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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The art of selling...

Selling: definition~ "The art of convincing someone to buy something they didn't know they needed." Jeff Marsh

This is the way I've been trained, and it makes a lot of sense. In many ways, "selling" is opposite of "transaction." Anyone can make a transaction. Not just anyone can "sell."

Transactions are easy to make. They don't take much effort. You go to get the customer something they already knew they wanted. No problem! They make their purchase, and goodbye! Pretty easy, right? Well, selling is altogether different. Selling, which is now becoming more and more uncommon, is a carefully orchestrated set of negotiations. It's asking a string of intelligent, thought provoking questions of your client. It's actually caring about making them happy by adding value. It's about suggesting something they didn't know could be a better choice for them. And it's really paying attention to them and their needs, not just wanting to take their money.

It's completely different than a transaction. A transaction is putting money in a cash register, or your company's bank. It's not about caring. It's not really anything more than the end of the line. And if you missed the most important part of the process, then you didn't really sell. You just took their money, and traded something for it. Yes, a transaction is essential for survival, but it's not anything more. It's not passion for business, and it's certainly not going to get you known in your field as a leader, or anything, really. If all you do is make transactions, then you're missing the point of being in sales.

Sales is about passion, and really selling what you believe in. It's a whole process, not just a transaction. It's real work, with an even bigger reward. It's pure love for what you do, and it's obvious to everyone when it's there! And when it's not.


When was the last time you came to work, and really felt like leaping for joy? Some of you might be reading this, and thinking I'm crazy. But seriously, answer the question, okay? When was the last time you really felt passionate about selling? When was the last time you felt like you were in your element, and everything was right with the world? If you can't remember when that was, then I'm sorry. You can't fake having passion for what you do. If you're not passionate about selling, then it's not the right profession for you. I've seen people get into sales, and they start off strong. They do great. In the beginning. Then they fall flat in their numbers. They can't make it. They lose their drive.

Why does this happen? Because they don't like selling. They may even be great salespeople, but they don't have a passion for selling, and they're not going to make it in sales because they simply don't love it! You have to love selling to stick with a sales career over the long term. There's just no other way... 

Attitude can make or break you

There are a couple very important things I've learned about having a positive attitude. First off, you can think your way to being happy. That's right! You can literally influence your own happiness! I've had someone tell me point blank that they were jealous of me because I'm happier than they are. And this was someone very close to me. That's funny, isn't it? I mean, I'm really no different than anyone else. I have a job, a home, family, a husband and child. I have struggles, just like everyone else. But I'm happy. And I see other people who might even have it easier than I do who are always complaining about this or that. They're unhappy. Why?

Because of them. Yes, you read correctly. Because of them, and their attitude toward things. They choose to look at the negative, rather than thinking of ways to help the situation they might be in. They choose to be complaining birds, rather than take responsibility for things that aren't working in their lives. They choose to accept mediocrity, instead of rescuing themselves, and pulling themselves out of their mental rut. And whose fault is that? It's theirs.

Sales is very much the same way. There are pitfalls, and there are moments of darkness. You might have a really bad month, and feel like you want to slap yourself silly. You might feel really upset about your numbers declining. But a winner is not going to get stuck complaining about the situation. They're going to get up, and take action to try to correct it! They're certainly not going to blame anyone else for their lack of performance, or let themselves sink into negativity. The price for that is too high, because...

A great client just walked through the door. And you don't want to let them down. So you make damn sure you get the corners of your mouth up, and approach them. And don't let them know, or even get the smallest inkling of what was happening before. Your numbers were down. So what? One of your favorite clients is here, and they need your help. So you help them to feel good about coming in to see you. Not only have you made them a happy customer, but now your numbers seem to go back up again. It's not just because of that one customer, but because you made the decision to take responsibility for your success. You made the decision to focus on growing your business through a difficult time, and you got through it. Three months later, your numbers are way up again. And all because of your understanding that when it got tough, you needed to work harder. You needed to sell!

It's all about service

By now, you've worked hard to create great relationships with your clients, and you've worked with them every step of the way to build value. When all is said and done, you've made sure to really sell! You've become an artist, and that has its own reward.

Thanks for stopping by...CC

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