I wanted to tackle a very high-level question.
One I have asked myself repeatedly over the years, trying to define precisely what I do.
Why I am loving Sales so much, despite the bad press about this profession (at least coming from France).
And why I am loving Sales and have been successful in it, despite my mother, who always told me I would not succeed in Sales (another learning lesson here, for another day).
A lot has been written about Sales.
I have been in Sales for all my working life and have read a lot about it.
There are Sales strategies, Sales methodologies, Sales tactics, Sales tools, Sales technologies, and much more.
But to understand these, to execute on them properly, I think it is important first to understand what Sales is about. The core of it.
So defining first what Sales is about, helps.
So, what is Sales, for me?
For me, Sales is creating value in the prospect’s mind and eyes.
This applies to whatever you’re selling, whether it’s a product, a service, a concept, or yourself.
Creating value in the prospect’s mind and eyes.
Sounds like a truism.
But it is not so evident, and certainly not so clear to everyone in Sales.
In most cases, value is not immediately perceived by the prospect, and creating this value is the challenge.
It’s a challenge because value is volatile: what you perceive now as valuable is only the case at this particular point in time.
It’s a challenge because value is highly personal: what is valuable to me in my mind and eyes might not be to you, even if we have a similar profile or role.
This is why simply “presenting” or “demoing” is not selling.
You might create value in the prospect’s mind and eyes by presenting or demoing, but it will be accidental.
It’ll be based on luck (saying the right thing, demoing the right feature out of a possible hundred, etc.).
A shot in the dark.
Value is what makes a buyer buy. If they don’t see the value, they will not buy. If they don’t see the value, pricing will be an issue.
This is why it is so important in Sales to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Try to see the world from her perspective. What makes her tick. What is she looking for. What would make her successful. What pain points she has that you can help solve. If you know that, you will be able to position your service/product/concept/yourself in a way that makes it valuable in her mind and eyes.
This is why it is so important to start a Sales process by asking LOTS of questions.
By having a conversation.
By actively listening.
By getting to know her. Her goals, pains, challenges.
By taking note of everything the prospect is saying, especially her company/industry/own specific lingo (the words and acronyms she is using) so you can use the same.
Get in her shoes. Understand what will be of value to her.
NEVER start with a sales pitch.
All of that will help you say and do what is needed to create value in your prospect’s mind and eyes.
Sales is like a game: it’s about finding what you need to say and do to get your prospect to see the value in what you are offering.
Creating value where none was to be seen at first.
It’s an exciting game.
What is Sales for you?