What are some of the things that come to mind when you hear the word: Sales? Many people may feel triggered by that word as they may have had a bad experience with a pushy salesperson or perhaps a rejection from proposing an offer for a service, product or idea. With the few full-time jobs in my entire work history, in hindsight, the common denominator in all the work is Sales. What I have learned over the 20 years of being in sales is that it all starts with relationships.
I look back at my early years of being in the workforce and it all started when I had my first job at the age of 14, wrapping Christmas gifts at the mall. Some may say gift wrapping is more of a service and or task and that there are no sales involved. I would suggest that in anything that we do, there is a component of sales to it, no matter what your role or title.
An Important Life Lesson From Christmas Gift Wrapping
In gift wrapping, the sales portion would be to create engagement and draw people to the booth. By wrapping the gifts with excellence and having them out on display before the paying client picked them up, I had many opportunities to create conversations with folks who were walking by with their bags of unwrapped gifts.
What I noticed during that time was the more people I said hi to and smiled at, the more engagement I created, which led to me becoming one of the top gift wrappers on the team, generating the most sales as a result.
What The Farmer’s Market Taught Me About Sales
Another job I was in for 10 years was working at the farmer’s market. I wore many hats at the beginning working as a cashier, bagging produce, and even fulfilling cleaning duties. A few years in, I was promoted to more responsibilities such as head cashier, supervisor, pricing and display management. Within those 10 years, I learned so much about what it means to sell someone on an idea or product. Here are some of the life lessons I’ve taken away from those experiences:
- Sales is a form of service
- Sales helps you develop confidence and self-belief
- Sales can open up many doors of opportunity
- We all are in sales (whether we like it or not)
- It’s one of the most rewarding and challenging skills to learn
The ideas I was selling to the staff members were excellence and high performance, and how those attributes can increase results in all areas of their lives. The product I was selling was the produce on the shelves. And whether I was selling ideas to the staff or fruits and vegetables to customers, again, it all came down to the relationships I created with each person and most importantly, having them know what’s in it for them (benefits).
Changing Our Perception Of This “Dirty” Word
You may ask how these relationships started and how long they lasted. I can tell you it always starts with creating safety with each person and being integral. When a client, customer or teammate gets the opportunity to know, like and trust you, they will be open to receiving. How does this process start? By a smile and asking, “How can I help?” and genuinely caring for them. It’s that simple—asking how we can help and truly listening before offering a recommendation.
Here are a few benefits you’ll gain when you shift your perception of sales:
- You’ll become fascinated by other people
- You’ll learn how to create more win/win situations
- You’ll develop a greater sense of empathy for others
- You’ll become solution-oriented in your daily life
- You’ll accelerate in your career or occupation
May I encourage you to put on the suit of sales and help change the perspective some may have for that word? After facilitating the recent Certified Flourishing Sales Coach™ Training, it was so powerful to hear that another group of salespeople has been empowered to shift industries and how we connect with one another. Sales is no longer a dirty word. Sales is a word of Service.
We are all either selling or being sold. Why not create a win/win for both you and the client/customer? Remember, relationships first. Once you understand that sales is all about creating mutually beneficial relationships with others, you’ll never see the word sales in a negative light again.
At Certified Flourishing Coach, we are a dedicated team of expert coaches and facilitators, committed to creating transformational change. We offer everything from career and creativity to parenting and pastoral life coaching. So if you’re ready to flourish, contact us today to learn more!
About the Author
As the Director of Sales and Client Experience for Certified Flourishing Coaching™, Cynthia is our support system when it comes to project management and administration in the FLCP Community. She also has over two decades of experience working with people and supporting in creating the most ideal results when it comes to complex situations, high performance, and conflict resolution.