A lot of business leaders assume they’re not in sales. After all, it doesn’t say anything about sales on their business cards or on their CV. And the information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics certainly seems to back that up. The bureau’s research shows that only one out of every nine employed Americans works in sales.
That, however, isn’t the whole picture. To some degree we’re all involved in selling. That’s especially true of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Even if no money changes hands, we’re still selling ideas, and trying to get people to buy into plans and goals.
Maybe you think of what you do in different terms. In his latest book, To Sell Is Human, Daniel H. Pink does. He talks about moving people (rather than strictly selling them something). And Pink is onto something.
Even conventional selling has changed dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years. Making a sale today is much more of a collaborative process than ever before. It’s no longer a “top down” process. It’s more about coming alongside someone and helping him or her succeed—something modern sales gurus like Jeffery Gitomer understand.
If your business has a sales force, this is something they need to grasp. And a study of Pink’s book can help them get a handle on how sales today works. He updates concepts such as the ABCs of sales (it’s not longer “Always Be Closing”). He also takes a fresh new look at things such as the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another person’s perspective, and the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive.
The concepts, however, aren’t just for the people out in the trenches who bring in contracts. We’re all in sales now. If you’re trying to entice people (such as VCs) to invest in your business—you’re in sales. If you’re trying to move your management team in a new direction—you’re in sales. It’s all about understanding what motivates people and about how to shape and clarify your message so that it gets through. It’s not about manipulating people to get them to do something they really don’t want to do. It’s about helping them to see how life (personally or professionally) can be better—and how you can help them make that happen.
So if you think you’re not in sales—think again. And if you’d like some additional help in becoming a better mover and motivator of people, give me a call and we’ll work out a plan.