I have to admit it, I hated sales until today. Today, I had an a-ha moment and realised that the reason that I disliked sales is because I was looking at the skill from a one-dimensional perspective and observing the job in a very negative light.
Do not get me wrong, I do not believe that I have become an overnight sales lover or convert, but I have come to appreciate the benefits, reasons and purpose of sales.
What is sales for? Prior to today, in my opinion, sales was always about people trying to make as much money out of you as possible and that was it. However, it is much more than that. I realised that in fact, it is the part of the business building process, imperative for every Founder and CEO to focus on and get their head around for a successful business. It is the only tool that can help you replenish and maintain a healthy balance in your business – (bank balance). The truth of the matter is, if you are unable to generate sales, you are in no position to help those you are so proud to call your team or even your customers. Therefore, sales pays a central role in helping any business fulfill its life’s vision, mission and purpose.
So what was the sales realistion and mental shift? What was the a-ha moment?
Marketing is about education, sales is about notification.
Having worked in marketing for many years, the correlation between marketing and sales has always been on a surface level – obvious and self explanatory. However, the mental shift of my approach to sales came when I thought of it in relation to a wedding?
When a couple organises a wedding, they send out invitations, providing people with a date to reply and acknowledge their attendance. However, more often than not, people neglect to respond and the couple then have the task of phoning guests up to confirm attendance and numbers.
So, if the invitation is the MARKETING part of the equation, the follow up via phone, email … is the SALES.
1. THE EDUCATION: The wedding invitation, educates your guests about the event and also offers them the opportunity to RSVP and secure their space. (Marketing)
2. THE NOTIFICATION: The follow up, to let us know your intentions and your actions. (Sales)
I have spent many hours sweating about calling a client about our product and service, but now I know, 9 times out of 10, people just need a little nudge to give us the answer we need. (It does not mean it is the answer we want), but in receiving the answer, we know our next steps. Sometimes, that next step is more education and nurturing. We are good at that!
What to do next? Well the 1st thing is to educate yourself into realising the importance of sales to help you create the sustainable and ethical businesses your heart desires. So, read this a few more times and then go out there and create amazing businesses.
Oh my goodness, I just had another a-ha moment. I will have to share that with you next time.