Have you heard the old saying, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something?” It’s true, but for a lot of business owners and salespeople, getting more sales is a challenge. Why is that the case? A major reason for many of us is our Inner Game – the messages that we tell ourselves, consciously or subconscious, about selling.
I’ve found that when people consistently struggle to make sales, it’s often tied to their perception of what it takes to successful sell. Their inner message usually sounds something like this … to be a successful at selling, I must:
- Be overbearing and over-the-top
- Be unwilling to take no for an answer
- Be a fake, or worse
- Be a liar
That’s a powerfully negative message about selling! Can you image anyone saying to them themselves that “I am a pushy, two-faced, lying salesperson … and I feel great! Of course not, no one in their “right mind” would be cool seeing themselves like that. But false perceptions, like the ones listed above, are behind why many people sell less than they are capable of.
Signs that your inner message is tripping you up, include recoiling from and being reserved in selling situations. Feeling uneasy approaching prospects because you see it as intruding or bothering them. Or being passive in a sales engagement, by handing over the reins of your sales call to your prospect and following their lead because you’re concern that you will offend or scare them off if you try and sell them.
Confidence, is a big part of sales success. And if your inner message is negative, it will be twice as hard to succeed and motivate yourself. Interestingly, the brain doesn’t evaluate the correctness of your beliefs. In essences, it just finds information to reinforces your perceptions. That’s good. It means that if you’re open to a different perspective, you can change your beliefs and your actions – your behavior is driven by what you believe, either consciously or subconsciously.
The first step to changing your perception begins with reframing your idea of what it takes to successfully sell. When you change your perceptions, new behaviors follow close behind. But don’t worry, you don’t have to compromise who you are and what you stand for, nor do you have to be overbearing or over-the-top to sell. Closing business is more about having:
- A quiet confidence
- A relaxed tone
- A sense of curiosity, and
- A strong desire to help people
The fastest way that I’ve found to do this is by using the 180˚ Rule. The rule calls for doing and acting in the exact opposite way that you view the stereotypical pushy, cheesy salesperson acting.
If your negative perception of a salesperson is that they are overly talkative; then a 180˚of that would be to listen, ask questions and offer suggestions. If you hate fast talkers, then don’t be one. Slow down, be relaxed, speak calmly. Finally, if the idea of pressuring someone turns your stomach, then focus on being curious to understand and finding a good solution. The 180˚ Rule is the process for providing your brain with new information and experiences so that your perception and beliefs of what it takes to be a successful salesperson can change.
The reality is, to grow and succeed, you must sell something. If you will use the 180˚ Rule to do the opposite of the stereotypical salesperson, you’ll see that selling doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or underhanded. For the sake of your customers and your success, reorient your perspective of a what a successful salesperson is, otherwise your customers will miss out on what you could do for them and you’ll miss out on consistently making more sale and growing successfully. Start using the 180˚ Rule today. If you will, you see that your prospects actually welcome you, and selling will become enjoyable, as you discover that you don’t have to be salesy to sell.