If your job title includes “sales” “business development” “Corporate development” or any one of a number of different variations on the theme, you are expected, for a large part of your working hours, to be selling.
However, whatever role you fulfil within your business, chances are that sales will form some part of it. Every one of us has a responsibility to represent our respective businesses in a professional manner and a good part of that professional manner is in ensuring you position your business as being the best solution to your clients problems. You may not even realise it but, if you work in the accounts department, for example, you’ll be selling your businesses offering every time you speak to a client.
If you work in operations, the very fact that you’re helping to manage a team and, presumably have confidence in that team means that, whenever you’re speaking to a client – both internal and external, you’ll be doing some selling.
So, why are so many against the idea of sales? On linkedin, for example – the leading, if not only social media platform for business, we’re all looking to increase our connections, increase our exposure, promote ourselves and our businesses yet a huge cross section of people on there take real issue with connections contacting them to sell the services or products of their business, despite doing it themselves.
When cold calling, the vast majority of prospects you speak to don’t truly appreciate the introduction. There’s suspicion in abundance and, no matter how nicely you introduce yourself, no matter how pleasant and charismatic you may be over the phone, prospects always have a high level of suspicion on that first call. We’re all looking to make a buck, keep the economy going yet there’s a growing subculture of people who, whilst quite happy to have their own sales teams promoting their offering, don’t like the idea of anyone approaching them to sell them something.
Now I’ve always been a firm believer in repositioning yourself when engaging in the sales process – view it as an opportunity to match a solution to a problem rather than looking to talk someone into something they don’t want.
That will certainly help you and, in time, will hopefully make the sales process easier for all of us. We’re fact finders, facilitators, problem solvers, not pushy, aggressive, arrogant, money hungry vultures (well, some of us anyway)
Personally, whilst I don’t appreciate every sales call I get (most are terrible), I do try to give the person calling me some time to at least demonstrate what they’re offering because, you never know. Just because you’re “happy” with your current supplier or solution, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better option out there and, if the sales person approaching me comes at it from a perspective of looking to help me make improvements then I’ll be all the more likely to listen.
And if you need help with any aspects of sales and marketing for your business, do get in touch on 01384 566 078 – we love to talk!
Inspired Business Development Ltd