If you’ve ever read the greatest living sales writer’s blog, you will have read about going slow in order to go fast. Anthony Iannarino talks often about the need to go slow throughout the sales process in order to be consultative, in order to really listen to your prospect discover their pain points. We do this in order to create a solution that works for our client; out goal is not simply to sell them something. We go slow so that we can become a partner that helps solve their problems. We don’t try to force a cookie-cutter solution so that we can close a sale.
But it is not always time to go slow. To succeed in sales, often you must go fast.
We All Must Sell
Although a primary part of my business is writing, I am always working on helping someone sell. Sales is really what I do, whether I’m acting as a sales freelancer getting someone’s concept off the ground, or creating a blog strategy, the idea is to sell. Blogs exist to sell, if not your product, then your ideas. Many of my clients resist this concept because the very idea of selling makes them uneasy. If I had a dollar for every time I heard
I can’t sell
Nearly every needs analysis meeting I take part in includes us getting to that speed bump, and me attempting to create a vision for the client to get over it. And they must get over it, because no matter what business you’re in, even if you work for a non-profit, there is something you are selling. If your goal is to raise money, you are selling a belief in hope. If your goal is to grow your blog traffic, you are selling the concept that your thoughts are valuable.
The Speed Bump to Look Out For
In order to make themselves more comfortable, many people try to slow down the first part of the sales process. They create work that must come before the actual act of picking up the phone or making contact with a prospect in order to push that moment further into the future. I hear things like:
I’m reformulating my message.
We’re in the re-branding process right now.
We’re re-positioning our blog.
We’re meeting again to work on our sales strategy.
All of these are speed bumps we create to avoid the thing we are most afraid of; rejection. All of these excuses are our downfall. Business doesn’t stand still while you revamp your message, blog, strategy etc. Your competitors are out there selling while you create obstacles for yourself. The key part of the sales process, prospecting and making contact with potential customers, can never stop.
There are no speed bumps worth slowing down for when you are creating opportunities. It may take you a while to turn these opportunities into clients. You should slow down during the sales process so you can really listen to what your prospect needs, and so you can help them. But slowing down the prospecting phase? That’s just you putting roadblocks in the way of your own success.
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