‘Sales’ is not a dirty word…

I’ve been spending a lot of time speaking at workshops and events for business owners.

I always like to ask attendees about their perception of sales. In many cases, I hear that sales is not held in high regard — it’s not seen as some highly respected discipline. It’s even viewed as a ‘dirty’ thing to do.

This is a problem that many business owners face. You create a business based on something you love — a passion you have, a skill you can’t wait to share with the world and with your prospective clients — but … what? You have to sell? Somehow this comes as a surprise to many.

Yes, you have to sell.

But you also have to remember what makes a ‘good’ sale and what makes a ‘bad’ sale (want to hear more about that, then sign up for my Brilliant Sales Tips). But the basic fact of business is you have to sell your product, service or expertise to make money. And without money, you are not running a business, you have a hobby — one that takes up all your time, energy and, well, your life.

So time to shift your mindset and to repeat after me: sales is NOT a dirty word. It’s an important part of your business and one that you have to actively pursue.

Looking to really shift your attitude, behavior and commitment to sales? Join me for my next 60-day Brilliant Sales Challenge.

Patience and the need to nurture sales

Do you think there is a need to nurture sales? If not, you may be sabotaging your own revenue opportunities.

It’s important to recognize there’s a need to nurture.

Many startups are driven  by ‘revenue panic’ while other, more established businesses may be driven by the demand for quarterly revenue increases  – in either case they need to practice nurturing — and to not simply walk away from prospects that aren’t buying immediately.

Time versus Nurturing

In many cases sales may deem certain prospects unsuitable because they aren’t going to buy in the next quarter. This short-term view, driven by panic for cashflow or relentless revenue goals, needs to shift to a solid nurturing approach, with opportunities and prospects being added to a long-term nurturing process which is reviewed, measured and a part of the marketing plan.

Trust goes hand-in-hand with Nurturing

The importance of trust is well documented in the transactional sales cycle. Numerous studies over many years draw attention to it’s importance in winning more opportunities, prospects and ultimately new customers. But how do you build trust?

By relationship, little by little, via nurturing. Relationship building is good for everyone – good for both seller and buyer. We have all heard anecdotes of the customers that follow a good sales person elsewhere? That is the power of relationship – and the importance of nurturing it within the sales cycle.

As well as dissolving uncertainty and risk for the prospect, it ensures that you, the seller, are really listening. Whether it is the messaging you create, the communications you send or the calls you make; take the time to listen, nurture, build relationship.

How patient do you think you are with opportunities to nurture sales and to help your prospects at all stages of the sales cycle?

Want to ramp up your sales and shift your business results?  Sign up now for our 60-Day Sales Challenge.

How to run brilliant sales meetings

Do you hold regular sales meetings? Whatever the size of your team or how you work, whether you are three people working remotely, a mid-sized team in the same office, or a larger group across different timezones, it is important that you have regular scheduled sales meetings.

When I say ‘scheduled’ I mean it because having a set time that everyone adheres to reinforces the importance of these meetings to your team and to your business.

Remember that sales is the one activity that can transform everything else in your business.

Reinforce the importance of sales by having meetings at a set time, recorded in everyone’s schedules, with a set agenda and for a fixed amount of time. All too often I hear managers say ‘we had to move the meeting’ or ‘we started late’ and ‘we just went around the room for updates.’

Sales meetings should be structured and well-run, and certainly should not be a round robin of updates. When you run your sales meetings deliberately then they can have a big impact and transform your results.

Are you guilty of any of the following when it comes to sales meetings:

  • Not having regular and scheduled sales meetings
  • Holding sales meetings without a set start and a set end time
  • Running sales meetings without an agenda
  • Simply going around the room for people to share their updates
  • Getting sidetracked on conversations about logistics, shipping, invoices – i.e. away from core sales topics
  • Never using sales meetings to have training, external speakers or to discuss and share new skills or sales tactics
  • Not having an assigned ‘scribe’ for each meeting that circulates action items to everyone in the group after the meeting
  • Wrapping up sales meetings and not feeling that your team is pumped up and ready to sell

Want to know some best practices for holding sales meetings? Then download our free ‘Run Brilliant Sales Meetings Checklist’ – it’s an instant download, just fill out the short form below.