When I ask most people “What are your rights as a seller?” most give me a blank expression or grunt something incomprehensible before repeating in a quizzical tone, “What are my rights as a seller? Er, good question! I’ve never thought of myself as having rights.”
Because most of us are taught that “The customer is king!”, “The buyer is always right!” and “The man with the gold makes the rules!”
LIES! DAMNED LIES! AND BUYER’S GUFF!
The prospect is never more than you equal, even on your worst day. They have a problem, which, if they could have fixed it, you wouldn’t be in front of them with them trying to milk you for what you know without paying for it. They have the commmodity. It’s called “money”. You can mug an old lady coming out of the Post Office with her pension. You can beat up a tramp for his change. Or you can go pro, and become a banker, rob the State and the General Public of their pensions, life savings and livelihood if you really want to. But cash is the commodity.
What you have is the expertise to solve their problem(s).
Stop devaluing what you do and being apologetic for being a salesperson. Stop behaving as if what you have is a commodity and behave as if you are the expert, a safe pair of hands, a genuine problem solver because YOU ARE the expert, a safe pair of hands and a genuine problem solver. Prospects come to you for leadership and a way to make their problems go away, problems that are causing them pain, have been causing them pain for some time and are costing them time, money, opportunity, resource and work-life balance. This means you are valuable. Behave as if you believe you are valuable and prospects will no longer drive fear into your heart. They are not worth the awe you squander on them.
They are never more than your equal … even on your worst day.
It doesn’t mean you have to Lord it over them. Quite the contrary. Be empathic, be assertive and above all be vulnerable. Recognise their problems, help them feel you understand them but DO NOT abdicate your power by putting them on a pedestal.
Is Sandler we teach an assertiveness programme called “No Guts No Gain” which I happen to believe is our best material by a country mile. One core element of this is The Salesperson’s Bill of Rights. I’ll share a couple with you here. If you want to know more come along to my director’s briefing on the morning of the 19th November 0815-1015. (07515 937221 to reserve your place. Places limited to 12).
1. You have the right to your dreams, desires and expectations.
2. You have the right to what you want.
3. You have the right to like yourself as you are.
4. You have the right to fail.
5. You have the right to be imperfect.
6. You have the right to lunch … once you have paid for it
Understanding your rights as a seller is crucial if you are going to stop them being violated through giving away free consulting, ending up in sales cycles that have no natural end and so you waste a whole heap of time chasing non-prospects because you don’t understand how to get a clean “no” or a clean “yes” and instead you chase “maybe”s. Your fear of asking tough, searching and challenging questions will mean you will spend your life trying to fix symptoms and getting lumped in with all the other cattle who make up 98% of the unprofessional salespeople out there.
Professional selling is in my opinion the best and most fun career anyone can choose. Salespeople aren’t born, they are made. They are made int he crucible of failure and hard knocks, lessons learned through scar tissue and being humbled by their mistakes. Great salespeople don’t pop out of their mother’s womb able to sell, they learn to sell form their customers and their prospects and by learning they too have rights. They have the right to be treated with respect, to love what they do and sell. They have the right to get paid what they are worth and get paid on time, every time. They have the right to charge high prices and to have others stick to their word. They have the right to make promises and keep them because you are known by the promises you keep not the ones you make. And they have the right to say “no”, to walk away from bad business.
So in summary, define your rights, plant your feet … and grow a pair!
Marcus became a licensed Sandler franchisee in 2004. He is an engaging and challenging speaker on sales, sales management, company turn around, achieving maximum cash at exit and successful recruitment of salespeople. He cuts through the flannel, pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. He’s trained thousands of salespeople, managers and business owners across 400+ sectors of the market from IT, Telco, Pharma, professional services, media, web, branding, financial services and banking through to matchmaking, female fantasy fulfilment, match-making, legal and accounting!