Mention the word sales or salesman and two out of three people get a little clammy under the skin. “I hate sales people and I could never do what they do!” is what many say at the mere thought of having to sell something. How wrong they are.
Here is a cold hard fact: From the time you are born to the time you die, you – regardless of your profession or what you do – are in sales! That reality is hard for many to believe.
Appreciate that when a baby cries for its mother’s milk for the first time, he/she is attempting to sell [close] the new mom on the importance and benefits for ‘her’ in doing what it wants. In short, the baby is making its very first sale. The sale will be made. There will be plenty more.
A child, who makes its bed to get a cookie, is selling ‘services’ for ‘profit’. In this case, the profit is a cookie. To explain to a teacher, “The dog ate my homework”, is to engage in the daunting task of persuasion. Is it selling? You bet it is.
To invite someone to the prom, to ask someone to marry you – to stay married to you – is to sell the features and benefits you possess, in tandem with the expectation, those you hope to attract [sell] buy-off on how those benefits, benefit them; at times, a daunting task [sale].
To get up the nerve to ask the boss for a raise or a promotion is quite like making that dreaded cold call even well-trained salespeople find challenging. Convincing the boss why you deserve a raise or promotion, is the fundamental act of trying to make a sale. By promoting you, or paying you more, the boss benefits – or at least that’s your pitch. What a salesman you are!
In business, it really doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. The fact remains, without any sales, the business ceases to exist. Lawyers, doctors and dentists have many competitors but nevertheless still have to put on their sales hat to convince potential customers, that they are the right solution for client needs. If they can’t make the sales, they go out of business. Many people are surprised to hear that the mortality rate for doctors, lawyers, accountants, is staggering. Just because someone is smart enough to be called to the bar or receives a degree, in no way guarantees success in any profession. Many accountants, doctors and lawyers pick up their proverbial hammer and return to the farm – because they didn’t have the sales. So too, do those in the graphics business who fail to garner enough sales.
Manufacturing, distribution or service-oriented companies have dedicated frontline selling professionals whose job it is, is to engage potential customers, face-to-face, and make the sale. People understand that. What many don’t understand is that everyone in the company – everyone – from the CEO down to the mail clerk, is in Sales.
You may push a broom, but your real job is to keep the place clean so that the act-of doing business for the purposes of making ‘Sales’ can be achieved. Whether you are in accounting, administration, IT or marketing, everything you do – EVERYTHING – is expressly focused on the success of the company which, of course, can only be achieved and measured, by making sales.
The Bottom Line:
Sales or the act of selling is at the very fabric of human interaction from the time we are born, throughout our working lives and into our retirement years. Some people are quite naturally better at it, better trained or simply more aware of it than others, but no one is exempt from it and/or does not engage in it their entire life. Happy selling!
Paul Shearstone MACP, CCP, is a recognized expert on Sales and Persuasion. An International Keynote Speaker, Author of several books including, “Up Your Income! Solution Selling for Profitability”. A Certified Coaching Practitioner and Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Paul enlightens and challenges audiences as he informs, motivates and entertains. To comment on this article or to invite him to speak at your next successful event, we invite you to contact him directly: www.paulshearstone.com firstname.lastname@example.org 416-7