A loan officer, an escrow closer, a transaction coordinator and a receptionist are having dinner together. Which one is the salesperson?
None, right? One is in the business of approving loans, another closes the deal, another coordinates all of the moving parts, and the last one answers the phone and greets customers. They’re not in sales. Or are they?
The fact is that every job is a sales job. Even yours.
What do you think the loan officer is doing when he discusses options with potential customers? He’s selling them on using his bank instead of another.
What skills does the escrow officer use when she tries to convince her real estate agents to gather the necessary documents to close the file on time? Sales skills.
If a transaction coordinator does a good job and treats all the parties involved with kindness and patience, will those customers choose that real estate team again next time they need to buy or sell a home? If so, he’s made a sale.
And the receptionist spends all day selling customers and would-be customers on the fact that her company is warm, inviting and professional.
No matter what kind of job you can think of, it’s got a sales component, at least unofficial.
That means your job is, in part, a sales job.
If you’re like most people who haven’t chosen sales as a career, your reaction is probably something like, “Ick.”
Sales does have a bad reputation. But you don’t have to be pushy or manipulative when you make the unofficial sales at work that you inevitably make, even though your job title doesn’t say anything about “sales.”
Nobody likes to be sold. But everybody likes to buy. So the goal is to figure out what each person you meet really wants to buy. That’s what you sell.
So ease into it. Here are a few tips to help you embrace your inner salesperson:
- Whenever you work with clients, find out what else they need. Ask what else you can do to help. Then, figure out if your company has a product or service that would fill that need, and offer it.
- Before you say “goodbye” to a client after a satisfying work experience, ask that customer to refer your company to friends and colleagues, and to write a positive social media review.
- Be a walking commercial for your company, on and off the job. Employees who tell positive stories about their workplace spread goodwill not only for the business but for themselves. The people who notice your pride in your company are more likely to contact you when they need its services than those who observe an employee bad-mouthing the boss.
Making a “sale” can and should be a positive experience for both you and the person you’re “selling.” There’s really nothing “icky” at all about trying to strike a deal that benefits everyone involved.
Dr. Cindy McGovern is known as the “First Lady of Sales.” She speaks and consults internationally on sales, interpersonal communication and leadership, and is the author of Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work. Dr. Cindy is the CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting, a consulting firm in San Francisco specializing in helping companies to grow their business. For pre-launch specials visit www.drcindy.com.