May 19, 2018 By Nick
It suddenly struck me that almost every successful person you meet, in any walk of life, has an element of sales patter. It can be hardwired, it can be acquired casually through running your own business or you get it the easiest way: Get someone to pay you and train you.
Do a stint with a hard-sell company and hone your own skills all the time. Don’t bitch and whine about a soul-destroying job, just revel in all the things you’re learning along the way. This job will toughen you up and lay the foundations for your own success in all walks of life.
Sales and customer service should be some form of National Service, because both will give you some of the most valuable life skills you can ever have: persuading others and really listening.
Face your fears with sales
Even if you don’t think you’re cut out for sales, you’re not a loud character for instance, that’s exactly the reason you should go and do it. You’ll have nowhere to hide, you’ll have to build a natural sales patter. If you do it well, you can use that routine wherever you go.
Your new persona will have tricks and tactics to get round basic objections, they’ll learn to take outright rejection without flinching and they’ll learn how to mirror, lead and subtly take over a conversation. It will learn how to ask questions, to be interested, to get a prospect talking to you like a long-lost friend.
Your alter ego will also become a body language expert if you sell face-to-face. You’ll learn the indicators of interest and you’ll be amused or afraid to know that the business tells are largely the same as dating ones. They won’t rub your leg or go in for the kiss, but the basics of game and sales are remarkably similar when you get down to it.
You’ll find ways of offering a double bind choice that basically means you win no matter what happens. You’ll learn to be pushy without being creepy and you’ll learn how to present yourself to new people. It will become such a natural thing that when the girl of your dreams walks in then you’ll just sidle up and start chatting, because you’ve done this hundreds of times before.
A short stint selling, or a longer one if you like it, can be a great cure for social anxiety and it will also teach you so much about verbal and non-verbal communication. Working in sales is an educational experience that goes well beyond the simple money you get paid. It can really set you up for life.
Learn how to negotiate
It will teach you the subtle art of negotiation and lead you to books on conversational hypnosis and NLP sales techniques, which is a much bigger topic we’ll cover in depth another day. Once you get in to that kind of material, you should be able to sell ice to the Eskimos.
This is so important, because if you can negotiate well then the world is your oyster.
You can buy and sell, import goods, work in affiliate marketing and do just about anything else you want. The negotiation and sales skills you can pick up working as a sales drone will help you set up your own business, work as a freelancer or simply sell your ideas or skills to a potential employer.
These supposed soft skills will boost you up the corporate ladder, too, as business is more or less one long negotiation.
You can learn more in customer service
Customer service is another place where you’ll learn more than you ever know. I worked in a bar, a pizza shop and at a bank while I was at university. I think I learned more in those businesses than I did from a book and most of them centered around how to deal with people.
I could have learned so much more with a stint in telesales, or even client-facing B2B sales, which will raise the bar and force you to deal with professionals and account management. Again, these are skills that will cost you a lot to acquire if you try and wing it later on. I know, because I muddled my way through and lost a fortune.
Dealing with the public means you’ll have to become an expert at gauging problems, prioritizing issues and getting them done. You have to get the customer onside without promising them too much and you have to know when a customer has a genuine issue or they’re ‘trying it on.’ It will even help you lead a team later on.
You even get the basics of game
Sales skills will be one of those things you use time and again, whether you know it or not. In its crudest form, it will also teach you elements of game that could take you years to pick up in the wild.
So if you’re fresh out of college and looking to get started, then think about furthering your education in the real world with a tour of duty in sales and customer service.
If you have never tried your hand at sales and you think one day you might want to launch your own business, then scour PeoplePerHour or other jobsites and take on some telesales in the evening. It won’t make you a fortune, but it will teach you to be a more confident, forward person. That will pay off later on.
The strong, outspoken and confident man you’ll be forced to become will thank you for it.