Whether you want to believe it or not, everyone is in sales. You’re selling yourself every day to potential vendors, investors, employees, partners and your family; and the list goes on. From the clothes you wear to the stories you tell, you’re selling yourself and what you do, the choices you’ve made and what’s happening in your life. So, why not master sales and intentionally learn the best ways to approach success in every aspect of your life?
Here are four ways that learning sales can help you reach your success goals in life.
1. Selling is really about service.
“Stop selling. Start helping.” -- Zig Ziglar
Ziglar, one of the great sales gurus of our time, as well as an author and motivational salesman, said it best with this quote. The takeaway is that people are intuitive and for the most part can quickly sniff out a slimy sales pitch from a genuine service. You know what that means: Too many entrepreneurs associate sales with the cliché of the "used car salesman" who approaches sales in a predatory manner, getting any person into any jalopy in order to make a profit.
Yet while you aren’t a used car salesmen (or woman), and your business is not a jalopy, you may still fear getting out there and evangelizing your brand. You have to get over that. You have to realize that when you have a great product or service, there are people out there who genuinely need you.
When you deal with your customers fairly, honestly and openly, you aren’t "selling" to them, you’re "helping" them. People need what you offer, so let them know you can help.
2. Selling can benefit everyone.
“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” -- Henry Ford
Yes, you have a product to sell and a business to run, but true entrepreneurs are always trying to figure out how much value they can deliver. You can deliver value in ways beyond just the tangible goods or services your business provides. Your attitude, your customer service, the connections you provide, the ideas you share and so many other things will help your clients and vendors in the long run.
Selling has the potential to benefit all involved if you approach it with a service attitude.
Related: Never Say These 7 Things in Sales
3. Selling makes you a better listener.
“Most people think that selling is the same as talking, but the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” -- Roy Bartell
Good salespeople are essentially listeners. You go out on sales calls to listen to your clients and solve their problems; and you take the knowledge you gain to come up with new offerings. So, give your initial pitch, then listen to your clients as they discuss what they like about your offering or what they don’t like or see as missing.
Customer service is your chance to come up with more solutions and innovations, address missing market niches and improve what you have to offer.
4. Selling transforms you into a solutions machine.
“Day by day, what you do is who you become.” -- Heraclitus
When you listen to your clients, you’ll quickly discover that selling is about becoming a solutions machine. Your clients might not even be talking about what you offer, but if you talk to them enough, you’ll start to pick up on the pain points in their business and their areas of struggle. That gives you the opportunity to use what your business offers to solve their issues.
You become a solutions-oriented person and quickly learn to transform any setbacks into opportunities. That’s a good skill to have in sales and in life.