Sales has a bad rap, and quite frankly, it used to deserve it. The old-school sales style—get money, no matter what—doesn’t work and doesn’t feel good.
But learning how to do sales properly can positively impact every area of your life. Simply put, understanding sales means understanding human behavior and communication.
I had to learn sales for my business. Even before that, as a recruiter, I was technically in a sales job. I didn’t realize until much later that these skills helped in other areas of my life—and especially in my career. Here’s are three examples.
1. Negotiate Anything
Have a job interview? You need to sell yourself. Trying to convince your coworkers to do something? That’s also sales. Want a promotion?. Yup, sales. Pitching a project? That is the definition of sales.
As Daniel Pink mentions in his book To Sell Is Human, everything is sales. Whenever you ask for anything, you enter a negotiation. Period. By understanding this dance, you can create win-win situations for everyone.
2. De-escalate Conflict
In sales, you learn how to handle your prospects’ objections to buying from you. While this usually isn’t a combative conversation, these skills can help you in other uncomfortable situations.
Here’s what I mean: In sales, you learn to keep your emotions out of tough conversations. You also learn how to find a solution that is fair to everyone. This comes in handy when you have issues with a coworker, manager, client, or anyone else.
One caveat here: You need to learn sales from someone who focuses on compassion and providing value. I recommend checking out Kendrick Shope’s programs for learning how to do sales in a more fluid way.
3. Make New Connections
You know what else you learn in sales? How to get people to like and trust you. This a good skill to have regardless of whether it’s a work situation or not. But it definitely comes in handy when making connections.
For instance, sales teaches you how to build rapport by using specific actions—like creating good conversations and mirroring body language. You can use these skills in networking situations, during informational interviews, or when looking for a mentor.
Perhaps the best book on this subject is Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends & Influence People. In this book, Carnegie teaches readers how to make people like you, how to persuade people, and how to change people without causing resentment.
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