Myths about selling

Selling is indisputably a profession most individuals don’t want to be associated with. Once the word “selling” is mentioned; people tend to immediately imagine a picture of a salesperson knocking on door to door to sell a product.  What comes to your mind when hearing words ‘sales skills’? Some people connect these words with manipulation, chasing people on the streets and being able to talk endlessly. These images are just myths. Let’s recall some of the common remarks:

“I hate selling.”

“I hate making cold calls.”

“It’s not about selling; I simply hate rejection.”

“Sales is not for me; I am a degree holder.”

It’s a shame we have such a negative connotation to sales, though, because according to a study commissioned by author and researcher Daniel Pink, we spend 40% of our work time selling something, in one way or another.

Each one of us is selling

Whether you like it or not, each one of us is a salesperson. If you don’t work in sales, you might think you don’t sell, but that is undoubtedly false. The fact is, each one of us sells every single day. Most people don’t know that selling is part of life and we do it every day; consciously or unconsciously. We share the benefits of a product that has benefited us or a movie we liked without even getting paid for it.

Many studies have confirmed that mastering sales skills is an essential part of being successful in any area of your life: as an artist or as a computer programmer, at your office when you present a new idea to your colleagues, as a business owner or even when planning a new holiday destination with your family. If you look at sales skills from the right perspective, your success is not far away!

We all have sales skills

Actually, we all have practiced some good sales skills (and not even thinking about them!) at one time or the other in our life. Remember when you were a kid. How many ways did you invent to persuade your parents to buy you ice-cream? Or in your teens, you met a girl or a boy of your dreams. What have you done? You tried to convince her or him that your love is a true one and that you are the best choice for her or him. And (hopefully) you meant it from the core of your heart. So, we are all born with some good sales skills! And believe me, sales skills are life skills.

Getting your boss to agree to your new project plan is a form of sales. And so is getting your son to tidy up his room, or convincing a patient to continue with a treatment regimen. These are all forms of sales, and the better we get at it, the more it will benefit us professionally and personally. When you call a coworker for immediate action to support your project, what are you doing? Selling your need for help. When you plead with your kids to take milk daily, what are you doing? Selling the nutritional benefits of milk. Or most importantly, when you approach your boss for a raise or promotion, what are you doing? Selling yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, a parent or an entrepreneur. You must be able to sell yourself and your ideas.

Sales skills are life skills

When you present yourself for an interview, you dress smartly, put your best foot forward, and highlight your achievements, experiences, and describe in so many words how you would be the best possible candidate for the job. Are you not selling yourself? When eligible youth upload their profiles on matrimonial sites, they write so many good things about their personality, job, and family background to attract the best matches. Is it not selling?

'Yes, I suppose certain narrow-minded people would call it a ‘pack of lies' - I prefer to think of it as creative up-selling.'

Many people would never view themselves as a sales person. Yet any time you’re in a conversation in which you try to express an opinion or influence an event, you’re actually selling. In fact, when you think deeply enough, selling is more than just selling a product as people usually assume it to be. Anything in life that needs persuasion can be thought of as selling something.

There isn’t a single area of your life where you cannot benefit from sales skills. Teachers use sales skills every day. Preachers use sales skills. Police officers use sales skills. Mother Teresa used sales skills. And sales people use sales skills. Regardless of what you do, sales skills will increase your probability of success and your ability to motivate, instruct, encourage, coach, communicate and reach people.

In reality, everyone is constantly trying to sell an idea, a belief, a proposition, an opinion or a goal. We all use sales skills throughout the day, every day. You use it on your spouse or partner, your kids, your colleagues, your neighbors, your friends, your parents, people you meet when you buy different products or services, or when you go out for a meal.

What makes a best seller?

In his famous book ‘The magic of thinking big’ Dr. David Schwartz narrates an incident when he was scheduled for an interview by a reputed journalist.When he reached the place at the appointed time, he found the lady waiting on a sofa with a writing pad. She got up and greeted him. After exchanging pleasantries Dr. Schwartz suggested that she do a course in ‘selling’. This put her off, she said:, ” I am a post graduate in journalism, why should I do a course in selling?” Dr. Schwartz picked up her writing pad and showed her what she had written ‘interview of best-selling author’. He politely added, in spite of being so qualified you are waiting to take my interview because I am a best-selling author.


Once we see selling in the right perspective, we can apply the principles of selling to refine our personality and set ourselves on the path of self-transformation, bringing us closer to our goals.