Do you see sales as a necessary evil in your business? Instead of shying away from it, you can become a master at sales and use that knowledge to grow your business.
Sharon wasn't a natural-born salesperson. In fact, she fell into sales accidentally. She was 22 when she discovered that the furniture interior design store she was working in got the most sales when she was on the floor. Finding out about a skill she didn't even consider was a peculiar realization for her. But soon enough, she was ready to engage in the sales process more. However, there were some significant obstacles to overcome.
Mainly, Sharon felt like she couldn't be herself when selling. She had a hard time keeping targets on her mind and pushing for more sales, which didn't work for her. The other obstacle was that Sharon couldn't make herself have conversations that didn't lead to a higher goal. All of these issues might stem from the same emotion that many accountants and bookkeepers feel at their core: they hate sales.
Sharon undoubtedly had some similar conflicting emotions about the process, but she found a way to resolve her problem. The solution was quite simple. Sharon became a sales expert.
It might sound like a jest, but it's the truth that applies to many fields of life. If you have an aversion towards an activity or straight out hate it, the best way to overcome that problem is to master the process. In this article, you'll learn about the specific aspects of the sales process and how you can follow in Sharon's footsteps and become a master at sales.
Five Key Aspects of the Sales Process
Aspect #1 - Having Conscious Competence
The main factor that Sharon stresses as the foundation of her growth in sales is conscious competence. In other words, it's becoming fully aware of what you're doing. Sharon understood that talking to people while selling required some steps that don't come naturally. However, she soon realized there was a formula to it. As a result, she became conscious of the necessary steps and started following them with great care.
Aspect #2 - Understanding People’s Unconscious Blocks
People, including yourself, all have unconscious blocks. These are the stories we tell ourselves that go to our unconscious competence - things that go on in the background. Digging into them can help you gain valuable insights into what motivates your customers. However, the vital realization comes when you start exploring your own unconscious blocks. At that point, sales stops being exclusively about business. It becomes about who you are. This is the first step towards realizing that sales can be an exciting and positive experience.
Aspect #3 - Facing Your Fears
Stepping into a new field requires courage, and courage can only exist when we fear something. Yet, the fear that some people feel when it comes to sales might not even be real. Sharon illustrates the illusion of fear by breaking the very word down to an acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real.
What does this mean? Most of the fear you might be feeling comes from projecting the things you worry about onto the sales process. Overcoming that feeling is as easy as stepping through that projection. The best way to do just that is by focusing on the results you're trying to get, not on the process happening around you.
Aspect #4 - Committing to Helping Others
Although people rarely think of it that way, sales is about helping people. You're offering valuable service to people who need it, and the sales process should ideally benefit both sides. Sometimes, there's a bias against salespeople - people believe that they act exclusively for selfish reasons. But when it comes to sales experts, this notion couldn't be further from the truth. That’s why the best way your business will benefit from sales is by acting in the customer's best interest. And the benefit is quite apparent: greater customer satisfaction leading to new business.
Viewing sales from this perspective could help you gain a more positive outlook and develop a greater enthusiasm about the process.
Aspect #5 - Knowing Your Value
Finally, how could you benefit your clients if there's nothing to offer? Understanding the value you have and how it's valuable to other people is a crucial aspect of sales. You'll need to believe in yourself and have confidence and conviction about what you can do. If you know your value, getting out there and making the sale becomes easy.
Sharon compares this with describing your favorite movie to a friend: there's a movie you really love and you believe your friend will love it, too. You have no problem talking about it and sharing all of the information, and you do it with passion and conviction. Adopting the same approach is precious in sales. If you honestly believe in the value you're providing, you can stand behind your words and make other people see things your way.
Learning to Love Sales Through Mastery
There's nothing better than the feeling of overcoming a significant obstacle. And for accountants and bookkeepers, sales might present just the right challenge. Whether we like it or not, sales is an essential part of the business. There's no running away from it. But even if you could run away, would you really choose that path of the least resistance? After all, Sharon transformed herself from someone who hated sales into an expert in that field. In doing so, she can now grow her business while helping other people without hindrance.
Do you want to do the same? There's no better way for you to take control over your business than to go all in and do your best to master the sales process. You might find that the most significant obstacle you've faced has turned into your most beneficial skill.
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