I absolutely abhor sales.

As a company owner, how many times have you heard the phrase “I love what I do but hate selling it?”

It appears to be a gut reaction to putting a value on something they care about and then having to ask for it.

For small businesses, “sales” is a relatively new concept. The term “sales” used to refer solely to persons who worked in the sales industry (one rarely met a saleswoman decades ago). Only products and not services were sold.

The job of a door-to-door salesman was one of the least coveted back then.

“Boys, I’m going to tell you something. Don’t inhale it near a living thing. When I own my own business, I won’t have to leave the house again.” William Loman from Death of a Salesman

Like many of us today, Willy Loman, the legendary character from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, aspired to establish his own business.

In the time since Willy dared to dream of owning his own firm, something else has happened. The word’sales’ has changed throughout time.

The process of a sale
In other words, it no longer implies ‘first give me the check, then I give you the thing.’” No longer an isolated event, the sales process has evolved into what can only be described as a marathon for business owners who must run every time a contract is closed.

For many people, it’s a process that includes identifying potential markets; networking; pursuing potential customers; building relationships; acquiring; proposing; negotiating; following-up and servicing; delivering; invoicing and finally receiving a check, often months after you’ve delivered the goods. So many people lose interest in what they used to like doing because of the endless cycle of change.

The exchange of money for goods and services.
When it comes to sales, the term “exchange of value” is more accurate.

To return to a more straightforward exchange of value, how can those of us who have a strong emotional reaction to the thought of selling? You can buy what I have to offer here. Yes, we are.

In my four decades in business, I’ve come full circle in this process. In the past, I worked as a graphic artist. People have called to inquire about my availability. Set square, rotring pen, and ruler helped me get the task done. Graphic design was the only thing I did all day at work. So, I got paid! The 70s were really a time when that truly happened.

The money was provided by those who paid. That was true back in the 1970s!

Sales became a part of our vocabulary somewhere in the next three decades. This simple approach has been supplanted by one that involves many more intricacies in terms of products, technology, and the sales process. The price was negotiable, but most people paid. An entirely new term was coined: scope or feature creep. To eliminate the process, we devised procedures. Selling, developing processes, and doing some marketing and graphic design were the main focuses of my job duties throughout time. As a result, I became a manager, overseeing others who were doing the same thing as I was.

I’ve been working on a new model for the next decade. Those who want to work with me, pay ahead, and receive significant value that profoundly affects their life. We don’t haggle on pricing since we know what we’re getting into up front. Now, I’m back to doing what I love and enjoying it.

To replace the term “sales” in my vocabulary, I’ve studied the following.

If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll constantly find yourself in the sales whirlpool. You’re a seasoned pro. You’re gifted and well-versed in your field. The job you’re doing is one you truly like. Why? Find out the reason behind this. Even in its earliest stages, it will make it very obvious to whom you are speaking. Passion and faith in the reason you do what you do will be a guiding light for your every action. Having this will offer you the ability to say no to tasks that you know you should not be undertaking.

Your life’s mission should be permanently imprinted on your brain so that it serves as a constant source of guidance and inspiration.

The Seo Way. When it comes to getting to know the individuals we know we can help, it’s not about spreading dread wherever it goes, but rather embracing this tremendous resource that we have at our fingertips. Totally different objective. No, it’s not about herding people in by the thousands as if it were a numbers game, but rather about carefully selecting those with whom she has a genuine connection.

a search for relevant keywords
Make headway in the field of keyword analysis. If you’re willing to go where they lead, these words and phrases may be priceless. Besides showing you where your employees are, they’ll also introduce you to the issues they’re facing and how you might help. They’ll show you who else is supporting them right now, and how successfully they’re doing it, in this last hour. They’ll introduce you to folks you can work with and connect with.

When you’re focused, you’ll be able to express your value. Whether you’re portraying yourself as an industry expert, your company, or a certain market segment, you’re on target. Whatever best serves your overall goal. In this case, blogging is a life-changer. Regardless of what you write, it always serves a purpose. I educate businesses how to build a devoted tribe that improves people’s lives, as an example. In spite of this, I’m writing a sales-related article. Really?

Authenticity, openness, and inclusivity are all qualities that contribute to building trust in a blog. The foundation of a strong relationship is trust.

Those of my fellow citizens
Is there anything that you can do to better understand your customers or clients?

In the beginning of a conversation, it’s push selling, according to someone who once explained it to me. As soon as you meet a new person, they resent the idea of you trying to handle their issues for them. As a result, it’s considered to be rude.

Before, when someone gave me a business card and said, “I’m not satisfied with my logo,” I’d start into a long monologue about the virtues of good branding, expecting what? They’d exclaim, “I need to hire you right away to fix my branding problem.” if they saw you. They didn’t do it very often. Surprise! Their underlying problem may have been that they were splitting up with their company partner, or they no longer wanted to manage a retail shop, or they were unsure which of their several offers they wanted to follow.

How could I have known? In the event that I had first inquired and then listened. That is, if they felt confident enough in me to come clean with me about their feelings.

Your workforce and its requirements
Take the time to thoroughly address any issues that may exist for the individual you can best assist. What will happen to them if that situation isn’t addressed? The longer this problem goes unsolved, the more serious it becomes for their future well-being. What are they in dire need of? How do you explain your motivations for doing what you do? Is it a good fit?

Your page-based offer
I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘the proposal,’ recently. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t help but think about the wasted time my spouse and I spent on proposals and worse, spec work.

At one time, we were non-profit organizations’ go-to people for yearly reports. We couldn’t do anything but our finest work when we were requested to submit a spec design for an annual report to a competition. Even though we were awarded the contract, it was a skewed system (about one out of three). Which two design firms didn’t do it, and for what reasons? We were left with a bitter taste in our mouths from the festivities. As a result, we mastered the art of saying no. It was an excellent choice.

Here’s the deal. Our portfolio and client testimonials were self-explanatory. Just believing in it was enough. You may expect the same from yours. Put your offer and the results on one page, if you dare.

One of the people I meet today may have met me through a presentation at a conference, blogging, or the different groups I belong to online and offline. The reason I do what I do is to meet the needs of others who can benefit from it. I inform them the fee when we meet or discuss. It’s done. We have two options: Either we continue forward, or we leave with our heads held high.

Is this all a marketing ploy? Sales are, after all, an exchange of value, right? As explained before, does it inflict the same kind of visceral reaction? No, not at all.

Let us know if you’re dissatisfied with sales and we’ll see if we can help you deconstruct it, rewrite it, and modify the game for you as well.