Let’s get real about sales. For over 16 years, I’ve been selling myself on a big level. Selling is the name of the game in business. We sell ourselves. People don’t buy products or join companies; they buy into people. Your business is about YOU and your PERSONAL BRAND. To succeed, we must sell: first, ourselves, and next, our products. Success requires a great product.
Ladies, hear me: you need to sell yourself in the workplace --- from the job interview through every promotion. Seventy-five percent of the time, you are selling YOU. People buy into YOU.
Selling takes courage. The way you build courage is to develop your skills. To start, confidence matters most. If you feel nervous or scared, you have a confidence problem. Confidence comes first.
How do you build confidence? Here’s a few tips:
1. Knowledge. We’ve all heard that knowledge is power. What you know in terms of your industry, products, benefits, competitors, price point, and the market defines your confidence. Be a student of your profession every day. Realize this: you are afraid of what you don’t know. So, learn it!
2. Presentation. How do you present yourself? I’m not talking about the best shoes. Who ARE you? Are you friendly, outgoing, helpful, engaging, curious? Are you listening? Ask yourself: what is my personal brand? If you can’t answer that question, you have a problem. Define your brand! Be authentic. Be yourself. Don’t apologize for who you are. That authenticity is confidence.
3. Practice. Honing your skills is non-negotiable. Every day, over and over, you must master the fundamentals. Write out your pitch; make it compelling and unique. Craft it, read it, recite it, and practice it in front of a mirror. Your pitch should be no more than five bullet points and no more than five words. Facts tell, stories SELL. Be the best teller of your story.
If you truly believe in yourself, your company, and your product, then selling is not scary. Ask yourself: Does my company add value? Do my products add value? Do I add value? If you answer NO to any of those questions, STOP and go find the right fit. You must CARE about what you’re offering.
Do not bother yourself with what your mom, brother, or friends think --- their opinions do not matter. Success in sales is NOT about feelings; it’s about facts. You cannot care what other people think of you, period. Don’t tell me this is hard. Remove the emotion. You’ll stand in your own way if you place more value on others’ opinions than you do on your value proposition.
Let’s talk about why people hate sales. This phrase grinds my gears. GET OVER IT. You are in business to make money. If you aren’t, then why are you in business? If you aren’t selling, you aren’t in business. I built two successful businesses in 16 years; both businesses revolved around sales. I built both to feed my family.
Sales is a numbers game based on relationships --- the more people who know you and your product, the more sales you will make. What if you committed to sharing yourself and your business with 10 people a day?
I’ll end with these powerful numbers from Bill Gates’ story:
There is no secret; I just showed my plan to 1,200 people. 900 said no and 300 listened to me. Of those 300, only 85 did something, but only 35 were serious. Of those 35, only 11 made me a billionaire.
You know how to get the sale and make it happen. It is ALL up to you.