It’s like a superpower.
This power can give you control over almost everything in your life. You can have better control of your finances, you can control your relationships and you can make more money!
Let’s just put it out there. The most valuable skill in today’s marketplace is sales skills. Being able to sell is and always will be the most valuable skill that someone could have.
Most people hate sales. They associate salesmen as being sleazy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A real salesperson is honest, dependable and good to his or her word.
If you ask people why they think most businesses shut down, they will usually say things like…
- poor management
- bad marketing
- they couldn’t get their processes down
- not enough profit margin
None of these reasons are correct. The reason why businesses shut down is simple. Lack of sales.
If you want to really succeed in the business world you need to either learn how to sell or find someone who does.
We are going to look at 3 important elements of being a good salesperson and getting a little deeper into what sales are so important.
Don’t Undermine the Importance of People SKills
I fear that personal skills are fading by the wayside.
Everyone wants to be a social media celebrity. Everyone wants to be good at painting a picture of glamor. People are starting to align their self-worth with the number of likes their pictures get on Instagram.
I have learned through personal experience that many times these people make terrible employees. They don’t understand that in the business world, you need to be able to communicate with people on a personal level.
People need to feel comfortable with you. They need to like you and they need to trust you. You will always need to know how to look someone in the eye when you are speaking to them. You will need to be able to carry yourself in a way that exudes confidence as well as humility.
This is how you sell yourself.
Selling is not about haggling people or tricking them. Selling is about building trust and following through on your promises. Selling is about doing what you say you will do. To be a good salesman (I mean a really good salesman) you need to have good character. Because over the course of months or years, your reputation will start to form and if you have tarnished your reputation through not following through on your word then you will have lost the trust of the people.
So how does someone start working on their personal skills? To start, you have to put yourself out there!
Go to networking events. Go out to a bar or a club and try to meet people. Keep the cell phone in your car. Learn how to approach strangers. Learn how to have a conversation with someone you don’t know. If you do this, your sales skills will greatly improve.
Without Sales, You Have Nothing
My thinking behind this is simple.
You could be the very best doctor in the world, but if you can’t find a way to get people to pay you for your services, then your skills are essentially worthless. The same goes for web design, selling picture frames, asking a girl out on a date or convincing your parents to let you go to the movies.
This idea goes beyond business as well. Anytime there is a conversation taking place, you are (in some way) selling yourself to another person.
You could be having a debate or trying to convince someone why Coke is better than Pepsi. None the less, human interaction is about bantering ideas, it’s about going back and forth with each other to see what two people can do for each other.
Validate your point of view by using your words, your body language and your listening skills. This is paramount. Only a select few have the talent, patience and the personality to learn how to do it.
To become a masterful salesperson requires great understanding of self. If you don’t have that, you need to find someone who does.
Know How to Go In for the Close
When I was in 6th grade, I had a huge crush on this girl. My friends and I would go ice skating at Wissahickon Ice Skating rink every Friday. Every week, there would be couples skating. The DJ would play some slow music and a bunch of awkward teenagers would hold hands and skate in circles.
I never did couples skating.
After being on the sidelines for weeks, I finally got fed up. I wanted to ask my crush to skate with me and so I built up the courage to ask her at school the next day. I thought about it all night. I thought about where I would talk to her. I planned it all out in my head.
The next day (or maybe a few days later) I saw her at her locker. I started talking to her. She was smiling. I was smiling. HOLY SHIT IT’S WORKING!!!
Finally, the time came. Now was my shot. I had to ask her if she would skate with me on Friday. So I took a deep breath, built up my courage and… I just stood there like an asshole. I didn’t ask her to skate with me. I chickened out. She just looked at me waiting for me to make my move and I blew it.
Eventually, the time always comes for you to go in for the close. You must do it. You must make your intentions known.
Remember, the absolute worst thing that will happen is your “prospect” will say no. Sometimes no really sucks. Sometimes no hurts. Sometimes it’s embarrassing and painful. But the thing more painful than not getting what you want is looking back at it wishing you had tried.
I was in 6th grade when I chickened out on asking my crush to couples skate with me. I never did it and I thought about it for weeks. I was just a little kid and I swear to God I can still remember that moment clear as day and I still regret it. Regret is more painful than any form of rejection. Don’t let it happen to you!
Regret is more painful than any form of rejection. Don’t let it happen to you!
Get With the Program
Look I get it, sales are hard.
It can be very uncomfortable to ask people for their time, their help or their money. Without income, your business will never get off the ground. It will be dead on arrival.
If anyone is learning how to sell, I can recommend some great books as well as some great techniques that I have used to improve my skills. None the less, you have to be willing to put in the work and most of all, you have to be willing to fail.
Failing at sales can be devastating. It can be humiliating and can really hurt your ego.
My promise to you is that if you can learn how to be told no on sales, and find the capacity to keep trying and to keep moving forward, then other life struggles just won’t seem as hard. Do yourself a favor and take the time to learn how to become a good salesperson. It is a skill that will provide value to you for the entirety of your life.