Give Up the Need to Sell

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Most business people will tell you that selling is not their favorite activity. Let's explore a way to look at the process of sales a bit more favorably.

Whether we like it or not---"we're all in sales". Most of us have an internal dialogue about both selling and closing that is less than positive. Most of us approach the sales portion of our business hoping we're not "coming off like a salesman".

Most of us hate to be sold to. Most of us have to sell to live. Most of us realize that in order to keep our business afloat, we need to sell. I suggest that you give up that need to sell. Please notice that I didn't ask you to give up the commitment to sell but rather the need.

The hardest time to do anything is when you need to. In the revised edition of his book "Man's Search for Meaning", the noted psychiatrist and author Victor Frankl coined the term "Paradoxical Intentionality". He defines "Paradoxical Intentionality" as "The twofold fact that fear brings about that which one is afraid of, and that hyper-intention makes impossible that which one wishes."

In other words, if you need to do something it makes the task much more difficult. Frankl's thesis can best be illustrated by an example with which we all can identify:

The last time you needed to get to sleep because you had something important to do the next morning? how easy was it to get to sleep? The last time you needed to stay awake for the end of a film? how easy was it to stay awake?

So I repeat? give up the need to sell. Be committed 150% to making the sale but avoid becoming tied to the "outcome" of making the sale. This is contrary to what many of us have been taught. However, if you view yourself as a "problem solver" rather than a "maker of sales" this concept will make much greater sense.

I define a problem as, "something that exists when there is a difference between what you have and what you want." My definition of business is, "The ability to solve other people's problems and get compensated for it". Closing is "the ability to create an environment in which the prospect comes to the conclusion that our product or service will solve his/her problem."

Based on these definitions our job becomes a process in which we first uncover whether the prospect has the type of problems our business solves. Next we have to find out if the prospect truly believes that a problem exists (and it's important to let the prospect be the judge.) If the prospect believes that there is a problem and that the problem is likely to cause monetary or emotional sacrifices, he or she will be open to having someone who can be trusted help solve the problem. In other words, the prospect begins to close the deal.

Your prospect will begin to convince and influence you that there is a need for your help. He or she will become the source of the sales presentation and the close. As backwards sounding as this may seem? it's really the way it works.

Because the responsibility of convincing and influencing is assumed willingly by the prospect nearly all of the stress and negativity we associate with selling literally disappears.

Use this approach to selling and you'll see a big difference. Instead of a day filled with trying to sell things to people, you will get to solve people's problems. This is a much more enjoyable way to approach the selling part of your business.

In summary? give up the need to sell and think of yourself as a magical problem solver.

Ike Krieger is the founder of He is a nationally known business language expert, mentor, speaker, radio and TV talk show host, educator and author. He is a former communications instructor at Ohio State University.

He has served as business makeover specialist for the LA Times and writes for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He is the current Chairman of the Board of the North San Fernando Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. Ike's business success builder programs have helped thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, salespeople, consultants and professionals get an even bettershot at networking, selling and business success.

Ike can be reached at 800-700-4334 or by e-mail at Build it Big, Build it Bigger!

818-997-7575 - 800-700-4334

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