For many professionals, sales are a necessary, often loathed, part of their job. It’s the ‘price of admission’ to be able to do what they really want to do, like financial planning, or being around great cars, or practicing whichever craft that is the product of their business.
Consequently, many of us look for ways to minimize the amount of time we spend selling. We make as few sales calls as possible. We put far too much pressure on too few leads, all in the hopes of avoiding picking up the phone or knocking on doors.
Here are three common laments I hear from Advisors about why they hate sales:
I hate pushing people to buy something. They know I’ve got an agenda.
I feel like a different person when I’m selling. I’m not myself and I hate that feeling.
I’m confident and skilled at my profession, but as soon as I try and sell what I do, that flies out the window. I’m no good at it!
I understand your pain. Much like an artist who really just wants to practice their art, or any high-performance athlete who wants only to play and compete, there is a deep frustration with the very necessity of having to spend your time and energy on hustling for the opportunity to practice your craft!
And of course, this isn’t the only challenge you’re contending with. There is compliance, practice management, new regulatory changes, adding to your accreditations, and on it goes. Everywhere you look there’s a new learning curve to deal with.
So the task of selling remains a necessary evil that you spend as little time on as possible.
It’s a rare person who leans into discomfort instead of avoiding it. But the benefits are well worth it.
When you are in the driver’s seat of a sales interaction, fully confident and in control, these conversations aren’t stressful, they’re fun!
Here are four tangible benefits that make taking the time to master your sales skills worth it:
Think of your favourite hockey or golf player. Or picture a concert pianist. When you see them in your mind’s eye, they are poetry in motion. They’ve mastered their skills to such an extent that the skills cease to be a factor. Instead, there is complete freedom. Freedom to be present and respond, moment to moment. Freedom of expression. Freedom to interact with complete confidence and spontaneity.
When you’ve mastered how to ask great questions and listen deeply, handle objections with poise and calm professionalism, position your services, and confidently ask for the business, that freedom is yours. You’re so skilled that nothing throws you. You can guide your sales conversations in any direction. You feel relaxed and completely free.
Every increase in your level of mastery with these skills translates into better sales meetings, and more closed business. Period.
Less time selling
If your deepest desire in relation to sales activity is to minimize the time doing it, the fastest way to accomplish that is to master the skills. Mastery leads directly to a higher closing rate. That means more money in, fewer calls and meetings needed to generate it.
It may be hard to believe right now, but sales conversations can be enjoyable. Yes, even for introverts. Sales conversations have predictable elements that can be broken down and mastered. They are simply the building blocks of the interaction. Once you ‘own’ them, you can plug your own unique style into the exchange. Every personality type has equal access to success, here.
One of the main reasons we dislike an activity is that we’re not good at it. Obviously, that can be fixed!
Since the need for sales in your role isn’t going away, why not carve out some time to master the skills. The rewards are significant, and here for the taking.
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Kira Callahan is an expert sales conversation coach serving the financial industry. Her private clients typically experience 30% – 100% increase in appointments and business booked. Click here to find out more about Kira.