Some facts are ugly. The fact that most people think is the ugliest is that you have to sell.
Fact 1 tells us that all businesses are sales businesses. Some sell to consumers. Some sell to other businesses. They all either make something that has a value, or they do something that has a value. Auto manufacturers make something that has a value. Certified Public Accountants (CPA's) do something that has a value. Everything in your house came from a manufacturer, a product provider. Your money is minded by a bank, a service provider. Your dentist provides both products and services.
You probably don't think of your dentist as a sales person, and the guy or gal that spent eight hours on the auto assembly line does not think of themselves as sales people. Everyone involved in the manufacture of a product, or the delivery of a service, is a part of the sales process. If they do not do a good job the quality of the product goes down. Customers stop buying and then no one is going to make any money.
Chances are that guy is on the assembly line because the thought of selling terrifies him. The idea of depending on sales for his paycheck is chilling. Yet it is a fact that his paycheck does depend on the quality of his work. The thought of selling terrifies most people — it even terrifies sales people.
It's The Thought That Counts
It's the thought that counts is usually said of gift giving. But it is equally applicable to selling. When people understand what selling is — EXACTLY — they know it is not selling that terrifies them. It is thinking about selling.
When people understand what selling is — EXACTLY — they know that they have been selling all their lives. They can see that everyone sells — all the time — and that it is impossible to lead a normal life without selling. Everyone sells, but professional sales people do it better.
Selling is a series of logical steps that lead the listener to a logical conclusion. By themselves none of the steps are the least bit scary. They are things we all do every day without even thinking about them. We will often go through the steps easily, naturally, in just a few sentences.
Here is the scary part! When you get too invested in getting a specific outcome it gets scary. The more you want a specific outcome the more terrifying it becomes. I'll bet you that the guys reading this can remember the hordes of butterflies in their stomachs when they thought about asking the girl of their dreams for that first date. And the ladies can remember theirs when they were deciding on the clothes that would make him want to ask her again.
Not many of us ever thought of that as being in one of the steps of a sales process, but that is exactly what was happening. And the fear was caused by being invested in a specific outcome. In nearly every interpersonal act in life we make unconscious calculations about what we are willing to do, or to give up, so another person will be agreeable to what we want them to do.
The reason that professional sales people do it better is because they learn how to do each step better. They take the time to learn how to craft their conversation to show how their product or service satisfies the needs of an individual buyer. They take the time to learn that not everyone will buy, and when they don't buy it is not a personal insult. They take the time to learn how to apply the steps in a way that succeeds often enough to earn them all that they want. That reduces the fear because no individual sale is too important. Simply staying in their process builds their success.
Everyone Sells. Professionals Do It Better.