"I could never be in sales."

“I could never be in sales.”

I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard this statement and I’m always curious about the root of why people feel this way.  My belief is that when people feel this way, it’s sometimes because they have been exposed to organizations that have failed in two key areas:

1. The organization does not have a product or service that its team truly believes in.

If you look at nearly every high-growth organization out there, it is likely full of team members who are raving fans of the organization’s products and services.  

In high-growth restaurants, team members can easily share which dishes and drinks they enjoy the most, using phrases such as “my favourite” or “the best” to describe them. They will happily “up-sell” an order with a side-dish, dessert, or specialty drink, not simply because it’s their job, but because they believe the customer will genuinely enjoy their recommendation, thereby creating additional value.

I use this restaurant example because restaurant servers aren’t traditional “salespeople”. In fact, many would likely utter the phrase “I could never be in sales”, despite the fact that in those high-growth restaurant environments, they very much are “selling”. However, it doesn’t feel like it because they are simply having a conversation and making recommendations that they believe their customer will value.  This, my friend, is called good sales.

When organizations fail to offer a product or service that its own team believes in - when its team members aren’t using phrases such as “my favourite” or “the best” - it becomes a very tough selling environment and the organization likely won’t meet its revenue goals.   The good news is that there are things organizations can do to its product or service to start creating those in-house raving fans.

2. The organization has not kept its target market(s) defined and in mind.

Going hand-in-hand with creating a product or service teams believe in is creating a product or service with its target market defined and in mind.

A restaurateur could have the most gourmet chef, access to the freshest ingredients,  and a menu filled with the most decadent meals. Its team has likely sampled all of the menu items and can speak poetically about the flavours, textures, and emotions they experience while enjoying each recipe.

However, if the restaurateur has not priced, placed, and promoted the restaurant with its target market defined and in mind, the restaurant will likely be in big trouble.

The same is true for any organization. Too often, businesses plow forward without constantly referring back to its target market. They create a product or service that doesn’t speak to its audience, that doesn’t create value, that doesn’t have a competitive advantage for a defined market - and are baffled when they can’t achieve their revenue objectives.

However, when an organization commits and aligns to moving forward with their target market(s) defined and in mind, growth objectives become much more achievable - and sales becomes (dare I say it!) fun!