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That annoying guy who’s trying to force you to buy something you can’t afford. Usually wears a fancy suit and tie to look trustworthy.
This definition sums up what most people think, but I don’t believe that’s correct. I believe everyone is a salesperson. Every day, you’ll have to go out and promote whatever you are doing – painting, accounting, teaching… you name it.
So, will we ever be able to say that the act of selling is officially dead? I believe not. However, a lot changed in the last few years and we can’t any longer look at the traditional role of sales.
Let’s take a look at some things that changed, shall we?
Marketing is your BFF
For too long marketing and sales were opponents. One wanted the romance, the other wanted the money. Well… Why not both?
Marketing will get you qualified leads. The best ones.
If your marketing team doesn’t suck (our rocks!), they will promote your company’s work and ethics. This will automatically bring to you people that appreciate what you do, and you won’t need to stalk them. These people are really interested in what you are doing and share the same vision you do. It’s the so-called inbound marketing.
Content is king. Context is queen.
Have you ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street? If not, you should. Their goal was to get people on phone and “ram Steve Madden’s stocks down their clients’ effing throat until they choke on it and buy”. Who really falls for that, nowadays? Do you?
In 1996 Bill Gates said “Content is king” and it still is 100% correct. I would add that “Context is queen”. With both, you have an amazing kingdom of opportunities. Ok, maybe I’m taking the analogy too far, but understanding who the client is and why he or she came to you is key. There’s no way you can offer value without context.
This one may hurt your feelings, but you should learn to say “no” to a sale. Sorry, but after qualifying the customer, you need to qualify yourself for that job.
If it’s not what you are really good at, give honest feedback and refer someone else who is capable of doing a good job.
The internet made the world much smaller and making a crappy job and getting negative feedback will poison your business really fast.
Saying “no” to a client today will bring you several “yeses” tomorrow.
Sales aren’t dead; they evolved. Being a people person has never been so relevant because your reputation will spread really fast. Technology brought us closer and we speak with business partners just like we do with friends: with context and honesty.
It’s not a matter of who screams louder. It’s a matter of who engages better.