World’s Oldest Profession– No, Not That One– Selling: Humans Are Born to Sell… But, What Does It Really Mean to Sell?

What’s the oldest profession in the world? No, it’s not what you’re thinking: It’s selling! Nothing happens until something is sold, and that includes the ‘other’ oldest profession… Take a moment to think about what the word ‘selling’ means to you…

According to Scott Marker; every time I ask sales executives to define– selling, I get answers like these: Selling is a process of persuasion to get a prospect to take an action. Selling is finding a need and filling that need. Selling is an exchange of goods or services for money. Selling is walking the road of agreement with the customer. Selling is an art. Selling is a science. Selling is a transaction. Selling is relationship building. Selling is a consultative process. Selling is hustling. Selling is all about trust… Everyone has a different definition of the word ‘selling’…

Once you define what selling is, the definition will influence how you sell. If you believe that selling is an art, then you will try to grow your art, and chances are that you will try to find creative ways to overcome all obstacles that stand in the way of the sale. If you define selling as a science, then you will try to deploy more scientific tools to achieve greater sales. If you believe that selling is all about relationships, chances are that you will focus more on establishing a meaningful, emotional and cognitive connection with customers…

Everyone is a seller – someone who persuades others to take an action is selling – we’re all sellers… According to Kira M. Newman; sales has changed, but still, 1 in 9 workers are in sales, and the rest of us are also selling – not just objects but ideas, desire, techniques… We are persuading, negotiating, and pitching, like lawyers selling juries on their verdict or public figures selling their personal brand on Twitter. In fact, a study showed that people spend 40% of their work time selling something…

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According to Trent Leyshan; what does it really mean to sell something? An idea, dream, our values, an opinion, or ones self interests? Selling is simply, a transfer of enthusiasm and trust in someone or something. With this trust is born a responsibility, commitment to honor that trust, and do so willingly, no matter how challenging…

Sales is not a dirty word as some would have you believe. The act of selling is a powerful one, particularly when in the hands of honorable and good intentioned people. I’m not referring solely to the process of selling products, services… in business. I’m talking about selling yourself – your ideas, opinions, values, objections. There is little you can obtain in this world without the skills of selling or influencing another people first…

Sure you can be successful without overtly selling, but if you look a little closer into every situation, there is always a seller and a buyer. From a sweaty palmed suitor, bending down on one knee to ask his unsuspecting girlfriend to take his hand in matrimony, to high-powered CEO trying to sway the board of directors to agree to a multi million dollar restructure. The undercurrent is always selling, or what some call, influencing. Whether in your face or not, selling remains a universal law and truth that gets thing done. Nothing happens until someone sells something!

In the article What Does Selling Mean, Anyway? by ‘the News’ writes: Selling is truly a respectable profession… So why do so many people view salespeople as kin to something scaly and slithering? One reason is that there are many salespeople who are not good at what they do. Consequently, they take an unprincipled approach to the profession, which often manifests itself in behaviors such as; badgering, lying… These salespeople not only show a lack of pride in their profession, but they have lost track of what selling is truly about.

Selling is about– attitude, integrity, trust, reputation, ethics… Webster’s dictionary shows several different meanings for the word ‘sell’… For example, the noun ‘sell’ is the exchange of things for money; demand (for items); public exposition of goods… However, when the word makes a transition from noun to verb it gains additional interpretations…

Then, the meaning of ‘sell’ becomes– to ‘dispose of” things for an equivalent about of money; to betray for money or other consideration… To ‘dispose of’ means to get rid of, persuade or convince… these definitions convey the idea that– someone (salesperson) is doing something to someone else (customer)… Even the phrase ‘closing a sale’ implies that something is being done to the customer… Hence is it any wonder that customers are wary when encountering a salesperson?

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According to Geoffrey James; selling is not about pitches or closing deals. It’s something much simpler… Selling is simply ‘passion with a purpose’. Passion is what happens when you do something that’s truly interesting, exciting… Whether the passion is to change the world or just help people one-by-one, it’s that passion that does the ‘selling’… This is not to say that sales skills don’t exist or that they aren’t valuable, but sales skills are only ways to help communicate the passion, more clearly… So forget about ‘selling’– don’t even think about the word. Find what makes you passionate and then give that passion a purpose by engaging people to become a part of it… That’s what selling is really about…

In the article Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something! by Trent Leyshan writes: We all sell in some form every day in so many ways; not understanding this universal law renders a person incapable of truly understanding themselves or having the capacity to truly understand and influence others… To truly understand something you must first take an avid interest in it: Selling is no different… Whether in business or social setting, taking a genuine interest in someone, and genuinely attempting to understand them is showing ’empathy’…

Without empathy people are incapable of developing true connections and meaningful relationships with each other… Empathy is the foundation of selling, which is developing a genuine connection and understanding of the customer– and that produces a win-win outcome for everyone… Most important in selling is to uncover hidden underlying implicit motivators of customers, which is typically driven by emotions… If you can tap into the basic customer emotions, you will uncover a wealth of information, e.g.; who they really are, what they stand for, where they wise to go in business, what’s most important to them…

With this knowledge a sales person is now empowered to effectively engage the customer’s hidden needs with the most relevant solution… Research has shown that sales people who demonstrate empathy with their customers can be up to 50% more effective than those that don’t… or sales people who lack the skills or abilities to genuinely connect with customers…

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In the article How Do You Define What Selling Really Means? by Scott Marker writes: Sales managers often impose their beliefs about selling on their sales people… They try to turn every sales person into a ‘mini them’– Dress like them, act like them, speak like them, close like them… However, how sales managers think about– what selling means– isn’t helping anybody sell more… What we think selling means isn’t relevant… What we think doesn’t matter as much as what customers think, or their expectations…

At the heart of selling is value, the value as defined by customers unique situations… Now, with current technology, the dynamics of selling continues to shift and change, such that customers have the upper hand and, in fact, customers are now dictating– how you should create your business…

Part of good selling is learning up front how customers want to buy… If customers buy online, you need to offer that choice… If they want simple transaction, then, don’t go through the relationship mating dance… If a customer maps-out a more scientific approach to their buying process, then match the selling style to customers buying style… If customers want more creative ideas that lead to an artful solution to their problem, then tap into your artistic side…

Sell the way customers want to buy; and, if you have doubts about– what selling means– just ask the customer for guidance… then, listen carefully and you will begin to understand– what selling really means…

Do you want to be a better leader? Learn how to sell… Do you want to influence others? Learn how to sell… I’m not talking about manipulation;  I’m talking about building relationships and leading– leading and selling is relational– learn how to create a culture where selling is natural, not pushy… According to Dave Ramsey; selling is one of the oldest professions and we all have something to sell. No matter what you do, you are always selling…

Selling is about connecting and so is leading. Make the connection and magic happens. Fail to make the connection and you may not get another chance… Great sales people and great leaders have many of the same traits… they understand the power of relationships and connecting… for example: All great leaders sell. e.g., themselves, their vision, goals, strategies… It’s all about connecting on an emotional, relational level… and it starts with a leader’s compelling story that sells the reasons why they should be given the opportunity to lead…

According to Dan Pink; capacity to sell isn’t some unnatural adaptation to the merciless world of commerce. It’s part of who we are as humans… When you go to sell people you should ask the following two questions, as a bench mark: If the person that you are selling to– agrees to buy; will their life improve?

When the selling interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began? Everyone sells– when people spend a great deal of time persuading, influencing, convincing… trying to get other people to act in some capacity, that’s selling… In a study called– What do you do at work? by Gallup– it was found that most people devote about 24 minutes per hour attempting to– move-influence other people… Without question; most people are selling something to someone, most of the time…