This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”
“When the soul becomes the warrior, all fear melts,
as the snowflake that falls upon your hand.”
Many people tell me they just don’t like selling. To that, the first thing I say is, “Don’t think of it as selling. Be the Buyer’s Assistant, and help them see the right purchase. If your service is the right purchase, you’ll know it, and if you’re service isn’t exactly right, you’ll know that too, and following everything I’ve said in this book, you’ll be honest about that assessment.”
I’ve followed this process myself: “Mr. Customer, I have no problems saying I can handle X and Y; I’ve done things like them before, and I assure you I can get them done. However, I need to be up front and tell you that I’m not 100% sure about Z. I’ve done things similar to Z before, but your situation is a little different, and I’m going to have to do some research. That being said, I’m confident in my abilities, and I think I can tackle it.”
I’ve never lost business by being honest like this. I may lose a deal in the short term, but I’ve always had people come back to me later for other business, and I assume that’s because I’m honest with them about what I can currently do, and what I may not be able to do yet. (I never say I can’t do something, because I’m confident in my abilities, and I’ve always been able to learn anything I needed to learn.)
You’re selling more often than you think
If you still think you don’t like selling, consider this:
You’re probably selling something every day.
Here are a few examples:
- You ask a person for a date
- You try to convince a spouse, partner, or friend to go to your favorite restaurant, or to go see a movie they might not want to see
- You sell a colleague on an approach to a problem
- You sell your house or car
- You sell yourself on getting out of bed on days you’d rather just sleep in
- You apply for a job
- You ask for a raise
If you think about it, I’m sure you can find many other examples of how you sell something almost every day.
You’re selling a great product
Some salespeople have a really crappy job. Can you imagine selling used cars when you know there’s something wrong with them? I couldn’t live with myself that way.
I’d much rather have a job selling something I thought was great, a really terrific product that I believed in with my heart and soul. Well, guess what? In consulting you’re doing just that: You’re selling yourself, your own skills.
If you think your skills are good, selling yourself should be easy, a joy. You’re not selling crappy used cars, you’re selling a terrific product you know inside and out, a product you have complete control over. You know what it can do, and what it can’t do currently. There’s no reason to lie, you just state the facts, “Mr. Customer, here’s what this product can do for you.”
- Whether you’ve noticed it or not, you’re selling something every day.
- If you always act as a Buyer’s Assistant, you can know in your heart that you’re acting in the buyer’s best interest.
- In consulting, you have the opportunity to sell a terrific product that you have complete control over — you!