepared

•        Develop a team

•        Talk to anyone about your business

•        Write down all the people you know, whether you like them or not

•        Do not pre-qualify your list

•        Follow up

•        Don’t be shy

•        Fake it

•        Do not assume anything

•        Do it everyday

•        Read lots of good business books

•        Be coachable or teachable

•        Hold yourself personally accountable

•        Don’t make excuses

•        Don’t blame

•        Squash your fear of what others think or don’t think about you

•        Show gratitude for what you have

•        Barter

•        Ask for referrals

•        Ask for the sale

•        Stop thinking and start doing

•        Don’t quit

•        Hire a coach

•        Have positive affirmations that over ride your little voice

•        Invest in yourself

•        Be consistent, diligent and persistent

•        Never under estimate how big you really are

•        Be the person you know you can be.

The bottom line is this: Results cannot exceed your self-concept. People love to be right: If you think you can’t do it, you’re right, you won’t. Good luck with that!