Selling: an essential skill every person needs in life

2017-03-20 15:25

Having worked for different companies, in different industries, on different projects, for different clients, with different people...there are some skills I've found to be VERY IMPORTANT. These skills have proved essential in different spheres of my life- whether career, business ventures, societal involvement or personal.

Regardless of whether you are someone in school, university, working or in business, you will need to utilise these skills in one way or another. I have listed (in no specific order of importance) these skills.

1) Project Management

You need to be able to use your Time effectively and efficiently to produce Quality output which is within the specified Cost parameters.

2) Research & Analysis

Whichever subject matter you are thinking of, in order to obtain more insight into it- you need to conduct research (finding information) and analyse  what you have found.

3) Writing

An ancient proverb I have often heard being repeated is, "a short pencil is better than a long memory." When you write something down you are in a better position of retaining it in your mind and you can make reference to it constantly. After having done research you don't want to waste time going through the same process over again instead of documenting it the first time around.

4) Presentation

whenever you have found certain insights, the test of whether the conclusions you have derived are correct lies with the feedback you will obtain from others upon showcasing your findings. Presentation is not just you preparing a Power Point presentation, using Prezi or any other presentation platform... it is all about conveying your idea(s).

Intertwined with Presentation is what I consider to be the chief skill among these 5 skills- SELLING.

5) Selling 

The chief skill amongst these for me is SELLING and it is most often the most overlooked...especially by people who are not in business. Selling is not just about trying to convince someone (customer) to part with their money for something (product and/or service).

Whenever you are trying to convince someone to adopt a particular viewpoint/ perspective- that is selling. When you begin to see selling through this lense... you've bought into what I'm selling you :)

Often you hear people saying, "I'm not buying into what you are saying," or others saying "I need everyone's buy-in for this to work." This goes to show the transactional nature of interactions we have in different contexts.

When you apply for a a job, you are in essence selling to the interviewers how your skills, experience, education etc are a fit for the post you have applied for. Negotiating a raise in your current role is a form of selling to your manager/HR why you are deserving of receiving more than you are currently earning. In this case you are selling how your input in the organisation is of such value that it is worthwhile for the company to part with more moola for your service.

Any application you do for a place at university, for a home loan, for a promotion etc... is a process of selling. Whenever you need to motivate why something should be done for you, this is a sales process underway.

It didn't start automatically for me to understand all this. I had to receive some knocks, get guidance and mentorship, read a lot, implement and adapt etc in order to get to where I am today...and there is still more I'm learning.

There are many free resources available online which you just need to Research and Analyse + put into practice. You can develop this essential skill and advance yourself in whichever endeavor you are pursuing. I live by the mantra "If you don't ask, the answer is already no!"

This applies with anything else in life, if you don't try and 'sell' your skills, abilities, ideas, perspective etc, you will never get to know what could be. Instead of living in limbo thinking of what could have been, should have been or would have been... JUST DO IT!

For individual, group or corporate coaching on the skills highlighted feel free contact me on tatenda.zingoni@idigroupholdings.co.za

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