Friday 24 October 2014

I Cannot Sell Even At Gunpoint.

I can do everything, but cannot sell. Sounds familiar? Who needs to sell? Let us hold on to that thought – we will learn that in a minute.

A friend of mine, I knew for years, was a stellar sales person. She was with an FMCG firm then and she did sell me, and many of my contacts several products. That was over fifteen years ago. We even bought things from her, which we never needed. I always thought that if one could sell like her, they never had to worry about financial security. They will never really fall short of jobs.

Then marriage, pregnancy, being a single child she had to look after both - her ailing parents and ageing in-laws as her husband was working abroad – that sales career was long gone. In its place what she has built is what I asked her to share with me for benefit of others who can replicate that success.

Virtual Office: She works from anywhere. If you are wondering what is the big deal about that or about being a freelancer? For the past five years, she has carried out several projects online – tutoring, term projects, assignment based fee etc. Initially I had the same thought cross my mind, which just occurred to you – What a waste of her precious selling skills!

Suit Capability: She bids only for those projects that will not always require new learning each time – That does not mean she does not want to go beyond her comfort zone. If the scope is familiar, her speed of execution is high which means more money as she can quickly assign herself to other similar projects.

Work Life Balance: Her work is not affected even when she moves out of her home country. She decides the dates for her vacation, while the rest of us are at the mercy of our company holidays to plan one.

Increments & Retirement Benefits: An extra assignment each time she needs an increment or wants to save for her retirement – All well in her control.

Again, that was about my friend, who is a great sales person. I am sure her cover letters for bids, her resume on freelance portals, and her responses during interviews – each time with different clients and different companies and winning all those projects is an outcome of knowing how to sell her skills and experience well.

So it is that age-old wisdom – Each one of us are selling. Most of us do it really bad – during interviews,client presentations, appraisal discussions, building our resume, even while pitching an idea at home or anywhere . Do you still want to chant mantra like – “I cannot sell even at gunpoint”? Now that you know you do sell, is it worthwhile learning it and doing it better?

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