EVERYONE'S in Sales...even Compliance!

By Todd Cohen, Motivational Speaker and Author of Everyone's In Sales

One of my favorite topics to talk and write about is my profound belief that EVERYONE is in Sales! This doesn't mean everyone needs to be a professional sales representative.

What it does mean is that everything you do every day helps a customer say "yes" to your company. Or your boss to say "yes" to a promotion. Or your colleagues to say "yes" to helping you with a big project. Put simply, everyone's in sales because everyone needs to sell themselves well to succeed!

By Todd Cohen, Motivational Speaker and Author of Everyone's In Sales 

Everyone is in sales

One of my favorite topics to talk and write about is my profound belief that EVERYONE is in Sales! This doesn’t mean everyone needs to be a professional sales representative.

What it does mean is that everything you do every day helps a customer say “yes” to your company. Or your boss to say “yes” to a promotion. Or your colleagues to say “yes” to helping you with a big project. Put simply, everyone’s in sales because everyone needs to sell themselves well to succeed!

Every Interaction We Have Is an Opportunity to Sell Our Skills, Knowledge, Ideas, or Ourselves.

When I say this to an audience I will term, "the non–professional sales person" (NPSP), it usually gets one of two responses. The first being a blank, terrified stare or a solid "Yep, I agree". The latter is sometimes said with a slightly confused gaze, but the intent is there. It is always somewhat amusing to me that the people in the former category think I am somehow telling them that they need to report to the local Chevy dealer the next day to start selling Suburbans! The look of fear is palpable and oh so real! So my message to all of the NPSP's is that "It's ok." You will survive. I promise. We sales professionals really do want you in the club! It is a fun club!

We all are exercising the basics of sales more often than we think. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, home contractors, the folks who own the local McDonalds, and yes, even Compliance Professionals. They are ALL in sales.

Then there are the people in companies who need to sell something internally. One example that comes to mind is the compliance professional in the financial services industry. They are up against a tidal wave of regulatory requirements - a challenge that is only getting worse - and they need help. Help might mean adding to the compliance staff, or it might mean investment in the tools needed to get the job done. Either way, the project needs funding to make it happen. It has to be sold to the bosses! We have all used and heard the term "it has to be sold" when we are referring to something internal to our companies or even in our personal lives. Often, this means building an effective business case for your project: communicating the Return on Investment that the organization can realize from investing in your initiative.

It is also a fact that some non-professional sales people will vehemently deny this entire concept because in some way there is a fear that being thought of as having to "sell" is not something they have to do. I find this to be a generational thing as well. The older guard of the NPSP's did not have to sell as we think of it today. Business came by referral and word of mouth. Oh, the times have changed!

How Non-Professional Sales People Can Sell

I have worked with various members of different professions (card-carrying members of the NPSP club) and I like that many of them see the bigger picture and some get it (quite naturally) that selling is not something requires them to stop what they are doing and do something different. It is not always a mode change. It is rooted in solid relationship building and developing trust. It is not unlike complex solution selling that we sales professionals experience all the time.

I have been asked many times what advice I would give to the non-professional sales person on how they can learn to sell and not have it feel like they have to learn something new or get some training ( although I am a big fan of training and interactive learning).

I think the best advice I ever gave was just to relax, be natural and listen to your target "buyer". If you get too wrapped up in thinking too much about it then you will have some (big) challenges. Listen, ask questions and see how you can help. Have your facts ready and make sure they are right. A very dear friend of mine once said to me "facts don't lie". Facts help the selling process for us all. That is the advice I have given to the NPSP's and the feedback is that it has worked pretty well. It's no different than what we sales pros already know! Right?

 


Todd CohenTodd Cohen is a frequent keynote speaker at corporate meetings, national association conferences, trade shows, and sales meetings. His Sales Culture Workshops™ have been met with wide acclaim.

Todd is the author of “Everyone’s In Sales”, published in 2011. He is a professional member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the immediate Past President of the NSA Philadelphia chapter, and serves as chair of the Sales and Marketing group of the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group. He was recently elected to the chapter’s governing board.

Todd is a contributor to the Philadelphia Business Journal and hosted the radio show “Let’s Talk Sales Culture.”

For more information, including booking for speaking engagements, workshops, and consultation services, please visit www.toddcohen.com.