A community worker turned small business trainer challenges traditional selling practice in her new book.
In ‘The Heart of Sales’, Lancaster Guardian columnist Jane Binnion has put together a practical guide for people who want to sell in a way that suits their ethics.
Jane, who is based in Galgate, said: The majority of the people I meet as I go about my business set up their business or organisation to make a difference, but are struggling because they do not like the whole concept of sales.
“However if they don’t sell their products or services they will be just another statistic, another failed business.
“People have been led to believe that if they set up a website the enquiries will come rolling in. That is just not true and it leaves many new and small businesses feeling discouraged”.
Sales is not often taught but when it is,it is often over complicated or taught in a way that many people can’t relate to, believes Jane.
She said: “To me sales should be all about how we can help people. I always say there is someone out there right now looking for exactly what you offer. Our job is to make it as easy as possible for them to find us and get what they need.
“I understand why people don’t like to sell. I was trained in sales and business education myself and so much of it is like game playing, and as we know, games require a winner and a loser.
“But that is so outdated and not appropriate for today’s market. Social media has changed everything, and mostly for the better.
“It means people demand transparency, accountability and ethical behaviour. This all requires businesses, and other organisations, to improve their customer care, because if they don’t people will soon talk about them on the internet.”
As a community worker, Jane saw many people being ripped off and sold things they didn’t need. She said: “I don’t like being ripped off and I don’t know anyone who does, do you? The truth is that it is totally possible to be in business, treat customers well and still make a profit.
“That’s why I developed a programme of ethical sales skills that I am now putting together into a practical book for people who want to sell in a way that suits their ethics.”
But selling ethically does not mean staying poor.
“Just think about fair trade bananas and free range eggs,” said Jane.
“They are more expensive but sales increased considerably because people want to do the right thing whenever they can.
“We are rapidly becoming a nation of sole traders with more small businesses than ever springing up, so I want to get this resource out there for people.”
Jane who is already a published author of a children’s book about dyspraxia – ‘You’re so clumsy Charley’ – is using crowd funding to get her book published.
If you would like to be a backer for ‘The Heart of Sales’ go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/95921876/ethical-sales-skills-for-orgs-that-want-to-make-a