The First Thing That Business School Didn’t Teach Me – Selling

Selling is an art, selling is a science, selling is a profession.

And selling scares me.

When starting my practice last summer I called my Dad for some advice.  He’s been in business for himself for over twenty years.  I respect him and his opinion and I know he won’t hold back if I’m doing it wrong.

We chatted about being self-employed for a while, the challenges and the opportunities and I shared with him that the thing that intimidated me most about being self-employed was the selling.  His response?  “And well it should!” 

“Pardon?” I asked. 

“If you put on a fancy suit and deliver a polished presentation with glossy materials and push for the sale you’re going to fail.” 

Thanks, Dad. 

He wasn’t quite done though.  “You’re not a sales professional, you’re an accountant.  You’re going to have to market your practice, but it can’t be through traditional selling.”

He went on to say that when people came to me they were going to be looking for help.  Help with a problem – and selling for me was going to be crafting a solution to that problem.  And therein lies the key – I can solve problems.  I’ve been doing that for years.  Problems involving finance, taxation, accounting, business process development, human resource management – pretty much everything but the kitchen sink (I left that part to the plumbers!)

That’s the key to selling for most of us – finding the need to be filled, the problem to be solved, the consumer desire to be satisfied.  It’s not something they teach you in school, but if you can do that and consistently deliver great customer service your business is going to grow!