Everyone is in sales, whether you realise it or not

Everyone is in sales. Yes, everyone, including you.

Now it may sound a little daft to say, especially since very few of us think we actually sell anything. But I’d like to show you just how wrong we all are on this score. And wrong just about every single day.

You see, from the moment you’re born you’re trying to sell something. And that something is you. Yep, everyone is in sales from birth.

You smile to get a positive response, a response that is repeated and affirmed throughout our whole lives. If you smile at folks as an adult, most of the time you will still get a smile in return ( I dare you to try it).

And when you get a little older you start to realise the value in asking for things and then demanding things and then kicking up a fuss when you don’t get what you want. How many times do kids ask for ice cream before they either get what they want or realise that it’s not going to happen? Quite a lot, right.

So we move on in life and by the time we get to our teen years you’ve (hopefully) stopped throwing yourself on the floor screaming when you’re not getting what you want. But then you go into a different kind of selling: selling yourself to a potential girlfriend/boyfriend.

And this is when sales skill starts to develop. You preen yourself to look and smell good, you try and be on your best behaviour, you aim to say the right words. All in the hope that, when you finally pluck up the courage to ask, he/she will say yes to going out with you.

Everyone is in sales, whether you realise it or not. Thoughts on why we never stop selling

But what happens when all this effort comes to naught? What if he/she said no? Do you go home and sulk, cry, vow never to ask again? Or do you try a dating site in the hope that you won’t have to ask anyone face-to-face?

Or do you realise that the word ‘no’ doesn’t really hurt that much at all and try again with the same or a different person?

Eventually you get to job interviews. Again you’re having to sell yourself to someone who might hire you. You go through a similar kind of process as you went through asking for a date: preen, polish, best behaviour, the right words etc. In the hope that the interviewer will see you as the person they need and offer you the job.

But what if you’re turned down? Do you go home and pull the emotional Huggies over your head, vow never to apply for another job?

Or do you realise that being turned down isn’t a life-threatening condition and you try again with a different approach?

You might even have made some friends along the way. Did they just turn up and instantly become your friend or did you go through a kind of ‘getting to know you phase’? The part where you’re doing your best not to be the jerk/bitch you know you can be.

This bit is the selling bit, you’re still trying to win friends and some approval by presenting the best you.

Perhaps you managed to get a job. I’ll bet you’re still selling your worth to someone and this someone is now a boss. You may be trying win promotion, get that bonus, win employee of the year. You’re still selling.

So life moves on, maybe you got lucky and have a (dare I say it) wife/husband (partner / whatever the fashionable term is).  You would still have gone through a selling process to try and impress etc.

And now you may even have kids. And I promise that they’ll be selling to you in the same way that you did to your parents.

OK, but what does this mean to you and your self-employed life (or business)?

Well the thing is to remember that success in sales is a question of being tenacious, persistent, and determined.

But also realising that the word ‘no’ doesn’t actually kill you.

To succeed in sales in your business you need to learn to follow up.

Some will buy, some won’t. But, so what? Either way, you won’t die.

But, whatever happens, don’t let anyone off the hook, just like you did when you were little.

So, now that you realise that everyone is in sales, my question to you is:

What’s your kids’ closing ratio on you?

Want more on sales? Check out:

Don’t do this if you want to keep your customers (article)

Why you should keep in touch with customers and contacts (video)

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