Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do You Love The Work But Hate to Sell?

From time to time, I am asked the following question: Vinay, I love what I do, but I hate the selling part. What do I do?

If you're like me, you don't particularly enjoy selling, nor the constant pressure of having to chase and close deals.  While I understand the sales process and the need to drive revenue, the use of war like language often used in sales (closing, chasing deals, breakthrough resistance, get 'em to say yes, etc.) is a turn off for me.

I am certainly not implying it's wrong but just that it doesn't work for me. You see, to me people aren't to be conquered, nor are they just deals to be closed, trophies to be won.  Rather they are real living human beings, just like you and I and therefore deserve to be served, to be helped. To me "selling" is the start of a relationship, not the ending, the closing.

While I don't particularly enjoy selling per se, I do love helping people.  I love becoming an expert in something and then sharing that expertise with others as well as using it to help.  So if you're like me, I say to you, stop selling and start helping.  Here are some of the ways you can do that:
  1. Write:  Write articles, start a blog, participate in various electronic discussion groups in which your target audience participate, write books, short booklets, and tips.
  2. Teach: Develop and deliver educational programs.
  3. Present.  Develop short talks.  Speak at conferences and other various gatherings.
  4. Serve: Get involved, serve on committees, boards, and other such groups.
As you get in front of those you want to serve and share your expertise in these various ways, you'll start to get to know people, and more importantly people will start to get to know you.  Through such efforts, your network will grow, leading to conversations, some of which you'll initiate and some others will initiate.  In due time work will flow to you.  Working this way not only leads to work, it also leads to more joy and fulfillment, for both you and the people you help.

Now some may question if this just a mind game for at the end of the day we still have to drive revenue.  After all, just helping with no returns doesn't work for too long either. What I do know and have experienced is that if you love your work but hate to sell, shifting the mindset from selling to helping can make all the difference, in both your own success as well as those you help.  So stop selling and start helping and you'll be well on your way.


Joelsef said...

I like this philosophy a lot!

Vinay Kumar said...

Thanks Joel. I live by 4 simple rules:

1. Show Up
2. Keep it Simple
3. Play Nice
4. Help Others

So far, it has not let me down.

Mariana said...

thank you for this post and for being who you truly are. I completely agree in being true to yourself and to others.
Regarding your four rules, I have to say that I have a hard time going with the second one. Any thoughts anyone? Any suggestions to improve this?
Thanks Vinay for being such a pleasant human being to be around with.

Vinay Kumar said...

Hi Mariana,

How nice to read your thoughts. As for having a hard time with my rule #2, please tell me more about what you face and what makes it hard for you in this regards?


Tony Rossell said...

Vinay -- I find "selling" a lot easier if you truly believe that you have a product or service that will solve someone's problem. One way to look at this might be using the term consultive selling. In my mind, this is sitting down with someone to understand their challenges and seeing if we can provide a solution. A critical part of this is being honest as to whether or not you truly have a solution that meets the needs for the particular situation. Tony

Vinay Kumar said...

Great point Tony. I am very much the same. This is one of the reason I appreciate you cause I know you truly care about your customers, have their interest at heart, and only take on customers you truly believe you can help.