By Martin Limbeck, “NO is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think“
If you’re a small business owner, chances are your job entails some degree of selling. Selling itself might not be your main focus, but in order to continually grow your business you must sell your products or services and always strive to bring in new clients.
Whether you are a first time entrepreneur or an established small business owner, chances are you’ve heard things about selling. You may have even attended seminars to help you improve your sales skills. Like most things in life, there is always the truth about something, as well as the myths or conventional wisdom that although misleading, we’ve all been led to believe. This is certainly true when it comes to sales.
As a small business owner, it’s critical that you don’t fall into the trap of following these fallacies of selling or you might find yourself out of business.
Here are the seven most talked about myths of selling, along with the way it really is.
Myth #1: You need to be born to sell.
Truth: Hard work always trumps talent. Anyone can sell. Think of a child who wants something bad enough, for example. In sales, before reaping the rewards comes sowing, a lot of field work and tons of practice. With enough hard work, almost anyone can become successful in sales.
Myth #2: If you can talk someone’s ear off, you’re a good sales professional.
Truth: Top sales professionals recognize the principles that are dear to the client and take them seriously. What’s most important is that you’re able to listen, observe, recognize and understand. Only then start talking, and talk in such a way that you get through to your client.
Myth #3: Sales is a profession where you’ll get rich quickly.
Truth: Even though sales provides many great opportunities to make good money, don’t focus on the money or your commission. Provide your customer with a benefit. Make his life easier. Contribute to his success and development. There isn’t a single person who made it rich overnight in sales, but if you focus on your customer’s benefit, the money will flow.
Myth #4: The first three minutes of your meeting with the client determine whether you will close the deal or not.
Truth: Your sales success hinges on the three hours before your meeting, on your mental programming and your will to succeed. Success is often decided based on what’s going on between your ears.
Myth #5: When the client says no, they mean nothing but no.
Truth: Most of the time, a client’s ‘NO’ is just short for ‘Next Opportunity.’ Many times you’ll just get one of the typical objections (not now, not interested, we have all we need, etc.,) but top sales professionals know how to handle these. They know a ‘no’ is only temporary and that follow up and persistence leads to more closed deals.
Myth #6: Cold calling is dead in today’s sales world.
Truth: Social media is just the chocolate powder sprinkled on top of your cappuccino. You still need the basics like prospecting and establishing personal relationships with potential clients. Telephone sales is the quintessential sales discipline and those who excel at it will also excel at Internet and face-to-face communication.
Myth #7: Good consultants make the best salespeople.
Truth: The best salespeople are those who close the deals. Despite what we’ve been led to believe, there is no wrong time to close a deal. You’re not a consultant, advisor or instructor and it’s not your job to explain every little detail about the product. More deals are missed by neglect than the number that are made. Never take your eye off the close.
There are times as a small business owner that conventional wisdom is correct. There are also times where it is wise not to follow the masses. If you think you’ve heard it all about sales before, take a few minutes and question what you’ve been led to believe. You might just start to close more deals!
Martin Limbeck is an international sales authority, sought-after keynote speaker, dubbed “The Porsche of Sales” and author of”NO is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think“. He has trained and inspired sales professionals in 16 countries for more than 20 years.