Everyone is a Salesperson

Everyone is a salesperson, including you. You may think of yourself as your career title: an engineer, a teacher, a stay-at-home dad, “mompreneur” or plumber, but not a salesperson. Have it your way; however, while sales may or may not be a specific part of your career, you sell yourself anytime you want something. You become a salesperson.

Some of you may have a negative perception of sales. You don’t want to associate yourself with the pushy salesperson who convinces you to buy more than your budget allows, or the persistent tele-salesperson who gets you to commit to a 90-minute time-share presentation, or the worst—the sleezy, archetypal plaid-blazer wearing used-car salesperson who stretches the truth so far you don’t know what to believe.

No. You are a salesperson with kind, gentle, effective ways. You sell your book club on choosing your favorite author’s new novel as your next read. You sell your spouse on the advantages of putting the family on an unlimited data plan. You sell your manager on moving your meetings to the first Monday of the month. Maybe, you sell garden tools at your yard sale—two for the price of one. You are the type of salesperson you want to be, but in any case, you sell.

The fact is, every day you engage in similar discussions and decisions, whether making a small request pertaining to the evening meal or asking for a raise. You ask for all manner of things you want: a new flat screen, a Caribbean vacation, a free gift with purchase, a movie date, charitable donations, a better job, a half-off coupon, etc. Every time you ask for something, whether you are giving or receiving, you wear your salesperson toolbelt.

Now that you know you are a salesperson, think about why someone should “buy” from you. How much value have you established beforehand? Where do you compromise and ultimately meet? A transaction occurs when all parties believe the value of what is given closely equals what is received. It is your job as a salesperson to figure out that meeting point.

For years I worked at various automotive dealerships as a nice, helpful car salesperson and finance manager. The salespeople and managers had plenty of questions for the customers beginning with requests for information and hopefully concluding with a positive response when asking for the sale. Customers who didn’t ask for concessions certainly didn’t get any. Negotiating allowed both parties an opportunity to express their wants and needs, which would lead them to a successful transaction.

It is to your advantage to speak up and let your needs be known. Address the other person’s needs so you can speak to them before you ask for your sale. In discussion, you may not like your available options. You don’t always get what you want and neither do others. You can go for the sale, or walk away. The choice is yours.

Author/speaker Janet F. Williams is a business communications specialist, sales trainer, writer, editor, and coach for personal and professional development. Her award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” helps readers ask for what they want and increase their chances of getting it. Contact Janet.

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