If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve thought of sales as something that sits as a separate part of your operations – like a support department, or accounts. But let’s be clear: sales is not part of your business; it IS your business.
Whether you grow and succeed, or fail miserably and stagnate, hinges on how good (or bad) you are at selling whatever products or services your company offers. Although this statement is true, it’s actually incomplete. Yes – you are selling goods and services; but often you are actually selling your business itself.
In today’s blog post, we’ll offer some tips for developing a successful sales-centric mindset and culture within your organisation. Stick around – it may just be one of the most profitable reads you make all year!
Stop thinking of sales as a necessary evil and start thinking of it as an essential part of your business
We all know the cliché of sales — it often feels like a necessary evil. However, we should all make an effort to reframe the way we view it and think of sales as an essential part of the business.
Everyone in the business plays a role in sales, whether it’s through contact with customers or simply by acknowledging them when they enter your premises. Fancy technology and marketing campaigns help, but ultimately what matters most is how customers feel when they encounter your team – whether they are being heard and understood. Every interaction counts; every contact is an opportunity to connect with your customer and deliver on your values through providing a positive experience. That’s how businesses succeed in the long run – from each team member actually wanting to make sure customers genuinely feel heard and respected.
It is vitally important that every one of your team members understands this concept, because they are a sales team that you let loose on the world every time you open the doors. Think about all of the possible interactions with customers throughout an average day in your business. How many times does the phone ring? How often do people walk through the door? How many facebook enquiries? Do you send out products via mail? How are they presented? Are they on-time or are they late? When you start to dig into your business, you begin to uncover an extraordinary amount of interactions, and every one of them either sells your business, or doesn’t. Every one of them either creates trust, or distrust – every time.
Start thinking of sales as a philosophy, rather than a function that you only call upon for immediate profit. Embed this idea deep into your team and culture and the trust, loyalty and profit will follow. Which brings us to the next point.
- Make sure your team understand that they are in sales
- Use every interaction to connect with your customer on some level
- Think of sales as a philosophy
Get rid of the mindset that sales is something you only do when you need to make money
Selling isn’t just about making money – it’s about creating goodwill, company-wide trust in your values, and fostering customer loyalty that leads to repeat business.
Values based businesses help ensure every person feels like they are a part of something greater than themselves. When every person in the business understands and supports the mission and purpose of the company, it radiates outward. This encourages customers to stay loyal to a brand or product, ultimately leading to long-term growth for the business.
So, selling is much more than simply profiting – it’s about creating tangible, beneficial relationships between the business and its customers. This produces a real sense of connection through sales that goes beyond mere profit and creates true loyalty and trust between your customer and your team.
A good way to look at this is to go back in your mind to the day you decided to start your own business. What was it that drove your decision? Was it a desire to do good in the world, or was simply that you knew things could be done better? Often when people decide to start their own business they are full of good intentions and a desire to contribute. Generally, central to their though process at the time is a belief in what they can offer their customers as an improvement to what they are currently getting. What did you do with those beliefs though? Were they formalised into a set of values that have been driven deep into your business through your team? Or did they become a background thought that gets brought out at meetings, only to be put back into the closet the second everyone walks out of the meeting room.
Ultimately, what you sell is not just your product or service; but your values as a business. At it’s heart, sales is about helping your customer discover what it is they truly need – what it is they truly value. Your job as a business is to then help them to find it. So the question is, is sales about convincing a customer to buy, or is it about helping them find what they need?
- Remember your values and make them central to all you do
- Drive your values deep into your team
- Culture starts at the recruitment phase
Sales is not always about convincing people to buy something – it’s about helping them find what they’re looking for
Sometimes what your customer is looking for cannot be sold for money. A customer’s experience with your company goes beyond what you can sell them.
Often, customer service can be even more important than the goods or services that you are providing. What if your customer just wants to change their contact details? Is this a difficult process? Do your team members make them feel like an inconvenience, or do they make it clear that they are happy to help? These little interactions with your team are really microtransactions. The only difference is that you are not receiving money for this service; but rather loyalty and customer satisfaction. This form of payment can very often turn into longer term profit down the road.
What is your customer onboarding experience like? Once you customer agrees to your service, does your team reach out immediately to make the customer feel confident that they have made the right choice? If they don’t, then they are missing their customers outcomes; because I can guarantee that is what the customer wants. Agreeing to purchase a product or service can be a stressful time for a customer, particularly if the outlay is large. Buyer’s remorse can kick in very quickly, and the longer you delay communication, the worse it gets. This is a valuable period in the business relationship in which you have the opportunity to secure trust and loyalty to your brand. Believe it or not, your customers want to trust you, so that’s what you need to help them find.
- Don’t just sell your product for money, sell your values for loyalty
- Help your customer discover what they need
- Communicate to make your customer feel confident
Sales should be a mindset shared by every team member in your business
Most people view sales as a trick, a way to convince someone to buy something they don’t need. This is not a completely undeserved reputation it has to be said. We all know the classic used car salesman employing their pressure tactics to convince a customer to buy that shiny object in the parking lot. Unfortunately, this leads many people to attach a stigma to the word sales – they want no part of it.
The truth is that having a shared sales mindset throughout the entire business helps sell the business to customers, as well as sell each individual’s role in the organization. Every team member should care about and understand what part they are playing in the success of the company. If everyone is working together with a shared sense of commitment and enthusiasm to sell your business values, it can lead to much higher levels of customer satisfaction. It also helps establish an atmosphere of teamwork throughout the organization, which contributes to overall morale. Having a full team that knows their part in this can be invaluable when it comes to realizing business goals.
A good way to establish this mindset is to create a culture where everyone is engaged in the business of selling your values. Your products should represent these values, your recruiting strategy should represent these values. When you make decisions, make them in light of your values. Your team should embody these values, so that when they make their own decisions – they make them according to your values.
Will every potential customer appreciate your values – no they won’t; but the customers that do will often turn into long term repeat customers. Importantly, long term, loyal and satisfied customers will very often willingly become part of your salesforce themselves. So bring them into the circle and let them feel the values of your business at every interaction.
- Remove the stigma of sales in your business
- Turn sales into a mindset
- Teach your team to sell your values
- Make decisions in light of your values
So, sales is not just about selling product and making money—it’s about selling a vision that people can believe in. In order to be successful in sales, everyone in the business must embrace the mindset of making connections with customers. Sales should feel more like building relationships rather than convincing someone to drive up profits, and it should happen with every customer interaction. Doing this will result in greater customer loyalty, better engagement with customers and more meaningful conversations which ultimately leads to a more successful and profitable business. In conclusion, sales is about so much more than numbers on a balance sheet and by focusing on developing meaningful customer relationships everyone in your organization can become involved in sales and help forge a path to success.
Want to find out more about how to sell values for loyalty? Hit the button below to contact us!!
All the best,
Adam Walsh – Values-based Talent Specialist