We Are All Salespeople?


If it's true that we're all salespeople, then how can we be more ethical ones? Briana Malrick looks at the human nature of "selling" and explains why it's as natural to us as breathing.

Each of us has a different reaction to salespeople.  Some of us get really quiet and shy; some of us run away; some of us get mad as heck every time one comes near us in a store; and then some of us (like my mother) puts her name on every “Do not call” list in America.

But no matter your efforts, somehow you still end up looking at your living room wall wondering why you ever thought it would be cute to have sparkly wall paper.  “Seriously, how did this happen?” You were hoodwinked!  Convinced you needed something you didn’t. But it doesn’t need to be that way if you know what a good salesperson is supposed to be doing.

I came to understand what a good salesperson looked like after reading sales expert Daniel Pink’s, To Sell is Human.  What I learned was that sales has been abused for generations and that the frustration you feel might not be because someone tried to sell you “accent” wall paper but because of the way they did it. Were they motivated by greed or need? Here’s the difference:

  • In general, it’s fair to say that greed is motivated by fear – and sales is no different.  When a salesperson is motivated by greed, they can’t see beyond “being the best”, making the sale or honestly, making the rent.  Unfortunately, they are so preoccupied with their own situation that you are left entirely out of the equation!  Your preferences, what you’ve had before, how it worked, what you need now – all of these things are side-stepped while they put the newest version of something in front of you and tell you that you need it.  Not cool.

Here’s the good news: This is not what sales really is. Sales is really about discovering a need and helping someone own a solution that satisfies it.  We’re talking real solutions.

  • When a salesperson is motivated by need (your needs) they are not thinking about themselves; they are thinking about you!
  • They ask questions to help them understand your situation. “I’m sure you have a reason for saying that, would you mind sharing it with me?”
  • They listen for things that really matter to you.  “Ah, so I think I hear you saying that you don’t want to get stuck in a snow bank again?”
  • They are motivated by finding a solution that will really solve your problem.  “Well, then it sounds like you might be looking for an all-wheel-drive car instead of front-wheel.  I have some ideas; let’s go take a look and see what you think.”

If they follow these ethical sales conventions, then you will always end up with something useful and valued. This process might actually sound familiar. Chances are, this is what you do every day in your job, in your love life, and with your family.  What I have realized is that we are all in sales. And ya know what? It feels good. So let this be your ticket to view the ways you influence others as selling, and perhaps intentionally improve your tactics in order to fill the needs of the people in your life.  Sell on.

Written by Briana Malrick

This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).

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