Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Everyone Is A Sales Person

One of the most important life skills I would encourage everyone to develop and practise is selling.

Selling is the process by which there is an exchange of value between two parties- A Seller and a Buyer

In a typical sales process there is a transaction. The Seller has something real, personal and of value that he or she can offer, in exchange for some form of value that the buyer has – money, attention, support. The Seller’s job is to create trust and confidence in the quality of whatever it is that he wants to offer to the Buyer.

We are all born salesmen or saleswomen. The only reason we don’t think of ourselves this way is because Sales is typically identified in a commercial context, like selling some product or service and not in terms of our day to day normal behavior.

My thesis though is this. The instinct for sales is there everywhere , in whatever we do.

  • A baby wailing deliberately is selling the notion of its pain in exchange for the mother’s attention. I have actually seen babies cry in a certain unique manner when the mother is nearby.
  • A kid studying very hard to secure good grades is selling his effort as a Product, to gain his parents appreciation.
  • A junior executive speaking at a town hall is selling her courage and initiative in exchange for visibility with the CEO
  • A fresh graduate is trying pitch her competency, skill and experience in exchange for a job
  • Someone posting holiday pictures on Instagram is pitching her holiday experiences in return for eyeballs and likes, that in turn reinforces her sense of self.

In every human interaction of any sort, be it with your mother, professor, boss, spouse, kids, team members , there is some underlying sales pitching happening. In some cases it is overt and tangible. In many situations, it is very subtle and imperceptible.

The best sales people are those who know what their clients want. They practice their skill diligently, are comfortable even if the sale does not happen. They learn from the process and improve their sales skills continuously.

All of us have some talent and through our initiative and hard work, we develop skills and competencies that make us unique and capable of creating value. Like the best sales people, we need to be able to pitch our skills, capabilities and sell the value we have to offer, to those who need it. We need to be comfortable being visible and ready to make a sale in a manner that creates trust and confidence.

But many of us shy away from this process.

  • When there is an opportunity to shine a light on our abilities we choose to stay in the shadows, worried that we many not be able to sell our gifts and convince ourselves that it is OK to do so.
  • When there is an opportunity to engage people , face to face , we choose to close our faculties and stick to the comfort of our smartphone, engaging with social media instead.
  • When we need to be mindful and present to make the sale, we are preoccupied and distracted. We miss the opportunity.

The worst that can happen in a sales process is that the sale will not happen. There is no other risk. Yet, we build all these demons in our mind and shirk away from the process. Selling is in our DNA. We just need to become comfortable bringing it out in the open.

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