As a small business owner, you may not consider yourself a salesperson, even though sales are a large part of the entrepreneurial game.
You may even feel a tension between creating your product or service and selling it.
So, how do you know if you’re capable of selling the product you create?
To answer that, let me ask you a question: Are you a good friend to at least one person?
If you’ve learned how to be a good friend, you can sell what your small business offers. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Good friends and good salespeople share a lot of the same traits. Let’s look at a few.
1. They aren’t self-centered
No one wants to be in a conversation with a friend (or salesperson) who only talks about themselves. Good friends/salespeople ask questions and listen for the answers. It’s not that they avoid talking about themselves altogether—they just typically listen more than they speak.
2. They are dependable
You can count on a good friend to be there for you when life gets messy. Similarly, you can count on a good salesperson to get back to you (typically within 48 hours) when you have a question about their product or service.
3. They want to help you when you’re in need
A good friend cares how your life is going. They want you to be happy, but they’re happy to listen to you when you’re not. And if you have a need, they want to meet it.
Good salespeople want to meet the needs of their prospects. They care that a prospect’s life could be better by using a certain product or service.
They also care if that product or service doesn’t live up to expectations. And if that’s the case, they want to help fix the problem.
4. They aren’t pushy
A good friend isn’t going to try to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do. Nor are they going to threaten you.
Similarly, a good salesperson isn’t going to threaten or try to manipulate you into closing a sale with them. And they avoid being pushy, because they know that pressuring potential customers can backfire.
5. They want what’s best for the other person
Good friends want the best for you. They want to make your life better.
Good salespeople want you to buy something only if it’s best for you—they don’t try to sell you products or services they know you don’t want or need.
Sales, like being a good friend, isn’t always fun or easy. And to become proficient at either means you’re likely to fail in the process. But if you’ve learned to succeed as a good friend, I think you’re well equipped to succeed as a salesperson.