What do you think of when you hear the words selling, sales, or sales person? Do you first think something bad? Do you try to avoid it? Or do you picture a poor person in Asia who needs to make a living trying to sell you something you don’t want or need while you’re eating dinner?
What if I told you, as someone did to me today, that “everyone makes a living by selling something”?
It took some time for me to realize how deep this statement is.
Sue Barrett of Barrett is an expert in sales, among many other things.
Today at a Women’s Network Australia lunch, she was the guest speaker.
Her business slogan is “Everyone makes a living by selling something.”
When I first saw it on the screen behind the lectern, it or my eyes moved away from it.
So, the thought of selling makes me nervous.
But when Sue was done talking, I reread it and found that it meant something completely different.
The idea of a fair trade and value It looks like I sell.
I’m actually selling right now.
Putting together this post, sending it to you, sharing it on social media, and making comments on forums. All of those things are about selling.
I thought I was making connections, building trust, earning the right to talk, listening, and giving you something valuable in exchange for the chance to help you.
So far as I could tell from what Sue said, that is selling.
She started by saying that more has changed in the last ten years than in the last hundred.
She said that in the next 100 years, as many changes would happen as in the last 1,000.
She came up with the idea that we make as many decisions in one day as someone in the 1400s might make in their whole life.
The way we live our lives has become more complicated.
So it makes sense that the services we offer in our business are no longer easy. Just before the presentation, I was talking about how you can use a blog to both tell and teach your community about how you can help over time. Few businesses can do that successfully with the old DL flyer, which used to be a good choice.
Sue went on to talk about how selling has changed since World War II ended.
Then you made products and talked to your customer one-on-one.
In later decades, product features and then their benefits became more important, but now we’re “at the center of a conversation where you exchange something of value.”
She said that what they are buying today is your skills, your experience, and your ability to help them with a service.
“We don’t just sell with our heads anymore, she said. “We sell with our hearts.”
It was very interesting to hear her talk about what buyers do today.
She said that buyers are actually planning their buying journey before they come to you. They checked out what you had to offer on social media.
She asked, “Given this, how are you handling your message?”
How do your vision and mission make a big difference in their lives?
How to Sell: The Good and Bad
It was a networking lunch for women, but men were welcome. Of the 70 people there, only one was a man.
Still, Sue was not trying to please her audience when she said that women make great salespeople.
She said that the top performers she had talked to who were women all had the same qualities: they were good at self-evaluation, self-aware, open to self-reflection, good at coordinating resources, able to help clients do their best work, good at getting customers and suppliers to work together, and able to consultatively solve problems.
She said that getting a balance between all of that and the more masculine way of “getting out there” is the key to selling well.
Lastly, she told us what a client might want from us: to deal with a professional, to expect to be helped, to have business sense, and to show conceptual thinking.
In a past business life, we used tools to measure how engaged a team was.
One of them was a monitor of trust.
It meant putting your interactions with other people and their interactions with you on a scale from 0 to 10 based on how transparent, inclusive, competent, and real they were.
Sue talked about how important it is to listen to all of your stakeholders, including customers, employers, investors, suppliers, prospects, and influencers. She went on to say that you have to be real and connect with people on a whole-person level. How you would compare your interactions with other people to the trust monitor’s values.
Before I had this realization, I didn’t think that selling was all about building trust, understanding, and empathy the way it is today.