“Before we discuss whether we’re all in sales,” I asked at a recent workshop, “someone tell me what selling is?”
“Getting people to buy what you’re offering,” one attendee answered.
“Manipulating them into doing what you want them to do,” volunteered another.
“Twisting their words around so they feel like they’re foolish if they don’t use your services,” proclaimed another.
After hearing a few more manipulative descriptions like these, I asked them to try on this definition:
Selling is asking appropriate questions so that the prospects or clients see for themselves that they need what you offer.
The room was suddenly quiet. So I asked six questions:
1. “Do you ask questions?”
2. “Do you listen carefully to the answers–maybe even write them down and think about them?”
3. “Do those questions lead to more questions?”
4. “Do you make recommendations?”
5. “Do you give examples of how what you do might work?”
6. “Do they conclude for themselves that they need your services?”
Observing that virtually all of them had been nodding their heads in the affirmative after every question, I proclaimed: “Then, you are all selling. But the best way to sell is not to sell at all, but to counsel and advise, and most of you are doing that. Now, I want to talk to you about doing it on purpose.”
Maybe you want more clients or better clients, but you’re one of those advisors who views selling as something the guy in the plaid jacket and bad hairpiece does. You picture him with a big smile on the used car lot, telling fibs about the history of the clunker he’s trying to sell you. If this is you, then the first thing you need to do is to change your paradigm.
If you have any clients at all, you’ve been selling. If you start observing carefully what you do right and then duplicate it, you’ll get more and better clients.
Set up a time to talk with me about how I can help you sell your services on purpose. And, in the meantime, keep