I was advised not to use the word “sales” in conversation with them because they hated it with the passion of a thousand firey suns.
Upon reflection I think a better word than “hate” would have been “fear”; but they aren’t the only ones.
When I replaced the “S” word with the words “relationship building” and “persuasion” everything changed. They could get behind that and so could I.
The thing is I wasn’t deceiving them. That’s precisely what sales is all about.
Look at the sales process as a series of 7 activities between a client and a sales person (for B2B) or a brand (for B2C).
- Understand your clients needs – don’t guess, find out
- Build a relationship – create rapport, affinity and trust
- Explain your proposition – what it’s capable of
- Prove it’s fit for purpose – establish credibility
- Reinforce differentials – give people a reason to choose you: USPs
- Add extra value – because just doing your job isn’t enough any more.
- Persuade your clients to buy – show how your offering meets their needs
You don’t ever need to feel ashamed of the “S” word again. Just think of it as “relationship building” and “persuasion” because that’s exactly what it is.