“I hate sales.”
It sounds like a surly protest you’d hear from a five-year-old. Yet it’s a surprisingly common statement we hear from technology entrepreneurs and even technology executives.
When we speak to companies that want to bring more revenue into their business, we start with questions about how much time they spend on sales. And by sales we mean sales — which doesn’t include any of these things that it can be all-too-easy to spend time on.
Part of the problem stems from how people think of sales, and their interpretation of what a sales conversation is. They overthink it, because to be honest a sales conversation is just a conversation — it’s the use of the word “sales” that makes people uncomfortable.
That’s because so many people think of sales as something you do to someone, instead of being something you do for someone.
I think another problem lies in how people talk about what they do. They are inherently uncomfortable clearly stating and owning what they do across all settings — and I don’t just mean in sales conversations. I think the problem about owning what we do goes much deeper than that.
Think about people in social settings, and how they talk about what they do as individuals and as teams. I hear people saying, “Oh I’m (we’re) a ________” or even “I’m (we’re) just a ______________” – where we understate what we do because there’s a discomfort for many people in really saying, out loud, what they do, who they do it for and how they impact those people.
For example, I say “I help technology companies to entrepreneurs who hate sales to love sales so they can bring more money into their business.” I add to this depending on the context and setting, but I’m consistent in describing what I do. Everyone I speak to understands what I do and who I work with — including friends, family and people I meet in a social or a business-social context.
Getting more comfortable stating what you do and describing its impact means you are more comfortable in conversations related to bringing revenue into your business, a.k.a. a sales conversation.
So. Fill in the blanks below. Practice stating what you do, who it’s for and what the transformation entails. You should be able to do this as an individual and also as a business team.
Because it’s time to start owning what you do.
Individual: I’m a ___________ I help/change/work with ________________ so they can ______________________.
Business: We are __________________ we help/change/work with __________________ so they can ____________________.