Beginning Sales Tips: The Wisdom Of SW 4
Don't Give Prospects Power Over Your Success
You are a salesperson. You might call yourself a nurse, but every day you have to "sell" your patients more comfort in their health care and wellbeing. Your job title might be "rock star," but any professional performer first learns the lesson that a song has to be "sold" in every performance. Your business card might say "Chief Executive Officer," but you know you are always selling - to shareholders, to executives, to the rank-and-file, to the press, to customers.
Even my friends and clients who are management consultants, and who hold dearly the cultural notion that they must never cover their firm with the shame of "salesmanship," know that their jobs depend on their ability to influence their clients... to "sell" ideas and proposals in order to ensure buy-in and implementation.
So if you're a salesperson, you should be an excellent one. And excellent salespeople embrace the wisdom of such concepts as "SW 4" to ensure they do not become too emotionally invested in overcoming the natural sales resistance of their prospective clients and customers. They believe in the products and services they have to offer, and they know there are people out there looking for those offerings. The market is out there, waiting for the professional salesperson to help them buy the solutions they need.
So the pro doesn't give prospects power over their success. They know they're not paid to get everyone to say "yes," but to sift-and-sort, and to search for the people who've already said "yes" but have yet to find what they're looking for - and what the pro salesperson is offering. So they constantly remember their four SW phrases - "SW 4" - to remind them that professional selling is a search, not a sweep.
Present your offering to qualified prospects. Some will buy (though you may have to handle a couple of objections to make them comfortable with their buying decision). Some won't. So what? There are other qualified prospects out there waiting for you to help them make buying decisions that could literally change their lives.
My consultant clients often feel they don't have the "so what" option... but the true professionals among them do claim the option, and exercise it often. The stories of engagement managers and directors who've "taken away" a consulting engagement because it wasn't in the client's best interest are stories of lore and legend... and the consultants who have the guts to refuse such studies (and the accompanying high fees) generally become legends themselves.
My own doctor holds me to account for my health. If I'm not disciplined enough to keep myself in shape between office visits, he doesn't want me as a patient. And THAT is what makes me respect him enough to be extremely loyal to him as my health care provider!
So be a great salesperson... or nurse, or consultant, or rock star, or CEO. Be kind enough to get good at the central mission of your job: to "sell" others on what you have to offer. And be bold enough to protect the exclusivity of your offering - even if that offering is just your reliable, smiling face at the receptionist's desk - by offering it only to the qualified buyers out there who are committed to making it work for everybody.