Will You Betray Your Values?
Many mission-driven entrepreneurs and service professionals have the misconception that “I will betray my values if I sell well.”
They secretly fear that they will turn from mission-driven (wanting to serve others and make a difference) into a money-driven manipulative maniac who will do anything to make a sale.
You’ve experienced “being sold to” rather than being served. It doesn’t feel good, you don’t like it, but you fear that’s the way you have to do sales to do well in business.
So you back off – you don’t make connections, you don’t engage in meaningful conversations to see whether what you offer will serve the other person, and you don’t ask for business.
Many times this fear of betraying yourself and your values lurks in the dark crannies of your mind so it remains invisible to you and blocks your efforts to enroll new clients and customers. It negatively affects your ability to reach and help other people and limits your income.
So what to do? Let’s begin by examining the belief that selling has to equal money grubbing.
Dianne Collins, in a fabulous article in Huffington Post, writes,
“There's a New Mainstream out there. You're probably part of it. This ‘New Mainstream’ wants a new Point of View”.*
Let’s apply this desire for a new Point of View to buying and selling. People don’t like to be sold to, but they do like to buy. They gather information about purchases, read online reviews, talk to their friends, and resist being manipulated.
The New Point of View about Selling then includes being asked what they are looking for and what problem they want to solve. They want to talk to someone who makes a connection with them instead of being conned into something that they don’t want and won’t help.
So how do you apply the New Point of View about Selling to your work and business?
- In any situation, be curious about the person you’re in conversation with and if it’s appropriate ask what problem does s/he want to solve?
- When networking, ask what s/he has done to resolve this problem before. If appropriate, set up a time to take this conversation deeper.
- When in the sales conversation, ask how s/he’s tried to resolve the problem and how that has worked so far.
- Ask what s/he wants instead.
- Once you have gathered enough information, and if your product or service would be a good way to solve the problem, tell him or her how what you do or offer could help them.
- If s/he has questions, go deeper into the concerns. Continue the conversation and ask questions so that you really understand what s/he is thinking about what you’ve said.
- Return to your offer. If s/he says “yes”, you’ve made a sale! If the answer is “no”, that does not mean “never”. If you stay in touch, the answer may become “yes”. If it’s a “maybe”, ask to be in touch in a few months to follow up.
Did you notice that the steps above do not include forcing anything on anyone?
It’s about being curious, helpful, and respectful.
It’s about offering a way to help if it’s a fit.
And it’s about keeping the attention on the other person and how to solve her/his problem in a way that works for everyone concerned.
Now that doesn’t seem so scary does it? It actually feels refreshing.
Can you imagine if every salesperson were skilled at finding out what you need and were truly interested in helping you get it?
That’s a new Point of View about Selling, and it probably fits your values to a T!
* Dianne Collins’s article, There’s a New Mainstream Out There and You’re Probably Part of It