Why You Should Embrace Selling Even If You Are Not a Salesperson

No buyer is concerned with your product or service. Buyers are only interested in what your service or product can do for THEM. How will it benefit THEM?

Selling is not just a factor of goods or services exchanging with money. Selling is persuading one to cross over to your side; to accept your stance because you have shown them how they will benefit. Being human the “buyer” wants to know what’s in it for him; a benefit is anything that will elicit an emotion for him to act in your desired direction. As such, those not in professional sales limit themselves when they say they are not selling. Shrugging off this limiting view will see them soar. For instance:

Why selling is important when doing a presentation internally

I still see it to date. Someone from human resource or finance laments, usually after a lengthy PowerPoint presentation, that, “I have already told the salespeople that the company keeps 90% and them 10% in commissions for every sale made and but they aren’t budging. I don’t think they are motivated; we may need to recruit a new lot.” That’s until the seasoned sales manager comes along, congregates the same sales force, and ten minutes later, like persons possessed, they emerge fired up to go sell. The perplexed (suspicious, more like) HR or Finance Manager asks, “What did you tell them?” “Salespeople have a short attention span, so I simply told them that they will earn 10,000shs on the spot, and in cash, for every sale of 100,000shs they make.” You must be wondering what the difference is, huh? It’s simple. The Sales Manager spelt it out for them without any fluff.

When asking for a salary increment

Few employees have a gall to ask for a salary increment. Fewer still persuade the employer enough for him to agree. They struggle to show the employer how he will benefit with the increment. What value will he get with the price increase? Even if it is glaringly apparent that you need to be equally compensated for successfully holding down two jobs, very few employers will readily do so. You must ask for it. You must sell. And when you do, you must show how the employer will benefit. It is not sufficient to say that with the increment you will be motivated or, worse, that you will meet your personal obligations.  No. Better to say, and assuming you have it, that, “I have this job offer from someone who wishes to poach me. But I really enjoy working and growing here and don’t want to go (meaning it is cheaper for you to retain me). Based on my consistently high performance, I know I will perform even better when adequately compensated.”

When a culture change is desired

I wrote this a year ago. The greatest stumbling block to transforming an organization’s culture is this:  it’s not seen as selling which it is, and worse, those selling it (leadership) don’t see themselves as salespeople. They sell the feature of the product to employees-“We are performing below industry standards and must transform to survive.” Yet, as noted by McKinsey & Company, employees are not hugely motivated by their employer’s reasons for change. Employees are more moved by what the change means to them. Value for the employee could go beyond the organization to, say, the customer, or community. Assisting the employee support a cause he cares for is more likely to get him committed than, “we must transform to survive,” the report says; and, it concludes, that, “the perception that behaviour is a “soft” topic leads managers to assume they can rely on their own instincts, an approach that seldom leads to sustainable long-term change. Instead, managers need to take the time to understand some of the factors that influence human behaviour.”  In other words, learn to sell.

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