don't learn to sell

The reason so many people just keep going along to the hamster wheel of doom every day is that it just seems easier than having to figure out how to survive otherwise. This is an inevitable outcome of the society we live in. Everything we encounter from birth is geared towards this end result; yes, it’s indoctrination again. We are rewired to accept this by kindergarten, school and further education establishments. Nobody argues against education, because it just seems right, but it always comes with someone else’s agenda tagged on. This force feeding of capitalism is reinforced by TV and digital and print media, and due to their own brainwashing, even our parents promote this to us as the only way to live.

Regardless of how much I now detest this and want to rail against it, I can’t escape the reality that the majority of the developed world works this way and the majority of the developing world wants to! It’s ridiculous and sad, but more than anything else, it just is what it is and I need to work with what I’ve got.

Where does this leave me? Well, for a start, I can forget any dream of being self sufficient. You see the paradox here is that the hamster wheel of doom has been seen by generations of people as something to aspire to. Initially this was sold to them as a way to escape the drudgery of self sufficiency, or the agrarian life style. If I had a choice between a life as a subsistence farmer or as a slave to a mill owner, I know what I’d choose, but people genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and now we’re stuck with it. If the majority of people were still trading pigs for bread and horse shoes, subsistence farming would be where it’s at, but the majority are now trading their lives, their sanity and little bits of paper given to them by the hamster wheel owner for BMW’s. The bigger the BMW, the harder the little buggers make that wheel go round, beautiful.

Given that capitalism is a game, we need to play with the BMW people in order to make money for ourselves. Due to money being ubiquitous and universally understood we should just accept this and get on with getting some, but we don’t have to get it the same way they do. We can get it by doing good stuff that we actually enjoy. And, because we aren’t buying BMW’s with it, we don’t need anywhere near as much as they do. And due to our superior intellect we don’t see it as an end in itself, we simply use it in order to make a living among these people easier for us to reconcile.

The beauty of this situation for free thinkers and freedom seekers is that we can achieve this quite easily by doing stuff we enjoy doing and most importantly that is driven and decided on by us. It’s called choice, autonomy if you like. However, we do have to bear in mind that we are dealing with indoctrinated capitalists for the most part so we need to know how to do that well. This requires skills, some of which we all probably have and some that we either need to acquire or at least understand so that we can get enough money, easily, regularly and reliably. What are these skills?

Empathy, Creativity, Integrity, Authenticity, Communication, Marketing and Selling.

Seven skills then? Yes, and going along the line, I’m nodding encouragingly, yip, got that, yeh easy, sure I’m creative, OK, got that sure, no problem…ahh…Selling???? ooooh I don’t like the sound of that. Maybe I’ll just get back down to the factory and ask for my old job back.

Here are some common facts about selling:

  • it is crucial to your success in your freedom enterprise,
  • it’s seen as a black art
  • we’re told it’s complicated
  • it’s, well,… icky and horrible
  • sales people are wankers

Here are some myths that sales people believe to be true:

  • each “no” is taking them one step closer to a “yes”
  • customers’ objections to sales pitches can be overcome: “I don’t want any!” “Of course you do” (this is where the wanker thing comes from)
  • when people don’t return your call, it doesn’t mean they can’t be railroaded into buying anyway (partially true, but not a way to gain a long term customer)

Why you shouldn’t read sales books or learn to sell.

So already you’re feeling better about this, it seems like this peasant guy in my computer is saying I don’t need to learn how to do selling, cool!

Most sales training sees the customer as the enemy, someone to be conquered. They’ll tell you how to cold call, which is something you instinctively know doesn’t endear you to anyone. How to overcome objections. How to play the percentage game, which means counting each “No” as a step closer to a “Yes”. You instinctively know that this is bullshit, so leave it well alone.

In reality, you will make much quicker progress in your new enterprise if you just accept that nothing short of delighting your customer will do. If they don’t want one, leave them alone. I would always go one step further than this actually and that is to aim to make each customer so delighted that they become an involuntary Advocate for you, your business and your products/services.

Every Customer an Advocate

When every customer that buys from your enterprise then goes out and tells all their friends how brilliant you are, you don’t need to sell.

Why then, do we see the polar opposite of this behaviour in almost every transaction we do in the real, capitalist world?

Lack of empathy is the short answer.

Empathy is the single most powerful skill you can develop. It is the soft skill at the hard heart of any business and is vitally important in customer service and leadership. In fact all of the thousands of leadership books ever written could be burned if we just understood how to imagine ourselves in another person’s shoes at the moment we are dealing with them.

Of course we can’t be empathetic with people who don’t even know we exist, so we’ll look into the skills needed to attract attention to our enterprise in a later post.

Next time, we’ll see what we can do about turning those new customers into advocates.






Photo Credit: mikecogh via Compfight cc

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