When you have little to no time to find clients, you might find yourself hating the sales process.
In fact, you may have always hated sales. And that’s no wonder when it has such a bad reputation.
However, you CAN get over your hatred of sales, and it’s much easier than you might think.
I want you to do that, because research tells us that 60% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during their consideration stage.
That means you can’t ‘hate’ sales. Sorry.
Why do I hate sales so much?
Sales has long had a bad reputation, and we can largely attribute that to three assumptions:
- it’s seen as a high pressure career;
- it expects you to 'manipulate’ people; and
- it requires sleazy tactics to be effective.
Only one of the above is true - can you guess which one?
That’s right - it is without doubt a high pressure career choice. But it isn’t really any different in that respect to any other career; we’re all under pressure to do a great job, no matter our job title.
If sales feels like too much pressure, you’re either poorly supported by those above you or don’t have a solid grasp of the task in hand.
This is normal, as are the following reasons people will do all they can to avoid selling:
- they don’t want to appear sleazy; and
- they don’t like the idea of being rejected.
These are natural human traits, but there’s a simple solution to avoid your hatred of sales becoming all encompassing.
How do I get over my fear of sales?
It’s what you do BEFORE selling that makes selling easy.
Imagine if the army didn’t prepare before heading into battle. Every encounter with the enemy would be unexpected and they’d have no idea how to respond.
As a result, they’d panic and fight back ineffectually.
Sales isn't akin to fighting or war, but it really does lean on the 7 Ps of the military (Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance). That means you need to really know your onions before you have a conversation with a prospect.
It’s thought that only 13% of customers believe a salesperson understands their needs. How well do you know your customer, and how familiar are you with your products? The more comfortable you are with its features and benefits, and how it solves the prospects’ pain points, the more confident you’ll be talking about it.
That’s what sales is: talking enthusiastically about a product or service which you believe in. By spending time learning how it’ll make your customers’ lives better, you won’t even consider the ‘s’ word when you’re pitching.
What is the hardest part of sales?
I think this comes down to something I noted earlier: our fear of rejection.
We’re hard-wired to avoid rejection at all costs, be it in business or within our personal lives. And that’s because it’s horrible; no one wants to be the last person standing in line waiting to be picked for a five-a-side football team.
It’s part of our evolution, and all about remaining within a ‘pack'. We don’t want to be pushed out, which is exactly what it can feel like when a prospect says “thanks, but no thanks”.
Rejection usually arises when we’re being judged, and in sales, you’re most likely to be judged if the prospect feels like you're pushing them to do something against their will.
This is why pushy sales tactics don’t work! They’re only needed when the other person REALLY doesn’t want to be bothered with the product or service in question.
So, the first step is to stop thinking of selling as getting someone to ‘bend to your will’ against their own.
The importance of positioning
When you offer something your client wants, your job is no longer about selling; it’s to help them gain something for which they’ve already identified a need. You’re serving them, and helping them get where they want to be.
This is all about positioning and the way in which you build your offer. If we think back to those 7 Ps from the military world, you need to spend time understanding what your customers really want.
What can you offer which will make their life better? How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? Where are your best prospects likely to be found?
Focus your marketing efforts on the places in which those prospects reside, do your homework on the product, and you’ll no longer be fearful of the sales process.
Remember: sales is made far easier based on what you do BEFORE you start selling.