Everyone is in sales, and for that reason sales matters much more than you think it does. Our culture does not like asking for things. We want to exhibit ourselves as self reliant, independent people who do not need to ask for anything. But, sales, which is the basis for all life, requires us to ask. We must ask another for his money, her time, consideration. People hate asking, and for that reason they hate sales. I’ve been in business long enough to see people’s hesitation with asking for a sale. I recognize the uneasy feeling that ensues when you ask someone to pony up for a big sale. But, I have never felt that feeling myself.
That is not because I am heartless, cold, or uncaring, but because I believe in what I am selling. I know it will make someone’s life better, provide happiness, or fulfill a need/ desire that someone never even knew they had.
Life is selling. You sell yourself to a job, a potential mate, friends, people you barely know. Selling is a survival mechanism deeply ingrained in our biology. Some embrace this. Others shun it. But, whether it is ideas, visions, passion, or yourself everyone sells something. When we interact with others we sell.
Sales as a Means of Survival
A long time ago our ability to sell meant death or life. Every living creature is bound by this truth. Some creatures use sell being dead when a predator arrives. Others puff themselves up really big to impress a mate or scare away an attacker. The lion’s mane is a display of his power, a sell of his prowess. Every creature sells. One of the reasons we exist is because we became successful at selling ourselves to each other. The “getting to know you” phase of any relationship is nothing more than a period where you and your prospect sell qualities and values to each other in the hopes that the other will bite on the bait.
By selling ourselves to mates we had more little cave men and women. We sold ourselves as hunters, gathers, nurturers, and scouts in the tribes we lived within, for without a purpose what good were you? Life, back then, was utilitarian to an extreme. Today we mask that utilitarianism, or everyone needs to contribute for the good of the tribe, with other things. This is why we think selling only exists in business, and is not an all encompassing aspect of life.
So, what are you selling? How are you putting your best foot forward? Selling in society today requires putting forth an impression. I’m pretty sure the first cave man puffed out his chest to the first cute cavewoman he saw as a way to get her attention. Putting forth a crafted, custom image of ourselves existed long before selfie sticks and 15 second instagram videos.
Put aside your conceptions about what selling is, and allow yourself to embrace the idea that selling is the most noble way to share your visions and yourself with the world. If you want to convince people to support your ideas then you need to sell. If you are a manager or boss with a team below you, your team will look to you for a grand vision. They want you to sell them on your passion. Selling in the purest form is showing another how they can benefit from what you have to offer.
Our lives are examples of the concepts and values we support, and each day we interact with someone we put out our signature, that unique combination of ideas and experiences that makes us who we are. Simultaneously we ask ourselves: “what do I like or dislike about this person?”
Humans are matched in their need to sell by an equal desire to know what others are doing. We evaluate each other at the time. We want to see how the other chimpanzees in the cage are doing. Has someone found a better way to throw poop at the other chimps? Is one on a higher, happier branch? Can we learn something of value that we can mirror in our own life? Even when we do not mean to sell we are selling a specific, unique way of living that others are looking to with a critical, analyzing eye.
What are you selling?
So, are you selling something worth buying? The most valuable and rare goods are priced accordingly; how are you priced? Do you intentionally cultivate a better you every day? How about living with mindfulness, strength, and compassion? Finally, do you consistently take the time to increase your worth, and up your value to yourself and others?
By becoming aware of how much of our lives revolve around selling we can craft better versions of ourselves. This is really the most important part of sales. A funny thing happens when you start looking at the world this way. You up your game. You want to sell a better product. You actually change to fit the mold of the version of yourself you want to present. What starts out as a face value representation creates an impact at every level of who you are.