Embracing Sales

As I almost always do, I closed yesterday’s post with a few questions. I write these questions so that, should you want to, you can start thinking about how you might apply any of the ideas that you believe might be useful to you and your business.

Yesterday’s post elicited a comment asking me to answer two of my own questions. As you might expect, I am game.

What does it mean to embrace sales and selling?

Embracing sales means that you accept sales as your legitimate profession, your trade, your craft, and you treat it as such. It means you stop looking down the road for something else, and you stop believing that sales and selling is something less than—or inferior to—other roles in business or other professions.

It means that you do all that the position requires. Embracing sales means understanding and acting on the idea that you create value for other people, and by doing so, you create value for your company and yourself. It also means understanding that the value creation comes before you claim any value. But creating value isn’t enough; embracing sales also means that you unabashedly and unashamedly ask for the commitments you need from your dream clients, commitments that open opportunities and move them from target to close. It also means you claim part of the value you create without any fear or loathing about doing so.

You embrace sales by falling in love with the arena, and by embracing the struggle. You mix it up and you compete where there can only be one winner and where there is no prize for second place.

It means that you work to study sales and selling, and you spend time thinking deeply about what it means to sell. You learn what it takes to be valuable to other people. You develop your business acumen so that you can ask the hard questions, questions that get to the heart of the matter.

You read books. You read magazines. You read blogs. You develop yourself as an effective salesperson.

Embracing sales means dropping your internal negative feelings about sales and selling and accept that the stereotypes around sales are long dead for all but a small minority of those who call themselves salespeople.

You stop referring to yourself as business development. You stop referring to yourself as a trusted advisor (something you strive for your clients to call you). You drop all of the other titles that you use because you aren’t yet brave enough or proud enough about what you do to call yourself a salesperson.

You start calling yourself a salesperson. You give the role the full embrace, instead of just dabbling around the edges.

Success in sales will not come unless and until you embrace the role.

What do you have to believe about sales and selling to be truly successful?

To be truly successful in sales and selling, you have to believe that you have the ability and the power to help other people to achieve more than they could without you.

You have to believe that it is your responsibility, when chosen, to own and manage the outcomes that you sold your dream client. You have to believe that your dream client is putting you on their management team to help them achieve that outcome.

You have to believe in what you sell. And, you have to believe that sales and selling is worth embracing.

Questions

You know what I think. What do you think it means to embrace sales? What do you think you have to believe about sales and selling to be truly successful?

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