It IS Personal

We like to think of sales people as problem solvers and fixers. And, for the most part we are, at least the good ones are. But there is more to sales than solving a problem and fixing stuff. Sales is also about people, not about people liking you or you liking the people you sell to, but peoples emotions. You see, no matter what it is someone is buying there is a personal motive, a personal need behind the decision — it’s personal.

No one or no act can be completely selfless.

I remember when I was a kid, we would try to stump one another with this question. We’d challenge each other with coming up with an act or a person that wasn’t selfish.  No one could do it. The reason was, no matter how much someone gave, sacrificed, shared, etc., it always came with some return, some benefit to the person giving. Therefore, despite the benefit to the receiver, the giver was doing it because they got some internal reward or return; it made them feel good, it absolved them of guilt, it made them feel like a better person, it met their religious needs, it warmed their heart to see others prosper. They did it for them. Regardless of the motive, it’s impossible for people to be selfless, therefore every decision we make is selfish and personal.

My girl Ash over at The Middle Finger Project had a great post the other day about this and the personal element in selling.  I particularly liked this quote;

Every single person sitting on the other side of a transaction is hoping. Hoping to feel understood. Hoping to feel seen. Hoping to feel like somebody actually gets them. And it’s your responsibility as a business owner, as a marketer, as a sales person, . . . to facilitate the damn connection.

If we want to get better at selling, we need to add more of the human element and make it personal for our clients and prospects. When we need to close a deal by the end of the quarter and push the prospect to close early, that’s working against the human element and that’s not making it personal (well, personal for you). When we understand that our prospect is counting on our solution to save her $15,000 dollars a month and therefore her business and so we offer additional free consulting time to ensure everything goes perfect, that’s making it personal. When we recommend the competition because we know our solution won’t deliver as needed and our prospect is banking their promotion on this purchase, that’s making it personal. Understanding what’s in it for the decision maker and what their personal connection is, that’s how we make it personal.

When we know what the personal drivers are, when we understand “the person on the other side of the transaction,” when we are engaged at a personal level, we are better sales people. Numbers, pipelines, deal strategies, products, quotas,  the competition, RFP’s etc. all drive sales, but it’s all noise without making it personal.

Sales is personal, get that right and everything else will fall into place.