Selling is everything. Selling is the pre-requisite to success

That’s what the founder of modern-day selling, Zig Ziglar, and countless other successful people have believed.

Most people on the Forbes billionaire list started out as salespeople. 

Selling is what makes the world work and what drives the economy. – Zig Ziglar

You may have a great idea, product, or service, but until it gets sold, nothing happens. Selling is the prerequisite to success.

Selling skills is one of the most important and essential life skills.

Having learned, trained, practiced, and lived the life of a salesperson for over 30 years, I can say with authority that selling skills are essential life skills for everyone who wants to be successful. Not only in their work life but also personally.

Unfortunately, amongst the non-sales people, there’s this imagery that sales and selling require manipulative and pressuring behavior with aggressive presentation skills besides a lot of hard work, and so on.

My goal through this article is to challenge such non-supportive beliefs and unreasonable notions about this essential life skill.

Where do you use sales skills in everyday life?

Have you ever been in a conversation where you are trying to put a point across that differs from the opinion of the other person?  Ever had to convince your child to pick up their toys or convince your partner to do something they don’t want to do? Have you ever had to convince a company to hire or promote you?

To succeed at all of the above, you need to be a good salesperson. Think about it. Every single situation in your life needs you to sell something to the other person. Not a product, but an idea. 

Selling skills mastery includes learning, practicing, and mastering the following areas of human behavior  and performance:

  • Persistence & Perseverance
  • Discipline & Punctuality
  • Confidence & Determination
  • Persuasion & Negotiation
  • Positive Attitude
  • Listening Skills
  • Follow-Up
  • Adaptability to situations
  • Tenacity – doing the things which need to be done
  • Organizational Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Interaction ability
  • Overcoming Obstacles & Objection Handling
  • Closing Skills & Gaining Commitment
  • Effective Time Management

Most experienced and good salespeople around the world are good at understanding the above aspects of human behavior & performance.

Everyone needs to be a good salesperson, irrespective of what job they do.

Practicing each of the above helps you become more likable, resourceful, trustworthy, motivated, and enthusiastic. Leading to meaningful and successful relationships with the people you are dealing with.

You will start to attract people like you in your friend’s circle (much like birds of the same feather) You will not only become a good conversationalist but also break through any entry barriers and build excellent rapport and great relationships with other people.

That said, would you agree that the above-listed attributes of human behavior are performance are essential in our day-to-day lives as well?

Let’s see how we often recall these aspects in the several roles that we play in our daily lives:

1. Parenting

As a parent, you are always selling and using sales skills on your children. Parenting a child is a lesson in negotiation and persuasion. Convincing your three-year-old that it is in their best interest to take off the Spiderman costume and have a bath needs some sales skills. Negotiating with your teenager to more responsibility for chores in exchange for more freedom is also a sales skill. However, parenting also utilizes your time management skills, your persistence, confidence, and determination.

By the way, kids make great salespeople. Have you ever been convinced about something and later on wondered “How on earth did I agree to that?”.

2. Personal Life

Whether it’s establishing your identity online or in person, while dating, you sell yourself all the time. To come across as someone who is honest, trustworthy(which I hope you are), and worth the time and effort of the other person, you need to sell yourself correctly.

You are not only selling this idea, but you are also using the other skills you learned: confidence, punctuality, and perseverance every time there’s an opportunity for the other person to buy you or get buy-in from.

Even if you’re not single, you are still selling yourself – as an ongoing long-term partner! Negotiating on what to have for dinner, who does which household chore, or what to watch on Netflix tonight, everything needs selling skills. 

You are also using the perseverance and determination you learned on the job to work through the inevitable arguments or tough periods in the relationship.

3. Work Life

Career enhancement and growth is what challenges and rewards you. Selling yourself to your company or a prospective company is essential to this growth process.

Every opportunity that you get, you need to make a sales pitch for what you want while they are also selling you the offer they have for you.

A meeting with your boss to discuss a promotion or a raise is a negotiation, which is essentially a sales skill used to get the best possible deal in a win-win situation. You pitch why you are worthy of the new position or the added investment, followed by the negotiation process. You can be in any department of the organization, but sales skills will help you get a better deal. 

Failing to be confident, persistent, and determined in your pursuit of growth will equate to a lack of growth.

Most of the skills you learn from a sales job, persistence, perseverance, discipline, punctuality, confidence, determination, persuasion, and negotiation become an unconscious part of the way you present yourself to the world.

Making sure that you are comfortable and confident in the use of these skills will ensure success as you move through life.

Just to clear the air

A good salesperson is not focused on selling what they have. A good salesperson understands what the customer wants and needs and gives them the best solution possible. And if the best solution for the customer is not available with the salesperson, they will point the customer in the right direction at the cost of losing the sale. It is not about making that sale, it’s about serving the customer. 

In conclusion, even if you don’t intend to make a career in it, being trained in sales and marketing can help you get better at whatever you want to do. Be it in your relationships, with your vendors, suppliers, or employees. So, the next time you hear about a sales training or workshop,  it is recommended that make use of that opportunity to learn selling skills to step-up your performance.