You, Too, Can be a Salesperson
C.J. Hayden, MCC
I am not a sales and marketing guru. I've written two books
on marketing and taught thousands of people how to sell
themselves, but really, I don't know more about sales and
marketing than most of you.
What I know how to do is talk to people, all kinds of people
-- restaurant owners and waiters, CEO's and receptionists,
entrepreneurs and kindergarten teachers. I don't try to sell
these people anything; we just have a conversation. But
sales happen as a result.
In my book "Get Clients Now!" I define marketing as telling
people what you do over and over. That's part of the secret
right there. I've seen too many business owners fail because
they simply don't speak up about their business. Or else
they tell someone once what they do for a living, and then
think they never need to mention it again.
But there's another piece of the sales and marketing puzzle
that often gets left out. When you talk to someone about
your business, you need to be direct, authentic, and
unattached to the outcome.
Clients and students often ask me questions like, "What do I
say when I call Mr. Big to find out if he's ready to buy?"
They're shocked when they hear my answer: "Hello, Mr. Big,
have you decided to purchase our product?"
Or maybe the question is how to follow up with someone you
met at last night's event who expressed some interest in
your service. My suggestion is to say: "When we spoke last
night, you seemed interested in my services, and I'd like to
continue our conversation."
What do you do when you fear that the client doubts your
qualifications? How about: "You seem a bit unsure of my
qualifications to do the job, and I'd like to address that.
What are your concerns?"
These are all conversations. You ask a question; they
answer. They ask a question; you answer. It's like a
friendly tennis match -- all you have to do is keep the ball
in the air, and nothing is at stake.
But that's the catch, isn't it? You think there's a lot at
stake. What if you don't get the contract, the client, the
money? So you make the conversation overly significant, put
on your marketing face and your selling voice, speak someone
else's words... and the result is anything but direct and
What impact does this have on the person you're speaking
with? The opposite of a direct approach is an indirect one:
devious, underhanded, sneaky (check your thesaurus). The
opposite of authentic is inauthentic: phony, fraudulent,
insincere. Isn't this exactly what you have always been
afraid of -- sounding like a used car salesman or
telemarketer reading a script?
Scripts are for rehearsals. In a meeting or on the phone,
keep some talking points in front of you, but don't read.
Every word should be one you would use in normal
conversation -- use instead of utilize; fix instead of
rectify; help instead of facilitate. Get to the point
quickly, and tell the truth about it. "I'm just calling to
introduce myself," is not only an ineffective pproach, it's
Show a sincere interest in people by asking questions about
their goals and problems. When you see a place where your
business can help, don't hesitate to say so. Be respectful
of people's time and really listen to what they say. Respond
to what you heard instead of continuing to the next item on
your agenda. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn while
staying true to who you are.
But these are just tips for changing your behavior. The real
key is in your attitude. If you can recognize that being
indirect, inauthentic, or attached to the outcome is causing
you to lose sales instead of make them, you'll have a
powerful incentive to do things differently.
C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients NOW! Thousands of
business owners and salespeople have used her simple sales
and marketing system to double or triple their income. Get a
free copy of "Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You'll
Ever Need" at http://www.getclientsnow.com