That’s what the founder of modern-day selling, Zig Ziglar, and countless other successful people have believed.
Most people on the Forbes billionaire list started out only as salespeople. The number of today’s leaders who’ve succeeded by selling is high: Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Bethany Frankle, Sarah Blakely, Jeff Bezos — the list goes on.
Selling is what makes the world work and what drives the economy.. – Zig Ziglar
Whatever you ate for breakfast started the journey to your table when someone sold something. You probably won’t make any money this week unless someone sells something and makes money.
Selling is what makes the world work and it’s what drives the economy. You may have a great idea, product, or service, but until it gets sold, nothing happens. Selling is the pre-requisite to success.
Selling skills is one of the most important and essential life skills
Having learnt, trained, practised and lived the life of a salesperson with demonstrated experience in sales, marketing & business development for over 30 years, I can say this with authority that selling skills are essential life skills for everyone who wants to be a success in any aspect of life.
Unfortunately, amongst the non-sales people, there’s this imagery that sales and selling requires manipulative and pressuring behaviour with aggressive presentation skills besides lot of hard work, and so on.
My goal through this article is to challenge such non-supportive beliefs and unreasonable notions about this essential life skill.
Where do you use sales skills in everyday life?
Have you ever been in a conversation where you had a belief or opinion that differed from someone else’s? Have you ever had to convince your child to pick up their toys or convince your partner to take out the garbage? Have you ever had to convince a company to hire or promote you?
Think about it. Selling skills mastery include learning, practicing and mastering the following areas of human behaviour & performance:
- Persistence & Perseverance
- Discipline & Punctuality
- Confidence & Determination
- Persuasion & Negotiation
- Positive Attitude
- Listening Skills
- Adaptability to situations
- Tenacity – doing the things which need to be done
- Organizational Skills
- Communication Skills
- Interaction ability
- Overcoming Obstacles & Objection Handling
- Closing skills & Gaining Commitment
- Effective Time Management
Most experienced and good salespeople around the world are adept at each of the above aspects of human behaviour & performance.
As salespeople practicing each of the above helps them become likeable, resourceful, trustworthy, stay motivated and enthusiastic, fun leading to great and successful relationships with the prospects.
Such salespeople usually have great affinity to similar people as themselves and are not only good conversationalists but also break through any entry-barriers and build excellent rapport and great relationships with other people and can be good networkers too…
That said, would you agree that above listed attributes of human behaviour & performance are essential in our day to day lives as well? Let’s see how we often recall these aspects in the several roles that we play in our daily lives:
As a parent, you are always selling and using sales skills. Parenting a child is a lesson in negotiation and persuasion, convincing your three-year-old that it is in their best interest to take off the Spiderman costume and have a bath or negotiating with your teenager for more responsibility in exchange for more freedom. However, parenting also utilizes your time management skills, your persistence, confidence, and determination.
Whether it’s establishing your identity online or in person or online dating, you sell yourself as someone who is honest, trustworthy and worth the time and effort of the other person.
You are not only selling this idea, but you are also using the other skills you learned: confidence, punctuality and perseverance every time there’s an opportunity for the other person to buy you or get a buy-in from.
Even if you’re not single, you are still selling yourself – as an on-going long-term partner! Negotiating on what to have for dinner, who does which household chore, or what to watch on Netflix tonight.
You are also using the perseverance and determination you learned on-the-job to work through the inevitable arguments or tough periods in the relationship.
Career enhancement and growth is what challenges and rewards you. Selling yourself to your company or a prospective company is essential to this growth process.
Every opportunity that you get – if it’s a job interview, you need to make a sales pitch for what you want while they are also selling you the offer they have for you.
A meeting with your boss to discuss a promotion or a raise is a negotiation, which is essentially a sales skill used to get the best possible deal in a win-win situation; you pitch why you are worth the new position or the added investment, followed by the negotiation process.
Failing to be confident, persistent and determined in your pursuit of the growth will equate to lack of growth.
Most of the skills you learn from a sales job, persistence, perseverance, discipline, punctuality, confidence, determination, persuasion, and negotiation become an unconscious part of the way you present yourself to the world.
Making sure that you are comfortable and confident in the use of these skills will ensure success as you move through life.
In conclusion, being trained in sales and marketing (even if you don’t intend to make a career in it), can only help you get better at whatever you want to – be it in your relationships, with your vendors, suppliers or employees, in your personal life or even if you want to get more out of life. So, the next time you hear about a sales training or workshop, it is recommended that make use of that opportunity to learn selling skills to step-up your performance.