I had no experience in sales when I found myself, fresh out of school as the Technical Sales Manager at a software company. In my mind, I could sell anything and I had to do a few things to be successful at my new glorified position. Step one, buy myself a “Selling for Dummies” book and read it during the first week. Step two, get myself very familiar with this complicated software and just go nuts on solving examples to become proficient with software. After that, I will be on my way to becoming the best salesman at that company. But it all went downhill from there. The Selling for Dummies book was dumb. It was so outdated. I started hating the shit out of sales. Heck, I started hating myself. I felt I was annoying to other people. I questioned my ability to sell and the dream of becoming extremely successful started to fade away. All was the result of the stupid perception of what people think of the god-damned sale process. I realized I didn't care. I didn’t personally give a shit about this stupid software. I didn’t wanna be the best software salesman. I was not driven by cash and could care less.
Let me walk you through the thought process of a company’s typical god-damned sales process. First off all, let's blow some cash and place our ads all around. Maybe someone is interested in buying my product or service. The hope is for them to see the ad and if they happen to be looking for that product or service at the same exact moment of time, they will maybe take the time to contact us. But you know what, before I do that, I should contact a well known “advertising” company and pay 20 thousand dollars to build a temporary “campaign”. I will put that up and hope to god that it will bring more people in. Maybe I'll hire 2 sales people to pound 300 calls and maybe 5 per cent of those will “convert”. Now, the first contact is initiated. I will pretend that I give a shit about the person in front of me, AKA “the potential”. But before doing that, make sure you have done your research, plant a question and make it look like we have rapport so I can go ahead and close that first face to face meeting. Meeting time, gotta look good I have to look “professional” so I am gonna waste 1 hour of my time ironing my shit so I can make a “good first impression”. Walk in the meeting with an agenda and prepare that “sales presentation” and remember to walk in there with the sole goal of closing that sale. It doesn't matter what the “potential” wants, just go in there, put up the sales presentation and do all your best to make them wanna buy what you wanna sell. If you have an hour to meet with them, just spend 45 minutes of the time “pitching”. Awesome. Now that the pitch is done, go back to the office send a “follow up email”, tell them it was a pleasure to meet with them and that you look forward to their response. Now, the lead deserves to enter the world of CRM. Don’t forget to put a reminder. Keep following up. Keep calling. Stay positive and do not give up. “Sales cycles” take a long time. You just gotta be persistent. Think about that commission and all the bills you need to pay. What about that Mexico vacation. Just “close” that sale and you will be able get all those things.
All that miserable time spent to close a single sale or two. Hating your life and pretending to be someone you are not. Creating multiple versions of yourself to satisfy other people's needs. And for what, 10 god-damned percent. It pisses off how people do not see the inefficiencies in that process. The process is long, fake, the odds are stacked against you. People hate “sales people” to the extent that some companies are now calling their sales people something else. Why? Because it is done wrong! Let me give you my version of a sales process.
Go out there and meet new people. Put out free content with no restrictions to benefit exactly the people who need your product or service. Give as much information as you can. Share your knowledge. Show people that you know what the heck you’re talking about. Give them tips, tricks make them laugh. Let them come to you rather than try to reach out to them. Attend any relevant industry event. Only sell something that you are passionate about. People buy passion. People buy feelings. People buy experiences. If you want to influence people to invest in your offerings you gotta believe in it first. How can you influence people if you cannot even influence yourself? Don’t dare sell something to someone that doesn't need it, that’s a temporary way of thinking. Always provide value. Get to know the person the in front of you and identify what they need, throw away your sales presentation and bring your ears to the meeting. Start listening. Listen 90 percent of the time. Guide people through the process of investing in you and your product or service. Do not push them to buy, show them the benefits and guide them. If you cannot provide value, show them where they can go. Be honest, be yourself because that’s the best version of you. Make your clients your friends and make them fall in love with you. Retain them not for one sale or two, but for a lifetime. Do not give them any reason to leave you even if there is a cheaper product or service around.
That way life is better for everyone. At the end of the day, I know that my product or service is benefiting people. I am helping people, guiding them and not just annoyingly pushing my offerings. My offerings are creating more wealth and benefiting more people around me. All of a sudden, I am mentor. I am an expert. I am someone that helps people. Someone that people come to for advice. I am so passionate about what I do and I love it more than anything. I am more confident than ever and people see that in me. I know that I can change the world. I am successful and I am in progress to influencing the world.
Think about how you make your sales, divorce the story and throw your god-damned sales theory in the nearest trash can. Hell, just litter the damn thing. Maybe your competitor can pick it while your new sales process picks you up to a whole new dimension.
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