This is Part 3 and the final part of a series of articles (and 9 Reasons) as to why professionals, experts and small businesses often hate to sell - and how to learn to love it for what it is - finding ways of being of service to others.
7. They Fail to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone.
I read an excellent quote once. It said that ‘comfort zones are wonderful places but nothing ever grows in them’.
It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone on your own. To take a risk, a chance to try something new or different. In fact, in spite of what many motivational speakers will tell us our psychology is fundamentally hard-wired against risk taking. That’s why many people prefer to stay in uncomfortable places rather than change.
Sigmund Freud once said that ‘people move away from pain and toward pleasure’ and that still holds true today. However if we don’t see more pleasure in making a change many of us will remain in a state of ineffectual discomfort. Even more, we demonstrate what is termed ‘recidivistic behaviour’ – we fall back into what’s comfortable when we face a daunting challenge – such as changing our behaviours – or learning to sell.
That is why I’ve spent over two decades coaching professionals to make a profound change in their sales or leadership objectives.
The value of a neutral third-party professional to help you clarify and articulate your professional goals, to provide the structure, the skills, the confidentiality, external perspective and the accountability is immense. Game changing.
If what you’re doing is not working. If it’s not enough. If it’s time to make a real change and face the challenge. Email me for a free and confidential chat at firstname.lastname@example.org
8. They Hate Networking.
I get it. It’s like selling. Only – it’s not. Networking is never about selling. We never show up at an event to sell our wares. Amateurs do that.
Here’s why. Nobody knows us and nobody cares about us and our services or products. Sorry, but it’s true. Plus I doubt very much that any of us have the ability to deliver the entire corporate marketing story in 8 seconds or less. Even if we did – nobody cares!
Networking is a daunting thing - especially for an introvert. Going into rooms full of people, having to talk to people, having to ‘sell’ yourself and your stuff, facing rejection. Awful.
Except it doesn’t have to be. Once you realise that networking is a strategy, a process (that can be learned) and that the purpose of showing up at an event is simple yet profound. Here it is. Networking for business or brand is successful when you have 1-3 people agree to meet you after the event for a coffee – even a virtual one.
If you do that, you’ve been uber successful. Why? Because now you’ve gotten three interested and qualified people willing to spend at least 20 minutes to speak with you about how you can be of service. Undivided, focused and valuable attention.
That’s gold. If you’d like to check out my 1-7 steps for networking video series on YouTube it starts here. Step 1: Always Have an Objective
9. They Hate ‘Small Talk’.
‘Small talk’ or the art of having a conversation with someone you have just met. Why can’t we just get to the business?
Well, we could – but then the relationship becomes only a transactional one – based on price or timing or something less than a highly perceived value – and those relationships will be replaced by AI.
Small talk is about building trust and rapport. More importantly is about building a High Trust relationship where we are not just liked and where some stuff gets shared with us but where we are considered to be a co-creator of solutions for our clients. Someone they hold nothing back from but actively engage with us so that together we can meet any one of the four ‘Principles of Value’ (see Reason 2).
Small talk is where we assess and are in turn assessed by others. This is where prospects and clients are checking our level of ‘perceived threat’ to them. Where ‘first impressions’ really do count when it comes to building a highly trusted relationship.
Actually, small talk is not really that challenging. You can even create a structure for it.
‘Tell me a little about yourself’, ‘tell me a little about your business’, ‘what did you do before you got here’, ‘what part of the world/city are you coming from’, ‘have you been on vacation/holiday’, ‘how did you like it’, ‘are you a Netflix fan’.
It’s not really that challenging. But here is the real secret to ‘small talk’. Let them do the talking – we do the asking. The more the prospect or the client talk about themselves – the more relaxed and comfortable they become with us. All we have to do is ask the right questions to engage the person – and sit back and listen.
That’s the strength of a High Trust Advisor. We bring the trust, the emotion, the feeling to the game. Why would we take the time to do that? Because any highly trusted advisor understand that feeling always wins over logic. Win their hearts and their minds will follow.
Selling is about building a high level of trust with another person, identifying and resolving their most pressing problems, monetising it and then doing for it the long term.
But even still I don’t train and coach professionals and business owners to be sales people. I train and coach them to be High Trust Advisors.