I was talking to a business owner recently who has been struggling with sales for quite a while. The struggle has been with herself which is bizarre as she has displayed to me on many occasions that she has the potential to be very good at sales. Yet it is clear that she has a general dislike for sales people. This dislike is holding her back just like it once held me back. It was only when I realised that not all sales people behaved like they were selling double glazing that I made significant progress!

We all remember the bad sales encounters but rarely remember the good ones because when selling is done at its best we do not feel like we are being sold to. We feel totally in control, relaxed, and able to say what we really think rather than being on the defensive.

I asked this business owner if she had ever bought anything from a cold call in her life. Her first response was that she had not. Then, after some reflection, it dawned on her that she actually had purchased a number of items over the years that originated from a cold call. She just had not classed it as selling! In her mind, selling meant pushy. She had not realised that pushy is just one style of selling.

Eventually this business owner agreed to start looking for examples of people selling in a soft, non-pushy way that she could admire. In a style so elegant that it is hard to tell that selling is taking place. So respectful that the buyer knows that the sales person is there to serve and advise and not to manipulate.

This business owner was both inspired and saddened at the same time. Inspired to discover that effective sales people were normally very honest and respectful!! Saddened to hear that she will have to look for the exception rather than the rule.

Here is the thing – if you think you have to be pushy and manipulative to succeed then there will always be a part of you holding you back. If you look hard enough you will always find examples to prove your point of view. I just chose to look for examples of people selling in a way I felt comfortable with. I just copied what they were doing and how they were thinking. A little bit from this person, a little bit from that person….before long I had developed my own style and realised that the difference is in the attitude.