There is a high chance that you are currently trying to sell. Your job title might have the word "sales" in it. If you work in consulting, your employer might be expecting that you are able to identify your client's unarticulated problems and offer them the tools and resources to solve them (this is what selling is basically about). You might be selling your freelancer services or you might be selling yourself as a job applicant to future employers.
You might be even able to identify sales tasks in your work that other people don't traditionally consider as sales.
There is this idea that we are all in sales. We are all trying to persuade people to take action. We are all trying to connect and build trust for some mission.
You might agree with this idea. But you might not identify yourself as a person who is good at selling. You hear people tell their sales success stories and you wonder why you struggle with sales so much. Someone tells you that sales is easy but that's the exact opposite of what your personal experiences tell you.
I feel this way constantly. I personally believe that we are all in sales whether we like it or not. But I often also get discouraged. I think to myself that I'm not made for sales. There is some natural talent or a personal trait that successful sales people have and I lack.
But here's the thing. For the most of us, selling is not easy. Selling is hard and selling is scary. Don't feel discouraged if the idea of calling a client makes you sweat.
The story of Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx) is all I need to remind myself that the fear of selling doesn't mean I can't do sales--or have those moments of success in sales.
Before founding Spanx, Blakely was selling fax machines door-to-door. She had to deal with rejection constantly. And sometimes she just wasn't able to handle all the noes. She felt defeated. She would drive around a same block multiple times before she was able to convince herself to walk in through a client's door. On some occasions, she had enough courage to walk in through the door but when someone asked what her business was, she would instantly turn on her heels and walk away.
Blakely's story is not the story of a perfect sales person bursting with confidence. It's a story of a sales person who is human and who has to deal with human feelings. And most importantly it's a story of hope. After all, Blakely didn't quit sales. Instead, she built a billion dollar company on top of her sales skills.
Do you think sales people are born or made?