In business, nothing happens until something is sold. You can’t earn any money unless you sell. You can have the best product, solution, or service but until there is a value for value exchange, you have no business.
“Sales” is a word that has a very bad reputation. Many of us independent service professionals hate to sell. Many sales professionals hate to sell too. What a wonderful world we would live in if people just bought from us, and we didn’t have to sell.
A lot of time and money is invested in sales training, however, the numbers stay the same. You might see a spike right after the training but over time, the numbers settle back to normal.
Why is this? Was the trainer horrible? Incompetent? Did you just waste a tonne of money investing in your team?
Training is important, moreso, regular training is important and not just always new material. Repetition is central to the process because it takes more than just one time for us to learn, assimilate and apply consistently.
No one gets good at anything without repetition. Karate requires tremendous discipline. You’re just repeating moves over and over. The same is true for tennis or any sport for that matter. Yet when it comes to selling we don’t seem to apply the same seriousness and discipline to skill development. What needs to happen regardless of the training approach is to constantly teach the same information again and again until the skill is permanent.
There’s more though. Belief in yourself and belief in what you are selling. You may believe in your product or service but not believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself or your product or service and think you can fool potential clients – think again.
Believing that you can sell is important but it is a process. You must create deliberate, consistent actions repeatedly over time to defy your brain if you want to achieve results.
Understanding yourself helps you understand why you may not be going out there to sell, sell, sell.
Your desire to create different outcomes is not enough to sustain change. Your brain needs daily evidence that your goal is achievable and worth the effort. If not you will fabricate rationalisations for not changing, and instead of charging after your goal you will decrease its value and give yourself reasons to not pursue it at all.
We are all better at rationalising why we can’t achieve what we set out to than we are at setting whatever we are doing aside and taking action on our commitments.
My friend, master certified coach at the International Coach Federation, Dr Marcia Reynolds suggests that we enlist support to help us with our sales goals. “Asking for support can make you feel vulnerable,” she says, “but it is necessary to help you override the emotions that can trigger your brain to give up on your plans.”
Here are her three keys to transforming your choices into long lasting habits:
1. Use pictures and notes as a reminder of what you want to create.
2. Plan small shifts in behaviour so you can see early and consistent evidence that you can be successful.
3. Document the evidence of each positive step when you journal and talk about your progress.
It’s so easy to give up when you’re doing it on your own. Selling can be fun and yes, you can learn to love selling but only if you truly understand what you need to be your best self and sell from a place of authenticity.
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