• By Adrian Miller

How to Succeed at Sales When You’re Not a Salesperson


Not many little kids say they want to be a salesperson when they grow up.

They want to be doctors. They want to be lawyers. They want to be scientists, firemen, policemen, actors, models, construction workers…you name it.

But sales people? Nah.

But here’s the thing. No matter what they become there will almost definitely be some sales involved.

Think about it:

  • You have to sell your boss on a new idea

  • You have to sell your employer on why you deserve a raise

  • You need to sell potential clients and patients on why they should should choose you instead of the other professionals in your field

  • You need to sell your significant other on your vacation idea

And so on. You get the picture, right? We are all selling to one degree or another even when we don’t think that we are selling at all.

So for all of you folks out there that are uncomfortable with “sales” here are some pointers that should make your (non-traditional) sales endeavors more effective:

  • Understand that it’s not about you. You are trying to show folks the benefits of selecting you or agreeing with your idea. Be prepared to show them that what you are suggesting will improve their situation and be of value/ benefit for them.

  • Be prepared to encounter resistance and know how to respond effectively. Non traditional “sales reps” often get a bit freaked out by objections but must understand that these objections provide opportunities to restate, reposition and resell.

  • You might need to negotiate. Negotiation doesn’t mean that you cave in and totally acquiesce. Negotiation means that both parties make a concession or two and come to an agreement somewhere in the middle, where both parties are comfortable with the decision.

  • It’s okay to fail. It’s not as good as winning but no one wins all of the time. Develop a thick(er) skin and learn from your loss so that it doesn’t happen again.

The image of a salesperson is often negative conjuring up images of a pushy car salesperson or someone that has no qualms about duping the buyer.

Clearly it is time to dispense with that image and adopt one that positions the salesperson as someone that educates and informs and provides a product or service designed to benefit the buyer.

And like I said, although little kids don’t necessarily want to go into sales, most of them will be selling something or other regardless of what they wind up doing.

That lemonade stand on the corner, the next Sam Walton perhaps?


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