Sales – for many businesses it’s a big, scary word. It’s a mystical art that requires training, scripts, practise, and a certain disposition.

But is that really the case? I’d argue, if sales is hard, your business isn’t approaching it in the right way. There is in fact a secret weapon, and it just happens to be the customer you serve.

A quick sales definition

In a nutshell, sales is the exchange of a product, commodity, service or delivery for money. Sounds simple enough.

But it’s a little more complex than that.

In business, sales is actually about determining a need, then meeting it with the products or services you provide. That product or service is not going to be needed by everyone. Nor should it be. It’s not even going to be interesting to everyone. Nor should it be.

Instead, that product or service should appeal to a very specific person who happens to be your ideal customer.

When you know and understand who this person is, and why that product or service matters to them, that’s when you discover the secret weapon of sales.

Understanding your client

Most businesses believe their ideal customer is the type of client they already deal with. Well, yes and no. The clients you already have might just be a segment of the ideal customer you seek to attract. Your actual ideal customer is a very specific person or group of people. They are the ones who have a need for your product, appreciate the value in it, want to hear about and understand it will solve a problem they are experiencing.

As a result, they take little encouragement and few ‘sales’ tactics to appreciate its value to them.

Every business needs to determine exactly who this ideal person or group of people is. And they need to have this person front of mind when it comes to a business’ mission, vision, marketing, communications, and more. When you know who should be talking to, when that person is likely to want to hear from you and what they want to know, ‘sales’ is no longer about ‘selling’ something to someone.

Rather it becomes about furnishing them with the information they need to purchase a product they require.

When you understand your customer

Once you understand your customer, who they are and what motivates them, your business is in a far better position to meet them where they are. You know what they like (and do not appreciate), you are aware of where they ‘hang out’, you understand the language and communication styles that resonate with them, and you can find and connect with them more easily via marketing or advertising.

In short, this makes marketing far more efficient and cost effective, but more importantly it eliminates the need to ‘sell’.

Preaching to the choir

Remember that old gem of saying ‘you’re preaching to the choir’? That’s exactly the position every business should hope to be in when it comes to marketing and sales. You don’t want to be trying to convert the ‘unconverted’. You want to be offering the right product, at the right time, to the right people.

These people are your secret weapon. They don’t require a sales spiel. They want what you have to offer. In fact they’re actively seeking it. Then the conversation shifts to how your business is different and the unique value it provides. 

This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd, be memorable and differentiate, rather than trying to herd a mass of people who need to be familiarised with your products and services

It’s not about sales, it’s about need

When you know your ideal client, communicate with them on their terms and meet them where they are, you are not ‘selling’, but instead fulfilling a need. And that is sales at its simplest and best.

It’s not scary, it’s not hard, it doesn’t involve tactics. It’s about understanding what your business does and precisely who it serves.