Are you one of those business owners who say they hate the idea of selling themselves and so you just won’t do it? Such a notion means you won’t be in business long. We’re going to miss you.
If you are past the faulty idea that selling is somehow tainted, you give yourself and your business a fighting chance. Salesmanship is not innate. The fable of the born salesman is an urban legend. Selling is a skill and as a skill it can be taught and it can be learned — even by you, the not-s0-natural salesman.
So the question is, what kind of selling are you going to learn?
Everybody’s Not Buying, So Why Sell To Everybody?
A popular method that is taught far and wide is ABC – Always Be Closing. Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross must know what he’s talking about because he says he drives a Cadillac Eldorado and wears a watch worth more than your car. But if we cycle back up to the first sentence of this article, almost none of us want to be that guy. I have good news: you don’t have to be. In fact, you shouldn’t be.
ABC is based on the incorrect premise that anyone might be your prospect. Folks, it’s just not true. Trying to sell everybody to see who will buy is an inefficient use of your limited time and a squandering of your precious reputation.
Would You Know A Perfect Prospect If It Bit You?
The only reason that you would fall into believing that everyone might be your prospect is if you don’t know how to recognize your prospect in the first place. It begins with determining, with certainty, who your prospects really are.
If you are presently lamenting, “But I don’t know who would be my perfect prospect,” consider this: you get to choose. That’s right, make a list of the perfect characteristics, the perfect circumstances, everything that would make them your dream client. Now go a step further. Give them a name, an age, a family and business circumstances. Make them flesh and blood.
Don’t fall into the lazy claim that everyone could use what you’ve got. Merely needing your offering is not nearly enough. Millions of people need exercise. Millions need to eat healthy. Millions more need to get adequate rest. So what? People do not buy what they need, they don’t even by what they want. They buy the products and services with which they are aligned.
So focus on a person. That’s right, one single individual who is aligned with what you offer. Don’t kid yourself about that alignment. Just because they could be aligned does not mean that they are aligned. You need evidence. That evidence might be that they are willing to be on a webinar or attend a seminar. It could be they call or email you with questions. There must be something more than just wishful thinking on your part.
When you create Bob, 43 years old, two kids in high school, drives a 2009 Nissan Altima, owns a nine-year-old dry cleaning shop, is 15 pounds overweight, dislikes strawberries, likes baseball but not basketball, now you have something. The more detail you have, the more clear you will be as to what about Bob really matters to you as a perfect prospect. From this you may extrapolate he is a business owner, a family man, and doesn’t believe he has enough time for the gym. You will uncover the characteristics that really matter to you.
Would The Perfect Prospect Want Anything To Do With The Likes Of You?
Have you every known an unmarried friend who just couldn’t seem to find the right woman? It seems strange because he’s got a long list of Must Haves and Must Not Haves, and he knows his list cold. The problem is he has never considered what a rich, kind, hockey loving supermodel who cooks better than his mother might want in a man. It doesn’t end there. Even if he had determined what that guy might be like, he surely hasn’t given the slightest thought as to how he might become that guy.
So do you only conduct half of this examination? Buyers are prospecting you too. Are you the perfect answer to their list? Can you be? If the answer is no, you need to reconsider either your market or your offering, or both. Chances are you have a little aligning work to do on your end. So do it first.
When you are the perfect answer to their perfect question, things get a lot simpler and a lot easier. You are not looking for sales, you are looking for your people. They are not yours in the sense of ownership but in the sense of community. You can dial in your radar to recognize them. You can hone your skills to reveal yourself to them. When that dawning of recognition comes over them, selling is no longer a burden or in any way unsavory. It is the business version of a budding romance. Such alliances often turn into friendships. There can develop a deep and lasting connection.
This Is An Expedition And You Are The Explorer
So get proactive. Don’t just look for your people to wander by your field of vision, head out into the jungle and find them. There are no points in business for passivity. When you encounter someone who is truly your people, don’t sell to them, show them that you are their people and they are yours. When they grasp the potential of your connection, no selling is necessary. You then only have to ask. Make sure you do ask though. It’s still your job to solidify the connection because it is you who are bringing together your people.
I give you permission to stop pitching your wares to the bored, to the closed, and to the just plain wrong people. This will free you time and awareness to find the right prospects — your people. Be good to your people, serve them, love them and you will find that more and more of your people arise for you.