When I enthusiastically share with people that I love sales, they usually look at me like I have said that I love to eat raw slugs. (This cannot be further from the truth. I generally prefer my slugs sautéed in a Cabernet reduction.) I find it curious that many business people have confided with me that they absolutely HATE sales. Indeed, the reactions I have heard have varied from utter disgust to disinterested denial. Yet, having a clear sales process and good sales skills are absolutely essential to any business’s success! Read this article for the shocking truth about how to overcome loathing and achieve awesome sales skills painlessly.
Why do we hate sales? Let me answer this question with a question. What are some words you commonly associate with “salesman?” For me, the word salesman brings up the following: sleazy, annoying, inauthentic, manipulative, sneaky, ulterior motive, and “Go away!” In my mind, the archetype for the sales professional is the used car salesman. (I suppose I need to check in with the political correctness police people, here. I am using the word “salesman” instead of “salesperson” as it feels like the negativity I have internalized around sales has its roots in early childhood television images. Salespeople were almost entirely men and almost entirely sleazy and manipulative. Sorry, boys.)
I remember when I first started cold calling for Keyence Corporation (a Japanese sensor manufacturer.) I would be very apologetic, “I am a pesky salesperson calling to see if I could send you some literature about our new fiber-optic sensor with 12-bit resolution and one-micron repeatability?” It actually worked quite well as I got the electrical engineer on the other end of the line laughing and broke through the barrier of our roles. I wanted to be a person, not a role. I especially did not want to be in a manipulative role that caused repulsion. This was one of the most significant discoveries of my sales career: I can do sales and still be a [click to continue…]