Yep. You did.
Some of the things I hear most frequently when talking to people about Team Northrup are “I can’t sell,” “I’m not a sales person, or “I don’t like to sell.” My questions for them are: “Have you ever listened to someone tell you about something that’s missing for them, something they long for, or something they’re dissatisfied with? Have you ever offered solicited advice, direction, or welcome suggestions? Have you ever successfully communicated with another human being with the purpose of getting your point across to them because you knew that it would help them?” If your answer to any or all of these questions is ‘yes’, then I’m here to tell you you’ve sold something —and you’re good at it.
I’ve always been good at selling, but I haven’t always viewed it in positive light. The man who turned me around on selling is named —ironically, synchronistically or bizarrely, depending on your perspective —Tim Sales. Yep, this is his real name. Tim defines selling as, “communicating a concept, idea, or desire.” When I heard that for the first time it made me take a long, deep exhale and I felt myself completely relax. If, in fact, sales is simply communication, it leaves the land of smarmy, pushy, trying to get people to do something they don’t want to do that isn’t good for them anyway, and enters the land of listening, softening, heart-opening service. Rather than being stressful and pressured, it becomes easy and fun. We all know that good communication is at the heart of any strong relationship and I also teach that good communication and a genuine desire to make somebody’s life better are at the heart of any strong business. (If you’re in sales in any way —and I would argue that everyone on the planet is —check out Tim Sales’ Professional Inviter and Brilliant Communicator.)
So where does the spiritual part come in? For me, the term “spiritual” is slippery and sticky. It’s hard for me to define in words but easy to recognize in emotion. It’s ephemeral, beyond description, and beautiful. It often has to do with connecting with another human being on a deep level when I feel I’m being of service. On Team Northrup we practice a conscious business model and one of our values is redefining sales as service. This means having a deep belief in what you’re offering and trusting that those who genuinely need and desire what you have will find you. It means telling the truth. It means listening to what someone is telling you and then offering information only when it’s directly connected to something they’ve stated they need, want, or don’t want. It means having a clear agenda and path that you are walking with conviction and knowing that your path doesn’t always have to be everyone else’s path. It means celebrating when your path intersects with the perfect customers, business partners, and associates. It means celebrating just as vigorously when it turns out what you have isn’t a good fit for someone because your time and energy is then freed up to serve those who are truly looking for exactly what you have.
This definition of sales as service requires that you are offering something you truly love and believe in. If you ever find yourself feeling like you’re pushing, feeling sleazy, or not able to communicate effectively about what you’ve got, take a pause and make sure you are deeply invested in your product, service, or idea. If not, give yourself permission to toss it and move on. The energy saved will be invaluable. I used to be a professional Feng Shui practitioner and I made a lot of money and had a lot of fun doing it at first. But, about a year after I started my practice I noticed my energy around it waning. When the phone rang for a consultation I began to get annoyed. I was procrastinating around returning calls and doing consultation follow-ups. I was no longer fueled. Even though I had spent a pretty penny on designing a website and I had networked my tush off around this business, I gave myself permission to stop marketing it. And you know what? Team Northrup has increased its revenue by over 60% and now I have a new online presence. All is as it should be because I gave myself permission to let something go when I was no longer feeling it.
I promise, when you’re offering something that is authentically aligned with your beliefs and values and you have a genuine desire to help and/or inspire another human being to improve his/her life, selling becomes a spiritual practice. It feels really, really good. And it makes the world a better place. Give it a go and keep me posted.