Manage Your Critic – Manage Your Sales
When you’re working in your own business, selling is one of the fundamental processes that you’re going to have to get involved with and take responsibility for. After all, it’s your business and you’re responsible for growing it. Statistically though, the vast majority of business owners aren’t sales people and many would hate to be perceived as salesy. You might have noticed your critic having quite a lot to say about selling or worrying about being a nuisance.
I was recently chatting to Steve Bimpson Founder of Think Big Thoughts, who I fondly refer to as the Gentle Sales Giant and we have co-written a series of articles for you. I would love it if you would give us feedback and tell us if these articles are useful and if you like the co-writing style.
Steve says; “I’ve always believed that the most important skills you need to have to build your business aren’t the skills, knowledge and expertise that you have in your field. The number 1 skill you need to build your business is marketing and at number 2 you need to know about sales. The skills, knowledge and expertise you have in your field, only come in at number 3 on this list.
Why do I say this?
Well, if you don’t have people to talk to about your business (marketing) and you aren’t able to convert some of those in to clients for your business (sales), your skills, knowledge and expertise aren’t going to do you very much good.
Does that make sense?
My experience in working with business owners has taught me that, when it comes to sales, our inner critic can impact us in several ways – and I’m not talking about a positive impact, here. However, the most fundamental way in which it impacts us comes under what I refer to as PoS2 – that’s The Psychology of Selling2.
The reason for the ‘squared’ element is that psychology in selling plays a part in two very different ways:
- There’s the psychology of the buyer, which is often spoken about, and
- There’s the psychology of the seller, which gains very little attention.
It’s this second aspect, the psychology of the seller, that I want to focus on in this post.
The Psychology of the Seller.
Whenever I talk to a group of people about sales and selling, I always start by asking the group what the word ‘salesman’ or ‘sales person’ conveys to them. In fact, let me ask you. What thoughts does the word ‘salesman’ or ‘sales person’, conjure up in your mind? (Stop and write down your thoughts that spring to mind.)
If you’re anything like most people, it isn’t anything positive. Typical responses include;
- Will do and say anything to get a sale
- Is only interested in what’s in it for them
- High pressured
and many other negative associations.
Sadly, even when I ask this question to a room full of sales people I tend to get the same responses. It’s only on very rare occasions that I get any positive response, at all.
This universal stereotype that people have in regard to salesman/sales people, is the root cause of what your critic has to say when it comes to sales.
I like to refer to this aspect as your Sales Critic. When your critic is not on board with sales, imagine what happens to your business. In my experience too many business owners suffer from this and I know just how devastating that can be on a family when I a business is struggling. So I have made it my personal mission to ensure business owners are resourced to manage the Sales Critic that prevents them from growing their business.
Remember what I said in the first paragraph?
“Statistically, the vast majority of business owners aren’t sales people”.
More importantly, the vast majority of business owners, I’ve met, don’t want to be a sales person and they, definitely, don’t want be seen as one.
Let’s think about what we’re dealing with here;
- Business owners tend not to be sales people.
- They tend to have a very negative image of sales people and selling.
- They tend not to want to be – or to become – a sales person.
- They tend not to want to be seen as a sales person.
- They are responsible for the sales in their business!
Hmmm! Interesting, isn’t it?
These seriously conflicting thoughts can lead to some challenges, deep down in your subconscious mind. With that thought I would like to hand you back to Sheryl who has some thoughts to add:
Hi, with my Strength and Solution Detective hat on, I have some questions for you to consider. The purpose and intention of these questions is to encourage you to collect the clues that will give you clarity of what you need to sell in a way that feels right for you.
Take a moment now to think about:
What is happening when you are being sold to and it works?
What is happening the buying process is just the way you would like it to be and it works?
The interesting thing for me is that we often sell in a way that we prefer to buy but what if your client thinks differently to you and needs different signals and prompts. For example I am the kind of person once I have told someone that I am interested if they don’t chase me, they don’t keep reminding me I think they are not interested in my business. I don’t like buying to be difficult so I love a person that is proactive and has processes in place that makes it easy for me to buy.
When I sell in a way that feels right. I listen intently to what is not working for the person, I ask them what they would like to have happen and if the solution they are looking for is part of the service I offer, I usually say something like “That is something I can help with” and then I will check in again and say something like; Now you know that what would you like to have happen next?
Everyone is different. Depending how they process information? How they feel about money? And how important it is to solve this problem? Each will need a different amount of time and space to process. I don’t believe in playing mind games with people but I do believe in listen to the game your mind is playing.
Would you be interested in a one-day workshop with Steve and I?
We are currently exploring the idea of hosting an event that combines Steve’s sales and marketing processes and fab stories with my skills to create a space where you can practice managing your sales critic, not to mention be in a room of potential clients and referal partners for the future.
Everyone can and does sell. But your business could be seriously held back if you cannot manage your sales critic.
What do you know now about managing your sales critic?
What difference does knowing that make? If any?
What one thing could you do right now that could make a difference to the way you approach selling?
Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic – Clarity confidence and change.
If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happily set you up for success. I might be part of the support you need and I might not be but either way you will you know your next best step.
Or find out more about how to manage your critic in 21 days with our on line library and webinars that explain why the critic occurs and practical ways to manage it.
Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.
That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asked for support.
By changing the way she listened she was able to manage her critic and gain clarity of what she wanted and the confidence to ask for it.
Sheryl now runs programmes that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.
About the co-author – Steve Bimpson – Think Big Marketing and Sales
Steve and I met at the very beginning of my business development journey via BNI. Steve is one of the most generous people I know who is keen to share tools and resources that help small businesses grow and a price that is affordable. Do check out is Think Big Thoughts – inspriation words in your inbox Monday to Friday
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