Barbara and I have been thinking a lot about sales lately. Specifically, when the sales process actually starts. And it’s far earlier than you might think.
Traditionally we think selling starts when you’re speaking with a prospect. You find out what they’re looking for, what issues they want to solve and then present a solution and hope they buy.
But in reality, your sales process starts way earlier.
As a mentor of ours, Col Fink reiterates, the first sale is always to yourself. You have to have absolute conviction and clarity as to what value your product or service provides a specific market.
Let’s unpack this. There are 2 components which go hand in hand.
First you have to have something of value. Solve a problem. And there needs to be someone who wants to solve this problem AND be willing to invest time, money and/or effort to doing so.
Put another way, value is at the intersection of your product and your prospect. i.e. You need 2 hands to clap.
Which in our experience is often where people go wrong. They either aren’t completely clear as to what value they provide or who to or both!
And finally, you need a mechanism to get your message in front of them and a sales process to influence them to buy.
Missing any component leads to a lot of frustration and if you’re in business, a distinct lack of sales. Which ultimately means your business fails in its primary objective – to make you money!