Sales Is Not Evil
Fred hated selling. Like… really hated it.
He was on the fitness/nutrition industry and, even though he was a coach with proven results, he struggled to sell himself to other clients. He was terrified.
The truth is that sales are an essential business element (no business can survive with $0 revenue) –but most of us would rather eat cold noodles for the rest of our lives than ask a stranger for money.
Change your mindset on sales
Sales is everywhere and, whether you like it or not, you are selling at all times:
When I negotiate deals between my company, Jakt, and business prospects… sales! When I want to hire a new employee… sales! When I ask my girlfriend to eat Italian instead of Japanese (she damn loves Japanese)… sales!
But we hate it (and suck at it), and Fred did too.
Fred (not his real name) by the way, associated the word “sales” with manipulating the client. Tricking him through mental games to get his hard-earned money while giving him some crap in return.
And I could relate to him. Growing up, I did too think of salesmen as individuals who just wanted to take money from other people, and it seemed unethical and, honestly, just a fucked up thing to do.
Fred didn’t want to become a sleazy used-car salesman that doesn’t care what he is selling as long as he puts in his pockets the commission money. But he also needed money to live, so what could he do?
I first asked him if he believed in what he was selling.
I can’t sell something I don’t believe in. Ok… maybe I could, but here’s the thing:
If you have that skill set that allows you to sell anything to anyone –if you can sell ice to an Eskimo and hot chocolate during New Mexico’s summer– why would you not use it for good? You’ll make money anyway, so you might as well make a positive impact on humanity, right?
You are HELPING them, and it makes a HUGE difference
And what’s more, it is much more comfortable to sell something you are proud of and that you believe in.
Everyone who Fred worked with was extremely pleased with the results they got, so we had that covered.
“Once you know that whatever you are selling will help your client, “ I told him, “you are not selling anymore –you are serving them.”
While building Jakt to around $4M/year, I have learned that the #1 way to be a great salesman/woman is not to sell, but serve.
You don’t come at prospects with the idea to get the most money out of them as soon as possible, no.
You identify their problem, and you see if or how the product or service that you sell will help them. That’s why I never feel like I am selling.
Even when I was fifteen and selling women’s purses online, that still was all about helping people! I knew that a woman somewhere (or her husband getting her a forgive-me gift), needed something I could provide for them –in this case, a designer bag.
Fred got it right away. Sales did not have to be a necessary evil, quite the opposite! He reframed his perspective from “I don’t want to steal their money” to “I am helping them solve a problem.”
And here’s the best part about coming from a place of service:
It becomes your moral obligation. If you actually believe that you can help them, then you are hurting them by NOT selling it to them.
Figure out the real ask
People come to Fred to lose weight. But what are they actually asking for?
They might (and probably) won’t say it directly. But you have to dig beneath the surface and figure out what they are really trying to achieve.
WHY do they want to lose weight? It’s not to lose weight itself. There’s something else they are trying to accomplish. Perhaps it’s to feel better and more confident. Or maybe it’s having more energy. Or impressing their husband or wife like it is 1985.
So that’s what you are selling – confidence and energy not weight loss
If Fred can help them achieve those things, selling to them comes much more naturally.
The key mental shift
You are not taking their money. You are giving them a path forward to a better future and, in exchange for that, they are giving you money.
Selling becomes very simple when you are giving them more value than you are taking. Make sure that what you provide is worth more than what you get out of it – don’t try to capture all the value!
Talking with Fred, I pointed out one more thing:
To keep doing what you love to do and help people, you HAVE to exchange money. The money he charges is just a tool that allows him to help other hundreds of people! How could he not ask for it?!?
Long story short, shift your mindset towards sales by:
Believing in what you are selling, proving that it actually helps people, looking at it from a place of service, reframing it as your moral obligation to help others, (would you really not help someone if you could?), and thinking of money as just an exchange too that allows you to keep playing the game and serve more people. When I’ve been asked what it takes to be an entrepreneur, it always comes back to this mindset around sales.