You Don't Have to Be Sales-y to Be Good at Sales

Your Sales Process Can Be The Most Rewarding Part of Your Business
Mindy Crary

Mindy Crary, MBA, CFP®, personal finance expert, author and CEO of Creative Money

For a lot of small business owners out there, “sales” is a four-letter word.

(OK, that’s actually five letters, but you get my drift.)

I think people have had a traumatic experience with a used car salesman, or they’ve seen the film Glengarry Glen Ross and imagine Alec Baldwin yelling “ABC! Always be closing!” at them.

COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS, PEOPLE.

That’s what people THINK sales is, and so they’re afraid of it.  They’re afraid of being pushy or aggressive, and they think, “If I have to be someone different than who I am to make my business work, to increase the sales, then I don’t even want to go there.”

…But it doesn’t have to be like that. If that’s your only point of reference, I can understand why you would rather not be a “salesperson” than to put yourself through that.

…sales doesn’t have to be hard or icky or pushy or anything you don’t want it to be.  In fact, your sales process can be one of the most rewarding parts of your business — and not just because you’re getting paid.

…But it doesn’t have to be like that. If that’s your only point of reference, I can understand why you would rather not be a “salesperson” than to put yourself through that.

But you don’t need to lose yourself, you don’t need to compromise yourself, and you don’t ever have to be pushy or aggressive to get the kinds of sales you want.

A business without sales… is a hobby.

But sales isn’t something you can ignore, either.  

It’s a hard truth for some people, but a business without any sales isn’t a business. It’s an expensive hobby.  

That’s where I see a lot of people get stuck.  They don’t know how to approach sales in a way that feels natural to them, so they quit before even trying… before they even really understand what it’s going to take to achieve more sales in their business.  

And that, to me, is tragic, because sales doesn’t have to be hard or icky or pushy or anything you don’t want it to be.  In fact, your sales process can be one of the most rewarding parts of your business — and not just because you’re getting paid.

It’s my party, and I’ll sell if I want to.

Developing your own sales strategy is about changing your own energy and mindset about it until it feels natural and even — dare I say it? — fun.

I want you to think of your business as this fantastic party that you’re holding, and because you want to have fun at the party, you invite the people who you enjoy spending time with to your party…

You don’t have to invite everybody to your party, but you also have to acknowledge that sometimes, maybe, some of the people who you invite to your party aren’t going to be able to make it. It might not be the right time for them, they might have other obligations. You might have a great relationship with somebody but they just can’t make your party.  You don’t take that personally.

Part of being open with yourself is accepting where you are and admitting to yourself first: “Yes, I want more clients and more money, and that’s a good thing.”  It’s not desperate to admit that.

Your attitude can be “Yes, I am having this awesome party. I want to be sure and invite everyone who I think might have fun at my party… but, if it’s not right for them, that’s okay too; it might not be the right time, we might not be the right match.”

It’s about not having any attachment to whether or not people show up to your party.

For this mentality, you do have to open yourself up more, and that can also be very scary. It’s scary to open yourself up and be what Martha Beck calls TAO, which stands for Transparent, Authentic, and Open.

Part of being open with yourself is accepting where you are and admitting to yourself first: “Yes, I want more clients and more money, and that’s a good thing.”  It’s not desperate to admit that.  It’s about being open about who you are and what you want… and inviting more people to your business party.  It doesn’t have to be pushy, but it does need to be genuine.

Creating a genuine invitation

When I talk about inviting people to your party, I feel like I have to mention Shenee Howard. She’s a marketing consultant, and when she started her business she put a call out on Facebook that said something like:

“Hey, everybody, I’m finally ready to do my own thing and start my own business and put myself out there in a different way. But before I get started, what I want to do is I want to make sure that if I’m going to be a marketing consultant that I’m actually offering things that really speak to people’s issues, it speaks to their pain, that also speaks to things that maybe they feel like they’re not getting from current marketing consultants who are out there. So what I am doing is the ‘100-person project,’ and my goal is to have conversations around marketing pain with 100 people. Obviously I don’t have any services yet, so this is pure research on my part.”

Your only goal is to invite enough people so you don’t look lame standing by the bar by yourself, and then get those invitees to make a decision — yes or no.

Being transparent about her process helped her get to conversations with 100 people. She would ask questions, and get to the heart of their pain points, and at the end of these conversations she would say, “Now in about 90 days I’m going to be putting out my marketing consultant shingle and starting to offer services based on these conversations I’m having. Would you be interested in me reaching out to you or circling back with you to see if one of these might be a fit for the pain things that we’ve discussed today?”

And of course everybody said, “Absolutely.”

So the very first day Shenee opened her doors as a marketing consultant, she already had 100 real prospects.

I love this story because, it’s about creating awareness. Shenee didn’t need 100 people to work with her on day 1, but she had generated enough traffic so that she could easily fill the spots she did need to fill. And she opened herself up to listening to the customer instead of having a preconceived notion about what she should be offering.

So, to sum up: Your only goal is to invite enough people so you don’t look lame standing by the bar by yourself, and then get those invitees to make a decision — yes or no.

And the way you do that is with a solid sales process, which is what I’ll be discussing in the next post.

Create Your Own Sales System

Want a sales process that feels good AND makes you good money? Get Mindy’s free book.

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ABOUT MINDY CRARY

If you want to work on your sales process, check out Mindy’s excellent (and FREE) ebook Create Your Own Sales System. Mindy Crary, MBA, CFP® is a QPS Strategist and a personal finance expert who helps both you AND your money succeed. From growing your wealth to the actual person behind it, Mindy bridges the gap between the energetic, spiritual and practical with a creative twist.

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