But i’m not in sales… – Con Koutsikas
But i’m not in sales…

But I’m not in sales….

It’s an interesting conversation when I enquire what people do.  The only people who mention sales are the people who literally sell a product or service.  What about the rest?  Engineers, architects…… But here’s the thing, we are ALL in sales.  We may not be directly selling a product or service but we’re selling our ideas, plans and most importantly, selling ourselves!

As a team leader or department manager, you’re selling your leadership, idea’s and culture of both yourself and the organizations.  You need everyone on board to create a productive and happy environment.

I’ve dealt with many other professional disciplines over the years and whilst being highly skilled in their chosen field, some lacked the communication skills to adequately articulate or “sell their ideas and themselves.

One of the core components of a speech or sales presentation is the acronym WIIFM, “What’s In It for me”, “Me” being the client, listener or audience.   What solution are you providing to a problem or situation? The professionals I mentioned earlier did not clearly articulate what the benefit for the client was or his problem they were solving i.e. “What was in it for him”.

It’s a bit like trying to sell a 2 seater sports car the family man who needs a people mover or convincing the girl you just met at the bar what a great husband you would be when she is already married or looking for a friendship.  The sports car might be the best performance vehicle on the market at a price never to be repeated but to the guy who has just become the father of sextuplets, it might as well be a submarine!

As we are all in sales in one way or another, to better sell ourselves, ideas, requests or products, we need to establish what is the desired outcome or result the other party or parties is looking for or trying to achieve.  And how do we do this?   Ask better questions and clarify the answers with more questions.

At a job interview and performance review, you’re selling you.  Can you adequately communicate the features and benefits you bring to the role and organization and why you deserve that pay rise?

The WIIFM is a critical component in your sales presentation.   Remember, it’s not about you, it never was.  It’s about the value you bring to every transaction and interaction in life.   Family and loved ones included.

I look forward to your feedback and until the next edition, my name is Con and I am  “The Con Versationalist.”

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