Everything in life is Sales!
Whether you like it or not.
When I started my career, I was open to do, and learn anything but sales. I used to hate being sold anything, and so could never imagine selling anything. It took me over 10 years to realize that everything that I did was actually sales in the hindsight. From school admissions, parent teacher meetings, making friends, or dating the most popular guy in school. Basically ‘to doing anything I want to do’ was sales in ways I never realized.
Repeatedly, folks that worked with me used to tell me that I’ll do great in sales and should consider a career path switch. I was like that’s one thing I can’t do, more-so, DON’T want to do. And now when I think of it, that was the only thing I did. Here’s the behaviour that kept me going -
Listen with the intent to understand, not reply
Because I didn’t had sales targets to chase, I was never in a mad rush to close deals. I was also in ‘only woman in the room’ scenario, and my voice was often over powered or ignored. To get myself heard, I used to observe and listen with more intent. That helped me to reinforce statements and opinions to make my point succinctly. Whatever your response is. If it’s driven by curiosity and wonderment, the other person will immediately know that you’ve been listening to understand.
Afford to lose clients, job, money, whatever but not reputation
I never traded reputation, for money! I’m driven by doing the right thing, even when it works to my disadvantage. I’m able to do that by following a simple life rule, say the truth fearlessly – or, at least, don’t lie! Doing right is about recognizing the needs of a situation above the needs of your own. It’s about being curious, listening, learning, and finding the best solution, not your solution.
Just like everything in life, sales depends on your attitude, your beliefs, and your mindset. Whether you want to get more clients, feel more confident, or become more resilient, it’s all in your head. Or to put it another way, if you believe that something is going to happen, be it good or bad, it will.
Make a difference, not a sale
Here’s another honest truth about sales: you’re going to be told NO. More than likely, people will say ‘no’ a LOT. It doesn’t mean that you have to take it personally, close up shop, and consider yourself a failure. Every failure has a lesson. And if you’re so afraid of failure that you never even try, the experience you need is never going to happen. (And you’ll stay right where you are.)
Always be learning! The chips aren’t always going to fall where you want them to — but if you understand that reality going in, you can be prepared to wring the most value out of the experience, no matter the outcome.