Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Event Selling the new season Sale

On Sales for Non Sales course many delegates at the beginning of the programme tell me that they " are not really in Sales". By the end of such a programme most have change their mind both about 'Selling' and the importance of their role in their business

The ‘S’ word ‘Selling’ especially in the UK,  holds a certain embarrassment  ; hence the proliferation of titles for Salesperson on business cards. e.g. Account manager, portfolio manager, 

Current poster in September 2015
 from Dorothy Perkins' window
As we enter the Autumn season ( today is the autumn equinox) I notice in my local High Street the word ‘Event’ is replacing ‘Sale’ in its shop window posters.

Many British people dislike the word “sales.”  The very thought of sales conjures up images of pushy door-to-door hawkers or less than scrupulous used car salespeople. There seems to be a common misconception that the action of “selling” implies coercion – trying to convince someone to buy or use a product, service or idea that they don’t really need.

The logic being   “ if they needed it, you wouldn’t really have to “sell” anything, right? “

 The truth about successful selling is that it is rooted in helping – relating needs with solutions.  In the professional services sector, however, such “helping” can be a far cry from how most perceive the dreaded “s” word.

Conventional and traditional professionals like lawyers and accountants do not want anything to do with selling – they want to believe that in-depth, specialised training precludes them from having to sell themselves or their work.  They want to focus on their area of expertise, be the best they can be in their field, and go home at the end of the day. 

Of course more and more of us are in the service selling business. We sell the benefits of what our offering does and means to the clients not merely the educational role of what our offer is. We sell the hole not the drill bit, the sizzle not the steak

So how does this relate to disliking the word “sales?”  In order for us to be successful in protecting and expanding existing client relationships and developing new ones, we need to re-engineer our sales mentality and redefine what selling actually means.

Instead of viewing “selling as telling,” we need to realise that a good salesperson talks less, and listens more?  What if the goal of selling wasn’t to force fit a solution, but rather to gain a clear understanding of the client’s need, so that we could help them find a solution – regardless of whether it was our service or not?

The reality behind successful sales is that if you help someone, you are selling – by giving them an insight of what it is like to work with you – and that is the best kind of “selling” there is.  In order to be successful in professional selling relationships, we need to demonstrate the belief that selling is helping.

 While  the feelings of fear and trepidation that surround “selling” for many,  others appreciate it can be done naturally and painlessly – and can be fun and enjoyable.

 So, let’s reintegrate “sales” into our daily professional language, and see if we can demonstrate “selling” as the respectable, value-added practise that it should be.

Re-badging the ‘S’ word is  fine- so long as we as professional salespeople do not delude ourselves or clients and deny we are selling by hiding behind a different word- which is a perfectly honourable and necessary activity

Maybe in the not too distant future we will see ‘Event enabler’ as another title on a business card of for a retail salesperson.

Good Eventing !
God selling !

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