I love the art of selling. LOVE IT. When I first entered the field of sales, the one thing I quickly grew to appreciate was the fact that anything I did to increase my ability in selling also increased my ability in life. Sales skills are life skills.
“There’s a born salesman!” I have yet to read, or hear on the evening news, of a lady who gave birth to a sales person. Or an attorney, or doctor, or for that matter an embezzler or swindler. Birth is given to boys and girls; everything after that is by choices made and skills that are learned. And sales skills are life skills.
“I am not ever going to be in sales!” Really? If you have ever been in a conversation in which you were trying to express an opinion or influence an event, then you were selling. The truth is that everyone is constantly trying to sell an idea, belief, proposition, opinion, or a goal. You use sales skills throughout the day, everyday. With your spouse, your kids, your peers, your neighbor, your parents, at the store, at the bank, at your church, when you buy a car or a house, or when you simply go out to dinner. Sales skills are life skills.
There is not an area of your life where sales skills cannot be a benefit. Teachers use sales skills. Preachers use sales skills. Police officers use sales skills. Mother Teresa used sales skills. Regardless of what you do, sales skills will improve your probability for success at motivating, instructing, encouraging, coaching, communicating with and reaching people. Sales skills are life skills.
In fact, every successful person is good at selling himself or herself.
Truly successful sales people have great listening skills. (Although my wife often questions mine!) Unfortunately, the image of a good sales person is a slick talking person who could sell ice to an Eskimo. However, just the opposite is true. The professional sales person wouldn’t sell ice to an Eskimo unless that ice was wanted and needed. And that would be determined through a series of questions and keen listening to determine the need. In fact, a true professional sales person will listen over three times as much as they will talk! (Again, my wife may disagree but it is true!) Sales skills are life skills.
There is not a single person in an organization that does not have an opportunity to sell for their organization. It is for that reason that I believe everyone in an organization should receive some training in sales skills. It takes very few positive results to more than pay for the investment! Think about the tremendous upside. Not only do you dramatically increase the potential of your sales force, but your employee’s confidence, attitude, and motivation greatly increases. Sales skills are life skills.
How to ask questions, listen intently, clarify a position or opinion, present a view, deal with objections, and reach a successful conclusion for all involved is the art of sales. What is there not to like and which of those skills do you not want to get better at and use throughout your daily life?
Have I mentioned that sales skills are life skills?
Shawn Lacagnina, of Smoothstone Consulting, helps people understand how to work more effectively together through consulting, training, coaching, and public speaking. His passion is sharing real world skills that not only affect the bottom line of organizations, but change people’s lives. Prior to Smoothstone, Shawn was the CEO of Triad USA Marketing Group, Inc. for over eleven years.