Believe it or not, everyday you sell something to someone. You sell your boss on taking a vacation. You sell your significant other on getting froyo. You sell the paper boy on throwing the Herald closer to your front door...
Maybe you like selling, maybe you don't.
Or maybe you're actually "in sales." You cold call, talk to strangers, send hundreds of emails, build relationships, close deals, lose deals, and repeat. From the moment you make your first call as a salesman, to the time you get that first signed contract in your inbox, you feel a slew of different emotions, good, bad, happy, sad.
To be successful in sales (and in entrepreneurship) you have to be like water flowing through the ups and downs. You gotta take the good with the bad, the rejection with the acceptance, day in, day out.
Being in sales is like being on the world's fastest roller coaster with no seat belt or lap bar, while at the same time, drudging through hell (sometimes). One day it sucks and you want to quite. The next day you're THE BEST at sales. One day you're drinking Matcha and Yerba Mate to stay focused and bang out 75 emails. The next day you take a shot of tequila to loosen up before your next call.
Entrepreneurship & Sales are lifestyles most cannot commit to. Too much responsibility and self accountability. But, if you have the guts, the glory comes...
Success in sales comes to those that feel confident assuming different personas, depending on the situation. Get to know the following four personas well and become them next time you're selling to maximize your results and make everyone involved feel good...
The Four Personas of a Successful Sales Person
1. The Artist
Just as a painter tells a story through color and canvas, a good sales person paints a picture for their prospect. You're an artist drawing broad strokes, tiny dots, and everything in between. Lines, bubbles, spatters, you do it all. Like Picasso, you must vividly paint the message you need your customer to SEE IN THEIR MINDS. Not just hear, SEE. The best artists are confident in their fluidity and work. Be confident and fluid as you paint.
2. The Therapist
Prospects are humans and they want to interact with you, the seller, as such. That means listening MORE than you talk and asking questions. Lots of questions.
Nobody listens more than a therapist. During consultations, give 100% of your attention to your prospect and try to read between the lines. Be your customer's therapist. Give sound advice, take your time, and be patient. Allow them to speak their minds and you be open minded to their unique views, thoughts, opinions. But most importantly, as a therapist, you must dig deeper and deeper into you customer's psyche to understand what they need and how you can give it to them.
3. The Best Friend
Any business will fail without long term, fair exchanges of value. When your company is young and you're trying to find product-market fit, you might give away more than you receive. Frankly, I think this is the fastest way to success for startups, entrepreneurs, really anyone selling something. Give, give, and give some more, then ask for something. Ask for money.
For sales people, treating customers like best friends is imperative to success, especially in a startup. If your best friend asked for something small, you'd give it to them and not ask for anything in return. If your best friend asked again, you'd give. Same goes for a prospect - you have to give a little when they ask.
When a prospect asks, feeling the need to ask for something more in return is a destructive mindset. For startups and new entrepreneurs, if you want to be in business a year from now, be a good friend and give a little extra to make your prospects/customers feel appreciated. A little goes a long way.
4. The Author
The most important persona. The ability to tell a good story and have it received well and clearly is what makes your product, service, entire company, grow and earn customers. This isn't just for sales people, either. Every person on your team should be able to clearly explain the company's story.
For sales, every call, email, and meeting involves some form of story telling. People understand stories and they connect with stories because they get our attention and help explain the true purpose behind the business (how what you're selling changes lives). How Harvard Business Review explains it.
People associate stories with their personal world-views and stories therefore act as guides to understanding. They're easily digestible, meaning less brain stress and less work for your prospect.
Tell your story. Tell any relative story and the listener will better understand.
"Good stories always beat good spreadsheets." - Chris Sacca