3 years ago today, I was sitting in PF Changs during the interactive week of SXSW in Austin Texas. Nothing against PF Changs but the meal wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable if it wasn’t for the conversation between me and two others.
“You know we’re all in sales right?” I said to one of my now business partners. There was another person sitting at that table who was the head of eCommerce at a well-respected global insurance company. Both of them rolled their eyes and said something along the lines of “yeah right”. The more I pushed my point the more they argued back. The basis of their argument was that we’re not all sales people, people have different jobs in different industries, some people go entire careers not knowing what a KPI or sales target is.
It’s 11:47pm on Tuesday night as I type this blog and I just received an email canceling a scheduled catch up due with that ex-head of eCommerce having to finalise an important sales pitch for the global consultancy firm they now work at.
I said it then, I say it now.
We are all in sales.
I first learned this 7 years ago, listening in what was my university-on-wheels at the time, my trusty little white pulsar, to a man by the name of Zig Ziglar, that everybody is in sales.
A husband sells to his wife that he’s worthy, and vice versa. An employer must always sell to their employee they’re a good employer and vice versa. Everybody is selling their way around life, all the time, every minute of every day. Understand that and you have the essence of why a lot people who are ahead in life, get there.
You’re selling well if you’re switched on, on the ball. You make good decisions, fast. You assess a situation, understand what needs to be done, and you do it.
That is selling.
Whether you sell a solution to a problem, an idea, or new way of thinking, you’re a salesperson.
I believe that the problem with people who get stuck in life and in work, is that they feel like they aren’t in control. They have fallen into the trap of believing that things happen to you and you are helpless against them.
The truth is, even in the most dire of circumstance, you have to sell to yourself that you have the power to get out of it. Selling to yourself that you have the power to change your circumstance is the most powerful tool of all. When you buy it, and believe in it, you truly can do anything you want.