Believe it or not, I graduated college with the full expectation of going to medical school, but I traded medical school to go become a car salesman. A questionable choice looking from the outside in if you ask me, but one that I hope will help you gain new perspective by the time you are done reading. I also hope it will help you understand why today I believe more than ever that every college student should learn to become a great salesperson before they graduate and transition into the work force.
No matter what field you work in and what education you seek, at some point or another, you will be directly exposed to the importance of selling. Selling is part of everything we do, and in many cases even when we don’t think about it, we are still selling through our basic day-to-day routines.
Let me give you some clear and simple examples. When you talk your friends into doing something rather than something else, you are selling them. When you are telling your parents about your day or week, you are selling them. And even when you are choosing between two alternatives for yourself of different costs, you are selling.
The idea of selling is universal and just about all of us sell constantly, the only change is whom we sell to, not if we sell or not. This is why selling is key no matter what your educational or long-term goals are.
Regardless of whether you choose a science degree or decide to become an entrepreneur, better selling means that you will achieve your goals faster. You will also find many fewer closed doors as you continue your journey forward post your education. So what should you know about selling and how can you become better at it?
Understanding these core fundamentals will be a great start.
Selling Is About Acquiring Trust with Very Few Words
No one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy. These are words that should stick with you especially when thinking about how to build trust to be able to successfully sell. People want to buy, and all they need is a great reason, which in most cases is trust.
Trust holds two folds in sales. One is highly focused on the trust formed in the idea that the product or service will be a solution to their problem, and another is that the person or company it’s coming from is providing them great value.
Value is different than price. People want to know they are getting their money’s worth rather than saving a few bucks. Building trust comes from consistency and familiarity. Most people buy Apple products and never question the quality despite the price, partly because over time Apple has been consistent in creating computers that don’t break as often and exceed expectations in that arena.
Selling Is About Inner Confidence
If you don’t believe, you can’t convince. The idea of sales is that the person selling you must himself or herself hold a higher level of confidence towards what you are being sold. If the person seems disconnected or 1,000% confident in the value they will create for you, you tend to want to do more research before committing.
Think of it as you approaching someone and convincing him or her to be your lab partner — if you do so in a passive way, you are more likely to evoke doubt. But on the other hand, if you come across very aggressively, most people will assume that your confidence means you know something they don’t and therefore will tend to ride along even if they are not clear as to why.
Selling a Story Is More Powerful Than a Product
Remember that people can buy a product and service from many different people and it is very rare for someone to have an idea so unique that they are the only ones selling it. While most people these days no longer relate to products on an emotional level, they relate to the people behind the products or services and their stories.
Having a great story as to why it is key that your product be bought is very helpful to succeeding in sales. People buy from people and the more they relate, the faster they buy. If you are selling a vacuum, many will focus on the product and features, but instead I urge you to focus first on why you are selling vacuums and then focus on the product. This human connection is the key many salespeople forget about or never hit on.
When I left to become a car salesman, I didn’t do it with the intention of remaining in car sales my whole life, but rather because I understood early on that one fundamental piece of success is directly related to our ability to sell ourselves and others. Therefore, it only made sense that I chose to practice this belief in the hardest and most competitive of environments early on.
This transition enabled me to understand how to sell — but also, why people buy, which became an essential part of my growth as I launched three businesses that quickly scaled to seven figures strictly based upon my ability to sell.
While no one becomes a pro in sales without having built experience actually selling things, everyone can benefit by understanding these three fundamental laws of selling and how they can help you further your growth as a student, as an individual, or in business.
About the Author
Damien Bullard is an entrepreneur, sales expert, and consultant. He is the founder of IDDS Consulting, and two other successful seven-figure businesses focused on bringing value to the automotive space. You can learn more about him at www.damienbullard.com.