Marketing is great for generating the leads but it is the selling that actually closes the deal and puts money in your bank account.
Let me explain why I say this.
The Chartered Institute of Management defines Marketing as:
“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” — CIM definition
Note: there is no selling in this definition.
Sales requires an extra step to convert that interest/lead to a transaction.
I have met business owners and entrepreneurs who falsely believe that they can build business without somehow having to ask people to buy from them i.e. becoming sales people for their businesses. Some don’t even want to do any serious marketing but that’s an idea for another blog post. (Keep checking in :))
This is dangerous.
After all the strategy work, creating products, building operations and marketing have worked their magic, the last hurdle and test is to actually get people to buy it.
Thinking that you can grow your business without actively asking people to buy is pure denial.
Nothing happens without the sale.
Making the sale – transferring a service/product from one person or company to the other is the heartthrob of any business.
Without sales your business is not sustainable. It will need to shut its doors at some point. It’s just a matter of time.
The truth is, everybody is constantly selling something.
Convincing your friends, kids and partners to go for one activity instead of the other is done by selling the concept to them.
When does the resistance to selling kick in?
I think for most people, the resistance comes into the equation when they have to sell the idea for money! That is where the mental blocks kick in. Money? I don’t want to ask anybody for money!
This is the trend I see everyday, the people who see sales as something to avoid and resist the act of selling their products and services are ALL struggling.
On the contrary, those that see sales as a natural and necessary, even fun part of business are doing really well.
Fear of selling and rejection
Of course there maybe other elements factoring into their successes but this insight has led me to believe that for most people the “fear of selling” is going to be the thing that causes them to lose their business.
I grew up selling so I think I feel comfortable with the sales process. Having said that, there are some situations that make me uncomfortable too so I’m always learning how to bring my authentic self and trust into sales situations.
I believe selling is a skill that will help me inject cash into any situation I find myself. So, I’ve learnt and I’m still learning to enjoy the sales process. Its a very important skill.
It can be a thrilling experience if you train yourself to see it as such. For me its satisfying and gratifying to know that someone values something I’ve created so much that they are ready to put their hard earned money in my hands. I appreciate that and I want more. That is the only way that I can keep my door open and help more businesses.
The responsibility lies with you
You can’t really and truly outsource responsibility of selling your business completely to an employee or team who have no stake in your business beyond a salary and expect them to do what you, the owner would do.
You need to have employed saints for that to happen.
I don’t see any saints around. Do you?
Take responsibility of your sales process and you can create the change you want to see in your business.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Assign a responsible person, I suggest as the owner, you assume this role.
- Set sales targets and map that onto the level of activity needed to make those sales.
- Make it visual. You can use a white board, flip charts or other screens. There is nothing as power as seeing the activity and transactions on a week-by week, month-by-month basis.
- Use a CRM system (the complexity of this depends on the size of your business) to track exactly where the sales are coming from.
- Review monthly, and tweak until you have a process that work for you
- Start building a support team to help you achieve these goals.
I know you have great skills and have created a fantastic product and like sitting at the helm of an “empire” but I’m sorry to have to say that there’ll be no business to operate if you don’t get your hands dirty and take control of the sales process. Lets get real.
Sales doesn’t happen from the back office – unless you run a call centre.
You need to be our there interacting with people, talking to people and starting conversations.
Just remember this – The shame, embarrassment and rejection you run from by avoiding selling will be no comparism to the shame you’ll feel if and when it all goes pear shaped.
Continue to treat selling like an after thought. Something you fit in after all the other “seemingly important things have been crossed off the list and you’ll only have yourself to blame.
If you really want to increase your sales, then you need to go get it yourself!
Yes your team can help (if you have one) but you are still the chief sales person in your business.
Delegate don’t abdicate it.
Are you struggling to sell?
What strategies do you use to get past this block?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments area.