I can only sell what I like – bit of a rethink of that from SAMBA Blog

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  • December 4, 2009

"I Can Only Sell What I Like"

Posted: 02 Dec 2009 08:41 PM PST

How many times have you heard this? How many times have you yourself said it? I too have been guilty of it.

The problem with being able to sell only what you like or "believe in" is that you never have to improve your sales skills. You get to brush aside every failure to sell something simply by saying, "I didn't really believe in that." Or you get to take a pass on a great sales opportunity that requires you to learn a new industry, sell to higher level executives, manage longer sales cycles, and close bigger deals. Simply by saying, "I don't believe in that product or service," you get to avoid all that intimidating professional and financial growth.

The real problem with this way of thinking is that it is solely focused on you. We know that the most successful companies and sales superstars have a customer-focused way of looking at the world. When deciding what to sell, wouldn't you rather figure out what others like and believe in?

Here are 3 factors to look for when choosing sales opportunities to help you avoid the easy out of not believing in something.

1. Is the product or service ethical? I'll leave you to decide what is ethical but if it doesn't conflict with your deepest held values, you can't write it off.

2. Will customers want the product or service? Will they find value in it? If yes, you can't write it off.

3. Is the market for this product or service growing? If yes, you can't write it off. This last point is all about finding the right platform for your sales career. Think of your sales career as a boat. You want to sail in a rising tide that lifts all boats. You wouldn't want to be sailing the newspaper print advertising waters right now.

Two out of these three factors have nothing to do with you. The best and most successful sales professionals are extremely good at optimizing points 2 and 3. That's because they're focused on others and not themselves.

Of course we do better when we do something we believe in. Just be sure you have faith in your ability to grow.