Life is a sales floor! Wait, what? How could this be true? This analogy is something I’ve allowed to follow me through everything I do in my life. I do this for one simple reason, it holds true in most life arenas. What does this mean though? That is what you’re really asking right now isn’t it? Read on to find out.
In life we have many interactions with people everyday, and each of these interactions is similar to a sales transaction, either somebody is “selling” you, or you are “selling” them. The sale that is occurring here is that somebody is always pitching something to someone, or convincing someone of something. Think about it, when you talk to your friends about what to do tonight, that is a sale, everybody is selling their idea. When you’re with your significant other and deciding on dinner, you’re each selling each other ideas. Anytime you go anywhere and talk to anyone at some point in the conversation, there is a “sale” taking place.
Much like a business sales environment each of these sales is comprised of elements. These elements are highlighted below:
- Knowing your client – If you know what the other person likes and dislikes then you can use this information to highlight your idea or product. For example if you know your best friend’s favorite food is sushi, when they ask where you should go for a dinner together, that particular suggestion would be an easier “sell” than any other.
- Building Rapport – No matter who you talk to, this rapport is a huge element of the conversation you’re having. Statistics say that 71% of clients buy from salespeople they like, trust, and respect, therefore having a rapport when having a conversation with anybody is important. Luckily with friends and family you already have this rapport. This and the trust they have in you, means that your suggestions are easier to accept.
- Determining what the client wants – This ultimately roots back to knowing your “customer”, but it comes down to more of a situational basis. If you know what somebody is more interested in right now, versus something else, then you have an immediate advantage if you make a suggestion that solves that problem.
- Solving a Problem – This is a huge portion of “selling” any concept or product. If your suggestion or product doesn’t solve a problem, or make life better for the person on the “buying” end, then there’s a much tougher “sell” ahead of you. For example, if you know a friend might be hungry when they ask what you should do tonight, you’d have a much easier time suggesting a dinner, than another activity.
- Pitching the Idea – Eventually in any conversation you have to present your opinion, solution, product, or idea. This is where you begin convincing or “selling” the other person on your idea. When you and a friend are discussing a restaurant, and you say you like it, and they don’t, you immediately begin “selling” them on why this restaurant is good. In this scenario you’re “selling” your opinion on them.
- Closing – Every sale ends in a close no matter what is on the line, if you never finish the conversation then nobody is convinced of anything. In the previous example, when you had finished telling your friend why you liked the particular restaurant, you may close this by saying something like “you see why I like it”, or “don’t you agree?” This is the close, every “sale” has one.
As I said before, most conversations in life have some or all of the elements of a sale involved in them. So if this is true does that mean we all use sales skills in our everyday life? The simple answer is yes. We all use mind games, and negotiation skills everyday without realizing it. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are salespeople, but it does mean we possess some of the skills required to sell.
Until Next Time.