I’m Not a Salesperson

Today’s guest blogger is Kelly Ward. Kelly is the owner of Digital K. Digital K is a professional web design company. Kelly loves web design, web development, online marketing and much more. She does not, as you will find out, love sales. You will love this post!


One more thing. Kelly has the opportunity to win a $250.000 grant to help her business. If you liked this article and want to help, please vote for her company here.

I hate sales. And I loathe salespeople. Like the lawn care technician yacking my ear off about aerating my
lawn. I despise the Best Buy HDTV salesman gauging my reaction to his prattling so he can plan his next
canned line about HDMI cables. I resent the Pottery Barn decorating consultant interrupting my 5-year-
old’s thoughts on My Little Pony hairstyles. And I detest the emails from SEO “gurus” telling me I really
need their service when clearly they have no clue that I offer that same service. 

I never wanted to be in sales. But I’m a business owner and I need clients for my business to survive.
I don’t have a dedicated salesperson; so it’s up to me. And I really don’t want to be that salesperson,
making my potential clients loathe me. If they feel like they’re on the defense fighting me off, this is
uncomfortable for them – and for me. Now what?
Much of my web business comes from referrals. The rest comes from leads my website generates.
When a potential client asks about my services, we have a conversation. I ask about their business and
their goals. I listen and determine if and how I can help them. I love those conversations because my
role is to help them. I’m not focused on persuading them to hire me. This is within my comfort zone
because I don’t have to sell anything – at least, that’s what I tell myself! But in reality, there is always a
sale involved.
Whether we sell products or services, we still need customers or clients. We still need to make the
sale. But our approach sets us apart from our competition. Are we listening to our clients and solving a
problem? Or are we simply trying to get the sale? Are we selling – or are we advising?
Some would say this is simply semantics – all sales people advise their clients. But there is a difference.
The best advice comes from those who listen. I’m an advisor – not a salesperson. And that’s how I sleep
at night.
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3 thoughts on “I’m Not a Salesperson

  1. Kelly, thank you. This is a great post! Not only is it honest, but many small business owners feel that same way. Let me add that Kelly attended the Kurlan/Hubspot Sales Development Webinar Series and still feels the way that she does. That is what’s wrong with training only or reading books on 101 ways to close or handling objections. It’s not skills. It’s beliefs, morals, stuff that got in our head and our heart and gets in our way. It’s much more difficult to address. Can only be done with a coach after an evaluation, but once it’s done, growth is inevitable and you can still sleep at night.

  2. Thank you for posting this article, Rick! I was hoping I wouldn’t lose you after my first 2 sentences.I completely agree with you that it’s the “stuff that got in our head and heart that gets in our way.” And I’m definitely a work in progress with my sales skills.By the way, it may be karma… but yesterday my husband’s phone flew off the roof of his car and smashed on the road. (Don’t get me started on why he had it there in the first place.) So guess what we have to do today? Go visit a sales guy at Best Buy.

  3. Kelly, maybe you should bring a copy of the article with you and give it to the sales guy at Best Buy as soon as he asks, “Can I help you?”  (just to set the tone)

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