“No-one can read your mind! Half the time you don’t even know what you are thinking, so how do you expect anyone else to do so!”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take
I was talking to Vera, one of my closest friends, the other day and she was complaining about how people who were younger and less experienced were getting promoted ahead of her. She has always put it down to the fact that they were men and getting favoured treatment, but this time it was another woman!
(And yes… That “!” at the end of the paragraph is deliberate)
“She knows she’s not qualified, but she applied anyway and got the role. Just like the men do!”
“Did you apply?” I asked – knowing the answer was no.”
“Of course not!” She snapped. “I didn’t have 5 of the criteria they put in the job description – and all these people who are getting promoted over me have even fewer than I do.”
As the heading says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Your manager can’t read your mind and is probably too busy to go around thinking about trying to persuade you to apply for new roles anyway. Your prospects are just as busy. If you don’t ask for the sale, you’ll probably miss out… Unless you are important enough for people to seek you out.
How Was I Supposed to Know You Wanted That
Some years ago, Anna came out of a meeting with her boss absolutely fuming.
I asked what had happened, expecting to find out that she had been reprimanded, fired, or had her leave request rejected.
It turned out that she was mad because she was thirsty and her boss hadn’t offered her a drink of water, instead he had turned off the fan.
“Huh,” I said. “That seems odd. Did you ask for a drink?”
“Oh no! But I told him it was draughty.
“You told him it was draughty and you expected him to get you a drink?” I asked… Just to clarify that I hadn’t misheard.
“Yes. And he just ignored that and went on with the conversation.”
Look… People can be really tone deaf. They can miss things we communicate explicitly, but when you say it’s draughty, not many people realise you want a glass of water, so it’s your job to communicate what you want clearly and concisely.
Why I Say that “Sales is the #1 Life Skill”
Both of my friends in the stories above felt they’d received a raw deal. The reality was, neither of them had taken the time or action to prepare a sales pitch or say what they wanted.
Instead of considering how to present her abilities and pitch her readiness for a new position, Vera convinced herself that she wasn’t qualified and never applied for promotion, then she got mad about others who were prepared to put themselves forward.
Instead of telling her boss she was thirsty, Anna got mad because he couldn’t read between the lines and see that she was thirsty, not cold.
Instead of telling people about the transformation your product and service can make in their life or business for them then asking if they’d like to learn more…
There’s a strong likelihood that you are expecting the other person to take the initiative and getting upset when they don’t respond as you’d like them to.
Conversations, Sales, and Open Doors
Most people aren’t very observant… Or, if they are observant, they’re paranoid about being offensive so they don’t share their observations.
I like to think that’s the reason that networking events and business dinners can be so stressful and boring. It’s not that the people there aren’t interesting, it’s just that they are afraid of offending someone or prying. Zoom meetings, social media, and lockdowns haven’t helped at all! In fact, they’ve made it much worse.
What do you do when someone says something interesting?
Do you ask a follow-on question, or do you just continue with your planned script?
Most people are too busy to see or hear the open door, so they just plough onto the next question… And so they lose the chance to listen, learn, and create a relationship… Which may (or may not) lead to a future sales or other opportunity.
The archetypal pushy salesman of the 70s and 80s with a briefcase full of brochures and the goal of selling whatever they have available ‘no matter what’ learned scripts and stuck to them. They deserved the rejection and avoidance they received – BUT the truth is that those people were never the highest performers.
The most effective and highest-performing sales people have always been the ones who listened, asked appropriate questions to draw out their prospect, and then offered a tailor-made solution that met their needs. Once they had done that, they asked for the sale fully aware that their prospect wanted and needed the solution that was being offered.
Because… If you don’t ask for what you want, you probably won’t get it.
Do You Need to Learn to Ask for the Sale?
I work with a lot of people who tell me up-front, “I’m just not good at selling.” Many of them assume that sales people are born not made, when the truth is no-one is born a sales person. It’s a skill we learn (or choose not to learn).
I’m passionate about teaching people to sell because I believe that confidence in your ability to sell makes life much easier and more pleasant… And we all want our lives to be easier and more pleasant!
I’ve developed a 30-day course called Ready Set Sell that enables even the most reluctant sales person to prove to themselves that they can sell and that closing sales is fun. It’s great for sales-averse individuals who realise that they need to learn to sell because it’s non-threatening, can be applied in any industry or setting, and can even be practiced on your friends and colleagues.
If you’d like to learn more about discovering the hidden sales power within you go to https://lifepuzzle.com.au/ready-set-sell/. I hope to see you inside.