Positioning your product or service in the market is about getting enough people to see that the value they will receive is greater than any other way they could spend their money. It’s not just other people in your industry that you are competing with. It is literally every other product on the market, and even every other activity they could be spending their time doing. Money and time remain finite for even the richest and most powerful people in the world. Whenever you spend five dollars on a cup of coffee, that cup is competing with ballet lessons for your daughter, or leather seat covers for your car.
Additionally, each buying decision can be broken down into a series of smaller decisions made in mere moments. A cup of coffee is not just a cup of coffee anymore. Do I want decaf? Do I want a latte? Do I want a cappuccino? Do I want a half-decaf dark roast caramel mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream? Those all fall under different categories of choice within the initial choice to purchase coffee. Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises provided a concentrated study on the mechanics of human decision in his magnum opus, Human Action. He showed how the micro-actions of individual people combine to create market trends within largescale economies.
Selling is when you transfer useful information and emotional motivation to others, in order to get them to take an action in their own best interest which they otherwise would not have taken. It is about helping others help themselves make better decisions in their own subjective pursuit of happiness. When you sell yourself, you are helping someone understand how you can help them improve their own life, and giving them the support they need to overcome any emotional resistance to taking action with you.
An ethical salesperson does not attempt to convince someone to do something they do not believe is in their best interest. However, if you know something would help someone else, wouldn’t you do everything you could to help that person see it themselves? No matter how you currently feel about talking about yourself or your business, this is the attitude you must adopt if you want to be successful in sales. Ultimately, whether or not you personally end up handling the sales for your company, as a leader you still need to know the fundamental strategy for converting new clients and sharing your story.