THE WESTERN NOTION OF SELLING
My first sale made me feel triumphant! I sensed that I had moved the needle of progress forward, helped myself, and helped the enterprise that I was representing. And I knew I would help my newly acquired client succeed.
Years whirled past, I kept climbing the ladder of success, and I found myself on a professional journey to learn the craft of sales. I devoured any published knowledge on the matter I came across. I became a student of psychology and human desire. I even sought out and indentured myself to those I saw as “masters of the craft.”
My drive and know-how took me far in sales. I felt I could effectively sell whatever to whomever. I wound up being in demand as a sales trainer, parroting all of the techniques I had learned. I was good at that, too. My charisma and desire to help people allowed me to assist many sales people and entrepreneurs, along with my own company’s sales efforts.
Over the years, I took part in more than 20,000 sales negotiations. Some negotiations were fruitful, and some were not. This wealth of experience helped me realize a new level of understanding of my profession.
However, my responsibilities and tensions grew along with my prosperity. By anyone’s measure, I was successful at sales, but still I would have negotiations that failed. Why did they fail? I was successful at teaching my methods, but despite my efforts, I was still unable to affect lasting change in the lives of trainees as I had hoped. How could I help them in a more meaningful way?
My anxiety began to grow. If I failed to produce a sale, I wore that failure like an albatross from my neck. I could see others did, too. I saw many dedicated people abandon their burgeoning careers. Others hid amid the shadows of mediocrity.
Anxiety turned into despair, and despair to agony. I was physically in pain. The more I failed, the harder I worked and the more I focused. I tried to control all of the factors, but I found that made me even less successful. All that I had learned told me that the difference between desperation and prosperity was determined by how hard I worked, so I worked harder. This led to a very difficult time in my life. I blamed others and found pointless excuses to justify my situation. My formerly sunny disposition was replaced with a bleak outlook.
I looked back at the people who taught me how to sell and at the people I taught how to sell, and I saw many of them were afflicted with the same problems that haunted me. .
I needed to find new teachers.
If you’re reading this, there is a strong chance that you have found yourself in a career, position, or path that requires you to sell a product or a service, and you are uneasy about the process.
The first question you should ask yourself is, “Why am I uncomfortable with having to sell”?
Is it the possibility of rejection you fear? Is it the fear of seeming to be manipulative and the stigma associated with “sales” you don’t like?
Do you fear failure? An old Japanese proverb says, “Fear is only as deep as one’s mind allows.” These fears are manifested only inside of ourselves. Letting these fears control or influence your life hampers commerce and limits abundance.
Western culture has aligned the exchange of a commodity or service for money in an expressed period of time with shame. This arbitrary alignment has been one of the most limiting forces in our culture today.
Without sales and the people who make those transactions happen, little would be accomplished, and civilization as we know it would not exist. Eastern cultures have developed a pragmatic, logical approach to life that can be adapted to a modern method of western commerce. This method can ultimately alleviate all of the previously mentioned fears and create serenity in your businesses and serenity in your life. This book’s aim is to use this practical approach toward life and apply it to macro and micro transactional sales and negotiations that are encountered in the West.
Many lawyers work very hard in college, then even harder in law school to get a degree, pass the bar and hang a shingle for their new firm, only to find that they have inherited a “sales position.” They now have to sell their services to a community that resides in a very competitive landscape. And though they have accumulated considerable courtroom skills, litigious acumen, and other legal knowledge, they lack the tools to effectively sell those services to prospective clients who certainly could benefit from what they have to offer.
Some dentists, optometrists, and medical professionals relentlessly work to gain a position at a practice or build their own only to find that, though they have become very proficient, they are now tasked with having to sell their services to potential patients. Though the medical schools of the West produce the finest professionals on the planet, few work to prepare those professionals for the most important battle – selling their services.
If you are responsible in any way for driving revenue for your business, you should understand that you are a sales person. Yet many business professionals grapple with the notion of being a sales person because of predisposed stigmas. Many allow that stigma to congest the wheels of commerce. Some hide behind busy work, blame the economy, or hire others to attempt to yield something that only they can sow.
Over 2,500 years ago, Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What we think is what we become. He is able who thinks he is able.” Fast-forward through time to the early 20th century, when American business magnate Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can or that you can’t, you are usually right.” It’s remarkable that these two very different people, from different cultures separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years could come to the same truthful conclusion.
This Blog is filled with practical notions from some of the best thinkers who have ever lived. Some of these pages offer content about how to logically execute any sale, be it in person or via Social Marketing. But more than anything, you may discover how to find and overcome the internal obstacles that limit your own peace and abundance. In the words of Khalil Gibran, “Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’” Here is a truth I have found.