Six Ways to Sell When You’re Not in Sales

Sales advice is usually geared toward people who embrace their salesperson-ness. But selling isn’t—and shouldn’t be—just for salespeople. Think about lawyers, creatives, accountants, architects, engineers, account managers, support staff…these people tend to hate the very idea of selling, yet many of them must do it on a regular basis in order to succeed. In fact, never before has selling been such a critical skill. With people being bombarded with 100,000 marketing messages daily, even the non-sales types must effectively help people find them through all of the clutter.

Sales Tips for Non-Salespeople

“Sell” does not have to be a four letter word, and it does not have to be hard. You don’t even have to call it sales. Call it “business development,” “client engagement” or even “marketing.” Just changing the name takes a little of the fear factor out of it. You don’t need to pick up the phone and start prospecting, and you don’t need to worry about closing the deal (your sales team will do that for you). You simply need to be mindful that in order to grow, your company needs to find new customers, keep current customers, and cross-sell to both. And here are 6 ways you can help your business with that:

  1. Start with people you know. Do any of your friends or family members work at a company that you should be working with? Can they provide you with an introduction to a decision maker or provide names for sales to target?
  2. Look at who is viewing your LinkedIn profile. Are they a potential prospect? If you feel comfortable doing so, ask them to connect with you. Forward the person’s profile to sales for potential follow up.
  3. Start a conversation. Non-sales staff deal with existing customers frequently, putting them in a unique position to contribute to the upsell process. Talk to your customers to identify potential cross-selling opportunities—then confidently and authoritatively speak about the benefits of appropriate products and services.
  4. Introductions are king! Notice that the term “referrals” was not used here—this is intentional. When a professional asks a happy client for referrals, it is not exactly clear what is being asked for. Does the professional want the client to recommend her to others? Does she want names and phone numbers? There’s too much room for interpretation. However, when a professional asks a client for introductions to potential new business, it is clear what is being asked for—an actual connection to another person. This distinction is key because as a professional, the likelihood of closing from an introduction is over five times that of a close from a cold lead.
  5. Be aware of what’s around you. While out and about in your normal day, did you see a new building being built? Who is moving in? Could they be a new prospect?
  6. Be on the lookout for new opportunities. What situations is your company best primed to solve? What clues from others indicate urgency, need, and budget? Ask a few gentle probing questions, and then hand the information over to sales.

That’s all there is to it. You don’t need to do them all—try a few out, see what you’re comfortable with. Go from there.


We want to hear from you!

Were these tips helpful? Have you found other “non-sales” sales techniques that work for you? How do you get comfortable doing what makes you uncomfortable? Leave us a comment below or on social media!

Jason Janoski

Jason Janoski


Leave a Comment