Why You Need to Sell

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Many people have the wrong idea about what it means to sell, and to be good at selling. They believe that a good sales person is born that way, and has a gift of persuasion, to the point of manipulation. They believe sales people aren’t to be trusted. The belief is reinforced through the actions of some sales people, especially when they do unethical things.

But the real pros, the ones who care about their craft and their reputations, have a clearly defined set of ethics they observe. All selling involves a little bit of what one might think of as minor manipulation. Heck, getting a date or a job can, too. But it’s the manipulation of emotions, not distortion of facts, and so long as ethical boundaries are observed it can be a good thing. The goal is to get people to do what they really want to (or should) do anyway. To get them to move off center. There is a real skill to this, which may be learned or innate.

Let’s say you’re a health care professional. Do you present the facts and hope your clients take the proper action, or do you motivate? Look around you. The facts are everywhere, as are unhealthy people. Clearly facts and information are not enough. If you can inspire them you will get better results, which will help them more, and help you be more successful as well. That little bit extra, the intangibles that tampering with the emotions of the client provides, can be the difference between merely doing a job and getting the job done, so long as care is taken.

If you’re an engineer, do your ideas get accepted easily, or are yours often overlooked? Surely good engineering ideas would stand on their own, right? Wrong. People evaluating ideas are as susceptible to good marketing as anyone else. Package your idea up and sell it. Do you offer something that makes their life easier, or better, or saves time, or costs less? Take the time to find out both who your customer is (boss? client?) and learn how to appeal to what she/they care about.

People who understand these things about sales get much further in their careers, especially careers other than sales. Time to change your attitude about what it means to sell and be sold.

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