Let go, start selling

sellingSelling isn’t a comfortable gear for most people to shift into. For a lucky few it comes naturally, but if you’re not a born salesperson, you probably find the whole idea of selling yourself, your ideas or your products unsettling.

Why is this? For some people, it comes from an inherent distrust of salespeople and the scenarios and types of persuasive messaging associated with them. We’ve all been in situations with salespeople on the phone, in person or online that have been uncomfortable or annoying. But equally, we have all been helped by salespeople that have encouraged us to buy great products that we genuinely wanted or needed – the difference is we probably didn’t think of them as salespeople.

Whether your job involves selling products or not, if you don’t adopt a sales mentality, you’ll struggle to get what you want in business, your career and your life. We all know people who seem to get everything they want more easily than everyone else – most often these people are just great at selling. Whether that means shifting more stock, securing promotions, or even getting to choose which restaurant you meet them at.

Start by changing the way you think about selling in general. Let go of any negative perceptions you may have about the ‘S’ word. Remember that the people who make you feel uncomfortable or pressurise you into making a poor decision are not selling – they are bullying. For me, selling isn’t about persuading people to doing something that isn’t right for them; it’s about making a robust and highly-personalised case for all of the genuine benefits the buyer will reap.

Ultimately, at the sharp end of any decision, the person in the hot seat needs to be clear on the reasons to act and have confidence in you and your proposition. There’s no room for uncertainty at the point of closure – so you must be ready and willing to persuade. It’s time to start selling.

Revolutionise: Change your conditions, attitudes and operation

Whatever your situation right now – in life, career or business – you probably want change of some kind. Whether it’s about a personal milestone you want to reach, a financial target you want to hit or even another place you’d physically rather be, there is probably a voice within you that calls for a shift from the present situation. For the most ambitious people, this desired change will be so big it amounts to a revolution of sorts.

revolutioniseWhen I think about revolution in the context of business, I think about massive, forced change for the better. I’m talking about conscious changes that dramatically improve the way things are done, the way customers respond to our products or services, the way people relate to our brand, or the way we think about our own business. Revolution, in general, is appealing. After all, who doesn’t want to supercharge performance, radically improve a process or identify fresh thinking to deal with a recurring problem?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, revolution is “a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, or operation.” So, what can you do to drive forward a fundamental shift in your current situation?

Conditions

We’re all “contained” to some extent by our present situation. These containers might be might be financial limitations, knowledge/expertise gaps, confidence issues or perhaps conservative leadership of the organisation – whatever the specific factors, these are the conditions that are helping to keep you in your current situation. It’s only when you have a good understanding of these conditions that you can think about the steps needed to change (or work around) them. You’ll find it difficult to drive forward any kind of meaningful change while you’re working within these containers.

Attitudes

Sir Winston Churchill famously said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” How are you and the people around you thinking about problems and opportunities (if they aren’t the same thing)? The attitude you adopt in any given situation is a choice – you also have more power to control the attitudes of the people around you than you think. Positivity, creativity and enthusiasm are contagious – maybe it’s your job to spread the bug. Can your team get to where you want to be with their current attitude? If not, work on changing it.

Operation

Sometimes it feels like the safest way to do things is the way they have always been done, but you can’t then expect the results to be any better. If you’re looking to make a big change in performance, you have to make a big change in what you’re doing or the way you’re doing it. Remember what Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” What action do you need to take to drive that change?

If you’re looking to radically improve any aspect of your current situation, remember that just one shift in gear in the right area is one step towards the outcome you want. So, what will be your first move?

by Dane Brookes
Author of Content Marketing Revolution and Director at Group Dane.