I’m a project manager, a designer, a programmer, insert position here (_________), therefore I am not in sales, correct? Wrong. Here are five common sales misconceptions I witness daily as the Vice President of AYC Media.
#1: Sales are done by sales people.
The biggest misconception about marketing and sales is that it requires cold calls, long drives, extensive meetings, a fancy suite/dress and a personality to match. The reality is that anyone with contact to existing or prospective clients or potential future employees, is in sales. The impression any employee communicates, purposely or unknowingly, leaves the recipient of that correspondence with a perception of your company. This perception may as well be a reality.
#2: Sales is all about money.
Another common mistake about sales is that the act of “selling” is usually in the best interest of the company you represent. In actuality, an effective sales approach is in the best interest of the client. Finding solutions that will deliver ROI and streamline operational efforts, even when outside the original scope of the project, often result in a more successful and collaborative relationship. Clients often have a set plan and act accordingly, however, opening a line of communication with fresh ideas can result in extraordinary results.
If you have a good idea, even if it’s not in the “plan,” don’t be afraid to communicate it.
#3: Sales is a 9 to 5 job.
Whether representing your firm in an official capacity or out with your buddies for a beer, everything you do and say is a reflection of the company you work for. As big as the world is, it’s really pretty small. This holds especially true for a firm such as AYC Media that is “referral only”. The amount of business that has resulted from a night out, chance meeting or referral from a fried that had “nothing but great things to say about AYC Media” far exceeds that from more traditional sales and marketing channels. This also holds true when you may have had a tough day and need to vent. Being cognizant of your tone, the things you say, and your general attitude towards your employer is always a good idea.
#4: Sales is only about products and services.
Being aware of how you act around your colleagues, clients and strangers affects everything from your company’s culture to the ability to recruit new team members. A positive attitude, collaborative approach and putting others interests above your own almost always results in a better outcome. Listen, be patient, and understand that perception is often reality.
#5: I don’t need to be a “Sales Person.”
Whether you are a graphic designer or a PHP programmer, sales should be an integral part of your skill set (even if not in the traditional sense). Have a great idea you want your boss to consider? Think you deserve a raise? Want your team members to better acknowledge your point of view? Want a keg-orator, ping pong table, or vintage arcade game for the new office renovation? Want the next team member to be a rockstar and choose AYC Media over the competition? If there is something you want and don’t happen to be the CEO or majority share holder, chances are you will need to sell your idea to someone else to get your wish.
Honing your sales ability will inevitably benefit you and your team no matter what your title says.