Does your job require you to interact with people? Do you have a significant other? Do you participate in activities with friends and family? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then guess what? You are undoubtedly SELLING! That’s right, every aspect of your life, be it professional or personal requires you to use your powers of persuasion – AKA – Sales Skills – to get what you want. If you feel like your sales skills could use some improvement, fear not! In this week’s story by sales expert Ron Finklestein, we begin to understand that sales is, in fact, a “skill” that can be learned and improved upon.
Sales Skills: Why People Fail
by Ron Finklestein
S ales is a skill that anyone can learn. In this day and age everyone is in sales, whether they realize it or not.
We are constantly selling our current employers on why “this” project is more important than “that” one. We have to sell ourselves to our next employer in order to get the job.
We have to sell our clients on a specific course of action we think will help them the most – Whether we are an accountant or business coach, the job involves sales skills.
We might be working from home selling Mary Kay, World Ventures, Pampered Chef or a thousand other products, and we are still selling to create that additional revenue stream.
Sales skills are even valuable outside of business settings. As parents we sell our children on the things we want them to do, believe or accept. Children are very savvy and they know when someone is not totally up front with them. They may not articulate it, but, they know – so you better be convincing!
I love my wife dearly but I would never tell her what to do. I want her involvement in the movie we see, a place we eat or activities we embrace. It is my job to help her understand (sell her) on why a trip to the zoo is a good thing. We sell our significant other to join us in various activities. We even sell our friends to try that new restaurant, or go see that new movie.
The list is endless. We are all in sales, and we are all selling, all the time. Wouldn’t it make sense to improve our influence and persuasion skills? Wouldn’t it make sense to become better communicators; to grow our sales skills?
If you think about it, sales are nothing more than relationships. Begging the question: why are so many people unsuccessful, not interested, or don’t care? As a business coach who specializes in helping individuals get better results faster, I looked back on the successes and failures I have experienced both personally and professionally, and here is what I found.
Some Can Not. Aside from the few who cannot talk, others just think talking to strangers, or making a request of a stranger, is too scary. Mentally they may be in no condition to learn something new. It could a physical disability, an environmental problem (homeless) or a host of other concerns that prevent them from moving forward.
Some Will Not. I have a client who is very close to losing her job, yet she refuses to implement any of the sales and relationship skills we have discussed. I asked her to practice a sales presentation in front of me and she said “no”. Then, she refused to do the presentation in front of her team. It’s not that she can’t, she just won’t. These individuals are very difficult to work with because they have the skills, but they will not use them.
The same client mentioned above once told me she could not do what I was asking – “it was just not her style”. I responded by telling her I used to feel the same way, until I lost my job and hit bottom. I had a family to feed. If I did not change what I did and create new, more effective skills, I would have starved. You CAN improve your sales skills if you are willing to work on them.
It boils down to the fact that sales is a skill and can be learned. I once did a sales survey to better understand the problems small business-owners encounter when it comes to sales. The most common response was “I don’t know what to do”. These same business owners had no sales training.
Sales is a skill, just like accounting, engineering and technology. Sales can be learned, if you want to learn it.
What others are saying about Ron: “We talked about meeting for lunch for an introduction to Ron Finklestein, who has been working with my agency for about 14 months now. Not only has Ron helped bring much-needed insight into my business, he has assisted in hiring top quality salesmen, implementing sales and marketing processes, providing management direction, and greatly expanded our networking opportunities. Ron also helped us to move in the direction of having a self-sustaining business that can operate on its own without my having to be there, thereby freeing my time and greatly increasing its value. I would truly struggle if I attempted to rate one area as more important as Ron has been so helpful in so many areas. Let me say this ….. you cannot afford not to hire Ron.” – Gerald McMichael, McMichael Insurance