Bottom Line Up Front: If you don’t like sales it’s because you have had bad experiences with sales and know little about it. Sales is a life skill every man should work hard to master. Educate yourself on sales. Think it through. It will improve your life.

Salesmen are pushy.

This is a generality most people trust, but pushiness is not the mark of a good salesman. A statement like this says more about the person speaking than it does about a salesman. Sophisticated sales requires building trust and rapport, presenting value, asking for a decision and then, depending on the response, repeating that process [ever so gently and with subtlety] until you close. The more money on the table, the more sophisticated the sales process. The more money on the table, the more important to remove pressure as you arrive at the close. Sounds easy huh?

How do you define a sale?

One definition of sales is helping people make good decisions to better their own lives. Another definition of sales is getting someone to change the course of action he is on.  For instance, if you convince someone to go with you to lunch rather than sit at his desk, you can say you have made a sale. If you convince a woman to go to dinner with you, brother, you have definitely made a sale. What you may actually have done is discover she wants to go to dinner with you. Sophisticated stuff.

The time factor in sales.

The key factor most of us fail to take into account when we think through sales is the time factor. Some statistics suggest we must be exposed to a product or service in a positive way twelve times before we will purchase. That takes time. Twelve times. If you have little time you must accelerate the process. The more time you have, the more leisurely you can be in the process. Usually the lower end of sales involves a short suspense and high cycle time (meaning you have to repeat the sales process many times quickly).

“I gotta make this sale,” Is something nobody likes to hear.

It’s desperate and is an early sign of death.

Jeffrey Gitomer: “People hate to be sold, but they love to buy.”

Here’s the thing many of us don’t like to admit: Nothing happens until something sells. Good sales is action, good sales is merit, good sales is energy and vision and ultimately good sales is a statement of your respect for someone else. You are entering into a short or long-term business relationship with someone when you transact a sale. And we don’t like to feel we have been sold to, but boy, do we love to buy.

Call to Action: Think through your own attitude toward sales. In the next three opportunities you have to transact a sale, befriend the salesman (albeit briefly) and get to know him and the process better. Integrate what you learn into your life. Also—buy Jeffrey Gitomer’s book, The Little Red Book of Selling