SELLING: I’d rather die than have to sell!
by Joy Gendusa
Are you a good sales person? Do you enjoy selling? Or are you the kind of person who instantly says “Oh, I can’t sell – I’m an operations person,” or even worse “There’s no way I’ll ever sell!!”?
I recently posted this picture of my son Zachary when he was about 4 on my Facebook wall. He was in the little cubicle I sat in at my first tele-sales job, and he was playing with the phone.
I had the usual reaction of, “Hey, look how cute!”, but then, as pictures often do, it got me thinking of that time in my life. I want to share with you a revelation I had about prioritizing the ability to sell something. Truthfully, if I never had that job I don’t know if I’d have been able to build my direct mail marketing company, PostcardMania. Looking at that picture of Zach in my tiny sales cubicle, I had the revelation that my foundation of sales was absolutely crucial in giving me the tools to be successful as an entrepreneur.
Since it was tele-sales, I had to be engaging and I had to be convincing. I worked hard at my techniques and evaluated my performance, so I could be great at selling. But prior to that I never ever thought I’d be able to sell. In the picture, you can see the list of “objections” and “handlings” on the wall. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the sales lingo, an “objection” is any excuse a prospect gives for not buying from you, and a “handling” is how you should respond to that objection.
You see, selling isn’t just about convincing someone to buy something. It is really about getting someone to buy into something. For products, you want them to buy into the idea “this product will make my life better”. For services, it’s “this service will make my life easier.”
This makes selling more than a business skill. It’s really a life skill that turns out to be incredibly effective in business. You can “sell” in lots of ways. Maybe you are pitching an idea to your boss. Maybe you are selling your staff on the idea of a new direction or company philosophy. Or maybe you are trying to sell your children on eating their vegetables.
The main take away point is this: If you prioritize an ability to “sell”, you give yourself a better chance of being successful in life and in business. Specifically for entrepreneurs like myself, it is crucial to continually develop this skill, because it makes you more effective in every aspect of your career.