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  • Kelley McManus

Question: How do you sell? Answer: I Don't.

I have a strong aversion to the word "selling." I wonder why I feel this way; perhaps it's the negative associations it brings to mind – the stereotypical used car salesman, or the telemarketing pitch. I don't intend to cast any negative light on these professions, but these examples help illustrate my point.

To me, there's a more genuine approach: sharing our successes and passions straight from the heart. If you're someone who enjoys sharing your accomplishments, discussing how your company makes a difference, and helping other businesses with your offerings, that's wonderful! You're in the right role at the right company.

However, if you can't emphatically say "yes" to that, perhaps it's time to explore the job market in search of that passion.

For those of us who love our jobs, have found our passion, and thrive on sharing, let me tell you about a few things I do and love to assist others in achieving their goals. It all begins with genuine care, stemming from the heart.

We're not promoting products or services; we're promoting people. The core of it all lies in the heart. Stay tuned for more on the heart vs. dollar in the future.

  1. Understand the Client's Needs: Before approaching a client, take the time to truly comprehend their needs, objectives, and pain points. This empathetic approach demonstrates your sincere concern for their success and your genuine desire for a meaningful partnership. There may be times when you take on work that doesn't align perfectly with your passion, but if it adds value to a client you want to work with, honor your passion and do it!

  2. Highlight your Expertise: Instead of merely presenting your team as available resources (I also struggle with people being called resources … eek!), emphasize the team's expertise and passion. Showcase how your team can bring value to the client's projects, teams, and culture.

  3. Share Success Stories: Offer real-world examples and be transparent and honest. Sometimes these examples come from your team's experiences, and sometimes they're from individual team members' past roles, whether they were positive or not. Also, don't forget to ask your clients about their success stories; after all, everyone likes to share their accomplishments!

  4. Customize Solutions: There's no one-size-fits-all solution. Tailor your proposals and solutions to each client's unique needs. Show that you've put thought into how your team can address their challenges and help them achieve their goals.

  5. Focus on Relationships: Prioritize building long-term relationships. Express your commitment to collaborative work with the client to achieve mutual success. This approach fosters trust and can lead to repeat business. Be genuine about it. Remember, a successful client relationship means you understand the value you bring to them, and they understand how their potential work is of value to you.

  6. Open Communication/Transparency: Encourage open and honest communication with the client. Let them know that you're there to listen to their concerns, answer questions, and address any issues that may arise during the project. This saves time when issues or concerns do surface, as trust has already been established. Be transparent about your team's capabilities, limitations, and the project's scope. Honesty builds trust and ensures both parties have realistic expectations. No one is perfect!

  7. Follow Through: Once you've earned a client's trust, ensure that you fulfill your promises. Deliver high-quality work on time and within budget to solidify your reputation as a reliable partner. AND just so you don't forget; you can be a valuable partner without having a contract in place, be there no matter.

  8. Ask for Feedback: Throughout your partnership, seek feedback, continuously learn, and adapt to ensure that the collaboration meets everyone's needs.

  9. Share Gratitude: Always express gratitude for the opportunity to work with a client. Share with them what you and your team have achieved and gained from the engagement.

Now, keep up the good work! Leave every partnership with clients craving more of what you have to offer and you and your team eager to share your experiences as you continue your journey of sharing your passion!

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