Sales Is Not a Dirty Word

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a superhero. Maybe you did too. Or, maybe you wanted to be a lawyer, doctor, teacher (and, of course, astronaut). I’m willing to bet there was one profession you didn’t even consider – sales. How many kids lie in bed at night thinking to themselves, I can’t wait to grow up so I can sell, sell, sell… Right…not many (probably none).

Pick ten of your friends and ask them to choose the first word they think of when you say “sales”. We’ve done this with groups of professionals dozens of times, and the top choices are “slimy”, “pushy“, and our personal favorite – “ugh”!

It seems like “sales” is a dirty word.

Selling is Critical in Business Today

This is a problem because, for many of us, selling is a critical part of our job! We’ve changed the name to sound more professional – “business development”, “client acquisition”, “practice building” – but let’s call it what it is – sales.

I know what you’re thinking – if you could wave a magic wand, put your head down and focus on your work and never have to sell again, that would be perfectly OK with you. Unfortunately, if you’re in a profession where selling is expected (financial advisors, lawyers, and CPAs, for example), there is no magic wand.

“If you want to grow a practice – including (and especially) your own – you’re going to have to sell.”

This hasn’t always been true. In the past, a few rainmakers in a firm could keep everyone busy. They would build a book of clients, and junior associates could, in turn, build their own. Not anymore. Day after day business becomes more competitive, and customers are well-informed, savvy, and skeptical.

Maybe you’ve decided to go out on your own instead, and leave the demands of the professional firm behind. What’s the first thing you need to make that work – a business card, office, new logo? None of those pay the bills. Nope, you need clients who are willing to pay for your services or products. Until you have paying clients, you have an expensive hobby, not a business.

Let’s recap the problem – none of us dreamed of being in sales, yet we’re finding ourselves increasingly in positions where we have to sell as part (maybe a large part) of our job (or to build our own practice/firm). Today’s consumer is increasingly sophisticated, savvy, and skeptical, and they’re only a few keystrokes away from finding and connecting with our competitors.

“Ditch the Pitch” for Better Sales Results

Selling efforts often focus on “hit ‘em over the head” techniques – the “sales pitch”, scripts, and one-way communication where there is a lot of talking at the prospect. Spewing more expertise and knowledge, more features, more benefits– more PowerPoint slides. More, more, more… Or, you spend time and money on marketing efforts and social media hoping to avoid really having to sell.

When we talk at people, instead of engaging with them, we’re accidentally sabotaging our opportunity to really help them get what they need. We’re putting prospects in a position to say yes or no (usually no), interact or ignore (guess which one is the most common…), participate or tune out. We’re not encouraging engagement or a desire to continue the conversation.

What’s that you say? Your prospect needs to know how great your service is, why they need it right now, and to hear how smart you are?

Buyers Need Your Help

Today’s sophisticated buyer doesn’t need more information – she is already overwhelmed and starved for time. Buyers need someone to lead them to cut through all of that clutter and separate the data, details, and the noise for them, not make their situation even more confusing.

Remember – the goal of selling is to win their business!

“The more closely we align how we’re selling to how buyers make decisions, the more efficient and effective we can be.”

Maximizing every selling opportunity is how we get better results in less time with less effort. (Unless you were the kid who dreamed of being a sales person when she grew up, then better results faster with less effort is for you.)

Produce Results With a Systematic Framework

Here’s a tongue twister to stress the power of prep: Proper Preparation Promotes Powerful Performance.

Does preparation really matter? In Nancy’s controlled studies, sales people who have the discipline to prepare for sales presentations (and to review their preparation prior to the actual conversation) have a (minimum) 17% increase in sales.

Think about that for a moment –

What would a 17% increase in sales mean to you and your business?

How can you put all of this together to create better results for you, your company, and your prospects? Nancy has created a free, three-part mini-course with specific ideas you can implement each day to help you sell better in less time with less effort. (More on that below.)

Here’s what one of Nancy’s clients – a financial advisor named Shawn Tydlaska – said publicly about the Nancy’s impact on his sales:

“I was getting really frustrated…I’d have great conversations with good people I’d love to work with [but] my conversion rate was only 30%…I reached out to Nancy Bleeke…and the key takeaway there was ‘don’t just give them the proposal’ – that doesn’t require any action from them and sometimes I’d never even hear back from them.”

After implementing Nancy’s suggestions, Shawn’s conversion rate skyrocketed to 75%…in just eight weeks.

Shawn, like thousands of others, realized that he needed to adjust his focus to leverage the time, money, and energy spent on getting leads by converting them to paying clients. He then had more time to spend on where he really gives value…advising his clients!

Sign up for Nancy’s free three-part mini-course and make your sales conversations more productive today. (Superheroes welcome.)