Why This Question Matters

By Paul E. Casey

When I talk with other people about self-employment, the thought of “selling” is where most people seem to struggle. They give me a “deer in the headlights” look or "I can’t sell" glance. If you don’t want to - or more importantly won’t - sell, running a business is not for you. As a small business owner, selling your product or service is where you should be spending the bulk of your time.

No matter what size the company, you are the CEO. In reality CEO = COS: Chief of Sales. Your primary function will always be to sell your product or service. No one else can represent your business the way you can. Don’t abdicate that responsibility to someone else, at least not in the beginning.

No matter how high-tech we become, sales is still a contact sport. It’s about developing and nurturing relationships with existing and potential clients. People buy from people, not from technology. The best salespeople view themselves as consultants rather than salespeople. This is an important mindset. Obviously, your product or service is of value or you wouldn’t be offering it to them.

I once had a potential client that I absolutely knew would benefit from advertising in my newspaper, and later on my radio show. I never harassed them, but I would check in with them every six months or so, to see if they were ready to come on board. Finally, after eight years, the client had a new directive from the home office to achieve more local exposure. My radio show became a perfect vehicle for them. (When you hear the phrase: "Patience is for losers" - Don’t believe it.)

As Chief of Sales, your goal should be to position yourself as the expert in your field. No one should even consider going to someone else. In my case, I promote Casey Communications Inc. as the leading expert in radio. No agency in the United States can create, secure, and execute radio programming better than Casey Communications Inc.

Buying a home is probably the largest investment that anyone will ever make in their lifetime. But when it comes to selling homes, many real estate brokers have the sales mentality of a door-to-door vacuum salesman. Once the transaction is completed, the client never hears from their realtor again. In fact, this is where the relationship should just be beginning. The average family in the United States moves every five to seven years. Most family moves are made within the same community.

If you are a real estate broker, you will have an edge over your competition if you think of the home buyer as a client rather than a someone just buying a house. You should position yourself as the expert consultant in all matters of residential real estate. If a client wants to know how much their home has appreciated, they should call you first.

Bottom Line: The pathway to becoming a successful real estate broker is exactly the type of mentality you should develop, no matter what business you choose. If you believe in what you are doing - you are not selling - you're informing.

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If you don’t want to sell or more importantly won’t sell, running a business is not for you.