Let Me Tell You Why I Hate Sales and What I’m Doing About It
I hate sales! I hate selling!
It doesn’t feel natural to me, and I can’t shake the feeling.
Regardless, I have aspirations. And to fulfil those aspirations, I need to make sales. So, I need to find a way to fall in love with sales and the process of selling.
I have a day job that I enjoy and do relatively well, if I say so myself. I need to dedicate Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 each week, to deliver this work.
I have a side-project, Get Into Nuclear, that I have been trying to turn into a business. I have had minimal success in this, and that is being kind. The effort has far outstripped the reward. I have spent many hours outside of my 9–5 so far.
So why do I want to carry on with my business? The honest answer, which always feels corny, is I’m looking to build a legacy. When I was younger, I would achieve this by being the best rugby player in the world. That didn’t work out, so now I aim to change the world by creating a nuclear industry open to all.
And, I want to be a millionaire.
To meet my definition of a millionaire and build an organisation to support the nuclear industry, I need to make sales and lots of them.
Why I Hate Sales?
As part of a recent team-building exercise, we analysed the characteristics of our behaviours and personalities — something similar to Myers-Briggs. My result summed me up pretty well. However, one statement jumped off the page at me:
This point is something that I had never thought about before, but when I do think about it, although I identified the feelings differently, I can put embarrassment right at the heart of many things that I have done or not done, to be more specific.
As such, this is my guiding light when I consider why I hate selling.
Naturally, fear of rejection and being told “no” has to be at the top of that list. Doesn’t it?
When I think about my career, my first couple of jobs were in sales, and I don’t remember having the phone slammed down on me, causing me too much concern.
When I delve deeper, it’s less the rejection but more the embarrassment of asking for something. I would happily offer to do the work for free, but I fear the embarrassment of someone saying what I’m offering is not worth the money.
In this scenario, I would find myself in a position where I have to explain my worth or the worth of Get Into Nuclear. Not a good scenario.
Your Duty and Obligation
Previously, I have posted that I like to read. I have read many books on sales. As I was analysing why I don’t like to sell, one author that comes to mind is Grant Cardone, an American author, sales trainer, real estate investor, and motivational speaker.
I forget the exact quote and from which book it came, but two points made by Grant come to mind:
‘I decided that I needed to be good at sales to become successful. So, I started to work on perfecting my craft. What I found was the more I worked on sales, the better I became, and the better I got, the more I started to love selling.’
‘If you have a product or service that you believe is valuable to the world, it is your duty and obligation to sell it to the world.’
So, according to Grant, I need to find something I genuinely believe in and see it as my obligation to bring it to the world. The more I work on selling, the more I will learn to love selling.
A lot of you would have watched the Wolf of Wall Street. To try and improve my sales, I have read the supporting sales training book the Way Of The Wolf.
I will not do Jordan Belfort the disservice of trying to explain his sales method. The one thing that I will point out is that using a sales script is fundamental throughout the book.
I have never tried reading from a script before, but I know from experience that scripts do not work well for me when I deliver a presentation or speech. They feel monotone, forced and, well, scripted.
The book does say to practice the script enough times to deliver it without needing the piece of paper in your hand. This step aims to make it feel natural. This approach is not for me. Maybe I am judging the sales process based on what I have seen in the film, but it feels too much like a sleazy salesman doing it this way.
A Discovery On YouTube
I came across a video when flicking through YouTube by Alex Mormozi. He is an American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, according to his bio.
To look at Alex, he is a big, muscly, bodybuilder type. It was no surprise to learn that his first business was owning then licensing gyms. He has, however, had lots of success with many companies over the last decade.
In the video, Alex lays out a process that will enable you to sell without selling and without the need for a script. This approach sounds good!
In more detail, the framework follows three phases:
- Questions — ask questions to find out more about someone or their business.
- Reframe — confirm you understand their situation and their current issues correctly.
- Stories — give them examples of ways they could solve these issues.
To paraphrase, speak to people, ask interesting questions to find out more about them, their business and industry; listen then confirm you heard them correctly; provide advice in the form of stories, not a product description of your offering.
Only then, if your offering 100% provides a solution to their issues, would you ask them if they want to work with you.
So, What I’m Going To Do
The above process, coupled with the Grant Cardone advice that it is your obligation to sell something that adds value to the world, has helped me reframe sales.
I love talking to people, particularly about the nuclear industry. I feel comfortable asking questions to find out more about their business and providing new approaches to solving their issues.
If one of the services we offer through Get Into Nuclear can help, I will provide an overview and leave the door open.
I consider this approach as selling without selling.
Interacting with people with no pressure to ‘sell’ will help me enjoy ‘selling’.
So Where Do I Go From Here?
I’m a project manager by trade — and personality. I naturally consider ultimate outcomes before I undertake anything. Although, this does sometimes lead to ‘paralysis by analysis’ as Quincy Jones would say.
My aspirational outcome from my new ‘selling without selling’ mantra is to make more sales.
Let’s not shy away from that fact.
I need to make sales to bring in revenue to build a team that will support the whole industry. I have ideas for events, roadshows, podcasts, books, courses, YouTube channels in mind, and I need a team to create and deliver.
I feel the catchphrase of ‘I have nothing to sell you’ will help me to be comfortable in the process.
If there is alignment with someone’s issues to the solutions that we offer, I’m happy to provide them with an example of how this could work and leave the door open for them to work with us in the future.
To Sum Up
Writing the above has helped me process the issues I am having with making sales. Hopefully, it has helped you in some way too.
I’ve considered why I don’t like selling.
I’ve discussed some of the sales training I’ve undertaken through books and courses.
I’ve reviewed the sales approaches that could work for me.
I’ve identified a sales philosophy to implement going forward.
And, I’ve identified aspirational outcomes to assess performance and refine as needed.
I’m looking forward to implementing the above without the dread of ‘I need to make sales’. From now on, I will implement my new sales philosophy with a more meaningful expectation to ‘trust the process’.