If you're like me, you hate selling. And sometimes salespeople. In my experience, there are a limited number of people who actually enjoy selling (and become some of those salespeople we're talking about) and then the rest of us who would do anything not to have to sell.
But the truth is, learning how to sell is not just a useful skill for salespeople.
It's a critical skill for each of us.
Maybe I should first clarify what selling is. It is not knocking on doors trying to sell a product worth half the cost. Selling is the art of persuasion.
So when we apply this definition to the real world, we see that everyone needs to know how to sell. Yes, a used car salesman needs to persuade their victim...I mean customer...to buy a beat up Ford Pinto. But an elementary school teacher needs to persuade a board to support well-rounded learning as well. A cashier needs to persuade their boss to give them a well-deserved raise. An entrepreneur needs to persuade angel investors to take a chance on their idea. A parent of a child with a disability needs to persuade a teacher to cater to their child's learning method. A doctor with her own practice needs to persuade patients to choose her practice over others. Even a teenager needs to persuade their parents to let him go on a road trip with his friends.
Selling isn't the art of tricking people into buying or agreeing to something they hate, (Often the definition we attribute to salespeople.) it is simply the ability to advocate for yourself, your idea, or your cause.
In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki talks about being interviewed by a writer in Singapore. When she asked for advice on how to become a best-selling author, Kiyosaki told her to go take sales courses.
She was offended (after all, selling is only for low life trying to make a sneaky buck, right?). So when Kiyosaki explained that he was known as a New York Times "best-selling author, not best-writing author" she stated that she would "never stoop so low as to learn how to sell. People like you have no business writing. I am a professionally trained writer and you are a salesman. It is not fair."
As Kiyosaki finished the story, he stated, that people like this woman "are one skill away from great wealth".
Can you guess what that skill is? That's right, selling.
So whether you are an author, entrepreneur, job-seeker, parent, cashier, or teacher, learning how to sell is critical to your success. I loved Robert Kiyosaki's advice when he says "When I speak to adults who want to earn more money, I always recommend the same thing...I suggest they take a second job that will teach them a second skill."
[You may even feel like following Kiyosaki's example and quit your current comfortable job to take a job in sales for a few years. He also hopped to several other jobs to learn other skills. Amazing!]
Thankfully, we have the internet that opens doors to taking sales courses, working a few hours per week as a virtual assistant to an advertiser, or selling our latest online project to the masses on social media. I would imagine that it would still be best to go out and get a job in sales, but there are a variety of ways to learn this skill that seems to be needed across the board, for every age, and in every kind of work out there.
What way can you start learning the art of selling today? Can you register for a course? Test drive a few Facebook campaigns? Apply for a part-time sales position?
29 Aug 2016
*There may be affiliate links in this post to Amazon.com.
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