I want to share one of my favourite quotes, by Andy Warhol. He said, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art”. But how do you make that money? There’s no two ways about it – you have to get out there and SELL.
And it’s not easy. Often we are the artist of our chosen craft – whether that be IT, law or logistics, NOT natural born sellers so the thought of braving up for the pitch can be a scary one.
But I have news for you – it doesn’t have to be.
Because sales are dead. Long live the trusted advisor.
Sure, you will still get the stereotypical suited and booted wide boy knocking on your door in a determined effort to win your business, but you can choose another way. It’s more about relationship building, finding out where your client needs a hand and then, and only then, offering a solution based on their needs. And as you are genuinely helping these people – helping them improve their lives or their businesses with your products – it really means you SHOULD be telling them about your services or products. You’d be doing them a disservice if you didn’t. Makes that whole concept of selling a whole lot more palatable, doesn’t it.
A traditional ‘sales person’ is all about me, myself and I and a ‘trusted advisor’ is all about you, we and your. A traditional sales person tells the clients all about their products, and an advisor asks where it’s hurting. A traditional sales person chases the revenue, whereas an advisor builds a relationship.
Our ‘sales’ methodology is unique. Our services are too, which helps. We ask a lot of questions, such as tell me about your business, what areas are hurting, what would improve your business. And then pose a few enablers – such as ‘and how would it be if you had a solution to that?’. We don’t pitch on the first date – we consult, find out and then go away to find the very best solution for our client, then revisit and open the account to start the business partnership.
Even our terminology is different – a traditional sales person would ‘close the sale’ which seems so negative – we ‘start relationships’, which a view to building future mutual success.
So have a think about how these principles can apply to you. And for everyone reading this who is thinking “This doesn‘t apply to me – I’m not in sales!” I have news for you. YES YOU ARE. Everyone in a business has the responsibility to bring in new business – from reception to MD. PLUS literally every relationship you have is effectively a sales pitch, every appraisal, every interview, every meeting of new friends – is a sales pitch, only you are the product. So think about using your mouth and ears in the proportion that we own them, think solutions not sales and see your relationships, both personal and in your business life, become exponentially more fruitful.