Does life teach us about selling or does selling teach us about life?  No doubt, it works both ways.  But the business of sales and those who find their careers in selling, are unique.  Selling involves full engagement and the most successful salespeople agree that they never really leave it; that selling is in fact, a way of life.  

Here are 11 sales lessons that apply to our lives:

1)  The more the merrier.  The more prospecting you do, the more opportunities and sales you will get. The more people enriching your life, the broader community you share and the happier you will be.

2)  Always be selling.  In sales, you can encounter your next opportunity at the dry cleaners or your child’s sports event.  The same is true in life.  You never know where you might meet your next friend or influential person.  The secret is to be open and engaging.  Don’t stand on the sidelines waiting.

3)  Share your goals. Beneath the business goals are your personal goals, the ones that really matter.  If you share your goals with someone who loves and cares about you, it has been proven that you have a much better chance to reach them. The same is true in life.  Selling is simply the means to reaching your personal goals.

4)  Don’t focus on closing.  Focus on understanding the prospect’s biggest problems and then, how you can solve them.  In life, while you may want to have the end in mind, staying in the moment is just as important. The end will be much more fulfilling if you enjoy each day of the journey.

5)  Be resilient.   In selling as in life, there are many hurdles.  Determine which hurdles need to be jumped and which you can walk around.  Either way, determine the best way to get past them and continue on.

6)  Really Listen.  Listening is your greatest advantage (if you use it) and your most productive activity.  In selling if you are talking, you are not listening.  If you become a great questioner and listener, prospects and people will follow you!

7)  Find your mentors and fans.  Look around and find those who care about your success.  There is nothing in business or life that will be more helpful in a tough spot than someone who encourages you and kicks you in the butt.  (Your true fans will be tough and encouraging.)

8)  Give referrals, give back.  Businesses are built and survive on referrals.  The same is true in life.  Our greatest personal success is often found in giving back to our schools, churches and organizations that serve our community.  This is true even when it comes to sharing your friends!

9)  Focus on severe mental anguish.  In sales, finding a client’s true and deepest problem that must be solved is the first step.  How well you do at this critical step will determine your success in the end.  Similarly in life, if you determine what is most important to you and build your life around that, you will achieve personal success.

10)  Always be a resource to others.  Your best clients have become your best clients because you have delivered a valuable solution to their problems.  Here is a thought provoking question:  do you gain more personal satisfaction out of helping yourself or others?

11)  Take responsibility.  Your success in sales or in life is up to you.  You choose how you approach each day, from what perspective and with what attitude.  Make each day a gift, each perspective an open mind and each attitude a winner.

About the author

Tony Cole

Tony has a lifelong focus on helping people and organizations achieve their personal best.As…

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