In an INC. Nov 2012 article, Jeff Hayden shares his observations about habits of the successful business people he’s known. He describes their work ethic, persistence, perseverance, and leaving no room for failure with the absence of a back-up plan option.
Most interesting was his insight that when asked, business owners and CEO’s cited their ability to sell as the one skill which contributed the most to their success.
I have heard business professionals make comments like, ‘I don’t sell, I consult’ in an attempt distance themselves from the stereotypical car sales guy who’s out to push you into making a deal at any cost. This belief or perception implies that selling is a negative behavior or practice to be avoided by professionals with high principles and integrity.
However, consider another perspective – that selling isn’t about manipulating or pressuring the other person but rather involves explaining the rationale behind and benefits of a decision or position. Selling is persuading others to work with you by addressing their concerns and overcoming roadblocks.
Hayden points out how selling includes the ability to negotiate, to maintain confidence and self-esteem in the face of rejection, to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, and to build long-term relationships – all of which are critical to building a foundation for success – personally and professionally.