Currently I run two sales-based businesses where I work on commission only. And I LOVE IT!! It’s interesting to me when I talk with people about sales, I often get the response “I am not a sales person”, “I could never do sales”, or “I am just not sales-y”.
What I think a lot of people don’t realize is that we are ALL in sales. We have all been “selling” since we were kids. Here are some examples from my own life…
It started for me when I was a kid and had to sell my parents on the idea that even though we were dirt
poor, I was going to play Basketball, Softball and Soccer, and do Gymnastics, Baton, and Swim Team.
Then I moved into adolescence where I had to sell some guy on the idea that I would be the perfect girl for him.
I also at that time got a job delivering and collecting on a newspaper that was FREE! Talk about tough. I had to convince people to pay for a free community paper!
At age 14, I got my first “real job” at Burger King. It wasn’t so much selling Whoppers and fries, I made $3.35 an hour no matter how much I sold. It was selling my manager on the idea that I would be the best “Drive Through” girl for the job, after all, “Drive Through” was the cool job at Burger King at that time…and I became the “Drive Through” girl for four years!
I then graduated to waitressing where I worked at several restaurants over the next nine years. Now this is where sales really stared to matter. My pay actually depended on what I sold. Here I learned the value of selling. Here are two examples that stand out…
The first one was a contest I won selling Kahlua. How many of you buy Kahlua at a restaurant? Exactly! Well, for a 5 day all inclusive ski vacation, I sold 500 in a month. And I don’t even drink!
The second was while working at a fine dining restaurant. I waited on a group of friends celebrating. They ordered a $40 bottle of wine. I sold them on a $70 bottle instead.
Over the next six hours, they ordered nine more. Their total bill went from approx $500 to almost $1000 and my tip reflected a percentage of the total bill! That is when I realized sales can really make me a lot of money.
During that time, I also began coaching a swim team. Talk about a hard sell, convincing a group of hyperactive, ADD, hormonal Middle School kids that swimming up and down the pool for two hours was fun…that is sales at its finest!!
Also at this time I began my 17 year career as a Personal Trainer. This was the first job I had where my pay was ALL commission and depended 100% on selling myself, my expertise, and my services to a tough crowd of instant gratification people who want to be fit and lose weight while doing as little as possible.
Maybe you can’t relate to any of my selling scenarios, but I bet one of these hit home…
If you are a parent, you are DEFINITELY in sales! Selling your kid veggies? And bed times? And going to school every single day?
If you are an employee, you are selling your boss on keeping you around because you are worth it.
If you are married, you are selling your partner the idea that you are his/her one and only!
So we are ALL in sales! And as long as we believe in WHAT we are selling or WHY we are selling it, we will be successful. THIS IS KEY TO SALES SUCCESS.
I am a huge movie watcher, and a couple movies come to mind to give you an example of how WHAT and WHY will help your success with selling.
WHAT-“Remember the Titans” or any inspirational movie really. That coach sold his team on team work. He believed so much in WHAT he was selling (team work, getting along, building relationships, equality, etc), that the ENTIRE team ended up buying in … well, except Ray who got kicked off anyway.
WHY-“Pursuit of Happyness”. Selling whatever medical thing he was selling was pretty boring and seemed like a “hard sell” but his WHY was to better his life, feed his kid, and get off the streets. That’s a pretty big why if you ask me, so he was successful regardless of what he was selling.
You know, I have no idea what my point is to this story. I had a conversation with someone today who said “I wish I could do what you do but I suck at sales” and it was weighing heavy on my mind. I truly believe that if you are passionate and believe 100% about something, selling it is EASY. And if you have a strong reason why you want to sell something, you will also be successful. It’s almost like I wish this man would have said, “No thanks, I don’t believe in your product enough to sell it.”
Which reminds me of another awesome movie, “The Invention of Lying”. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just spoke the truth…but that’s a whole other animal!!
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See you next week!