Whether you’re “selling” ideas to your colleagues, “selling” a date night out with your spouse, or “selling” your kids on eating vegetables, we’re all salespeople. However, entrepreneurs often find themselves in the position of having to consciously and purposefully sell without planning for or anticipating it. It’s also common that these entrepreneurial accidental salepeople haven’t had any sales training.
Lara and I did our very first sales training last fall with Shelagh Cummins and the experience was thoroughly enlightening for both of us. Long-standing mindsets were challenged and changed through the process. But the most important thing we got out of it was the importance of making sales a high priority in our business. Not even just a high priority - it needs to occupy a significant chunk of our time. In a way, it already did…we just weren’t thinking about it that way.
A needs assessment call? That’s a sales opportunity. Thinking about a client or prospect? Another sales opportunity (hint: send an email or - even better - snail mail with something of value for them). Delivering your product or service to them? Yet another sales opportunity. Think of your sales process as an infinitely long hallway with an infinite number of doors that you just keep walking through. Doors will close on business that is won or lost, but you just move on to the next door. The better you are at sales, the more of those doors will close on a win. It’s not a game. It’s just making sure you’re meeting your clients’ needs.
Six months ago, my picture of a sales person was akin to the stereotypical used car salesman. However, I really want to help other business owners grow their business using this amazing medium we call “social media”. When I see the successes of my clients, it gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment at being part of them acheiving their goals. If I’m helping my client, that is sales and it’s giving me the fulfillment that I want in my own business.
That’s why we’re reading The Accidental Salesperson by Chris Lytle this month for #WWCBookClub. This book was recommended to us when we did our sales training with Shelagh Cummins. It also comes at a perfect time as I’m reinforcing all that I learned with Shelagh by going through The Sales Pilot with Lisa Larter right now. I’m curerently spending just as much time beefing up my sales skills and knowledge as I am beefing up my social media skills and knowledge. That can only be a good thing, right?
If you’re struggling with the idea of selling, I really urge you to join us this month. I’ve been reading this book for a few weeks now and it is excellent. There are also downloads on Chris Lytle’s site that are some of the most useful freebies I’ve ever downloaded from an author. (I’m in the process of preparing one to blow up and hang on my office wall.)
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have many AHA moments as you read the book. (I had a few “duh” moments too!) We’ll talk about those moments at our Twitter chat this month!
Get the book!
We always encourage looking at your local library first. However, when you’re in a time crunch, buying the book may be easier. This is one I’ll be re-reading regularly - I can already tell.
We’ll see you on May 29th for the Twitter chat!