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Selling is more about others than yourself

Are you a sales person?

Recently, I had had the opportunity to attend Utah TechX, a program intended to help small businesses accelerate growth.  There have been many benefits from attending this training.

One of the questions asked was, “Are you a salesperson?”  Most of the attendees were CEO’s of small businesses and I suspect many of them, as did I, thought, no I am not the sales person of our company, we have a sales person or sales department.  However, I quickly realized everyone in the company is a sales person.  It is critical for everyone in your organization to understand that one of their responsibilities is to promote the business they work for.  Whether you are the inventory clerk, IT person, or on the front lines dealing with clients, everyone needs to understand that if the business isn’t promoted, they soon won’t have a job.

So how do you promote the business if that isn’t your primary role in the company?  Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Understand what business you are in.  I remember when I first joined a company I was the CFO at, the owner pounded into our head that we were, “a service business that happened to do market research!”  This was eye opening to me as I quickly realized that regardless of the business you are in, you have to be provided a good or service that other people need or want. 
  • Be easy to do business with.  We all have experiences with people who we hate to pick up the phone because our experience with them is so painful.  Make sure that people enjoy interacting with you and you are easy to do business with.
  • Do things without expectation of anything in return.  For example, take someone to lunch to find out about their business without any expectation of anything in return.  Make a presentation for a local organization just to disseminate information and help small business owners succeed.
  • Be genuine.  Know what you don’t know and don’t be afraid to admit it.  People appreciate honesty rather than someone that makes it up as they go without really knowing what they are talking about.
  • Make referrals.  What goes around, comes around.  It is surprising when you help other people out how much of that comes back to you.

Business development is more about being personable, genuine, and professional, than trying to sell yourself.  Try it.  You might be surprised!

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