Are You A Reluctant Salesperson? Own Your Value!

March 25, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

In the winter of 1988 I had to find a solution to a big problem. The previous Fall, I had put a mortgage on our family home to start my first business and the revenue being generated was, optimistically, unreliable. In reality it was … non-existent. My husband was not happy.

How did I get the company to start generating consistent revenue?

While there were many shifts and pivots I had to make to change this situation, the most important one was … admit that I was now a salesperson

And like many of the entrepreneurs – and salespeople – I work with throughout each year, I was not comfortable with this idea. I had a university degree; I had been a journalist for most of the previous decade. Sales was not, and never had been, on my radar.

I went into denial, tried to, quite literally, talk my way out of it by having long, rambling conversations with my prospects that never got to the point and rarely produced revenue. Until …

… I changed my perspective on sales.

What I knew to be true, and could state with great enthusiasm and passion, was that our service was of tremendous value to our prospects. We did solve an existing problem.

But that didn’t matter if our target market didn’t know we existed.

With each phone call I began to focus on only two things: 1) creating a precise, effective description of our value to each prospect; and 2) helping that prospect discover, through open-ended questions, if our value solved a problem for them.

When our value didn’t solve a problem, the call was efficient and polite, ending quickly so no one’s time was wasted. When our value did solve a problem, I made a sale.

While it took me months of fumbles and false starts to discover who I was as a salesperson, when I did, sales activities became – and continue to be – surprisingly easy.

If you find yourself in the role of reluctant salesperson, I do empathize. I encourage you to step back. Own your value; connect it to your prospects’ challenges, problems and/or desires. You’ll discover sales isn’t something to be avoided but rather embraced as a powerful way to serve.




  1. Raelene says:

    Excellent advice, thanks!

    • The Phone Lady says:

      You are so welcome, Raelene. So many of us find ourselves in this position but if we focus on what we have to offer, sales happen.

  2. Penny Doherty says:

    Great blog. I would add one more thing for people like me…this changed my life and my business.

    Set a monthly financial goal for yourself that will allow you to pay yourself a designated sum that is realistic and not stingy. Set a financial goal each month for your business expenses. Add the two totals to allow yourself to have a concrete figure of how much money you need to make each month. Calculate your income each day of the month as it comes in. Write it down in your daytimer. If your monthly revenues do not match your concrete amount, you need to get some new revenue sources or find a new job….or consider your work a hobby..not a business.

  3. […] or client get excited about it? I’m not suggesting you put false energy in your voice. Be clear on the value of why you are calling. Focus on it and make sure your tone of voice supports that […]

  4. […] Don’t be a Reluctant Salesperson (click to go) […]

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