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Why Everyone, Yes Everyone, Needs to be a Sales Person

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A Note From Sarah:

The following is a blog from guest writer, Rachel Sheerin. Thank you Rachel for being my lead goose this week! Rachel and I met though a speaker training and she has quickly become one of my favorite people. Not only is she amazing at what she does but she will drop what she is doing to call and ask how you are if she senses a struggle. If you have questions about selling, being anti-sales, or want to know more about Rachel, send her an email at hi@rachelsheerin.com!

This is a story all about how, your idea of sales got turned upside down, I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll teach you how to sell your ideas anywhere.

*mic drop*

Now you might be thinking “Wow, is this the best rapper of 2019?” and the answer is no – I am just your friendly award-winning keynote speaker, Rachel Sheerin, friend of Sarah’s and wild advocate of non-sales people selling their best ideas to their peers and clients.

Before we get too deep, let’s take a deep breath as you imagine: A salesperson. Is it just me, or did the mood change in this email? Woof. I get it – I was a sales person for a longgggg time. Nothing cools down a warm introduction than someone realizing I was in sales and arming themselves against my witchcraft, trickery and thieving ways.

But I’ve got great news – the image you imagine is controlled by you, because at our core: the salespeople you imagine in your mind aren’t salespeople – they’re script readers. Aggressive enthusists of every top ten sales tip blog article from 2009. They’re good people who fake it for a living and that’s so not you.

At this point, you may be saying, “Rachel! I’m not a sales person,” and oh, my good friend, yes you are. You might think “This doesn’t apply to me, I am going to get more coffee,” but allow me to say this, my java-seeking friend:

  • A job interview is a sale.
  • Asking for a raise is a sale.
  • A big idea you pitch to your peers is a sale.
  • A keynote speech is a sale.
  • Asking the person you love to marry you is – you guessed it – a sale, too.

Selling at its best and with the most pure intentions is advocating your best ideas to others – the transfer of passion from yourself to another person without loss of energy and enthusiasm. 

And when you think of it like that, I submit to you that you’ll need to have some sales training, don’t you think? If you’re tired of the the loudest person in the meeting always getting their way, if you’re sick of the salespeople dominating the agenda and if you want to have your team on board with your best ideas, listen up – because here’s my top 3 tips to sell authenticity in 60 seconds or less:

1. Identify the pace of the person you’re selling to:

Are they fast or slow paces? Running a mile a minute or taking their time? Talking at the speed of light or are they doing that thing where they think then talk? (Wild stuff!!)

Whatever it is, identify the pace and adjust your sales pitch accordingly. Slower paced people want details, time to think on things and the opportunity to ask questions as a follow up – so give it to them. Fast paced folks want to talk through the options, see the details in a bullet-point format (no paragraphs, people!), and make the decision now so they can move on. 

2. Consider if the person is people focused or task focused:

People focused folks are the kind who know your kids and pets names, always ask “how are you?” and want to know the answer, and seem to waste a lot of time chatting. To those of you out there who are people focused, you know the results returned on connecting with others goes far past the percieved time invested. Task-focused people tend to get straight to business, keeping everything professional and not getting personal in conversation, stories and connection. Doesn’t mean they’re not friendly – it’s just that they’re at work to work. Novel idea, huh?

When you’re selling to people focused audiences, speak with emotion and story. Task focused people want to know stats, facts and plans. Mix them up and you’ll find frustration and people rushing you out of the room!

3. No one knows your heart:

Listen, I know that you care a lot about what you do. You’re sitting here reading this newsletter in hopes to get better for yourself, your org and your team and clients. That being said – you’ll need to do your part in reminding people of that when you’re bringing up ideas and selling.

Phrases I love to use include, “I care deeply about this and have put a lot of work into this proposal I am sharing with you today,” and, “I have taken the time to put together this proposal because I know that my skills in X, Y and Z make me uniquely qualified to champion this and I want to show you my perspective and suggestions.”

Selling doesn’t have to be agressive or pushy – it has to be honest, and I bet you’re already pretty good at that.

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