“Selling” is not a vulgar word. Today was a sad day. We lost a long-time client who had been with us since our early days. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call him Harry. His business, like many others, was affected by the economic downturn. I first got wind that something might be wrong when he called me 6 months ago to downgrade his account. Instead of needing four logins for his team, now he only only needed one. He was forced to layoff the other three. Why did Harry do so poorly? I concluded that he was simply no good at selling what he had to offer. The reason I say this is because in 2007, we had released a set of tools to help Harry boost repeat business. It was actually released to all our clients. The tools were based on the question “How can MHelpdesk help you resell products and services in the future?” In every business, there is at least one product or service that needs to be renewed or upgraded. Our tools would alert Harry when it was time to call the customer to “resell”, ensuring a steady stream of recurring revenue for years to come. Harry was against it. The idea of selling something to a customer that they did not explicitly ask for seemed unethical. After all, he hated all the unsolicited cold calls he received, and all the email spam in his inbox. To Harry, “selling” was a vulgar word. If customers needed him, he assumed they’d call him. But what Harry failed to recognize was just how easy it was for customers to forget about him. The tools we gave him were meant to help him remind his customers that he was still around. Any marketing book you read will tell you that you need to remind customers that you exist. Why else do you still see Coca-Cola commercials on TV? Because even the big dogs don’t want you to forget about them. Harry also failed to recognize that he isn’t in the same boat as spam. His customers already trusted him. His customers liked him. He didn’t even need to spend a penny to acquire them. They were already his! Prior to closing his account, I helped Harry export his customer list, and the list was huge! Five years worth of building his customer list, and not a single day was spent reselling to them. Had he kept an open mind about reselling products and services with MHelpdesk, he could have had at least one extra job per day to keep him afloat. Today was a sad day. We became another expense that Harry could no longer afford. But there is a lesson to be learned here. Selling is not a vulgar word. Sales people are not evil. We are all sales people in some way or another. We sell our friends on what movies to watch. We sell our friends on what new songs to listen to. We sell our spouses the idea that buying that brand new flat screen TV will save us movie-ticket money. Bottom-line, if you think selling is a vulgar word, it’s time to grow up. Most importantly, recognize that nobody is sold anything that they don’t really want. As an entrepreneurs, it is your duty to sell value to your customers. And the next time you get a cold call, don’t hang up. Instead, see if you can pick up a few pointers from them. In the long-run, the more selling you do, the more successful you will be. I promise you.