Sales Person Or Sales Professional?

What is your sales philosophy?  I was talking with Ken, a friend and business associate, yesterday and we had a conversation about the difference between a sales person and a sales professional.  On the surface you may think there is no difference, but the difference is in their philosophy.

A philosophy is a system of beliefs, values, and tenets.  Everyone has a belief system even if you have not taken the time to think about what it is for you.  When it comes to selling, the sales professional’s approach to the marketplace is to assist their prospects to buy versus to sell them something.

What does it mean to assist to buy?  Pretty much everyone has heard the old saying “people hate to be sold, but they love to buy.”  When we think of someone being “sold” something our first thought is they were manipulated or conned into doing something they did not want to do.

A sales professional never cons someone into buying something they don’t need or that  is not in their best interest.   The sales professional does not make a recommendation because it pays the highest commission or helps them win the sales contest.

Conversely, the sales professional provides solutions to their prospects and provides value that helps their prospects achieve the goals that are important to them.  In so doing, the sales professional creates an opportunity to not only service the one prospect, but to obtain referrals to other prospects as well.

The sales professional understands that the long term benefit is in creating value for their prospects.   Having the mindset of putting the prospect’s needs first establishes a foundation for a long term, mutually beneficial relationship that will yield a huge return.

It could be easy to be shortsighted and try to manipulate someone into buying something.   But, in the long run you actually make it harder on yourself when you do that.

The personal benefits of having the sales professional philosophy versus the sales person philosophy are huge.  When I was talking with Ken he mentioned that the sales professional is creating a lifestyle while the sales person is just making money.  The ironic thing is the sales professional out earns the sales person while creating this lifestyle.

The question now for you is: what about your sales philosophy?  Why not write down what your beliefs and values are about the way you sell.  If you are a business owner or sales manager, what is your company’s sales philosophy?  Take the time to examine your sales philosophy and see if it is leading you in the direction you want to go.  Are you a sales person or a sales professional?

Happy Selling

How Fear Keeps You From Success In Sales

What do you fear?   The answer to that question will be different for almost everyone you speak to.  The irony is that we all have fears that are so different.  Yet when we were born, we only had two fears.

Everyone is born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  Every fear we have now beyond the two original fears was developed.  A more relevant question we can ask sales professionals and service providers is what fears may be limiting your success in sales?

I was talking with a sales professional not long ago and he was telling me about how he would like to be able to close better.  I asked him what did he mean and he said he is sometimes weak on closing and even forgets to ask for the business.

I told him he was not weak in closing, but rather had a fear of closing.

Fear is nothing more that our brains telling us of a future outcome that we are freighted of or have an anxiety about.  What completes fear is we believe what our brain is telling us about the future is true.

An Acronym for FEAR

F – false

E – expectations

A – appearing

R – real

Consider that fear is something imaginary that we make into a real thing.

How can fear stand in the way of our sales success?

The most detrimental fear for sales professionals and service providers is fear of rejection.  The fear of rejection is what has sales professionals not take action when action is needed.

For example, you need to approach a prospect about your product or service.  Instead you put it off until tomorrow telling yourself the “timing was not right today.”  When tomorrow comes you put it off again and make another excuse or use the same one from yesterday.  Your inactivity is caused by fear.  The fear keeps you from making the contact you need to make.

The same fear factor can keep you inactive on other matters too.  You are afraid to ask the tough questions such as: “are you ready to get started?”

There is no magic cure for fear of rejection. It takes a conscious effort to replace the fear with courage.

The opposite of fear is courage.  There can be no courage without fear.  Courage is when you take action when you are afraid.  There is no courage if you take action and you are not afraid.

You can develop courage by changing your attitudes.  You have to have the attitude that the products and services you have make a difference for people.  In fact, you have to have the attitude that if you don’t take action you are doing a disservice to your prospect.

When you truly wrap your brain around the fact that fear is you being afraid of an outcome that you are not certain is going to happen, you will be more likely to act courageously.   Just remember, you don’t know how your prospect is going to react.  Take the situation where you are afraid to call.  If you call, your prospect could say an enthusiastically “I’m so glad you called!”  They could also say a nasty “Don’t call me anymore.”

When you think about it, you win either way.  If your prospect says the later, you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them anymore.  Isn’t that great!

The bottom line is to be aware that we all have fear.  Put the fear into the proper perspective.  Take action in the face of fear.

What Are You Going To Achieve In 2010?

For a lot of people this is the first workday of the new year and decade.  As the new year starts a good question to ask is where do I wan to be at the end of the year?  Steven Covey in his 7 habits of highly effective people says begin with the end in mind.  Having the ability to get what you want starts with knowing what you want.  Winning the sales game and developing winning posture also begins with goal setting.  So then, as the new year begins, take the time to develop a clear picture of what you want to achieve this year. 2010goals

Setting goals is not something that comes naturally for a lot of people.  It is a skill that has to be developed.  Setting goals requires that you first decide what you want and express it in a statement that is specific and measurable.

Goal setting should not only encompass your professional life, but also your personal life too.  Set goals for your family, social, physical, mental, and spiritual areas of your life.  You’ll find that setting goals in all of the areas of life that are important to you will give you a new outlook and purpose for being.

Once you have decided the areas where you want to set goals, then decide what you want to do, have, or be in those areas.  For example, if you are setting your sales goals, you could have a gross sales volume, number of new accounts sold, or commissions goal.  Whatever is important for you to measure set a goal around it.  Give some serious thought to the goal.  Make sure it is a goal that is important to you and that you want to achieve it.

Be sure to write your goals down.  This is important so that you don’t forget or get confused about what you want to accomplish.  Once you have written them down, put them in a place or several places where you can see them each day.  Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind leads you to do activities that will take you closer to your goals.

Goal setting is beneficial in so many ways.  You probably have heard this before.  The big question is will you take action?  Taking action is what really makes the difference.  If you keep putting off setting your goals you will find another month has gone by and nothing has happened.  Successful people set goals and take action on the goals they set.  Get started now to achieving what you want in 2010 by writing your goals down.  Do it today!  After all 1% of the year has already gone by!