I am a sales professional. That’s what I know and that’s all I’ve done for most of my life. My profession is that of a successful business coach. Yet I consider myself a sales professional applying my skills to the field of Business Coaching. There are sales skills that we all have. Some are natural, others are learned. AND, learning these skills and learning the art of selling is something that I believe anyone can do or easily improve upon. In fact if you think about it, everyone sells whether they want to admit it or not. It still surprises me when I hear people still turn up their nose or be fearful when I tell them they are sales people. “Oh I could never be a salesperson!” “I don’t want to be a salesperson!” If you’ve ever sold an idea to your kids or a teacher, you’ve sold something. If you’ve ever asked for a raise, you’ve sold something.
The ability to be a good salesperson is not as hard as most people make it. There are tons of books out there that discuss every phase and level of selling. Every strategy and nuance is covered. However, it’s hard to find something that really covers the basics. The “daily” elements and attitudes it takes to be a good salesperson. In fact, I believe that the hardest thing to master in order to become a great salesperson is simply the art of daily discipline to do the basics, day in day out. Renowned business development guru, Brian Tracy, defines discipline as “Doing what you need to do, When you need to do it, everyday, whether you want to or not!”
So, In this series of blogs, I hope to give you what I believe are the 18 Disciplines of Selling that you must master on a daily basis in order to be a consistent and highly compensated sales producer, whatever you are selling. But before we get into the Disciplines, there are some rules to this game.
Rule 1: A good friend and colleague of mine once said “When you wrestle with a gorilla, You don’t quit when YOU get tired….You quit when the GORILLA get’s tired.” The Zen Master of Minnesota
In other words, you must work very hard at whatever you’re doing and selling. You must develop a thick skin and a laser focus and let nothing get in your way! You must never give up!
Rule 2: Understand that THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO ANY PLACE WORTH GOING! Once you learn the foundational principles many people then disregard them and move on looking for a silver bullet. There are no silver bullets in selling. Learn the craft and do not leave the path.
Rule 3: If sales are the way that you choose to make a living, remember….
- If you’re not selling, you had better be in front of a customer or prospect
- If you’re not in front of a customer or prospect you had better be selling!
Driving, planning, meetings, thinking, eating and talking on the phone DO NOT COUNT! Only face to face and belly to belly with a customer or prospect counts in selling!
Selling happens in all phases of life:
- We must SELL a prospect on even talking with us
- We must SELL them on what we offer
- We must SELL them on the value of the offering
- We must SELL them on liking and trusting us
- We must SELL them on committing to us
- We must SELL them on the continuing and on-going value of our product or service
- We should ALWAYS be selling!
So let’s define selling. Selling is “the PROCESS of helping a person to conclude that your product or service is of greater value to them than the price you are asking for. Your prospect/customer MUST feel they will be better off as a result of the transaction that they would be without it. “
For your prospect/customer to buy, they MUST be convinces that your service is;
- The Best choice available, and
- There is no better choice for them to spend the equivalent amount of money
Selling is convincing your prospect or customer of this and getting them to commit.
Quite simply, if we don’t SELL, we DON’T have customers. Without customers we don’t have a business.
The elements of successful selling are not hard. Again the hardest part is having the discipline to apply them daily. The FOOTPRINTS OF SUCCESS have already been laid! We just need the discipline to do the basic elements of sales success every day. Simply put, It’s mastering the little stuff, that makes a successful sales person, no matter what you’re selling!
In our next installment Selling Disciplines #1 through #5.