Mini Class on Getting Out There

The Hardest Part of Selling

Jean S. Norman

Keys2Business LLC, Senior Business Administrator, Livonia Michigan

Jewel Albright Cohen Publishing LLC, Senior Consultant, Waterford, Michigan

 As I write this, it is a dreary, rainy, morning. Yes, it is the kind of day where staying in bed sounds much more enticing than getting up, getting in the car, and putting myself in front of prospective clients. Putting yourself out there can equal putting yourself in the line of fire. Yet, I live in the Detroit Area; we are tough around here.

This is the Motor City and we are known for our fires. Look up Devil’s Night. We jokingly say that we eat our young. We do not. That is not true. We do, however put them in freezers, if we are Mitchelle Blair.

As I live in the Motor City, my chosen theme revolves around cars. This city is known for being an automotive hub, as well as being the birthplace of Motown. This area has seen both good times and bad. If you have never been, Detroit is a Must-See and the topic of the day is “Get Out There.”

The hardest part of sales is getting out of your car. That bears repeating. The hardest part of sales is getting out of your car.  What does that mean to you? Take a moment. Picture the way in which we live our lives today.

There are drive-throughs for nearly everything. You can get money, fast food, liquor, prescription drugs, religious services, books, coffee, groceries, postal services, DNA testing, photo processing, funeral services, and wedding services via drive through. McDonalds even opened a ski-thru at the Lindvallen ski resort in Sweden.

Working smarter – not harder is admirable and time is money. However, we seem to be taking that to an extreme of being very busy, yet barely working. We sit at our desks and type out numerous emails to coworkers and potential clients. Most of us rarely even pick up the phone to make a real-time phone call anymore. The phone is used for texting and swiping either right or left. Swipe right equals like – right?! Left is skip? Meh – I am probably doing that all wrong.

The thing is, most of us are doing this wrong. If we are selling anything, we need to get out of the car.  Think of that car as your comfort zone. Get out. Step away from the vehicle. The hardest part of sales is getting out of your car.

That car, that comfort zone, will not protect you from anything but success. Research, plan your attack, name your goals, and know your boundaries. After that, you need to get up, get moving, and make yourself known. Again, my name is Jean Norman, presenter, producer, author, consultant, coach.

As a consumer, I prefer to buy from people I know and strongly support small business. Relationships still mean something to most of us. Yet, face to face communication is becoming a lost art. As a member of Generation X, I know that we absolutely cannot blame the millennials for this one. This is on us.

Furthermore, we have set it up so that we don’t even have to get in the car, anymore. Everything comes directly to our door. Amazon is adding 100,000 jobs by the end of next year. 1,000 of those will be in Livonia, alone. They are planning a location in Romulus as well. Now, they have purchased Whole Foods. Everything you think you need comes to your door.

What are the key words, there? Everything you think you need. We get so caught up in the chatter and convenience, that we forget to have real conversations. Now, I am a strong supporter of social media. I tweet, Skype, am on Instagram, Facebook, have blogs, do podcasts, and present online classes. I sell my books online in both paperback and Kindle editions. Technology is awesome!

Technology cannot, however, replace personal connections. As an example, I am a big reader, and as a reader, I feel a deep connection to characters. Even if I know they are fictional, the characters feel real. People want that. We need that connection to something that feels real. When a fantastic book is finally finished, there is a sadness – an emptiness. The characters have now left your world.

What I am suggesting is that we get up off the couch or chair, let go of the propensity to turbo-text, make an appointment, using your voice, and stop in to make an in-person visit. If you are presenting anything, and you want to stand out, get out of your car. The hardest part of sales is getting out of your car; getting out of your comfort zone.  Do it. Take the extra steps. I guarantee, you will stand out.