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Life is Sales

Life is Sales

I often find myself people watching as I work in coffee shops. A parent trying to explain to their toddler why it is not okay to scream at the top of her voice. The owner showing his employee how the coffee has to be brewed in a certain manner. The teenage girl offering coy glances to the guy next to me all dressed in leather and tattoos. The man in a suit to my right, chatting on the phone with a potential client, answering their questions. The puppy at my feet staring at me patiently hoping I might drop some crumb.

Too often, as contractors, we associate sales with the slicked back hair, polyester suit of the hollywood 70’s car salesman, when in fact you and I sell each and every day of our lives. When my wife and I decide to go to a movie this evening, I really wanted to go see 10,000 bc. I spent 10 minutes carefully steering us towards the movie I was excited to see. Any time you have an interest in the outcome of a situation, sales comes into play.

I love watching the kindergardener in the grocery store trying to explain to his father how “cool” the super frosted chocolate sugar cakes are. Sales is an inherent part of basic communication. We have speech to communicate, in order to build consensus. How do you build consensus? You share the reasoning and value of your perceptions.

Stop Talking and Listen

I meet too many independent contractors who turn sales into the gigantic boogie man. Sales is nothing but a conversation. A place where you listen, and if you happen to be lucky, you have he opportunity to be of service. I always genuinely appreciate someone who has the ability to solve a problem I am facing. So quit trying to talk. Just keep asking yourself, can I help this person?

Service is Sales

Yesterday Peter had lunch with a new client who in the course of dialog, enthusiastically recommended her mortgage broker. Karen shared that the broker actually connected her directly with a lender because he knew she would get a better deal. Now she swears by her broker and trusts him with literally millions of dollars. Often I’ve found that by placing someone’s interest before your own, by truly helping them if it is in your power, you build a bridge of trust that lasts a lifetime. You achieve a sale the same way you make a friend. You earn their trust.

Life Sales

Perhaps it is time that we stop separating sales from life. That we accept that every conversation is one of listening and of sharing. That earning a new client, picking a home with your spouse, getting your children to brush their teeth, convincing your surf buddy to go a noon instead of two. That life is sales.