Why did they stop putting “salesperson” on a business card?
When I went from a Director of a medium sized company to a Director of business development for a much larger company, I thought I was responsible for being the visionary of the future of the company. I did not realize that business development was just a fancy way to say that I was the salesperson. My position was there to increase numbers, sales, clients, and make the company’s bottom line grow. That was basically all that was in the job description. There was also no mention of visions or making the world a better place….again just numbers.
Probably why I did not last long in corporate America.
So why have we stopped referring to people as “in sales”?
Well because sales is dead.
Nothing shuts down a conversation quicker than hearing “I’m in sales” or feeling like someone is selling to you. I had someone leave me a voicemail earlier this week that went like this “Hi, I was just calling to congratulate you on your new baby. I don’t think I saw on Facebook if it was a boy or a girl. Oh by the way if you know of anyone who is interested in my services please give me a call”.
First, anyone who spends 5 seconds on my Facebook page sees an overwhelming presence of my daughter’s photos and female references. Second, you used my 3 month old as an excuse to call and try to sell me?
There is clearly no relationship there.
I have also experienced times where I have posted online or announced at a social group that my senior dog is struggling and rather than sympathetic comments I hear “oh my product would take care of that”. I am not here to be sold to and it actually has the opposite effect on our relationship when you do that.
Alright, are you ready for the secret? The REAL truth? Lean in…ready?
SALES IS DEAD. NO ONE HAS EVER SOLD ANYTHING…EVER!
You can only have individuals choose to buy from you.
You are not capable of selling a product or service. What you are capable of is building a relationship so that when your client, prospect, friend, family member, or church member realizes that they are experiencing the pain points your product or service solves, YOU are the first person that comes to mind. That is how you end up with money, through someone BUYING not you SELLING.
So your job is to perfect that relationship with your client and your referral sources.
Do not expect to have exclusive relationships with your referral sources or your clients. Never make that assumption as it can cause you to become lazy. Expect to be competing when given a referral. The better you handle that relationship and referral, the more likely that you will have less competition the next time they refer you.
In summary, sales is beyond dead, buying is the only truth.
Buying only occurs from individuals we know, like and trust so a relationship must be formed. Relationships are earned not given so do not expect to have clients handed to you, work for this trust and relationship. This is how loyalty is formed. There are always other individuals peddling similar products, but YOU are the differentiator. What do you bring to the transaction that no one else can? That’s right, your relationship.
Now, close those sales projections, spreadsheets, and advertising opportunities and go out there and form some relationships.