I’ve had numerous clients and business associates with professional backgrounds. Lawyers, medical doctors, psychologists, etc. At one time or another, I had to convince each of them, that to have had any modicum of success they were also in sales.
Many people envision selling with car sales or, years ago, door-to-door selling from encyclopedias to magazines.
Everyone has, at one time or another, been convinced to buy something they didn’t want, and then regretted it. They’d been “sold” and didn’t like the feeling.
Some people don’t like to be told that they are in sales or selling something. Almost no one from the “professions” agrees that that selling is any part of their occupation.
One business partner, who’d spent years as a psychotherapist, told me that she detested salespeople. I was surprised because she was an open and empathetic to most people she came across.
She mentioned one day that marketing her products now was very strange to her. I said, “You mean to be in sales.”
She blanched, quickly turning her head to look at me, and said, “Sales? I’m not a salesperson!”
I asked her how, in her profession as a therapist, did she get new patients? “Referrals, of course.” Was her immediate response. I knew she’d attended various networking events and had been a member, and even an officer, of several service groups in her community.
She soon saw that what she was selling in most of these encounters, was herself. Her competency. To be liked and respected, first as a person by her personal presentation or her words and thoughts. By expanding her network, regardless of her conscious intent, was to expand her patient base too.
She finally understood selling when I said this, “If your outcome is to gain something through your interactions, then you are selling. Whether you are successful in your desired result or not, the act is of selling something.
Someone said to me that they thought selling was nothing more than manipulation to commit to something you didn’t want. That focused interpretation is probably the result of someone who is easily sold and has bought too much.
We all sell. From the minister in her pulpit to M.D. in Kiwanis, to They guy who sold you your last car. There is nothing wrong with any of this.
Where it gets confusing is the manipulation part. The greatest “salespeople” in the world are con-artists. They convince their victims to believe something that isn’t true, then take something from them that they wouldn’t have given up if they knew it wasn’t true. Usually money.
There is a real science of persuasion that has many segments and names. Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP), and others among them.
Two friends of mine, Dr. Joe Vitale and Dave Lakhani teach these techniques for both ethical marketing and to make us (the consumers) more aware of the unethical tactics being used on us continuously. My course, The Wizard's Edge, gets into awareness and how to read people.
So, if you’ve applied for a job, asked someone to marry you or positioned yourself to have someone ask you, you’ve been selling.
Selling is an act that we all do. When we become proficient, it becomes an art.
So, did I sell you? Let me know.