What do you do for work? I sell. I’m a salesman.
It’s crazy to me, but often if I don the moniker of “salesman” in a conversation the reaction is visceral. Sometimes, people even cringe.
I can see it… in their minds they’re thinking, couldn’t you do something else? Why would you be a salesman?
Let’s talk about sales… what is it? What does it mean to “sell” and what does it mean to be a “salesman” or “saleswoman”?
Selling is a simple concept, but the skills needed to be great are skills we should all develop. A great salesperson is great at communicating, at problem-solving. They can take a problem, and identify a solution that is central to the product or service that they offer. Shifting that conversation and often getting the potential customer out of their own way.
Do you have kids? Are you trying to teach them the “why’s” of life? Why it’s important to be healthy, to brush their teeth, to be respectful? You are selling. You’re selling an idea to them and convincing them that your “product” is the right fit for their lives.
Have you ever been on an interview? Have you ever tried to get a job? That resume you made? It’s a brochure, a flyer and you, believe it or not, are the product. If you aren’t able to sell that product, you’re not getting the job.
Selling connects all humans, one way or another.
Now here, I must don my Stan Lee hat and warn you… with great power comes great responsibility.
As your sales skills develop and you become great, you will have a choice to make. You see, once you are a great salesperson, you really can sell anything. The phrase “He could sell ketchup to a woman in white gloves” isn’t inaccurate. The highly skilled, persistent salesperson is almost like a superhero.
You have to choose what you sell carefully, wisely. Part of what you’re selling, regardless of what product or service it is, is you selling YOU. Keep that in mind – do you want your product or service to represent you as a person?
This misalignment is often the source of the “salesman” stigma.
Selling is a noble profession, but only if you act with nobility. Sell products and services to those who need them. Sell products and services you can stand behind and feel comfortable selling. Study your product. Study your service. Study your company. Are their values aligned with yours? Does your product or service actually provide value?
To sell is human. To be great at selling is superhuman. Use your powers for good.