Ep 199 Sales is Not a Bad Word

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Episode Notes:

I see many women holding themselves back from a sales career because of the stories they have around selling.  In today’s episode I am discussing my previous thoughts on selling, what others think in your life and which story determines your level of success.  

In This Episode:

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Episode Transcript:

(Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits)

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode, I’m discussing how sales is not a bad word. Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast, we’re busy professionals, like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.
Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast friends. Okay, I am going to jump right in today, because I’ll be sharing a couple of stories throughout. And I really want to get to this topic of sales not being a bad word. And I think it’s going to be super helpful. I’m actually in the middle of reading a book called To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink. And it has just given me some ideas that I want to share with you today. And I will say the idea of sales being slimy, or pushy, or aggressive use to be in my brain. And fact I remember when I worked at the TV station, and I moved from the traffic division, which, by the way, is not where I tell you about what is going on in the roads. It’s the division that actually schedules the commercials. Total sidenote, y’all might not realize how complex it is to get commercials in order and Holy smokes. During political season, they get bumped, you literally run out of airtime. So for all my device friends and the struggle of backwaters with inventory due to the supply chain issues, we ran out of air back then. Okay. But I digress. I remember telling friends that I was moving from traffic to sales, and one of them said, Oh, no, you’re going to be a maggot, which I looked up what that definition actually is in preparation for this podcast. I mean, I totally knew it wasn’t going to be very positive. But I didn’t realize one of the definitions is a worthless person. And I think salespeople actually helped to make the world go round. So I do not think that salespeople are by any means, maggots. But I want you to check in with yourself, and what your story is around sales and selling. And I want to ask that question. Once again, for you to really hear me, what is your story or your thoughts around being a salesperson and the reason I’m asking a second time is because I want you to be clear on what that story is for you. And I will remind you that you don’t have to take on others beliefs about what selling is. And I see this so often. And I think it holds back many people, especially young women who liked the idea of sales as far as the skill sets. So things like strategizing, communicating time management, taking initiative, critical thinking, empathy, solution guided active listening, and they have the skills and they would love to utilize them. But they think, I don’t know if I want to do sales, which is usually followed by dot dot dot the next thought, because I’m not pushy, and I know this because I have in the past have this thought myself. Such a statement, however, presupposes that you need to be pushy in order to be successful. Let’s question that. And I want you to stop for a minute. And I always joke right that people don’t necessarily say I want to be a salesperson when I grew up, but look around many professions outside of what we deem sales are selling. Doctors, for example, are selling patients on treatment options. Teachers are selling kids on the importance of paying attention in class. Lawyers are selling juries on verdicts. Coaches sell people on themselves. And think about a situation just in your life away from work where you are selling. You might have to sell your kids on a bedtime or sell your partner on trying a new restaurant out for dinner. Heck, I tried to sell my dog on going out to the bathroom for the 15th time because I’m sure work, he has to go again, to which Marc tells me where you just let him relax.
So what I want you to consider is that perhaps sales selling is not all black and white, there is a lot of great to be had my friends, you are not either pushy or unsuccessful. It’s not one or the other. You’re also not either slimy or unsuccessful, you can be assertive, and care tremendously for your clients. You can decide, for example, if you are in pharma or device sales, that you want to help as many patients as possible, and then the money will follow. Greedy, and sales are not synonymous. I do think sales and solutions are quite closely tied. I think questioning and selling are also quite closely tied. When we’re looking at solutions, for example, solutions for patients solutions for providers. And when we have more women getting into the field, knowing that you can make a difference. It matters. Now, I am not naive to the fact that there are a number of folks that may come off a little differently than what I’m talking about here on this podcast. In fact, they may be super aggressive folks who all they want to do is talk about to be honest, I’m not even sure what some of those people talk about. And that’s okay, I like to stay in my lane. I consider this the long game. So they do their style, and we do ours. And I also want to talk about another area where I think some people get a little bit hung up, especially women, it’s around the idea that you have to be an extrovert in order to be successful in sales. Not true. In fact, I consider myself quite introverted meaning I really gain energy when especially I have my mornings by myself, right? And it’s interesting when we’re looking at introverts and extroverts, because in the book, Giselle is human pink discusses some research done by Adam Grant, who is an author, a professor at Wharton and who specializes in Organizational Psychology. And in this study, they looked at the most successful sales, people’s earnings, they found introverted reps didn’t perform as well as extroverted, which is likely to be expected right, making on average, $120 per hour versus 125. But there was a third group to which I have never heard of this group until this book called ambiverts, which are described as neither overly extroverted nor wildly introverted. One may say, kind of like a Goldilocks personality, they earned on average $155 per hour. So again, I just want you to question what you make it all mean, and, and learning about ambiverts, I would probably stick myself more in that category, not to extroverted nor wildly introverted, just right. Okay. Let’s continue on friends. Back to you questioning what you make it all mean, and how you stuck yourself up. In that story. You tell? Are you in sales already? Or are you thinking about it? And if you are, are you thinking about your career in sales, the possibility of getting in sales in a way that makes you feel amazing, or with some doubt in the background about what others might think? You know, I keep it real here. Right? I will tell you, I have family members who have showy, say, thoughts about my career. In fact, years ago, I was once talking to one of my family members. And I was saying how I couldn’t believe that he had to be part of investigations, where people had died. And he had to take part in that and see them to which he looked at me and said, I can’t believe that you can ask for a living. So there’s always that too, right? Like, I
don’t believe that’s what I do. What I do believe is that I help a lot of people. And what I do believe is that the most important indicators of what success will be that’s for you to first and foremost is what do you believe about your abilities to do the job? And what does success mean to you? Do not want to others deem as success for you. What do you consider success to look like? And that definition can change as you go through your career, it is not one set definition, as you grow and evolve your definition of what success is will change. This is the work that I talked about here, right? First, yes, 100%, we talk about all of the skills that I mentioned, of a salesperson in one way, shape, or form throughout all of the episodes. And if you notice, things like active listening, communicating decision making empathy, they are not solely for the benefit of a salesperson. When I talk about these topics, it is for you, the human in any profession that you might choose. The truth is, the even larger part about what I’m talking about here, is not making what others say mean anything about you. So this can look like what others say about you being in sales. Or it might mean when the folks that you are selling to don’t want anything to do with you. Yet, I remember when I first started selling that, that was often I don’t want to bother them. Now, I like to start my process thinking something like, Of course I can help them, I just need to figure out how to best have them see my intentions. Or I just need to figure out what is most important to them. Or they’re just confused if they don’t want to talk to me today, right? Because I can help way more people thinking along those lines versus they don’t want to talk to me. Now listen, they may not want to talk to me, right? I’m not in a total different world here. But I don’t have to make it mean that I’m not good enough to do this. It might be like I said, they are simply confused. And they just don’t know how helpful I can be. Or maybe they just had a late night because they couldn’t quite sell their kid on that bedtime, right? Being in sales, you need to build resilience. And one of the best ways to do that is to watch all of your thinking around what other people’s think around what you make mean, if you get the sale or around what you make it mean if you don’t get the sale. And then the last area that I want to touch upon is around your thoughts about making and having a lot of money. There are a lot of opportunities to make some pretty great money and sales. And it sounds lovely, right? But if you have beliefs, like money is the root of all evil, or I can’t make more than my partner, most likely, that is going to hold you back. I like to think that the more money we have in the hands of good people like yourself, we can do a whole lot more good in this world.
So why not go after it. Now, I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on the topic of money beliefs, because you can go back and listen to the interview that I did with money mindset coach Natasha Tekeste, that was episode 190, which she really dives into the information around money mindset, the importance of money mindset, especially for women. And she is super informative. So what I want to do here to wrap it all up, is at the end of the day, your worthiness has nothing to do with your selling. In fact, that goes for any profession, your worthiness is intrinsic. Imagine if you never tried any of what makes you successful or worthy to external ideas based on others beliefs. I will ask you again. What does success look like for you? How do you show up in a way that lights you up in order to live the life that you truly imagine? And one more thing, if you are someone who is in sales and you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, because you want to excel in your career, but you just feel like you might be stuck, go to Michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps again, Bourque is BOURQUE. So Michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps. And there you will find a free guide three simple steps to excel in your career without the stress and overwhelm. And it’s a great way to get started doing this work. Okay, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week, but for now, make it a great day. Take care

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