I was at an event the other night, and I met a CPA. We got through names, and 'What do you do?'s", and when he learned that I oversee a team of on-demand sales experts and help small businesses grow their sales funnel activity, his response was, "Sales isn't my thing."
Sales isn't your thing?
I gave a quick shrug and laughed it off to keep the Sarcastic Monkey in my head from blurting out, "You know that sales literally pays everyone's bills, right?"
Obviously, I knew what he meant - that he isn't the type who can walk up to a stranger and try to convince them they need what he has, and handle rejection after rejection, day after day. But let's talk about that; I mean, is that really anybody's thing?
I'm sure those people exist, but I'm in sales, and the way I just described it (the way most people think about 'sales') sounds absolutely awful to me too!
What's the alternative?
Early in my sales career, I was given advice that I employ at every sales call, networking event, and social gathering I can: Ask, "What's your story?"
The things I've learned since utilizing this approach have been remarkable.
Stories open up opportunities for sales.
Stories have characters - your prospect, their stakeholders, yourself. And every good story has a conflict - a problem that needs solved.
If you are listening well to your prospects' stories, you won't need to convincethem they need what you have. They'll tell you themselves in the story of their business.
Your story is the happy ending.
You then have the opportunity to tell a different kind of story. Telling your own story is a non-invasive way to write the resolution to your prospects' stories.
Whether it's telling the story of how you solved others problems like theirs in the past, or how your company is the sort of partner that your clients enjoy working with, tell the happy ending story that comes when your prospect chooses to work with you.
Maybe sales "isn't your thing." But we all tell stories. Make telling great stories your thing.