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Should I Own What I Sell?

Product Management

Should I Own What I Sell? image ID 10072581 300x300Many sales people and managers often ask is it necessary to own the product or service that you sell.  Is it really important that the sales person also be a customer?  Some sales organisations actually make it mandatory that sales reps are totally committed, though I’m not sure of the legalities on that.

My take on this is simple: “If you can qualify to be a prospect for your product or service, then YES.  You should buy it.”

Once again, the prerequisite is that IF you can qualify as a prospect.  So, if you sell software services for Fortune 1,000 companies and you don’t own such a company; or if you sell Learjet leases which are slightly out of your price range and need, then by all means, you should not worry about being a customer.  However, if you fit the parameters of a qualified prospect, then you should definitely own what you sell.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you really believe in what you sell? If you do, then why don’t you own it?”

The objections you have for not buying the product or service yourself will be the exact same objections that prospective customers give you, and you will not have a believable answer.

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But I Honestly Can’t Afford It

You may be thinking that you do believe in what you sell and that you will indeed buy it…soon, but not today.  I mean, come on; you just started the job and you have been out of work for months.  Bills are behind, money is tight and you have not even made a sale yet!  You honestly, truly cannot afford to buy it today.

When a prospective buyer tells you the exact same thing, what are you going to say? You have to believe that the prospect is telling the truth.  It is not a stall or an objection—it has to be a fact.

Come Back Next Month

You will invariably run into prospective customers that tell you that they have a ton of problems, bills are behind, money is tight and they just began earning money recently.  They truly want to buy, they really do.  If you come back next month, they will buy, and that’s a promise!

I Understand How You Feel

You HAVE to understand how they feel, because you feel the same way.  You may try to overcome these objections, but you will do so half-heartedly and it will show.  If you cannot convince yourself to buy the product even when the timing seems wrong, then how can you convince a prospect?

Also, ironically you will seem to get YOUR objection from prospects an inordinate amount of times.  If your objection is that it costs too much for you, you will get price objections all the time.  If you feel that you already own enough life insurance, for example, then prospects will routinely tell you they already have far too much life insurance.  You will reap what you sow.

Get In or Out

If you believe in what you sell, and are a qualified buyer, then buy the product.  That means, PAY for it!  I am not talking about getting some freebee from the company.  Aside from perhaps a small discount, you need to buy the product the same way your customers do or at least keep up the monthly instalments.

When you do this, the old tried and true, “Feel, Felt, Found,” answer to objections becomes real.  You will honestly be able to say to a prospect, “I know exactly how you feel.  I felt the same way. But I found that…”

When you make the sacrifice and sell yourself and buy yourself, your closing percentages will sky rocket, along with your income.   In addition to being a proud owner of the product and reaping the benefits, you get a raise.  Oh, and let’s not forget, that when you closed yourself, you got a commission too!

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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