In my 13 years coaching many solo-preneurs, I have discovered that most are wonderful at their craft, but when it comes to selling themselves and their services - they struggle.
I believe it is because of the perspective that this culture has about sales that makes it so difficult. If you ask someone what is the first thought they have about salespeople, the response is sleazy or pushy. If you ask for further thoughts, most people will say that sales is only about making money.
For myself, I had the experience of working with these kinds of salespeople. I worked for startup companies in silicon valley for 10 years. At the end of the quarter, you had to make your number at all costs because there were numbers to report to Wall Street. If you did not make the number, you were at risk of losing your job. I watched people do things that truly fit the stereotype of salespeople, like pushing a vendor who had more supply than demand to purchase more and threaten them if they did not do so. It was because of this I wanted out of sales and wanted nothing to do with the field.
Yet, life keeps calling on me to share a different perspective of sales. With the help of Julie Gleeson, I have come to understand sales as a sacred conversation. It is about listening deeply to someone and see what it is that they really need and want, and being of service if you are capable.
I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of another human sitting down with you and truly being curious about who you are and what you may want. Intently listening and asking open ended questions that truly make you think and reflect. Questions that help you get really clear at what you really want and what you need. Questions that give you the feeling that someone truly cares about you. When listening to you, the person may or may not offer help or a suggestion, an offer or refer you to someone.
This to me this is a magnificent experience. It is one where someone is truly seen, heard and connected. There is not much better than this.
It is rewarding to watch someone see sales from this perspective. To watch them then be able to have conversations that they could never have before, be a greater contribution and then have money flow in.
If you know of someone who is magnificent with what they do and struggles to make sales, please send them my way. I would love to see if I can be of service and help them embody this perspective of sales.