How To Sell When You Don’t Want to Sell
Guest Blog: Author - Niraj Kapur
“My team want to hit target, but they don’t want to sell.”
Those were the dreaded words a head of sales told me last week when we observed their sales floor at work in London.
When I say “observed” I meant the team were sending emails, checking their phones, using LinkedIn, checking their phones, asking about what to eat for lunch, then checking their phones.
These are surprisingly common problems with many companies I am asked to help.
People get into sales for 4 reasons.
1. They have a degree from university and can’t find a job.
2. They want to make lots of money.
3. They want to be like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.
4. They are killing time until they can find a proper job.
So I asked the head of sales to arrange a quick meeting.
We all stood up since I’m a fan of standing meetings under 15 minutes. It keeps people focused and sharp.
I also made everyone put their phone by the front door and on silent which scared a lot of people who thought the world was going to end.
“Why do you hate selling?”
There was a long awkward silence
“I’m not here to judge and you won’t lose your jobs from giving me the wrong answer.
This is a safe environment.”
Here were the answers:
× Clients hate salespeople
× Everyone is busy
× Targets are too high
× My boss is never there
× Sales is difficult
What Do You Think Selling is?
× Closing deals
× Doing boring admin
And that’s where the problem lies. Sales so much more than closing a deal or getting commission
Also, good luck finding a job that doesn’t involve admin.
So I delivered an interactive training session.
If you tell someone what do to, they do 20-30% of it.
If they come up with the answers themselves, they will do 60% -70% of it.
If you keep them accountable every week, then you’re smashing target.
Why is Selling Important?
- Helping clients
- Changing lives or careers
- Meeting people from all walks of life
- Earn commission for a job well done
- Learn new skills
- Doing great work
By now, the team were getting excited.
Okay, so what do you have to do every day for this to happen?
Have a Strong WHY.
Everyone needs a vision board. Coming to work to hit a sales target isn’t enough. Have images of people you love – friends, family, a pet and images of what you aspire you – a lovely holiday, bigger house, nicer car. Make sure it inspires you. This will make you want to do more.
Support Your Team
The head of sales no longer has meetings away from his team. He’s now on the phone leading by example. That’s what great managers do. If you are away in a meeting, have your best staff lead from the front. People love to be empowered.
Use The Right Language
A team of salespeople have to do the same role as account managers and business development – however, the way you treat them is different. I gave a sales training session which was titled “account management delivery.” Same content, the word “sales” wasn’t used.
So instead of cold calls, we called it “warm openers.”
Instead of “picking up the phone” we called it “giving value to others.”
Instead of sales calls, we called it “asking great questions.”
Most companies with 5 people of less don’t have a salesperson so you can’t start using sales terminology. They need to be taught the same way but with different language.
When I pick up the phone and do my best deals, I’m not nervous, because I’m not thinking of making a sales call. I’m thinking how lucky I am to talk to somebody new, to ask new questions, to help somebody else. This is different that trying to close a deal. It’s less selfish. To quote the great Zig Ziglar, “you can achieve anything you want in life if you help other people achieve what they want.”
Don’t Be Too British
Americans are great at following-up. In the UK many of us are worried about being annoying or too persistent. 45% of business is in the follow-up. People are busy, so it’s natural to follow-up. When you do, don’t ask “are you ready to go ahead.”
Recap what was discussed. Talk value to them. Remember, it’s not about your product...
It’s how you help other people.
Niraj Kapur is an expert sales coach, keynote speaker and author of the Amazon bestseller, Everybody Works in Sales. He gets results for your business and keeps you accountable. Clients trained include Barclays, Sainbury’s, Headford Group, Santander and Lyonsdown.
He can be reached on + 44 7733179854