What is selling? When are you selling? Are you always selling? Where is the line? The Queen says…
Yesterday I had a conversation with a new client. He was describing his company’s sales process which they start off with an email to their suspects. That first email includes a link that directs recipients to a web page where they can download a complimentary report. This is the first contact my new client’s company has with any identified suspect. My client related this to me and explained their rationale for starting out with an email and a complimentary report: “I don’t want my prospects to think I’m trying to sell them something.”
This “I don’t want my prospects to think I’m trying to sell them something” notion is quite pervasive… and it always troubles me. Here’s the issue: You are trying to sell your prospects something. That is the truth. And what’s more, your prospects know it.
The idea that you can approach prospects in a way that they do not think you’re trying to sell something is at best disingenuous, at worst it’s dishonest. When you send a suspect that complimentary report (or download or sample) the only reason that you’re sending it is because you’ve identified them as a ‘suspect’ and you are looking to start a conversation, a selling conversation. You know it and they know it.
“But wait, Wendy,” you cry. “I want to build relationships.” “I want to get to know my prospects.” “I want to build rapport.”
Good. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing. Why are you building relationships, getting to know your prospects and building rapport? It’s because you want to sell something.
“But wait, Wendy, I really take care of my clients and want to build strong relationships with them!”
Good. You’re supposed to take care of your clients. Over time, if you’re doing your job, you will build strong relationships with them. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing. But why? Reality check: So that you can keep your clients and so that they’ll continue to be your clients.
“But Wendy, some of my clients become my friends!”
That’s nice. Doesn’t change the fact that bottom line, you still want to keep them as clients.
When suspects or prospects receive your complimentary report, they make a decision. They look at the offer and decide if that offer is of value to them. If it is, they’ll accept it. If they don’t think it’s of value they won’t. Prospects know this opens the door to additional sales contact. The process and skill of your follow-up is what then determines whether or not that prospect becomes a client.
Your prospects are not stupid. They know that you’re a salesperson and they know that you’d like to sell them something. It appears, however, the only people that don’t know they’re selling are some salespeople.
Selling is what moves our economy. Selling is what pays the mortgage, the car payments and puts food on the table. I look forward to the day when sales professionals hold their heads up high and pridefully shout out: “I am selling!”
In the spirit of full disclosure, since you are reading this article you’ve probably at some point downloaded one of my free articles or reports. We publish them to build our email list. We build the list, so that we can sell. That’s how we at salesology.com make our living, feed the cats and pay for dance classes. Some of you are already clients (thank you!) others may become clients (thank you in advance!) It is with great pride that we provide value for our readers, our prospects and our clients. And yes, we are selling.