What is Sales?
Updated: Jun 15
Sales is about building relationships and solving other people's problems. People who are in sales work to find prospects who would benefit from buying whatever the company is selling.
I've had to revamp my understanding of sales. Virtually any myth-busting source on sales will mention the "used car salesman" fallacy. This is where salespeople are slimy and manipulative, and will do anything to get you to buy a faulty product. I have to admit, this was something I passively believed. Now I didn't think salespeople were evil, not all of them at least, but I considered sales a sort of manipulation one was either good or bad at. This wasn't for any particular reason, other than maybe the character Matilda's dad ringing in the back of my mind. I just hadn't really given it a second thought.
Trust is essential in building a successful career in sales. Nick Rundlett states that it's about mastering the principles of human psychology. Someone who is dishonest will have short term success through manipulation, but will eventually get found out.
Believing in the product you're selling is, to me, the most important aspect of sales, and it was my main hang up. I was thinking of it as a rarity to find something you might actually believe in enough to sell. It is completely possible to find, as long as you have a decent level of self-awareness, and know your interests. Nick also provided a list of questions to ask:
- Does this company do something totally unique (or new to me) that helps people? - Can I tell what the heck they actually do by reading the site? - If it’s not unique, does it at least save people money? - Could I see myself using them if I were in a customer’s shoes?
If the answer is no, it's not right for you to be selling.
At the most practical level, you have to know who your targeted clientele is, and believe that the product you're selling would genuinely benefit them.