We are all in Sales

Image source: The Consumerist
Image source: The Consumerist

All leaders are in sales whether they know it or not. Some are better at it than others. But it’s not only leaders who are salesmen and women. It is all of us – you and I, included. Selling isn’t just the act of getting someone to part with his or her money for a product or service. The selling I am talking about is what Dan Pink refers to as ‘non-sales’ selling.

This is the act of “persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got.” This include things such as parents getting their kids to do their chores; teachers getting their students to engage with the subject in class; leaders communicating their vision to their employees; coaches motivating their team to excel etc. All these things require ‘non-sales’ selling.

We are all in the sales business. We mightn’t be seeking to get people to part with their money for a product or service rather we are seeking to influence, persuade, motivate and convince them to do something or part with something.

Take this blog post for instance. I mightn’t be selling you anything for cash via it but I am seeking to get you with pay for it with your attention.

The primary way we communicate with each other is via a conversation. Most of our interactions are one-to-one rather than one-to-many. But “as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation, to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore. It’s a pitch… are a marketing rep.”  You are selling something. This quote is from one of my favourite movies titled ‘The Big Kahuna’. This occurs in the penultimate scene in the movie which involves Phil (played by Danny DeVito) talking to Bob (played by Peter Facinelli) in a hotel room.

What type of ‘non-sales’ selling do you do in your personal and professional life?

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