How Consultants Learn to Like Personal Selling

     The biggest obstacle to promoting consulting services to new customers is often your own resistance to the idea of selling. Yes, S-E-L-L is a four-letter word. But it’s not something you should be ashamed of. Few people want to grow up and be salespeople. The images of the used-car salesman or the retailer unloading inventory on customers are negative ones. Those are cases where salespeople have their own best interests at heart, not the clients’.

     The biggest obstacle to promoting consulting services to new customers is often your own resistance to the idea of selling. Yes, S-E-L-L is a four-letter word. But it’s not something you should be ashamed of. Few people want to grow up and be salespeople. The images of the used-car salesman or the retailer unloading inventory on customers are negative ones. Those are cases where salespeople have their own best interests at heart, not the clients’.

You Need More R&R

     No, not rest and relaxation, although that may be true too. There are two ways to think about selling where you’re not exploiting clients for your own selfish gain. These are research and relationships.

     The whole sales process can be designed to find people who already have a strong need for what you have to offer (your research). You’re not convincing/arm-twisting anyone. You’re spending time finding those with a need. If they have a clear need, some of them will want to work with you.

     The main reason many people are afraid to work with you is because they don’t know if they can trust you. People prefer to do business with people they know. If you have a relationship with people, they will not exploit you for a short-term gain. Good salespeople instinctively spend time building relationships. It’s not just “glad handing.” They really do get to know people and bonds develop.

     So instead of worrying about sell as a four-letter word, do some research and find the people who need what you have to offer. As part of this, and in addition to it, spend time building relationships in your industry and community. This will lead to referrals, repeat business, a more relaxed life for you, and yes, sales.

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