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...but I'm not a Salesperson.

oakstone international executive search but i’m not a salesperson

Blog by Lisa Knight

Throughout my career I have heard a version of that phrase – ‘I can’t sell, I hate sales people, I don’t want to be sold to, I’m too nervous, I don’t know what to say’ to name a few  ..In truth I’ve said a few of them myself when I’ve been approached with a new opportunity or an unknown situation.

In fact.. we are ALL sales people.  Whether you are coaxing your 5 year old to eat their vegetables or reasoning with the traffic warden to let you off for parking in the wrong place at the wrong time – we all draw on unique skills and sometimes desperate measures to achieve a particular outcome.

You will also have heard the phrase ‘people buy from people’.  Whatever product or service you are selling, you are ultimately selling yourself.  It doesn’t matter how ‘amazing’ the product or opportunity is, if you don’t sell yourself and make others believe you, you are fighting a losing battle.

Your body language, turn of phrase, attire and attitude all play their part and ultimately contribute to success or failure, and they apply to all areas of your life.

If you were going to an investor to ask for cash for your start up and you turned up in your gardening clothes with no real plan you are less likely to secure that investment than if you turned up looking like the CEO, with illustrations of your ideas and projected incomes AND your passion and reasons for starting this business.

Ultimately, they may have no idea if your business idea is a good one, they have to make the decision based on you and how much they ‘believe’ in what you are saying.

So how do you gain these skills and put them into practice?

Only you know how you project yourself, whether at work or among your peers.  What you feel inside is usually what others see on the outside.  If you’re extremely nervous, you will come across as being nervous and others will feel awkward.  If you’re excited and enthused, others will feel your energy.

Just a few good habits, practised every day, can turn things around with long-lasting effects.

Ask for objective feedback. Explain your reason for asking. A close friend or family member is a good place to start.  If you feel you are not progressing at work or achieving the results you want, talk to your manager or colleagues. Don’t take the response personally, use it as a tool to get started.

Look for a role model/ mentor.  Find someone you aspire to and notice what they do and say.  Ask them for help and be coachable. You’ll be surprised that most people are happy to see others achieve and succeed and are more than willing to help you on your quest.

Read books and or watch videos and webinars.  There is a lot of material available to help you overcome some of your blocks. Invest valuable time in yourself and you will quickly see the benefit.

‘Feel the fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers is a great book if you’re looking to improve your sales skills and your attitude to rejection. It helps you place less focus on the outcome and enables you to keep going.

Choose your peer group wisely – You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.  If they are predominately negative, it will rub off on you. If they are fun and positive, that will bring out the best in you.  Go to places that the people you aspire to go and watch how being in that environment positively impacts your life.

Build Relationships Whether you are looking for new clients or a future husband/wife.  Your success depends on the relationships you build. Make sure you are listening as well as talking – this shows you respect them and want to know more about them.  If you’re arranging meetings or calls, be on time and always do what you say you are going to do.  If you say you’ll call them back on Monday – make sure you do – be reliable.

Believe in Yourself!  Arguably the most important… What you tell yourself has a huge impact on everything you do.  Know you are great and can do anything you set your mind to and don’t let the opinions of others take away your power.  They can hold you back, but only if you let them.

Tell yourself positive things everyday and make the changes you feel you need to, to get to where you want to be and, one step at a time, you will pave the way to success.

Know what you want, and by when and let that be your driver. We all know if we want something bad enough, we will do whatever it takes to get it.