Okay, so it’s the month of love and I am a sales expert, what could the two topics possibly have to do with each other?
For millennia we have been philosophising about what ‘love’ really is: Is it a feeling, a choice, an action or a word?
While we still have a lot to learn, psychologists, scientists and researchers all agree on this:
Love is a positive relationship where an individual feels supported and cared for because someone has chosen to show them love through actions and words. Real love is not about the rush of emotion and expensive dates complete with elaborate or cheesy gifts. And Sales is not limited to building rapport and wining-and-dining a prospect.
No, like love - the kind of sales that leads to long term and mutually beneficial relationships requires an investment after the initial rush of meeting a new prospect.
Wining-and-dining someone to get what you want is a one night stand. It leaves the other person feeling used and jaded. And it makes it much more difficult for a sincere suitor to win their trust. We have a name for people like that - we call them “Players”. Sweet talking your customers with insincerities, making promises that you do not intend to keep, not calling them back after you conclude the deal… We have a name for people like that, we call them “Hustlers”. All these behaviours have the same effect.
Your clients are left feeling used and jaded, and they are not likely to trust as easily in future.
In the last few decades, and in recent times (especially on social media), a few low-ball companies recruited sleazy salesmen with slicked back hair and suits and sent them door-to-door selling the latest snake oil and other nonsense that no-one needed. But because these guys were given such emotionally manipulative scripts to use (and are willing to use them), people were tricked into spending money on products and services they couldn't afford and don’t need. Now, those same scripts are circling around pyramid schemes and network marketing companies… and honestly, it sucks. They play on our emotions to get us to buy… kind of like a one night stand: using feelings to get what you want, but there’s no real relationship there. And no intention to stick around when you are no longer cash flush.
So now, we’re stuck with this awful perception of what sales really is: a sleazy guy with a script and an agenda to get you to buy something you don’t need, and who will stop at nothing to get what he wants out of you… and just won’t go away! Kinda like that cockroach in your kitchen that just won’t die.
If you have been through that, then when you think of the word ‘salesman’ your stomach churns the same way you think of that a** who lured you into bed under the pretence of love, but then snuck away early the next morning never to be heard of again. We associate the word ‘sales’ with ‘lies’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘agenda’… but never with what sales should actually be about: mutually beneficial relationship.
Today’s culture can be so superficial - all about image and persona - but none of that is real. People are desperate for authenticity and real relationships again. Especially in business. To be frank, the world wants and needs love again. And I don’t mean romantic love, just human love where the focus is on building relationships with foundations of respect and genuine care for each other, instead of just using each other to get what we want (can I get an Amen?).
At The Sales Counsel, the most important part of our work is building genuine relationships with people - and demonstrating that we really care about them and their businesses. Because what is love, really, if it’s not a positive relationship where my client feels supported and cared for because I’ve chosen to show love through my actions and words.
Because I value relationship, love and integrity, I’ve worked hard to create a company around those core values. I see it not only as my job but my privilege, to help people build their companies up in a way where they are not selling their souls for sales, instead, they are valuing relationship and staying true to their core values.
So my challenge to you during this ‘month of love’ is this: What is one thing you can do this month that will help you to grow a genuine relationship with your clients and show them that you care about them?