marketing+sales: Everyone Is In Sales
You might think that salespeople are those individuals who make cold calls, have expense accounts or go out and "knock on doors." Or maybe you think that salespeople are those who have the word "sales" in their title and are "supposed" to develop business for your organization. Maybe you're thinking "Sales is not my job" or that you're not in sales because you work in accounting or production, or you're the owner. What do these job functions have to do with sales? The short answer: everything.
This concept is not limited to those with direct sales-related responsibilities—it includes even those whose function may not be "front-line sales" in nature. No matter a person's title or job description, Everyone Is In Sales.
Success in sales is not about how much you talk, it's about how well you actively listen. It's not about how often you share your company's accomplishments, it's about the number of solutions you can bring to your customer's business. And it's not about how much you enjoy spending time with other people, it's about making every such encounter a valuable and meaningful experience. No matter what title you have, sales or otherwise, these things are important.
Sales is a part of the communications process. In fact, we are reframing the word "sales" to "communications," so begin thinking dialogue instead of monologue. This type of sales/communications is not about gimmicks, shortcuts or techniques learned in seminars. Moreover, it has nothing to do with fast talking, bait-and-switch tactics or misleading others. Sales is about relationships, integrity and authenticity. It's about trust and being a good listener. It's about caring for others. When you do these things, you are in sales—because you are a communicator.
Everyone Is In Sales because we all have information we desire to share with others. If something is important to you, don't you try to express it to another person? You may not think of this as sales, but it is. If you are in accounting, you have to communicate with people to get your job done, collect money and close the monthly books. This means you are in sales, because without others you could not get your job done. If you are in IT, when a problem develops, you have to communicate to someone what is going on and troubleshoot. This, too, is sales—just a different kind. Even if you are talking to your boss in your review or talking to the principal about your child's low performance in school, you are selling your position.