You May Have an Obligation to Sell

Here's An Easy Way To Know For Sure

iStock_6223748Sm hand with plants left faceMany business people don’t like to sell, but I think we have an obligation to do so.

The main reason for not selling is the belief that it’s pushy, forcing something on someone who does not want it–the hard sell.

I agree that a hard sell is insulting to both the seller and buyer. However most selling is not a hard sell, it’s simply letting others know about the value our offering could provide them. And, when a potential buyer could benefit from our offering(s), don’t we have an obligation to let them know about it?

Here’s an example:  Talking with a colleague, Joe*, recently about how to grow his business, he mentioned finding contact information for a number of past clients in a box in the attic.  Joe was thinking about reaching out to them, but nervous as well.  He said, “The idea of calling these people out of the blue feels like it might be imposing on them.”

To help Joe understand if contacting his past clients was useful I asked:

  • When you worked with those people in the past, do you believe they received value from your work?
  • Would the majority of them benefit from working with you today? Even from a 5-minute phone conversation?
  • Will reaching out make a difference in the growth of your business?

Joe answered YES to all the questions.  He started to get excited about executing his project because he understood that a connection previously seen as an imposition is really a benefit–when done in an intelligent, sensitive way that puts the needs of the customer/client first.

KC_OverTheHump_Masthead 230x200Notice that the question about growing Joe’s business is the last one, underscoring the importance of putting the clients first.

(Also note that these tenets apply to sharing about (selling) our personal capabilities, more on that next in coming weeks.)

Where do you avoid reaching out, and benefiting others, because you thought it might be perceived as a hard sell?  What questions or tactics do you use to move forward?  (I also struggle with this so look forward to hearing your ideas!)

Please help me and others to move forward as well by commenting below!

Make it a successful week!

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Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent.

It’s sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

~ Thomas Edison

* Not his true name, to protect the guilty.

P.S. I learned this from the guru of customer connection, Mike Bosworth, founder of Solution Selling.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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