3 rules for selling in the new economy
Every entrepreneur knows that the key to a thriving business is sales. Without it, cash flow dries up, checks turn to rubber, and heads roll. With it, few things are impossible. The challenge for most entrepreneurs is understanding how to sell what they offer.
Throughout the years, the sales gurus of our parentsâ generation have offered their conventional wisdom about âbuilding rapportâ and âexplaining the featuresâ. In the new economy, this advice just doesnât cut it anymore.
The new wave of Generation X and Y buyers wants more. As far as weâre concerned, the earth revolves around us â we want everything in our own size, color, design, and layout complete with our photos, our favorite team, and our iPod picks playing in the background. With this âfirst me, then meâ mentality, the science of selling has changed.
Check out these 3 simple rules for selling in the new economy:
Rule #1: Itâs not about you â itâs always about them.
How narcissistic we Gen Y entrepreneurs can be at times! We get our degrees and have the epiphany that weâre more focused and awesome than most other 20-somethings. We start our businesses and offer our glorious services, but when sales lag, weâre confused. How could anyone not want what we have? Itâs not about you. Itâs all about your clients. Your average prospect sees 3,000 advertisements and sales messages each day â thatâs more than 20,000 a week! If youâre not focused on your client â what they need, what they want, what their buying triggers are â youâll find yourself lost in a sea of commercials, tweets, posts, blogs, and banners. You must communicate with a client-centric attitude. What does your client need? What do they really want right now? What are their thoughts about you and your competitors? Learning to see everything through the eyes of your current and future clients will put you head and shoulders above the competition and help you stay relevant, even in a tough economy.
Rule #2: No one really cares what you do.
Seriously. I know you think that the fact that your product has more than five settings or the fact that you can customize a welcome page for Facebook is something special, but no one cares. Your clients are not concerned about what you do â they want to know why you do it and what results you create. The outcomes you create are the true measure of value in the new economy so translate what you do into how you help. When people understand your passion and see the purpose and value in what you offer, selling becomes effortless. The conversion process will go from being painful and awkward to being simple and fun. If youâre great at what you do, you have to translate that to language that your prospects understand. After all, people buy outcomes, not actions.
Rule #3: Serve, donât sell.
If selling feels yucky, slimy, or any other elementary school word for unpleasant, then youâre probably doing it wrong. Sales can be exhilarating and the process of selling can offer tremendous insight into the direction your business should be going. When you shift your paradigm around selling from trying to get to trying to give, youâre freed up to sell from a space of helping your client solve a problem rather than getting enough money to pay your assistant. You started your business for good reason, and the more you focus on impacting more people in a meaningful way with what you offer, the easier the sales conversations become. Be a consultant instead of a salesperson. Educate your prospects, and theyâll love you and stay with you.
Selling, according to personal development pioneer Earl Nightingale, is the highest paid profession in the world. And since weâre all selling something in some form, mastering the art and science of sales can catapult you and your business to new heights of success. Abide by the rules and savor the success.