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5 Ways Learning Sales Can Help You Reach Success

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5 Ways Learning Sales Can Help You Reach Success

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

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Sija Mafu

    Jun 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Great insight. Thank you for sharing,

  2. Jeff Jones

    Jun 6, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    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

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    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!

  4. David Brown

    Jun 5, 2015 at 1:56 am

    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.

  5. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Jun 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    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

  6. Yura Bryant

    Jun 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    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

  7. Christian LS

    Jun 3, 2015 at 6:34 am

    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

  8. O'dwayne

    Jun 3, 2015 at 5:08 am

    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.

  9. Ethan

    Jun 3, 2015 at 2:49 am

    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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Success Advice

3 Areas You Should Focus on to Become a Great Leader

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Having listened to all of our stakeholders and being fully aware of the situation, spring is a good time to conduct a quarterly review to see exactly where we are in order. This helps us have a clear starting point to re-adjust our goals for the coming year.

One of the main problems tends to be that we look back at the things we haven’t done and where we didn’t get the results we intended. Because of this, we get ourselves in a state of anxiety which is hardly a resourceful state for setting positive goals.

A better approach is to be nice to ourselves. Have a look back over the last three months and check all the things you have achieved. Give yourself a treat for all of the things you planned to achieve and did. They may be something as simple as maintaining a to-do list or smiling more.

Afterwards, think of all the things you achieved which weren’t planned and congratulate yourself on your flexibility and creativity; for the person with the greatest flexibility of behaviour controls the outcomes.

For those results that weren’t as you intended, remind yourself that we all make the correct choice at the time we make it. We don’t deliberately make the wrong choices and whatever the outcome, there’s always a positive intention. There’s no failure, only feedback, and we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.

“Be good to yourself. Listen to your body, to your heart. We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re always feeling like we’re not doing enough. It’s a terribly hard job.” – Marcia Wallace

Look to yourself

It is vital, especially for sole proprietors or owner/managers, to manage themselves in order to be fit, healthy, and relatively happy. Evidence points to a clear relationship between our moods and assorted aspects of job performance such as decision-making, creativity, teamwork, negotiation and leadership.

While success may put us in a good mood, an organisation that sees the glass as half full rather than half empty, stands a better chance in these difficult times.

Depressed individuals will always see the glass as half-empty and even rapidly emptying. This attitude saps energy and leaves those affected feeling worthless, helpless, and hopeless. In its worst case, depression can impair the ability to communicate and it’s not hard to see the organisational parallels.

Below are three elements within all of us that need to be taken care of:

1. Your mind

The key to a healthy mind is variety, so take an interest in other people, things, events and current affairs. Adopting an open and curious mindset allows us to see future possibilities and hence be more empowered.

2. Your body

A healthy body requires a solid routine. Ensure you eat and drink healthy products (especially water) and get plenty of rest and exercise. Knowing our own limitations and taking action to stay within them ensures we operate at our best.

3. Your spirit

Much has been written about feeding or maintaining the spirit but I believe there is one simple rule. Believe in something that is true to you and spend time each day with your true beliefs. Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm and is as needful to the imagination as friends are to our character.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

Beyond individual performance, there are broader issues at stake. None of us are islands, happy in our own little depressed world. Moods, good or bad, are infectious and some people or positions can have a greater ripple effect than others. If a shy apprentice has a gloomy outlook, few may notice. But if people like the owner/manager are wandering around looking like the end of the world is coming, that can directly affect team spirit.

Water bearer or well poisoner

So what can the organisation do? Firstly, as individuals, we must show a positive and upbeat demeanor. That’s not easy and faking it will easily be spotted as the deception will be transparent. This isn’t unauthentic, but merely an attempt to empower ourselves.

Congruent leadership offers the means to put into words what it is you are experiencing with the person in order so your behaviour is consistent with your own values and beliefs such that you always appear to be what you desire to be.

Your mood as a leader then is highly contagious. Even though leaders or opinion formers aren’t always in leadership positions, they’re at the centre of informal networks. They have charisma and magnetism, possess strong opinions, and express them forcefully. Therefore, they have considerable social power and can have a direct effect on morale by being a water bearer or well poisoner. Which are you today?

What resonated most with you about this article and leadership? Share your thoughts below!

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The 6 Step Process for Delivering Critical Feedback in a Constructive Way

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We have all been in the position where we knew we needed to have a difficult conversation at work that involved delivering constructive feedback. Maybe a major deadline was missed, there was a clear decline in performance, or someone blatantly dropped the ball. Most of us avoid delivering the feedback, and the conversation can get pushed back again and again, wasting valuable time and money.

Delivering constructive feedback is challenging, and uncomfortable for most people, even highly trained leaders. Yet, delivering and accepting feedback is one of the most important keys for success. So why do we avoid these conversations? Because we never learned how to have them.

Open, honest, direct communication is not a skill we are taught in school. There is no “How to Have Tough Conversations” 101. As a clinical psychologist that specializes in couples work, I see just how important communication is in maintaining thriving relationships. I understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful relationship; both intimate relationships and your work relationships.

Below is a 6-step guide to providing constructive feedback:

Step 1: Clarity on the Goal of the Conversation  

The first step is to get clear on the goal of the feedback conversation. Are you planning to see a change in performance, simply communicate how you felt, or receive an apology? Get clear on what you are hoping to get out of the conversation. Be honest with yourself about what you need, what is most helpful to the relationship, and what is most helpful to the organization. Getting clear on the goal also ensures you are speaking with the right person.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

Step 2: Invitation

Set up a time to talk. Feedback conversations are not meant to be had in the hallway. It is important that both parties can set aside adequate time and have the space needed for dialogue. Additionally, there must be respect for both parties’ need for time to process information. For example, if you are delivering feedback, and the receiver needs time to process the feedback before responding, setting up a subsequent meeting will be most helpful.

Step 3: Ownership

Own the role you played in creating the situation. When you model ownership of blind spots, failures, or missteps, you set the stage for the receiver to do the same. For example, you may acknowledge that you were not aware of how to support your employee and not aware of the problem until x situation occurred. Equally important as owning your role, is owning your emotions. Own your emotions using “I” statements. For example, “I felt disappointed when I realized your sales performance had substantially declined”.

Step 4: Open, Honest, Direct Feedback

Feedback that dances around the problem does not do anyone any good. It only increases anxiety on behalf of the receiver, and potentially causes the feedback to get totally lost. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and direct. For example: “I felt concerned when you did not attend the last two strategy calls this month…It brought up questions for me about your commitment to the company.”

Step 5: Listen, Validate and Accept

When providing feedback, it is important both parties maintain an open mind, and respond in a way that communicates validation and acceptance. As soon as an individual gets defensive, feedback cannot be taken in, and the value of the conversation dramatically decreases. When providing feedback it is important to listen, validate, and accept your receiver’s viewpoint. Notice, I did not say agree. This looks something like saying: “I can see why X led you to commit Y , I understand you were under a great deal of stress/dealing with a personal situation/frustrated.”

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Step 6: A Clear Plan for Moving Forward

In providing feedback, the magic is that now things can change! If feedback is never given, relationships end, things will stay the same, businesses will die, and money will be lost. If you have gotten to this step, that means you did the hard work, and now you get to put change into action. A clear plan includes an acknowledgement from both parties regarding what they will do differently to prevent the situation from occurring again, and how they will stay accountable in making the change happen.

The good news about delivering feedback is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most surefire ways to open yourself up to massive growth.

As a giver of feedback, it is your job to model openness and a desire for growth, so that the receiver may take in the feedback and make the necessary changes. Exceling at feedback delivery will help you set you apart from others and enable you to achieve extraordinary relationships, in both your personal and work lives.

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche

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There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.

Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:

1. Ambition

When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?

The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.

2. Listen to those around you

While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.

You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.

On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Courage

When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.

Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.

Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.

4. Creativity and imagination

If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.

Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

5. Continuous learning

If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.

Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.

The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.

No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.

What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!

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