5 Reasons Why We All Need Sales Skills
At Startup Institute, I embarked upon the sales track. Despite this, following the program, I took on the role of Editor of the Startup Magazine — a digital magazine aimed at empowering the startup community with the information they need to fulfill their potential. Although I am not in a traditional sales or business development role, the knowledge that I acquired from the sales training course is still valuable to my current role and will continue to be throughout life. Here’s why developing sales skills is worthwhile even if you don’t intend to take on a sales role:
Great salespeople are expert communicators.
Sales is not just about bringing money in. At its core, it is about communicating value in the right way to the right people. Whether you are making a case for why someone should have coffee with you or proposing a new way of structuring team meetings, knowing how to communicate is essential to anyone in business.
Sales skills help you to understand people.
Although everyone has different levels of emotional intelligence, learning to understand and appreciate peoples’ priorities and values is integral to effective communication. Sales teaches you to identify characteristics of a product or service that certain people will value the most.
Salespeople know- always be pitching.
In a startup, the team is likely to be small and roles can overlap. Sales are the oxygen of any business and as many people as possible should be communicating the value of the product or service you are building– otherwise, you won’t be around for very long.
Sales teaches you how to deal with objections.
In business and in life, you will get rejected. Probably several times. Sales teaches you how to get to the heart of objections and how to get rid of them to help others see your point of view. More importantly, an understanding of sales teaches you to assert yourself and to carry on even if you have been rejected many times.
Sales teaches you how to look after others.
As author Maya Angelou once said,
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Making people feel great about their purchase and about working with you is the bread and butter of repeat business. Making others feel great is also the basis of meaningful, authentic long-term relationships and is something that should be cultivated within a team and with all shareholders in your business and in your life.
For anyone making the transition into a startup, don’t look at sales as merely a way to bring money in — because it is so much more. Sales is about understanding people and using this understanding to authentically communicate value to them in the right way– at the right time– to improve the lives of others. Sales is service. And no matter your company or product, this is something we’re all in the business of.