Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Instead of Selling, Work on Being of Service

Have you ever heard that “sales is a numbers game”? According to that traditional idea, you just have to “pitch” your services to a lot of people, and some of them will become your clients.

A sales trainer might even tell you that “Every no means you are closer to a YES!”

If you’ve actually tried this, you’ll know that it’s brutal.

Trying to “sell” to a bunch of people is both intimidating and inauthentic as a way of connecting with others.

What if there was an alternative way to think about it, that felt more human and heart-centered… as well as being more effective?

​Try this instead:

As you talk to people who might (or might not!) become your ideal clients, put yourself in the mode of understanding and helping them.

Try to find out the issues and challenges they’re struggling with.

You probably know some person or resource that can be helpful to them.

In some cases, it turns out that your service is exactly what they need and want right now. If so, great! You can then say something like: “This is actually the kind of work I love doing with clients. If you’re interested, I can give you more info.”

But first, come to the conversation from an attitude of helping, being unattached to whether they ever hire you. This way, when it becomes apparent that they want your help, you can then simply share information and answer their questions, doing it all from a place of authentic helping.

When sales is only seen as a numbers game, you may have to talk to 100 people, and maybe you only get 3–10 new clients… which means 90–97 rejections. Even if you’re an extraordinary salesperson and you convert 70 out of 100 people you’re talking to, that’s still 30 rejections. Nobody enjoys that.

Imagine all of that time spent trying to sell to people, to have to keep vigilant in those conversations for a bridge to start talking about your business. It feels inauthentic and exhausting.

Instead, when sales is seen as a process of understanding and helping, then you might still talk to 100 people, but the feeling is very different. You are genuinely curious about what they’re going through and what kind of help they need, whether it’s an idea, resource, tool, referral, or simply a kind listener.

You will then be occasionally delighted to discover that what they need at this time is your service or product. Let it be a surprise, rather than a planned, ulterior-motive (“I’m pretending to help you but I’m actually trying to sell you.”)

Just help people.

As a result of your mindset shift, you’ll no longer be churning through people, but instead you’ll be serving everyone you connect with, bringing more light into their lives.

​Serve, rather than sell.

It is a much more enjoyable process! And not surprisingly, some of the people you talk with, will want to come back to you as a resource, and perhaps become your client or referral source.

Whatever happens, you will be embodying the Golden Principle: Treat others with the kind of understanding and helping that you, too, would love to receive.

This has been a chapter from the forthcoming book, Authentic Selling: How To Gain New Clients Through Connection, Caring, and Service. To be notified about the book’s launch, sign up at this FB event page.

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"