A lot of salespeople suck.
When I think of shady salespeople I always think of that scene in Matilda where Danny Devito rolls back the odometer on a used car. It highlights how greasy, manipulative, and just plain wicked the sales game can be!
One of the biggest reasons that people steer clear of selling is they simply don't want to feel "sales-y. Many business owners fear that ugly feeling of forcing someone into a purchase that they're just not comfortable with.
Honestly, though, who can blame them?
When the first thought you have about salespeople is so twisted, you'll do anything to avoid being like that. Still, sales are the foundation of a good business and when you have the right sales process, you can easily connect with clients in an effective and meaningful way.
Why Are Sales So Important?
A business needs money to function.
Cash is like the oxygen that we breathe - we can't survive without it! If the money stops flowing into a business, it'll eventually collapse in on itself because the business will no longer be able to afford to pay any of its expenses. Selling a product or service generates money, allowing you to pay for your business expenses, your employees, and for the owners to receive a profit.
Selling is the foundation of your company. It's the starting point for every single business in the world. If you're not effective at selling what your business is offering, you're simply not effective at generating cash. Businesses rise and fall because they simply fail to prioritize selling.
What's the Right Way to Sell a Service?
Many entrepreneurs feel terrified when it comes to sales in general because it feels unnatural to them. This is especially true in service-based businesses! A lot of founders simply take a passive approach to incoming inquiries about what their company offers.
In an ideal world, you'd be providing a service to customers that can truly benefit from what you're offering; someone who really needs your help!
At its core, this is the sales process: uncovering the problem that your prospective customer has and helping to evaluate if your service is a good way to solve it. That means that not every customer is going to be a good fit for your business and it's your responsibility as the salesperson to help them decide.
See, this means that there's a huge responsibility that comes along with being a salesperson. It's a responsibility that many don't realize until it's too late! Your responsibility is to ensure that your prospective customer is truly going to be helped. Is their problem going to be improved? Great, then you just have to communicate how. Is their life going to get better once they start working with you? Perfect, tell them in what ways.
When viewing the responsibility of a salesperson as ultimately being as helpful as possible in solving a problem, the sales process becomes way less intimidating. Instead of feeling like a greasy, opportunistic person, you become a guide to your customer. The most well-equipped provider-of-solutions they could be working with!
This approach helps to transition from a passive view of selling to an active one. If you're simply viewing sales as a necessary evil, you're going to resent every call that you hop on! However, if you're actively trying to help people solve problems that are impacting their lives, it becomes easier to seek out opportunities to help. You become more engaged with solving this problem that's plaguing the people around you. You'll no longer let sales take a backseat in your business; instead, it's front and center! It's a foundational priority that ensures that you can help as many people as possible.