5 Ways Learning Sales Can Help You Reach Success

5 Ways Learning Sales Can Help You Reach Success

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5 Ways Learning Sales Can Help You Reach Success
Image Credit | Thelistlove

Most people hate sales. They think of it as sleazy, dishonest and aggressive. If you watch movies like Glengarry Glen Ross, Wolf of Wall Street or Boiler Room, you know what I’m talking about.

Here’s the thing though, if you want to be really successful, you need to know what sales is all about. You don’t have to be able to sell ice to eskimos, but you need to have a thorough understanding of the underlying psychology and how to do it.

Better yet, get a job actually doing sales even for a short while, because it will teach you the following things crucial for success.

 

1. You talk to people…a lot

Everyone is so damn scared to pick up the phone nowadays. People want to text, email, message, anything but actually talking to another person that isn’t their family or close friends.

When you’re in sales you need to talk to people because there are a lot of cues like voice tonality, facial expression, hand gestures, and posture that tell you what someone is thinking.

You learn to get comfortable doing it, which means that when you have to reach out to people in other parts of your life, you don’t get nervous anymore. How many of you have been nervous to simply pick up the phone and make a restaurant reservation? After a month in sales, you won’t be.

“You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – Patricia Fripp

2. You learn to read people

This is a big one. When you start talking to a lot of people that want something (ie a product), you’ll learn how to read what kind of personality they have and learn to speak to them appropriately in order to sell them your product.

This will also do wonders for your relationships in real life, because when you know how people prefer to be interacted with you can change your approach and have them eating out of your hand. The best leaders are very good at doing this.

That asshole boss you can’t stand, he’s the guy that will only interact with people according to his personality. This is why people walk away star struck from meeting certain celebrities and politicians, because they have mastered the art of reading people and know how to interact on their level and make them feel important.

 

3. You learn to influence people

Everyone wants to influence people. It’s the sexy term for business management, as though it’s some magic act like Obi Wan Kenobi telling the storm troopers “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”.

Influence isn’t about tricking people, or bulldozing them into doing what you want. Influence is simply being able to read people and putting your point across in the way that is most palatable for them.

This links right in with point number 2 – if you can’t read people, if you can’t work out what kind of personality they have, then you aren’t going to be able to convince them. Sometimes it can be something as simple as letting the silence get uncomfortable after someone makes you an offer. If you don’t say anything, most of the time they will revise upwards.

Build the person

4. You learn how to sell

I don’t just mean sell products or services. You learn to sell anything. How many of you will go into your boss’s office and ask for a raise? Or better yet, wanting to succeed at a job interview?

Sales is about overcoming a customer’s objections, and you keep seeking them out until there are no more objections to your product. Right now you ask for a raise and say things like “umm I’m a good worker, I’ve been with the company a long time etc”.

With some time in sales, you’ll first of all have the confidence to actually talk to your boss and not stammer through the entire process. Secondly, you’ll have a good idea of their possible objections, so you’ll have come up with your rebuttals before you even get in the meeting.

You’ll have an idea of haggling to meet a mutually desirable outcome because you do it everyday. You’ll know what sort of personality they have before you go in, so you’ll know the best possible way to deliver the message. While success isn’t guaranteed, you’ve just improved your chances by 1000%.

 

5. You think you’re an introvert

Being an introvert is the cool new thing, like being intolerant to gluten and you know what? It’s bullshit. A large amount of young people think they’re introverts because they’ve spent most of their lives interacting with people behind a screen and believe that is somehow normal.

If you think that being around people and making conversation is somehow strange or a chore, you’re on the wrong side of being a human. We are a social species, and whatever your skills may be, the people that make it to the top in any business generally have good people skills.

When you’re in sales, you don’t have the luxury of interacting with people behind a screen. Can you guess how successful selling through text is? Here’s a hint – it’s not. I used to think I was a bit of an introvert until I realized that the only reason I felt uncomfortable interacting with people was because I wasn’t good at it. Dealing with people is a skill just like many other things and the more you practice it, the more comfortable you feel and the better you get at it.

“To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business.” – Harvey Mackay

The great thing about sales is that you get paid a low base rate because you make most of your money on commissions. Many people find such a notion utterly terrifying because all they can think about is the small sum they are guaranteed. They would rather earn $40,000 as a salary than earn $25,000 with a decent chance at earning another $60,000 in commission.

Sales makes you hungry for success, because success means money. You can’t get by just doing the bare minimum like a lot of other jobs, you have to be out there all the time chasing down leads and learning how to close.

Essentially, your pay is based entirely on your performance, so it’s all on you. It’s almost primal in a sense, because back when we lived in tribes, if you wanted to eat you had to catch that animal running away from you. If you gave up the chase, if you didn’t want it bad enough, guess who goes hungry?

It is all up to you. If you want to be successful then get to work.
Peter Ross is a former soldier, national level judo competitor and now author. He writes for several online publications in addition to his two books and blog at peterwross.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. This article is awesome, and for good reason.

    I started off in business for a long time thinking that I didn’t really want to get into sales because it would make me appear sneaky, arrogant, and/or shady to the people around me. I wasted so much time disregarding sales and the success that it can bring.

    I do agree that there is a good and bad way to go about this topic, just like anything else.

    One of the main keys is realizing that we are always selling when doing almost anything in life. If not to ourselves, then to those around us. When we can approach it from a very calm, passionate, and happiness-oriented perspective…I think it definitely changes a lot of the concepts and preconceived affiliations that many people have.

    Thanks for the great article along with some more eye opening perspectives that I did not think about before. Good stuff Peter!

    – Jeff Jones, Self Help Empire

  2. These are some great reasons to learn how to communicate with people, and how this can be achieved through sells. You are absolutely correct that people who are sales learn how to read people, and learn the right things to say to attract attention. When you have a business with products or some types of service, you have to sell what you are offering, and learning HOW to sale on a personal level can help you sell on a global level. Learning people is one of the major keys to success!

  3. Great article. I like #5 the best. You just tell it like it is and make it clear. Either fix it or shut up. I have lost my people ability in recent years but I’m getting it back by getting out there and selling myself and my abilities and getting back to being able to communicate with anyone at any level. Good stuff.

  4. Wow an amazing article Peter!! Being in sales is one of the most powerful growth experiences you can ever go through as a human. You will learn so much about yourself, people, discipline, persistence and the list goes on. When I have a child the first thing I would teach him is LEARN TO SELL

    One of the most important benefits of learning to sell is you reap the rewards of knowing how to interact with people. The world is full of people and if you don’t know how to talk and interact with others, you’re missing out on the most important thing in life. Life would be too boring by ourselves…

    Selling is an invaluable skill and it will impact every other area of your life as well. Because at the end of the day, everybody is in sales. I love selling and am working to become master salesman!!

    Thanks!
    Gabriel DoCarmo

  5. Great article.
    As any entrepreneur knows, relationship building and sales are the lifeline of your business’s existence. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you better learn how to establish relationships and determine needs that fit the products and services you have to offer. Once you understand the nature of a wide variety of people, it becomes easier for you to adapt to any situation and find a way to excel no matter the circumstances.

    Yura Bryant, Entrepreneurial Ambitions

  6. Nice write up Pete.

    At times, I forgo social interactions because I tell myself that I’m too busy, it’s out of my way, or I’m just not feeling up to it, but deep down… I know I do desires to befriend someone new and make those connection.

    I’m not a natural, but like anything I know these things are learned skills… I just have to put in the time to learn’em.

    Christin LS

  7. I thoughly cosign this article
    I had a job selling smart phones for telecommunication company, it forced me to get out my comfort zone and generate leads. The had a team of us travelling all over the country and we had to a limited amount of time generate abuzz and build rapport because we did this on the streets and door to door. our customers were potenally all around us. I was bad at it at first but got good after while and boy did the bucks started to roll in.
    I felt more alive doing this type of work than siiting at a desk doing customer service.

  8. Another great article, Peter!

    For some time, I didn’t like sales people. (Don’t blame me!) Perhaps because I saw how they focused more on “closing the sale” than “building the relationship”. What stands out to me every time is how a company or a “salesman” can hold on to their commitment to providing value for their customers.

    Of course, there’s more to it than simply closing the deal. There’s a multitude of products and services, which all call for different strategies. But sometimes, I would want some product that’s inferior to another, which are promoted by people who don’t keep their promise that I’d really enjoy it until such time that getting another appropriate product (or service) becomes inevitable.

    What is there to miss?

    People are for people. Relationships are golden. Products are for people anyway.

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