Thomas Callahan III, played by the late Chris Farley, inherits a near-bankrupt automobile parts factory and goes on a cross-country sales trip to save his family business. It’s a rocky road for him as he learns the nuances of sales.
Almost everyone I coach cringes at the thought of having to sell a product, or a trip, or the worst, “themselves,” (for my entertainment peeps.) They are passionate about their business, travel, art, craft, skill, but when it comes to “selling” it, they get… and I quote, “all weird about it.”
When polling my clients about words they associate with sales or selling, here is the list of results: pushy, desperate, pest, pain in the a**, annoying, uncomfortable, “ugh, that _____ person,” selfish, self-serving, phony, schwarmy, greasy/oily/used car salesman, user, pathetic, scary, the worst part of business, anxiety, fear, panic, avoidance, I just hate it!
Do you relate to sales in this way? Maybe you think your talent, brand, products, track record, should speak for itself, and people should be coming to you?
Unfortunately, if you are waiting for that, you are most likely not experiencing the success you desire and are scratching your head as to why.
Because there is so much more to sales than making an offer and getting a yes or a no.
In a seminar room of 300+ people, I will ask, “How many of you really like sales?” I’ll see a few hands raise. I follow up with, “How many of you like creating new relationships?” Still, more hands raise, but I get the feeling it’s because they’re trying to be good students. Then I change my whole posture and ask, “How many of you love hearing others peoples’ cool stories?” Suddenly all the hands go up, relieved that I have changed the subject… but I haven’t.
My definition of networking is sharing cool stories. People usually aren’t hiring you based on your past jobs or buying your product from you instead of someone else because you put up a beautiful image on Instagram. They certainly aren’t booking a 10-thousand-dollar trip with you because they like the name and logo of your travel company. They hire/buy from you because they like you, want to be around you, feel good about supporting you, trust you.
How would they know any of that unless they got to know you on a personal level? To do that you have to share who you are and the best way to do that is through storytelling.
This is when my clients cut me off and say that they are shy which is why they aren’t good at sales and networking. But they aren’t shy around their friends and family, just around new people. Here’s what I want you to do: drop your agenda of getting work, selling product, pitching to them, and simply connect with them by asking questions and answering questions with vivid examples from your life, losing yourself in the conversation because you are so focused on discovering if you like the person (instead of if the person likes you.)
Another way to look at this is, if almost 300+ people in every seminar I teach feel the same way you do about sales and networking, then you are actually making it easier for them by starting meaningful conversations.
Still not convinced? Need my personal list of icebreakers? How about 12 of the best questions to ask while networking to start interesting conversations? And what about me teaching you how to craft 4 strategic stories to share what you want people to learn about you or your products?
I tell you, if Tommy had these skills it would have been a whole different movie… definitely not as silly and a completely new storyline!
Because the Holiday Season is the best time to grow your network, I am offering a discount, on Small Business Saturday, November 24th, on my business changing Home-Study Program, Triple Your Contacts Doing What You Love. Use the coupon code HOLIDAYSAVINGS save $50! This coupon is only available through November 25thbecause I want you to have enough time to listen and implement before the holidays really get going!