I’m not a salesman, but I’ve sold many things.
At the age of 11, I sold cellphones at my uncle’s telecom store in Makati. When I worked for GK CSI, I sold everything from kamoteng kahoy, talong, and chicharon (no relation to Lapid’s :) ).
For my first full-time job in the States, I sold consumer banking products. I was exposed to the world of cold calls and sales scripts. My personality wasn’t cut out for a “sales” job. Back then, pitching for me was like pulling teeth.
However, a job in sales taught me many things. It taught me how to use assumptive language, and never to make assumptions about a person based on his/her appearance.
I also learned how to pitch the sale to ALL customers who met the basic criteria. In my banking stint, one of the most successful salesmen in the region was selling credit cards. He never failed to ask every customer that he encountered about applying for a credit card. He wasn’t scared to ask, and most importantly, he wasn’t scared to hear:
That fear of hearing no, the fear of rejection, is what cripples people. It’s that fear of rejection that bogged me down. That fear which made me tiptoe instead of pushing me to run. I cared so much about preserving my image that it hindered me from reaching my full potential as a salesman. Sure, there were days when I overcame this fear, but it wasn’t consistent. I lacked a strong sense of purpose in my work and it made it even harder for me to overcome my fear.
I’ve since learned that communicating with a sense of purpose in my work and life is a powerful tool. It enables me to overcome my fears and move forward without dwelling on my past failures.
My mission nowadays is clear – to contribute to national building in the Philippines by starting up a Philippine enterprise to help myself while helping others. My sense of purpose gives me peace, and it can drive me to achieve highly improbable things, if I let it. While I still carry that fear and anxiety at times, my greater mission trumps the fear.
What are my sales tips, after all of these sales experiences and life realizations?
- Embrace the power and significance of sales in your business. Without generating any sales, you’re not a business. As a result, it is very urgent that you sell.
- Don’t feel guilty about selling. Selling is not a dirty thing. It’s a part of business. Remember, you are sharing value with your customer when you offer your product/service through a sale.
- If you are confident in your mission, then continue to take that leap of faith everyday. In the end, we’re all flawed humans. If you compromise your mission and work because you’re trying to get everyone’s approval, it won’t happen.
- If you possess a higher purpose that provokes you to think outside of yourself, then allow it to take over. You will speak with more confidence and move with conviction. The right people will gravitate towards that spirit that you exude.
- Do not give in to the need to conform to the status quo. As an entrepreneur, you are a leader. As an innovator, you must distort the norm.