Selling is helping people understand the value of a solution
Whenever you want to convince someone to do something, that is selling. No money may be involved, you may not be the one benefiting from it. The art of selling is the neighbour of problem solving. If solving a problem requires more than one person, selling takes place and the person who can sell well makes people feel good working on the problem, whoever that problem belongs to.
The alternative to selling is to force or to leave things to people. Forcing is not the way of ladies and gentleman, more like the style of a military commander or dictator, it often leaves a bad taste.
Leaving things to people means not offering your solution. This is fine if your solution is not needed in the first place but a waste if your solution can really make someone's life better.
A good sales person gets his way in life and makes the people around them happy. Everyone gets a good deal, believe so and is happy with their decisions. Therefore sales is an art worth perfecting. Value is unlocked and delivered through the art of sales. This is provided you adhere to the fundamentals of positive selling.
The fundamentals of positive selling:
1. Choose to sell something that you really believe is good for all stakeholders
Stakeholders i.e. your customers, the people providing the solutions and the people impacted by the solution. Learn throughly about your solution, the good and bad of it and weight them well before you sell to anyone.
2. Help customers solve problem
Take selling as the process of discussing with your client to find out their problem and discover if you can work out a solution for them. Present an irresistable solution from the point of view of your client. Before that, you need to understand them and how they perceive their problem.
3. Approach every situation with progressive and positive frame of mind
Selling is a process with no definite endpoint, just highlights; as long as your relationship with your client continues, selling may continue. A rejection of a solution is not the end, dont take it personally, it is the solution that needs to be refined.
4. Ask questions that propels people to think of solutions rather than just the problems.
5. Ask good questions that help you understand your customer. Learn what they need before you even start presenting your proposal or solution.
6. Don't sell to people who cannot benefit from your solution.
Discipline of the salesman
1. The successful sale today is the result of effort you made in the past, the sales you make in the future will depend on the effort you put in today.
There are 2 learning points from this: Firstly, be patient and consistent in your effort if you want to see results. Secondly, do not slacken in your effort today unless you want to face the consequences 3 months down the road.
2. Dont fall into habit, sales is an art to be constantly refined.
Sales is the art of moving mind, both your own and others from problems into solutions. Seat your mind firmly in the positive and anchor yourself steadily in the mindset of solution seeking no matter how dire situations appear to be.
Initiate meet ups, projects, actions, discussions. Don't wait for things to happen, make things happen. Toss the ball into someone's court and ask them to throw it back to you.
4. Bring things forward whenever possible
When people toss you a ball, give you an idea or initiate something, try to strike a goal with it or toss it forward to someone else who can strike a goal with it.
Try your best to make something constructive out of every intiative.
5. Reframe everything in the positive.
Instead of stating a problem, ask how to solve a problem. Instead of mentioning a danger, highlight the opportunity within. A situation is not bad; just challenging people to become better versions of themselves. When things are really too hard to endure, smile and offer condolence. "Something happens" is a fact, "Something is bad" is an interpretation, if it is an interpretation there is a way out of it by reinterpreting. Whenever there is a problem, there is an opportunity to work on a solution.