I am a sales junkie. Even though I left the sales floor long ago to start my own business, I still view sales as the top priority of my company. I get high on the thrill of the deal and I thrive on the puzzle-like challenge of discovering my customers’ needs. I live for the handshake at the close of a successful sale.
There is a long list of things I love about sales, but here are my top five:
People buy for one reason: they are looking to improve their lives in some way. Whether a purchase is personal or for business, a big ticket or an impulse item, everyone has the same goal. The salesperson is the facilitator of that life improvement. There are few things that are as satisfying to me as knowing I am making someone’s life a little (or a lot!) better.
Some people think sales is about finding a solution to a problem. I think more in terms of solving a puzzle. The customer’s life is not typically in total disarray — it is just that one or more pieces are not a good fit. Find the new pieces that fit for your customer and their entire picture (life) looks better! Sales isn’t rocket science. It is more like therapy.
The best sales presentations don’t feel like presentations. With a mutual purpose established, the salesperson is more like an assistant buyer. This means honesty on both sides, open communication, emotion and the joy of completion. Working with people to achieve a common goal is an incredibly rewarding aspect of sales.
In most cases, your talent and hard work pay off in tangible rewards. Sales is less about politics and connections and more about what gets done. The potential for growth and advancement in sales is almost second to none. As an entrepreneur, this is all about the growth of your business — I can’t think of anything more rewarding!
When you help someone improve their life, and you do that really, really well, you gain more than a sale. You get free advertising as your enthusiastic customers work as (unpaid) salespeople on your behalf! In time, you acquire a team of mavens who bring you more business, all because you helped them in a way no one else could or would.
I love sales. I love changing someone’s world. And with the right perspective, maybe you will learn to love sales too!
By Jeff Shore, founder of Shore Consulting, to Entrepreneur.com