Every business has a sales team. If you work for a company doing something other than sales, be grateful to those people who are bringing in the money. If you’re a small business owner or a solo professional, the sales team is you, like it or not.
Funny how many of us don’t like it.
That’s why I want to share some of what I learned at David Neagle’s “Mindset for Maximum Prosperity” intensive over the weekend. Of course there was talk about sales. And about what gets in the way for so many people. Maybe for you.
For some folks, it’s a question of discipline. David said sales has to be a scheduled, calendared activity. And it has to happen every single day. If you’re not willing to do that? Go get a job.
Lot of people avoid sales conversations for fear of hearing “no.” Apparently the only solution is to get used to it. Because negative responses are just a fact of life in growing your business. Turns out every business on the planet gets more no’s than yesses. (No, it’s not just you.)
How we handle the no’s has much to do with our own internal needs. Someone who has a high need for approval or appreciation can be devastated every time a possible client says, “No thanks.” Every setback can cripple their sales effort.
You might label that a fear of rejection. We learned that fearing rejection comes from needing approval. And sometimes from a subconscious need for a particular person’s approval – usually someone who was influential in our early life. Dad, for instance.
A surprising number of full-grown adults are walking around with that deep, inner need to please Papa. Or maybe Mama. And they’re playing it out in their business by insisting that every sales conversation should have a positive outcome.
That’s wishing for the impossible. Someone who’s really selling will always run into more rejection than acceptance. Always. No matter what business they’re in.
The solution? We have to approve of ourselves. Appreciate ourselves. Respect ourselves. And stop looking for the affirmation from someone else. When I am my own authority, I can hear someone say “no” without being wounded. And without giving up on making the next call.
One reason speaking is such a good business-building strategy is that it draws in the people who are most likely to say “yes.” When you’re in front of an audience, some of them will be indifferent. But some will be attracted to your message or more likely your persona.
Are they guaranteed to become your clients or customers? No. (There’s that word.) But they are more likely than others to want more of you. They self-select for a follow-up conversation, your newsletter, maybe a social media connection. Something that keeps them in touch with you.
And the longer they’re in touch with you, the more likely they are to be receptive to an invitation from you. To enroll with you, buy from you, or refer you to someone who needs you.
That ongoing connection increases the odds of getting a “yes” instead of a “no.” If you haven’t yet made speaking part of your marketing mix, I encourage you to explore the possibilities now.
And if you’ve had success turning no’s into yeses, comment below to tell us about it.