by Jackie Simmons

I thought sales was something others did to get me to buy: a car or keychain or a massage package. I thought sales was something that occurred in showrooms and stores.

But, what if in every conversation, “sales” is occurring?

What if it’s really ALL sales . . . ?

Nope, not true. We know better. We’ve attended sales trainings, we know that:

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Service.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Education.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Inspiration.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Persuasion.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Motivation.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Promotion.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Negotiation.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Mediation.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Risk-Mitigation.”

It’s NOT sales, it’s “Self-Interest.”

What I’ve found is that only one of these statements is true . . .

And it’s true for all conversations, “sales” and otherwise. Did you spot it? It’s the only one that moves the economy along . . .

Before we get to the one true statement from the list, let’s talk about why, as a culture, we are so resistant to calling sales, “sales”.

Perhaps we’ve simply forgotten what “sales” means. Sales, at its most concrete, is nothing more than “an exchange of value” and, at its most nebulous, “sales” is “the transference of the perception of value and the hope for a desired outcome”. That’s it. Simple. There’s no mystery here, except . . .

Value . . . who decides if it’s a Good Value or a Poor Value?

Value is totally determined by the customer’s perception.

Many people are afraid of sales because they’ve gotten the customer’s perception of the value of their product / service confused with the value of who they are. They’ve forgotten that the customer gets to decide the value of ONLY the product/service. Self-worth is always self-determined, unless we forget and get confused.

It’s a shame. This confusion prevents you from selling effectively and people really do need what you’ve got.

People need the results that your product/service provides. They do, and you know it’s true. You know they need what you’re offering because if you didn’t know that, you would be working somewhere else, selling something else.

I hear some of you saying: “But Jackie, I don’t sell.”

“I don’t sell. I’m a nurse.”, “I don’t sell. I’m a factory worker.”, “I don’t sell. I’m a public defender.”, “I don’t sell. I’m a fire-fighter.”, “I don’t sell. I’m a . . ..”

Let’s check it out . . .

In a typical day of nursing, patient interaction requires the transference of the perception that there’s healing happening. As a nurse, you “sell” hope & confidence to every patient. Not to mention, you interact with doctors and other healthcare providers. Each interaction requires the transference of the perception of competence. As a nurse you “sell” trust to every health care practitioner you work with.

It’s the same if you’re a factory worker. A typical day might include the transference of the perception of machinery maintenance being needed or even the transference of the perception of discrimination. That’s the “sale” of legal (and sometimes moral) “rightness of action.”

It happens in every work interaction and . . . it happens in every courtroom across the world . . .

In every court case, the accused engages in the transference of the perception (a.k.a.: sells) you, the defender, on his or her innocence and then you engage in the transference of that perception of innocence to the judge & jury. This is a “series-sale” of “reasonable doubt.”

What about the fire-fighter?

A typical day for a fire-fighter includes the transference of the perception of courage and competence, both to your shift-mates and to the people you convince to walk through burning doorways and jump from flame-filled windows. You, as a fire-fighter, are selling faith as certainly as if you were a preacher.

Valuable items: Faith, Hope, Confidence, Trust; and all are for sale, every minute of every day.

Wouldn’t you agree that everyone wants those?

So, why aren’t you selling yours? Why are you hesitating to share your Faith, Hope, Confidence, and Trust?

Why aren’t you “transferring your perception of value?”

Many people are willing to “educate” and even “promote”, but they won’t do the one activity required to transfer the perception of value . . . they won’t ASK.

Many people are struggling to make the money they know they could be making because they won’t ask their prospective customers: “what it’s costing you to continue limping along with the problems instead of solving them? What’s it costing you in terms of lost time, reduced productivity, and money left on the table?” They won’t even ask people to agree with them, not even as gently as I asked you to agree with me before.

Here’s a “truth:” It’s all sales and your prospective customers are simply better at selling you that they don’t “need what you have”, that they don’t “have the money for what you offer”, and that it’s “not the right time for them to work on this or work with you” than you are at selling them on the truth of what it’s costing them to wait.

Not working with you or your company is costing your prospective customers $100s if not $1,000s of dollars every month in terms of lost time due to worry, lost talent due to lack of clarity, lost productivity due to lack of systems, and lost revenue due to a lack of whatever you have that COULD HAVE SAVED THEM.

The problem is almost always one of certainty. Often your prospective customers are simply more certain that it’s better to stay where they are, doing what they are doing rather than risk changing anything.

But, what if you shared the truth?

What if you listened to what they wanted and transferred your perception of the value you and your product/service could bring into their world? What if you stopped looking for a way to avoid “selling” and started owning the value you and your product/service bring?

But, how do you get comfortable with “sales” in a world where everyone is trying to pretend that they’re not selling?

Simply Own Your Truth. Own the truth of your self-interest in the process. Stop being afraid to disclose that you are grateful that you are paid to do what you’re doing. Stop being afraid to disclose that “everybody wins” when money is a comfortable part of the conversation.

Then if someone says . . .

“You’re only in it for the money.”

You’ll calmly respond: “What we’ve found is that, ‘being in it for the money,’ is the best way to help you.’”

And then you’ll remind them of what they’re losing by waiting and the increased value that you and your product/service could bring into their world now.

Yes, you’ll include: service, education, inspiration, persuasion, motivation, promotion, negotiation, mediation, risk-mitigation, and self-interest, but most of all, you’ll include your self-interest and your value.

Embrace Sales and Prosper.

Excerpt from: Ultimate Sales Mastery: How to Sell with Confidence and Ease – Jackie Simmons