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Flip 'I Hate' to 'I Love' to Sell

5 tips for sales professionals who want to love their job.
October 26, 2009
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/203838

It would be great to wake up every day full of enthusiasm about moving your business forward through the sales process. But there are days when we get tired of sales calls to new prospects and feel as if what we used to love has morphed into a feeling of "I hate to sell." No need to worry; it's normal. And there's not a top sales producer I know that hasn't gotten into a rut once in a while. You just have to figure out how to get out of it.

Here are some ways to turn your "I hate selling" days around:

  1. Show up. Activity that introduces you to new contacts not only can open up more opportunities for business but also give you that boost of energy that accompanies adding qualified prospects to your pipeline. How many times have you been on your way to a sales meeting or networking event thinking to yourself "this is a waste of my time," only to meet a person who brought you significant business several months later?
  2. It's not about you. If you think selling has to do with how well you can talk, then you're missing out on a huge part of your business. After you show up, shut up--doing so might help you love selling. Every time you're with prospects or customers and they start asking questions about you, answer quickly and then turn it around with questions to get them talking about themselves. Since so many people love talking about themselves, you're in no danger of listening yourself out of a sale. Nobody's ever said, "I don't like her; she listens to me too much!"
  3. Attitude is king. Maybe you've heard over and over that attitude is everything. Well, there's a reason for that. When you have a negative attitude people pick up on that, and it's contagious. Every day you wake up, your attitude that day has more to do with your sales success than any other factor. Let this knowledge influence your choices: Read positive materials and surround yourself with people who drive you and inspire you. A study of top executives determined the four attributes that contributed to their success were knowledge, experience, intelligence and attitude. When the executives were asked to rank them by importance, knowledge, experience, and intelligence together only comprised 7 percent, while attitude determined 93 percent of their success.
  4. Plant seeds in the right soil. One of the biggest factors that contributes to your attitude about selling is rejection. The more rejection we experience, the more we feel like what we're selling is of little value or worth. Many times rejection has more to do with whom you're calling on to make a sale. When the person isn't qualified to make the decision or doesn't have a real need for your services, you have to learn to walk away and move on to more worthwhile accounts. Imagine planting seeds in the desert--it can be very frustrating. If you employ the advice from tip No. 2 above, "It's not about you," you'll know the person you're speaking to and can target questions to determine where your product could be of service.
  5. Hard work. This is one of the best ways to beat the salesman blues. It makes up for our deficiencies. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to dress up for Halloween and go around town with a pillowcase to fill with treats. There was something satisfying about having that pillowcase filled and going back home for another one. Not only was the payoff sweet, but with all that walking we started to learn which homes, streets and sections of town gave out the best treats. So the next year we were working smarter. Massive activity has a way of qualifying situations you would not have known about otherwise.

Nobody said selling was easy, but when you love what you do it gets significantly easier.