Image courtesy ilker on sxc.hu
"I'm not a salesperson."

"I'm no good at sales."

Yes you are. 

In the next 5 minutes, I'll prove it to you. 

You sell every day. When you argue, debate, and discuss something with someone you disagree with, you're selling the idea that you're right.

You're selling yourself when you talk to strangers and they ask, "What do you do?" 

When you post some link on Twitter or update your status on Facebook, you're selling others on the idea that what you've posted is interesting enough for them to read.

So why has "salesman" become such a dirty word?


Fear of looking foolish. Fear of coming across as sleazy or sneaky. Fear of rejection. 

But you don't always have that fear. Sometimes, you're a sales rock star.

Think back to the last time you were in an argument. The last time you had to correct your kids' behavior. The last time someone challenged your viewpoint. 

The last time someone said you were wrong. 

Think about what happened next. How did you respond? What did you say?

That was selling. "I'm right, and I'm going to tell you why." 

Everyone is good at selling... at certain times. To be a sales rock star in any situation, all you need are 3 ingredients:

1. A point of view that you feel passionate about.
2. A strong conviction that people should agree with what you have to say.
3.  A solution to a problem someone wants solved. 

If "selling" is such a dirty word, why do we do it every day to the people we love most?

When I first got a DVR, I thought it was the greatest device ever invented. I told my dad all the reasons he should get one. You can record your shows, so you don't have to miss them. You'll never have to sit through another commercial. You can even rewind when you miss what someone says. 

Was I receiving a commission for this? Nope.

Was I selling? You bet I was.

Did he get one? Nope.

So the next time I talked to him, I told him all about why he had to get a DVR. And the next time. And the next. 

His life would be so much better if he got one. I pleaded with him to get one. "Please, dad...just try it. You'll like it."

Was I a pushy, sneaky salesperson?

Nope. I love my dad, and I thought a DVR would make him happy.

Eventually, he got a DVR. He couldn't wait to tell me about how happy he was that he got one. 

I was selling him on an idea I genuinely believed in. I did him a favor. 

That's sales. 

You don't have to be something you're not, over-hype, lie, or steal. All you need is a message you think matters and a solution your audience wants.

What I hope you take away from this post is that sales isn't a presentation. It's a conversation.

You have something valuable. You want to show people why it's valuable to them. 

Sales isn't sleight of hand, where you try to manipulate people into doing things they'll regret. Sales is enthusiastically sharing something valuable. 

Your assignment:

Figure out what's valuable about what you have to offer. If you're not excited about the value you bring to the discussion, keep searching. Don't stop until you find what makes your product or service valuable. 

Once you have a message to share that gets you pumped up, become the enthusiastic evangelist of your product. You have solutions that people want, right? Become the problem-solver. 

That's sales.

What about you? How do you overcome sales jitters? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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01/11/2013 8:28am

I am most certainly a saleswoman on social media haha. I have been touting SuperBetter a lot, but I'm not getting a dime from it haha. I am trying to incorporate it more into my business though.

01/11/2013 12:40pm

Hey Willi,
That's it, exactly. There are things you think everyone should try. You "sell" those because you think they're awesome.

Figure out what gets you to feel the same way about your business, and you'll naturally (and effectively) sell your offer in a way that makes people see you really believe what you're saying.

Thanks for the sharing. :)

01/28/2013 4:22pm

I have yet to overcome sales jitters. The only way to get through it is to remind myself that this "pitch" is just practice for the next. It helps me keep in mind that no one conversation is the end-all-be-all of my career.

Oh! And if I'm on the phone, I place a rubber duck or my Mr. Potato Head by the speaker phone and pretend that I'm talking to them. They're less intimidating.

Nice post. Good reminder.


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    January 2013
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