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You can Sell

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YOU CAN SELL – If you are a Student of Marketing, what comes to your mind when you hear this phrase?

Firstly, if you aren’t a student of Marketing, you’ll think, “I don’t have to sell”. There will be a set of people who think, “Well, who said I can’t? Of course I can!! And I know that!” There will be another set of people who’ll reckon, “Whether I can or I can’t, I don’t want to sell!” Then there will be those who’d say, “Really, can I sell?? I want to know how!”

Well, if you think this book by Shiv Khera, author of the International bestseller ‘You can Win’, issiescoms only for the last category of people who think they can’t sell, you are mistaken. I for one, believed and realised that I couldn’t sell, thanks to my Summer Internship experience. And as a consequence, I decided that I ‘don’t want’ to sell. But think deeper? Who’s not selling??

The book takes off from this note. Shiv Khera begins by explaining that everyone is selling at some point or another. Take the cliché instance of ‘selling yourself’ at a job interview. Let me extrapolate it further to bring it in context, a finance person has to sell the idea of why only so much money must be invested in a project and not more or less. An HR person has to sell to the employees the idea that the company they work for is the Best Company in the world. And the marketing guys, whether your designation says sales or not, trust me you will still be ‘selling’ something or the other. Let me quote, according to the book, ‘Anyone who sells a product, service or an idea is a sales person’. So this book is for anyone who thinks they need to improve their selling skills, and a must read for a marketing student!

The author begins by urging readers to have a good attitude towards selling, and then goes ahead to explain in details all its aspects – the personality traits that you must develop to sell better, the selling process & its psychology, types of selling situations, types of consumer reactions, and other nuances of selling such as calling, meeting people and handling objections in order to achieve closures / deals.

For me, sales meant forcing someone into buying something that she was not interested in! And that is why, I detested it. I believed that, if someone wants to buy something and your product is good enough, the sales will and should happen automatically. But, the book reveals a different side of selling. It says, ‘When a sales is complete, you have sold a SOLUTION to someone, it means you have helped them achieve some gain or get rid of some pain’. There are two kinds of needs – the visible need is where the prospect is aware of the pain or the problem and actively responds to or takes action, without somebody prompting her. The invisible need is where the prospect has to be made aware of the gain of owning and the pain of not having. Now, that’s where the salesperson helps her out!! So, selling isn’t really about pushing something just to meet targets, it’s actually a service that you are doing!!! Now, that’s such a fresh thought!!

The only drawback that I see in the book is that it assumes all products to be ‘perfect’. But many a times, salespersons have to sell products that aren’t the best solution to the prospect’s need. What do they do then? The book fails to answer this.

The book indeed is a myth breaker for those who say, “I just can’t sell, I’m not really the sales type.” It tells you that anyone can learn the ‘art’ of selling and excel in this great profession. All you need to develop in the first place is the ‘attitude to learn’. And surely, this book is a good guide. But the principles of selling that you learn from this book will not make you a star-salesperson overnight. Can you learn to swim by reading a book? NO, and so is the case with selling! Remember, the will to learn, practicing the principles you learn from this book in any selling situation that you find yourself in & persistence is the Key to successful selling!!

Sharon Mary John
Batch of 2011 – 13
Reblogged from Decoding the World and Life
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