Sales Is Dead?
"The story of the death of sales have been greatly exaggerated." (Mark Twain...kind of.)
What I'm about to tell you may not be easy for you to hear.
What I'm about to tell you may cause you great discomfort at first.
What I'm about to tell you may even be unbelievable, initially.
But it has to be said.
It's for your own good.
And it's for everyone to hear.
Yes, even you,
- the manager,
- the technician,
- the teacher,
- the nurse,
- the attorney,
- the chiropractor,
- the roofer,
- the pool cleaning guy,
- the massage therapist,
- the waiter,
- the dog groomer,
- the coach,
- the housewife,
- the Uber driver.
Are you ready for the news?
Are you sitting down?
Is your inhaler nearby?
You've been warned.
Here it is...
E-VER-Y-ONE Is In Sales
There. I said it.
Everyone is in sales. Everyone.
Yes, even you in HR, in Operations, in Finance, even you in Tech Support.
Yes, you, too, down in the basement with the servers, you in R&D, and you in Marketing.
Despite what many say, sales really is the oldest profession. Think about it:
- The serpent sold Eve on eating the apple
- Eve sold Adam on eating the apple
- Adam tried to sell God that it was Eve's fault (what a stud, huh?)
- Cain and Abel sold God on the worthiness of their offerings
- God sold Cain on the benefits of living a virtuous life (but he didn't listen)
- Cain sold God on lightening his punishment for killing Abel
(That covers the first four Chapters of Genesis. "In the beginning...there was sales! LET THERE BE SALES!")
Even YOU Are In Sales
Think about it. If you've ever washed your car before picking up your date...you were selling your date that you're a clean, organized person.
If you've ever showered and shaved and put on new shoes for a date...you were in sales.
When you're handed a menu at the restaurant on your first date, the chef is selling you on hiring off the menu so they can maximize their profits
When you ask the waiter to substitute a salad for your fries—but not charge you—you're selling him.
When that waiter says he can't do that, he's selling you on paying more.
When you go out for a job interview, or ask for a promotion, or ask for a raise…you're in sales.
When you get pulled over for speeding you try to talk your way out of it...you're in sales.
When you tell your kids they have to brush their teeth before they can watch a movie on Netflix...you're in sales.
When your wife asks you to change the baby's stinky diaper…she's in sales.
When you post a Tweet, an Instagram photo, a blog post, a Facebook post, a LinkedIn update...you're selling the world on giving you their time, on paying attention to you, and maybe even clicking or responding or opting in or buying from you.
The R.I.P. of Sales
At the end of the day, all anyone ever wants is some combination of
Sure, those of us holding traditional sales jobs make money and you often see companies flashing their bonuses and contests that focus on the money you can make in sales, but for most of us, the money is just how we keep score.
We're in sales to have independence. To make our own schedules. To be responsible for our own destiny.
We're in sales because with money and time freedom comes power. Maybe not power like kings and queens used to have, but we have the power to take on the clients we want, to say no to those we don't, and to take time off and pursue other passions.
And with money and time freedom comes respect from peers, family, and even our competitors and our customers.
When you can look a customer in the eye and set proper expectations with them and let them know they are dealing with a peer, a fellow professional, they act differently. They treat you with respect, which excites you and makes you want to do a better job for them because of the respect.
It comes full circle and everyone wins
So embrace the profession of sales. Embrace the nuances of sales and recognize the role sales plays in every aspect of your life and now watch every aspect of your life improve as you learn to work within it instead of fight against it.
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.