The exchange of a good or service for money; the action of selling something.
If you earn a living in one way shape or form than whether you are self employed or employed by someone else, the end goal is to exchange a good or service for money. So the bottom line is if you want to receive a paycheque you or your organization needs to ‘sell’ something.
So let’s also talk about what sales is NOT.
- It is not about convincing you to buy a product or service you do not want or need.
- It is not about pressuring you into buying something you do not want or need
- and it most certainly is not about guilting you into buying something you do not want or need.
I’m sure you can find many ways to expand the list above, but pretending that we do not need to ‘sell’ anything is counter productive in my opinion. I understand that people do not want to be ‘sold’ (except for me, I LOVE being sold and will grade you on your ability) so call it what you like but the end result needs to be the same in order to sustain a viable economy.
It therefore makes sense that individuals who have a greater ability to assist themselves or their organisations to ‘sell’ more of their product or service are ultimately more valuable to the organization and usually compensated accordingly. Again, to be clear I am not suggesting that when someone walks into your office or place of business that they should be swarmed and pressured to buy your product or service.
Selling is about identifying a need your customer may have and subsequently demonstrating/persuading/convincing them that you or your organization is the best option for them to fill that need. One of the greatest skills any ‘salesperson’ can have is the ability to quickly identify when you can’t fill a need. There have been many times when a customer has come to me for professional assistance where I have ascertained that I or my company is NOT in the best position to assist. The beautiful thing about that is that by pointing them in the right direction, even though I did not ‘get the sale’, I now have another advocate, someone who will most certainly recommend me to any of their family or friends who may need my service.
Who do people buy from? People buy from people they know, like and trust. I would put the most emphasis on the last one, trust. That being the case shouldn’t we encourage everyone in our organization to put forward their best foot so that our customers like dealing with them and make sure we continue to demonstrate our skill looking out for the customers best interest, even if not our own, so that they will trust us more and more each time we interact.
If you are NOT financially independent and DO still need to earn a living, I would suggest that regardless of your position, role or title, the better a salesperson you are the more handsomely you will be rewarded. No matter the organization, no matter the department, production, distribution, sales or marketing, the more you believe that everyone in the organization plays a role in the sales process the more successful your organization will be.