Sales is, in part, figuring out the best way to present our ideas so that it is properly received by our audience.
Although nothing can ever be communicated perfectly, and our message will inevitably be lost upon a percentage of the audience, it’s in the process of figuring out how to give the most value to the world that eventually makes us sales people.
As a result, people buy or subscribe to the thing… or whatever we want them to do to in order to engage.
Likewise, we all spend a lot of time thinking about how to present ourselves to others so that we are properly perceived. Sales person or not, being perceived positively is a human desire. We can think of our personality and lifestyle as a product that we market to other people. When people buy-in, it makes us happy and fulfilled.
I’ve been diving deep into the subject of marketing and psychology for years now – reading and watching a lot of content in the hopes of improving this skill set. Mainly, because I want to sell lots of things… or help people sell lots of things… and in the process, make lots of money.
However, as a sort of unintended realization, I’ve noticed that there are many other personal benefits to studying and mastering this subject…
I’ve come to the conclusion that, even though your career might not be in the department of sales, learning the theories and best-practices will universally benefit you.
Here are a couple of reasons why.
Better Communication is Never a Bad Thing
No matter what you do with your life, learning how to be persuasive can be a worthwhile endeavor…
No, I don’t mean you’ll need to constantly be peddling, and trying to extract money out of every social interaction you put yourself in…
You won’t need to be the creepy fella talking about essential oils in inappropriate times and places…
Persuasiveness is just a mindset. The mindset of conveying your ideas clearly and purposefully.
It is the mindset of attention-to-detail in all our interactions, and engaging in effortful communication.
When we gain the ability to intuitively know which ideas can give value to the person you’re communicating with, and to only convey those ideas, there is a clear indication of our motives of goodwill and service, winning the favor of those around us.
Have you ever heard someone try to talk about something with just the objective of hearing themselves talk? Are they complaining? Do they have a better idea? Are they selling me something? There’s seemingly no objective to the droning monologue. Why are they even talking if they don’t have a point to make?
There is a place and time for good-natured conversation and silly banter, but if we can not hold our own in a serious conversation, and know when they are necessary to engage in, we will never reach a high level in life – no matter what field we are in.
Success will ultimately depend on how well we communicate our value to the people that matter to us.
One principle we learn in sales that can be applied to our relationships is: asking good questions.
Better Communication in Personal Relationships
After we’ve learned a thing or two about salesmanship, we will start to ask better questions.
And from those questions – we will continually find out what we can relate to, or be curious about, in the lives of others.
No more ear-beatings will be given out. We will speak in favor of the interest of others and they will always get the impression that they have been heard and understood. We will discover their pain points before we list our benefits.
It is only from a perception that we are of value to other people, that we can effectively pass on our message.
Taken to a high level, we will now have the ability to captivate attention and influence others. This is the law of reciprocity.
At the end of the day, we are constantly hoping those around us act favorably towards us – whether we choose to be aware of this is our choice. On a day to day basis, we hope our colleagues like us. That our partner is still attracted to us. We are hoping we get promoted. Hired. Loved. Respected.
The best way to achieve this is not to expect it, but to be first in offering it.
To Think and Act Clearly
Another reason we are all sales people is that we are always in the process of selling ourselves on ideas.
In seeking to be a better sales person, we will constantly pick out fallacies in our thinking and filter out vague reasoning for poor actions and behavior.
The fact is, most people don’t properly draw out a proper argument for their actions and they act on an emotional impulse.
For example, you would have more luck reading on a consistent basis if you laid the out 3 benefits of doing so. You can draw on the advice of trusted authorities as a benefit, or a testimonial of a friend who has benefited from the practice…
In this way, “Authority” and “testimonials” are foundational sales techniques which can benefit your personal life.
Maybe you can introduce your idea by imagining yourself as a more knowledgeable person that can share great ideas with great people. The power of narrative is also a great selling technique.
In thinking about why we should skip a work-out, we realized that it is a poor argument, and it is ultimately our laziness that is the bad selling-point on this idea. We can then pursuade ourselves to not take this path.
The best way to master the skll set of selling ideas to ourselves is to write.
While most people think of bodies of literature as novels or poems, they are forgetting the most prevalent genre of all. SALES.
Sales in writing is copywriting. It’s communicating, through written words, with the goal of conveying an idea so that it’s deemed desirable to the audience.
Ourselves being the audience, if we write out what we do on a daily basis, we will find out that we are doing a bad job of making some of our actions desirable. Some of these activities may actually have no selling-power at all, and serve no purpose towards our ultimate goals in life.
Structured and written out, our objectives will be clear and more easily achieved.
I hope I’ve sold you on the fact that you’ve always been a sales person and that you should embrace this and seek to improve the skill set.
The many principles of persuasion go a lot deeper than you can even imagine, and the impact of these ideas can certainly make your life a lot better.