Do you need people to do something that you ask them?
Maybe you need your team members to take some action that you request. Maybe they are selling your company’s service. Maybe they need to get buy-in on a direction. Maybe you need to sell your own product or service. Or even have someone in your life say yes when you ask them.
All of those activities are in some way sales. I know that may be out of what you normally think of as sales. However, you are actually having someone ‘buy’ what you are asking and then taking an action they would not have taken before you asked them to do so. We do it naturally all day long.
What is it about sales that can take an extraordinary, brilliant person from creative and talkative to freaked out and shut down? It seems so odd to me that all of us buy things every single day, which we could not do if someone was not selling it to us, but when some people feel like they have to sell, they get defensive and squirrelly!
Or if you are someone who ‘sells’ ideas, asking team members to take action but are hesitant or apologetic, what is it that is in the way of your own ease and natural abilities?
Here are some of the things I have observed when working with people:
- I was talking to a group of amazing entrepreneurs I coach and was discussing with one woman about selling her product. Her reaction was stunning; her body language shifted to protective, she started stumbling for words. Here is the thing: she, like most of us in business, must sell her product to make money and actually have a business. That is a simple fact. However, some people say, “I am not a salesperson. I hate sales.” There seems to be a common theme. The most common answer has to do with a story about sales people, where they think that sales people are dishonest and manipulative.
- With regard to asking someone to do something – like someone who works for you or is a team member – in the conversations I have had with my clients there is also a theme. The theme seems to be being afraid someone will get mad or say no.
When I delve into this, what is at the heart of it is a fear of not being liked, or somehow damaging the relationship, or being thought of in a negative light.
We, in general, have a strong proclivity for being liked. It is likely a brain pattern that was set up when we were young and needed to ‘fit in’ or belong. Totally makes sense— yet, it is destructive to your career or business if we continue to operate that way. I am hoping you can see that for yourself.
What I tell my clients and want you to hear is that you cannot control what other people think, so suppressing yourself and not asking for something does not serve you.
I invite you to consider that sales/asking for something is simply a conversation.
The sales conversation is an opportunity for someone (your prospect) to get to see your product or service and decide if your product or service would benefit them. Then they get to say yes to the sale or no to the sale. It is so simple and natural!
If you are not selling a product or service and are asking someone (employee or team member, for example) to do something- you are giving them an opportunity to say yes or no. I have found that when you empower others to choose for themselves, they do a better job and get more satisfaction. You hesitating does not empower them or you.
The other theme I have seen in common when people are resistant to asking is they are afraid of rejection, like saying no reflects on them personally. If that is the case for you, I want you to know that all saying “No” mean is “No” to whatever you are asking or offering and has nothing to do with you. They are not saying no to you as a person.
To take this one step further….remember a time in your life when someone asked you to do something that was thrilling, maybe even changed the trajectory of your life? That is the real opportunity of asking and of selling.
Go out and ask… see what happens!