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Sales Gets a Bad Rap

When I ask business owners “Did you start your businesses so you could be in sales?” It’s not a surprise that most answer with a resounding "NO." Then they quickly find out that a good portion of their business day is focused on selling.

Along with the "yikes I'm in sales" reaction is an ingrained negative perception of “sales.” The ideas that come to mind are something like “salespeople pressure me into buying something I don’t want.” “Salespeople don’t stop talking." They don't listen and just want to sell me something.” “I hate being pitched.”

Sound familiar? Be honest haven’t you thought the same thing yourself.

Your first job as a salesperson is to change your often hidden, internal negative perceptions of salespeople.

These five powerful tools to stop you from giving sales a bad rap.

1. Ask more questions instead of telling your prospects what you think they need. By asking probing questions, you'll find a real pain. If there's no problem your product or service solves for this particular prospect, then gracefully move on to NEXT.

2. Listen to what your prospect is saying; just as importantly, listen for what is not being said. For example, is “I can’t afford it” really a matter of affordability or are there hidden objections? Your job as a professional is to uncover the underlying objection.

3. Develop a personal connection with what you're selling. Do you believe in its value and have personal confidence in its ability to solve the customer’s problem? If you don't believe in what you're selling, neither will your prospect.

4. Be a life-long student of sales, honing your skills constantly. Always be Learning! Sales is as much an inside job as external tactics. Do you have a fear of rejection running in the background? Do you have “confidence on the phone”? Have you been trashed by the last client? Learn from these past experiences and move forward.

5. Be self-aware of your own buying behavior. Are you a data collector, price shopper or a “think it over” person? If so, you may be attracting the same type of prospects to your business. Change your own buying patterns and be more decisive about how you make purchases?

Embrace sales as art and a skill set. It’s a noble and complex profession for the most highly paid people.

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