Embracing Sales

A client of mine recently commented that he didn’t want an email going out to be “too salesy.”  Why not?  What is bad about being open with our clients and prospects that we want to sell them products or services they need?  Why hide that we are in business to help their business grow and prosper, and that our business grows and prospers in so doing?

When did sales become such a loaded word?

I have been in business all of my adult life, working up from an administrative assistant to product manager, VP marketing, business owner, and now a sales and business development consultant.  All of my career has been surrounded and often in support of, or in conjunction with, sales people.  Yet it was only in the last 5 years that I made the decision to truly master sales.  Prior to that, sales held no interest for me.  I didn’t want to be in that role. I didn’t think badly of them, and I also see I wasn’t bold enough to put myself on the line as they did.

Then I had an epiphany and realized mastering sales was the ticket to my freedom.  Being in corporate for much of my career, I saw first-hand how little stability there was.  At any moment, you could be let go or close to retirement when your 401K tanked.  It seemed the higher you rose, the larger the target was on your back.  Cynical, I suppose.  But, also true.

I am a firm believer that we all need to treat ourselves as brands, as individual entities and take control of our careers, whether we are currently employed by another or self-employed.  And mastering sales is one way to do that.

Why don’t people master sales?  Fear is big part of it – fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of not being good at it or seeming foolish in front of another, fear of being really good at it and feeling you are manipulating another (you could be, but not if you’re doing sales from a place of service).

Getting good at sales requires you to face your own demons, and conquer them.  There is a personal and professional freedom that comes from mastering sales.  You learn to like yourself.  You learn not to care what other people think (seriously).  And, you learn to actually enjoy helping others achieve their goals by your work together.

Think about it. What’s there to be afraid of?

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