Many people commonly associate “sales” with stepping out of their comfort zone. But, as I’ve learned, “sales” are less commonly associated with one key ingredient that actually makes sales successful.
Can you guess it?
Hint: It has to do with connection.
*drum roll please…*
Maybe this seems obvious. But let’s just get curious for a moment: How often is “authenticity” the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the next sales conversation you’re prepping for?
The idea of selling has a tendency, all too often, to feel scary, intimidating and nerve-wracking. Which is exactly why I love helping entrepreneurs actually experience sales as something fun—and not so scary.
This journey of marrying “authenticity” and “sales” in the same sentence, and living it, has been nothing short of eye-opening and diverse.
And it’s been a journey, let me tell you. One that’s taken me totally out of my wheelhouse and walking along spectacular views. And, one that began when I decided to step away from the career in HR that defined me since my freshman year of college.
Working in HR taught me a lot about communication, and how the way we show up in our communications makes a world of difference. Little did I know, the universe was setting my stage for the work I’m doing now helping clients have authentic, enjoyable and fruitful sales conversations.
When I left HR I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I started my own business. And failed. I started again. …And failed, again. This happened again. And Again.
Four failed launches.
So I changed directions. Numerous times. I became well-acquainted with stepping out of my comfort zone:
- I was asked to be part of the opening team (as restaurant manager) for Fort Collins’ dazzling Elizabeth Hotel. What began by staring at an empty lot of concrete and steel transformed to a team collaboration that created an integral and amazing aspect of the Fort Collins community today.
- Constant Contact offered me a job. I took it and learned a wealth of information about email marketing.
- I moved to Idaho, turned around and left four weeks later—because I wasn’t afraid to get honest with myself and recognize what was truly best for me, letting go of expectations.
In hindsight, it became clear that all these seemingly disconnected experiences were actually perfectly interconnected, and leading me to a beautiful part of the journey I now find myself on: successfully owning the Proffit Coach, helping others shift their sales experience.
What did all parts of this winding, interwoven journey of mine have in common? What allowed me to successfully launch the Proffit Coach and pay my bills (plus some) during the first 3 months of launching my business? (I spent zero on marketing these first 3 months, BTW. I know, it’s nuts. And yes, you read that double “f” in Proffit right–I’m lucky enough to have ”Proffit” as my last name 😉 ).
As I’ve reflected on a common thread, this is what I’ve noticed:
- I wasn’t afraid to step out of my comfort zone and make a change (even when other people thought it was crazy). I was willing to trust myself.
- I made authenticity the tone for all of my business (and personal) communications.
- I’ve learned to be open to possibility.
Being committed to authenticity and open to possibility, and experiencing this firsthand, allows me every day to help clients apply these ideas to their own business.
What’s amazing is that sales (and most of business) isn’t just about stepping out of our comfort zone. It’s also about being committed to authenticity.
As you become more comfortable sharing your incredible gifts with the world, get curious and ask yourself:
- How do most sales conversations feel to you? Do they feel authentic, or does the conversation feel awkward?
- If you’ve experienced a truly authentic-feeling sales conversation, can you think of one important thing that made it feel so natural? (Get specific! 😉 ).
- If not, what is one thing you could do to help future sales conversations feel more natural? (Hint: check out this post for some tips).
When we communicate authentically, we have an incredible potential to transform our business engine (sales) from experiences in which we forget to breathe, to experiences that feel so natural and energizing that we detach from outcomes, and confidently receive what our journey has to give us.
This guest post is by Alison Proffit, the Proffit Coach.
Alison Proffit teaches small business owners how to become more effective in the sales aspect of their business. Her work focuses on becoming more clear on where the breakdown is, creating a sales process that resonates with them so that they can go into sales conversations more confidently and then have a plan to follow through on the connections that have been made.