Do you sell? I’m mean really think about it. Every time you’re trying to convince someone to your point of view, you’re selling. Sat through a job interview? You were selling!
The fact of the matter is, everyone sells. I’ll admit we’ve all got varying degrees of skill when it comes to selling, but we all have to sell something at one point or another. So why not be good at it?
According to Inc.com, learning to sell is some of the best career advice anyone could ever receive. Not to mention one of the best investments you could ever make.
Still need convincing? Read on below.
You’ll learn to read people
Learning to sell increases your ability to listen to people. When it all boils down to it, selling is largely about listening, questioning and reading your prospect (the person you’re trying to sell to).
Listening to what somebody has to say can make all the difference. Learning how to sell helps you hone in those skills. You begin to realise that the more you listen, the more insight you’re able to get from your prospect. Brian Tracy, one of the world’s leading salespeople, teaches the ‘spotlight technique’ where you learn that you’re better able to sell by keeping the spotlight on your prospect. The more you keep the spotlight on the prospect the more insight you get as to what may be driving a decision. Your ability to actively listen to your customer when the spotlight is on them will make all the difference.
Learning to sell also teaches you to ask the right questions and to read people. Have you ever been in a situation where you were talking to someone and your gut was telling you that something wasn’t right. Chances are what they were saying wasn’t congruent with their body language.
According to a study by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, 93% of our communication is non-verbal. So whilst your prospect might be saying one thing their body language and facial expressions might be painting a whole different story. By learning to sell you begin to pick up on these signals and begin to understand what people are truly saying.
You’ll get what you want
Think back to your last job interview. You’re sitting face to face with a steely-eyed interviewer. Their gazed is fixated on you. You’re palms were sweating. Finally, they asked the dreaded question. “Why should we hire you?”
Whatever you said after that question, regardless how good or bad, was selling. You weren’t selling a product. You were selling yourself, pitching why the company needs your services.
Learning sales will make you better able to pitch whatever it is you are going after. It might be a new job, negotiating a better deal or convincing people to your point of view. Great salespeople can bring ideas to life and can inspire the most doubtful. They understand what is important and use that leverage to get what they want. Really who doesn’t want to get what they want?
You’ll become resilient
Nobody wants to be rejected. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs belongingness, is one of the most important things that us, as humans, aim to achieve. We don’t want to be singled out or rejected. We want to be accepted.
Learning how to sell will teach you pretty early on that is there is nothing wrong with being rejected. In fact, it is something to be welcomed because it means you’re making progress. In sales, you need to be resilient, learning sales will definitely sharpen this skill. Funnily enough I can talk to this. When I was still in high school I interned at my mentor’s company. He told me “If you can bring me a client, I will give you $1,000”. I was only 16 so I thought Heck yeah! That money was in the bag. The thing is, I wasn’t resilient…yet.
I picked up the phone I and dialled. The customer finally picked up. When they did, in my most confident voice I said, “Hi, I’m Nicholas Renotte and I’m calling fro—”
The voice on the other end of the line cut me off.
“We’re not interested.”
They hung up.
I was paralysed.
Safe to say I didn’t make any more calls and lost the $1,000. What I didn’t know was that more often than not you’ll get told no. What learning to sell will teach you is that there is nothing wrong with rejection in fact it is something to be welcomed. On a side note, if you’re keen to break through the rejection threshold try the 100 call method from Brian Tracy, it’ll be painful but it’ll work.
You’ll make more money
Want to make more money, sell more. In sales, there is unlimited earning potential. The more you make for your company the more they pay you and the more you’re likely to be worth. Even if you’re not in a traditional selling role, learning to sell will dramatically increase your worth because it enables you to be more effective in your job.
Josh Kaufman, in his bestselling book The Personal MBA, lists sales as one of the five economically valuable skills. By having selling in your arsenal, you’re increasing your worth to your employer. Having a sales skill set means you bring a skill to the business that can increase performance and success. It’s a skill that you can pack in your briefcase when it comes time to negotiate your salary.
You’ll be more successful
Last but not least learning to sell will make you more successful. People are selling things every day. You’re probably confronted by handouts on the way to work, the billboards on buildings and hawkers trying to push their wares. There are people all around you that are trying to sell you something.
The thing is, sales isn’t always about making money. You could be selling your idea, your dream, your abilities or your cause. Learning how to sell will put you in a better position to promote and ultimately achieve your goal.
Take Steve Jobs for example. Steve was insanely successful; he loved to sell. It’s safe to say though he was not always the most fun person to deal with. Yet when it comes to selling Steve was a pro and look at what he achieved. I’m not saying that everything he achieved was because he knew how to sell, but it sure as hell helped! Check out his presentation on the release of the iPhone below. He lures you in and makes you crave his product. “Just take my money, Steve!”
Want to be more successful? Learn to sell. Want more out of life? Learn to sell. Want to…you get the idea. Learn to sell. It could be the greatest investment you ever make in yourself. Want to get started selling, check out Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible, I’ve got it down as one of my favourites.
What are you waiting for? Are you learning to sell?