Someone has to do the selling or you don’t have a business.
I have met many people over the years who have great ideas, skills, processes or inventions but hate the thought of selling.
They usually come from two camps.
Camp one. Those people who understand they have to sell in order to have a business but just don’t know how to do it. They often harbour some fears and anxieties about selling because of its bad public reputation and can feel overwhelmed about what they have to do. However, I find these people are willing to have a go.
Camp two. Those people who resist the concept of selling at every turn. Whinging about how unfair it is they are not just accepted for being brilliant at what they do, why people just don’t get it the first time, how selling is beneath them, how it’s tacky and demeaning, how selling will compromise their values, and so on.
And to those people, I say build a bridge and get over yourself because everybody lives by selling something.
Selling is ubiquitous. It is a life skill of incredible value to everyone.
Learning the various skills and processes that underpin good selling can help you out in many situations.
The world is full of people with great products, services and ideas, but unless these people can sell them, they are just an idea, a dream. Nothing happens until something gets sold.
And before you start — unless we are talking about a complete online shop or an e-commerce system — the answer is no, marketing will not make it happen. Marketing can make it easier, but in the end, you need to pick up the phone, pay that visit and make the sale.
Learning how to sell properly, with a system and a process you can follow can help you understand what selling is really about and get into the right mindset so you can go out there and make a living out of your idea, product, service or job.
Of course, you can always hire people to do the selling for you, but learning how to sell will still help you in many other situations.
Case in point
Take my eldest son, Josh, for instance. Josh is an introvert, an emerging IT wizard and not your natural salesperson. He works for an IT services company where he has to set up all kinds of IT systems for universities. He is 20 years old. He has chosen to work first before going to university.
He has to deal with and communicate with all sorts and levels of people every day.
To get him up and running for the business world, last year I asked him to complete our sales essentials online training program — all 50 topics even though he was not ‘officially’ a salesperson.
The other week, he came home and told me how useful the understanding of theory of mind, different perspectives, and an effective questioning process he had learnt via the course was in helping him successfully deal with all manner of people he has to interact with each day on his job.
This is precisely my point. He could see the value selling beyond the traditional sales role.
Regardless of our role, we all benefit from knowing how to sell well.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.