Many sales professionals believe that they are not actually selling. So that is the question for today’s article… 

Are You Selling?

By Wendy Weiss, The Queen of prospecting®

I looked up the word “sell” in the dictionary. This is what it said:

“To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something.”

This definition assumes value. The concept of worth or desirability is inherent in the definition of the word.

I also looked up “salesperson,” “saleswoman,” “salesman,” “sales clerk,” and my favorite, “sales talk.” The definition for “sales talk” was, “a line of reasoning or argument intended to persuade someone to buy something.”

I often ask clients, “What are the words that come to mind when you hear the word, ‘salesperson’?” Invariably, I hear back words like, “manipulative,” “dishonest,” “unethical,” and “sleazy.”

In the dictionary, however, when I looked up all of the above sales words, none of the definitions referenced “manipulative,” “dishonest,” “unethical,” “sleazy,” or anything particularly negative. The language in these definitions was actually quite neutral and several of them spoke of value.

Unfortunately, the words “sales” or “sell” no longer simply mean to persuade someone of the value of your offering. Instead they carry the baggage of images of untrustworthiness and deviousness. This is a misconception that does an enormous disservice.

Far too often, sales professionals believe this stereotypical image of sales and see the activity of selling as negative. They feel that if they are selling (or being perceived to be selling), they are doing something that is not quite right or that has the potential to be not quite right. This puts them, in their own minds, at a disadvantage and on a lower level than their prospects and customers. This is a difficult place to be. And it stops many from taking action.

Since the definition of the word “sell” used the word “persuade,” I looked up that word in the dictionary. It said:

“1. To prevail on a person to do something, 2. To induce to believe; convince”

Again, nowhere in that definition do we find the words, “manipulative,” “dishonest,” “unethical,” “sleazy,” or anything particularly negative. As with the word, “sell,” the language is quite neutral.

The bottom line: Selling is persuading and convincing people to buy your offering. That persuasion is based on value. If you cannot persuade and convince people to buy then you do not have a business.

If you believe that selling is “manipulative,” “dishonest,” “unethical,” and “sleazy,” this belief will not support your ability to sell successfully. It is very difficult to sell (persuade and convince) while believing that selling (persuading and convincing) is wrong. It is time for sales professionals to change their beliefs about the words “selling” and “sales.”

The truth is that most sales professionals are honest, ethical and believe in the value they have to offer. And that is where the focus should be.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you believe in the value of your offering?
  2. Does your offering provide a value to your customers?
  3. Are you doing the best you know how to ensure that your customers receive that value?

If you have answered “yes” to the above questions, then you are proceeding with integrity. If you are proceeding with integrity, then obviously you are not being “manipulative,” “dishonest,” “unethical,” and “sleazy.” You can persuade, convince and sell with your head held high.

If you answered “no” to the questions above, then get out of the business. It’s not a fit for you. Find something else to do in which you can believe.

Let’s reclaim the words “sell” and “sales.” Let’s redefine the words to mean, “To persuade and convince with integrity.” Let’s remember that value is inherent in the definitions of those words. Then hold your head high and go out and sell.

If you feel like you could use some help and support to hold your head high, sell with integrity and fill your sales funnel with qualified opportunities that are likely to become customers then I invite you to fill out the application for the 2017 Prospecting Jumpstart program where you will coach directly with me, one-on-one, to achieve and exceed your goals. I am looking for only a handful of people who want to knock it out of the park in 2017. To see if the 2017 Prospecting Jumpstart program is right for you, I invite you to begin the application process.


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