Selling for the
By Erin Flynn
DOES THE THOUGHT of cold calling make you shudder? Is it difficult to hit
your sales goals? If you run your own business, it’s imperative to be confident
in your selling ability. Here are key recommendations from some of the
nation’s sales pros to propel you toward success.
Allan Boress (
author of 10 books on marketing and
selling professional services, including
The “I HATE Selling” Book (Allan S.
Boress & Associates, 1995).
PHOTOS: RUBBERBALL PRODUC TIONS
One reason professionals and others hate
to sell is that they don’t understand what selling truly is. They have negative misconceptions about the sales process that turn them
off to seeking out new business. Selling has
developed a bad name because of the many
poor sales types we have run into in our lives
and the stereotypical image of the used-car salesperson.
Selling is akin to being a doctor.
“Where does it hurt?” is something a doctor
would think and say. Not only do we need to
proactively see how we can help our clients,
but there are others out there in the business
world who need helping, too.
Change your mistaken perception of
what selling is and you will find you are motivated to help people instead.
famous scene with Curly sitting on his horse
and holding up one finger. The point Curly is
making is that there is one key to happiness in
life. There is also one key in sales.
My mother was my mentor in sales. She
was my Curly. Toward the end of her career, I
asked her about “that one thing.” She told me,
“The customer always gives you the road map
to success.” So, if you don’t feel particularly
comfortable in your role in sales, remember
my mother’s advice: Listen to your customers. They will tell you how to make them
successful and grow your business.
Warren Greshes (www. greshes.net),
Costco member and author of The Best
Damn Sales Book Ever: 16 Rock-Solid
Rules for Achieving Sales Success (John
Wiley & Sons, 2006).
Paul S. Goldner, CEO of AOR™, a
global sales and marketing training and
consulting firm (
based in Katonah, New York.
In the movie City Slickers, with Billy
Crystal as a dude-ranch guest and Jack Palance
as Curly, the tough cowboy who leads Crystal
on his journey to self-realization, there is a
Tell everyone you know what you do.
Referrals can come from the most unlikely
sources. You never want someone to say to
you, “I didn’t know you do that. I just bought
that recently. If I had known you had it, I definitely would have bought it from you.”
Go where the fish are swimming. Create a
client profile. Once that’s done, figure out what
organizations (trade or professional associations, business or civic clubs, etc.) they belong
to, join and get active. Make yourself important
in that organization. The people who reap the
benefits of membership give without worrying
about getting something back.