Whether you’re speaking at an event, filling a new program, or just trying to make some money – no business can survive without sales. The number one reason most businesses fail is not because of a lack of marketing, bad customer service, or bad reviews – it’s because of a lack of consistent sales.
Why sales is important to every business
Business is like a baby – sales is the milk.
An unfed baby cannot grow, no matter how much other love you give it. Not engaging in sales is like not feeding your newborn.
There are so many misunderstandings about sales in the marketplace.
Selling does not make you salesy. Here’s are some things that do.
- Not listening – people know when you’re just waiting to talk and not really getting what they’re saying.
- Being Pushy – listen when people say no or not now. It’s fine to follow up with people when they are ready.
- Being Inappropriate – relationships are the basis of all sales. Making the ‘ask’ before establishing or reestablishing the relationship will have you seem salesy.
It’s hard to sell.
Selling can be hard for people, but only when they don’t do it regularly.
We happen to live in a time when everyone is selling everything and a lot of what’s being sold in any marketplace is poor quality and can’t be trusted. We’ve also been acculturated that salespeople cannot be trusted. So, of course we’re apprehensive about being perceived like the type of people we’ve been trained to avoid.
However, selling is not only normal, but necessary. And, no matter how much you try to avoid it or minimize it, we’re engaged in it every single day. Just about every conversation we have is some version of a sales conversation (more on this in a future blogpost).
For now, here’s what we want you to know: selling is actually like any other activity we engage in that’s not natural to us. It takes time and practice before it becomes natural. If you do the work, it not only becomes easy, but can be fun and really rewarding. The people you’re meant to reach and help rely on you to do this work.
Sales is something you do.
Of course there’s the part of sales where you pick up the phone and have the conversations and make asks.
But sales is a process. It’s a process which requires many touch points and lots of follow up.
Most people don’t follow up.
It’s why they don’t make the money they could.
OR, the money they deserve.
Sales is all about following up
The business owner’s job is to follow up and reach the people they’re meant to serve. Your follow-up should be part of a process. There’s many things that need to happen during that process. Every business will have its own unique process but there are some essentials that apply to almost any business model:
- Generate leads
- Qualify leads
- Nurture your leads based on qualification
- Make an Offer
Notice: marketing is a piece of the sales process. It’s a big piece, but it’s a piece meant to support the sales process.
Speaking can be both marketing and selling – more to come on when to sell or when to market from the front of the room in next week’s blog (don’t miss it!).