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Effortless Selling

I was sitting with a sales team tonight at a function. While there I was listening to the sales banter. It reminded me of all the different times I’ve been on sales teams over the years.

I remember selling water purifiers, workout pants, cars, photography packages, timeshares, office supplies, and a host of other things years ago. I went to motivational seminars and endured countless sales meetings. I fretted over quotas and spent many days fearfully contacting leads and desperately going through the motions.

I wanted to excel. I was working hard and going at things aggressively but my sales were average. Looking back I was just part of the sales churn – part of the team that washes in and out like the tide.

A lot has changed in 20 years and now I even though I sell, I rarely consider what I do selling.

I’d heard Zig say time and time again…”help enough people get what they want and eventually you’ll get what you want,” but it took a long time for my pea-brain to really understand what he meant.

Listening to the conversation tonight I heard people obsessed with sales and wanting to exceed quotas, move through the ranks, make money, and gain the respect, envy, and admiration of their colleagues. Moreover however, what I heard was frustration – frustration because they were working hard but failing to get what they wanted.

Back when I was trying hard to “sell” things I had the same frustrations. I was absorbed in the sales culture and (truth be told) everything was about me – how could I do this – what could I get out of that – etc… I stayed in my head trying to get something for myself and because of that I was just an average salesperson.

Today my interactions with people (I may or may not sell something to) are very different. Today my focus is on solving problems for people and bending over backwards to help them get what they want.

Qualifying prospects has become much more important to me but I don’t spend much time trying to figure out how to close people. Today I spend time trying to figure out if we are going to be a good fit and how I can go out of my way to provide value through solutions that genuinely help people regardless of the cost.

It took me a while to have that shift in thinking and to understand that all the hard work I was doing was misdirected. You can work yourself into the grave but if you’re working on the wrong things you’ll never get the right results.

Now sales flow naturally…effortlessly, they have become a byproduct of doing the right thing and focusing my attention on discovering and solving problems for my clients.

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