“Nobody is a natural. You work hard to get good and then work hard to get better.”
– George Halas, Legendary Chicago bears Football Coach

I just got off the phone with someone who wanted tips on how to raise money for a non-profit organization through…telemarketing. The mere thought of someone calling me during dinner makes me cringe, and I admit, I am not the most receptive or pleasant person when I get those calls. Why? It’s an intrusion. It’s someone I don’t know who got my number and is trying to sell me something I never expressed a need for. It’s everything we hate about sales.

At Possibilities Unlimited, we train people to examine their relationship to sales. Sales should be a process of problem solving. We sell our product to people who need to solve a particular concern. There will always be someone who needs your product, the key is to find that person and focus your sales efforts where you fill a need. Don’t try to sell handbags to people who need paper supplies. I’m not saying you won’t ever sell a handbag, but your chances of success are much greater if you sell to people who want handbags. And your relationship to this concept of helping people solve problems will strengthen your confidence to sell.

Back to my telemarketing friend. When she first spoke to me she had no specifics about what she needed or what her organization was about. She was calling people in desperation, trying to get them to donate. Her relationship to the situation was one of begging, and she understood her calls were an intrusion.

First, I advised her to seek other ways to raise money that might have more bang for the buck. But as for her phone pitch, I explained that she needed to change her relationship to the situation and be ready to tell the benefits. She needed to be specific about how much money she needed to raise and by when. And she needed to tell people why they were being called. She was calling people in a group of neighborhoods to raise money for programs for at-risk teens. The goal is to keep kids occupied after school and teach them work ethics skills. The benefit for her “customers” is a safer, more productive community with less crime. She defined a specific fundraising goal, and is now able to tell people what their donation will buy in the way of putting kids through the program.

By changing her relationship to the sales process, she is now equipped to confidently speak to people who can support her. She can solve a problem for the community. She understands her relationship to sales and is ready to win the game.


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Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | Ralph@Consulting2Win.com
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