For a while in the early years of our company, I didn’t like the idea of selling. I wasn’t against doing it, but the idea of it just felt kind of sleazy. My experience with salespeople had been for things like cars where it always felt like they were trying to hustle you.
Over time, I learned that sales can be a win-win for both parties. As I talked about last year, customers are looking for a value imbalance in their favor, and you can give it to them. If they can get more value out of your product than it cost them, and you can still earn a profit against your costs, everybody wins.
Years ago, Seth Godin talked about the idea of the two kinds of hustle. There’s the hustle of working hard and putting in the hours, and then the hustle I was talking about above; the kind of person that “will cut corners if it helps in getting picked.”
Proper selling is far different than hustling. It’s about meeting people’s needs, and providing exceptional value relative to their cost. As long as I know that the services we sell are worth far more than the client needs to pay, selling becomes easy. I’ve heard others say that when you hit a point where you’re very confident that the value of your product far exceeds its cost, then failing to sell it is actually doing a disservice to those that could benefit from it.
In his book “To Sell Is Human“, author Daniel Pink puts it this way:
Be sure you can answer the two questions at the core of genuine service. If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve? When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.
Keep selling, but don’t try to hustle.