In this series of seven articles, I am going to break some pre-conceived notions that might be stopping you to excel at sales, hence responsible for slowing down your startup’s growth.
I will replace them with 7 mindsets that will make sales come naturally to you.
Jim Rohn once said you shouldn’t wish that things were easier; you should wish that you were better.
Mindset 3: Be a helper.
The only way to get what you want in life, is to give people what they want.
The whole reason behind your startup is that you want to improve something for someone. Sales is simply the process of showing and convincing people who have a problem that your product/service can solve.
Remember, nobody cares how great you or your product are until they understand how you can help them solve the problem they think they have.
In other words, your job as sales person is to teach, coach, share and ultimately help.
You’ve got to see yourself as an expert and mentor. Your clients might know more about their businesses overall, but you definitely know more about the domain of the problem your product is solving.
You know how other companies are solving it, you know what works and what doesn’t, you know about other solutions in market – all in much more detail than your customer does.
You’ve also got to learn how to sell without being overly aggressive. The act of pushing your product to customers actually prevents you from making sales.
While shopping at a store, have you ever been asked by a sales person: “Can I help you with something?”
You probably replied with: “No, thanks. I’m just browsing.”
You’re obviously visiting the store with the intention of buying something – but you still don’t like being followed around by the sales person.
Why is that?
It’s because you think that the sales person will start pushing you to buy something you don’t need or like. You feel they’re more interested in scoring a commission rather than genuinely helping you.
Are you making the same mistake as that sales person with your potential customers?
The truth is that while people love to buy things, they hate being sold to.
Buyers actively resist or ignore sellers who are pushy, seeing them as manipulative and even sleazy. When sales people make everything about closing the sale and not what the customer needs, they risk losing the sale altogether. What’s more, they risk never seeing the customer again.
That’s what makes the sales game really tricky.
While doing sales is essential for your success, you’ve also got to get it right – otherwise you could end up turning potential customers away.
The best sales people quickly build trust by acting as helpers rather than sellers. For them, it isn’t mainly about selling – it’s about helping clients succeed.
Remember, customers want to buy – and great sales people make the purchase easier by informing and helping the buyer.
If you help clients to make smart decisions that are in their best interest, sales will follow.
A majority of B2B sales people long ago switched from selling product features / functions to selling solutions.
There’s also the Challenger sales model, which can help you get potential customers to think about issues that affect their business, in new and unfamiliar ways.
If you think about it, you’re actually helping people through sales every day – your spouse, your kids, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, your employees…
You’re basically selling them your views, opinions and suggested plans of action. Apply that attitude of helpfulness to your startup sales as well.
When your primary aim is to help, not just sell your product, here’s what needs to happen:
You listen to your customer’s problem first, instead of presenting your solution right off the bat.
You mentor and coach your potential customers, helping them realize their real problem vs. the problem they think they have.
When customers are open to you and trust you, they give you insights into their problems.
Once you have insights into their problems, you can quickly show them how your product solves their problem.
Also, you might realize that your product can’t solve the problem of a particular potential customer. In that case, simply be honest and say, “Our solution isn’t designed to solve this problem, but you could connect with XYZ company.”
Hi there, I am Maddy, I help B2B & SaaS founders get first 1000 customers and scale fast!
Sales is a science. Just like you engineer your product into existence, I can help you build a sales and marketing machine to help people see how your product change their lives for the better.