Selling is hard and most don’t enjoy it. In this article, Mike Gastin shares his approach to selling that will turn sales into an enjoyable, ethical, and good experience for all parties.
Selling or Root Canal?
Let’s face it, it’s the rare person who enjoys selling. For most, whether selling or being sold to, we’re left with an icky feeling, like something bad just happened.
But, here’s the thing. If you’re a freelancer, work for a non-profit, are an entrepreneur, or even if you’re a career professional, you need to sell. New clients, big donors, profitable projects, and plum positions don’t just fall in our laps—we have to sell to make them happen.
In this article I’ll share my ethical and ick-free approach to sales. It’s allowed me to close tens of millions of dollars in deals with a clear conscience and the security that comes from doing good. And the great news is my approach will work for anyone that needs to sell—even you!
Roots & Fruits
To feel good about selling we need to first understand why selling makes us feel badly. You see, those feelings are there for a good reason. It’s your heart telling you that something isn’t quite right. Once we understand what’s not right we can eliminate the root cause of those feelings and move on to ick-free selling.
What isn’t right? In a word: manipulation. At the root of most sales engagements is some degree of manipulation and that what makes us feel icky.
We all know that people deserve respect—that each person has intrinsic value. This means each person is valuable regardless of any fact other than being human. It doesn’t matter if you can help me, buy my stuff, or even if you like me—you’re valuable and I need to respect your autonomy.
It’s when we disregard someone’s value and transgress their autonomy that we cross a moral line and begin to experience a crisis of conscience. This is what often happens when we’re selling. We use someone for our own gain, manipulating them in an effort to sell our product or service.
So, when we’re in a sales situation, we feel uncomfortable because we’re worried about manipulating that person, or we’re concerned that they might think we’re trying to take advantage of them.
The solution is to eliminate manipulation from our approach. Once we do this, sales becomes something much different, something that’s potentially positive and good.
You Got A Problem?
So, how do we remove manipulation from the sales process and still remain effective? It’s simple. All you have to do is to stop selling and start solving problems.
When you enter a sales engagement you have a goal in mind: to close a deal. This creates a dynamic that’s hard to escape, because your goal is to get what you want and the person you’re selling to becomes the means to your end. You can’t help but be in a manipulative mindset because you want a specific outcome.
But, when you enter the sales […]