I have a friend who is in sales and he is very good at it. In fact, he is one of the most respected real estate sales person in his area. Last month he was telling me about his brother in-law who is a business owner. It seems his brother in-law has a bad opinion of sales people. He feels that what he does is far more important and valuable than anything a sales person can do or has done.
As we chatted about this he told me more about his brother in-law. It seems the brother in-law has a start-up company that has been funded by Venture Capitalists. Over the last 12 years he has asked for and received funding 7 times for more than $18 million dollars. In that same 12 year period the company that he owns has lost close to $6 million dollars and has never made a profit. But still, the VC community continues to give them funds.
When we looked at it from a different perspective, we realized that his brother in-law might perhaps be the best salesman of all time. It was he who convinced the VC community to give him the funds- and if that is not sales what is?
That reminded me of the story Tom Freeze tells in his training. When he was trying to recruit a new client he was asked who he thought was the “greatest sales person ever?” As he explained, he had two choices for an answer. The first choice might have been to say himself. Since he is an author and a sales trainer it would make sense to promote himself as the best ever. Of course that might come off as arrogant. The second choice could be to name someone else and show his humility, but then he risks downplaying his own importance and giving credibility to a potential competitor. In the end he came up with the better solution-
“The greatest sales person ever has to be Mrs. Bill Gates. By tying the knot with the richest man on the planet she increased her net worth by billions of dollars. I consider myself a pretty good salesman, but I’ve never matched that in one deal”
In the end, keep this in mind. No matter what we do, no matter how we do it, sales is a part of our life and our world. In some way shape or form we are all sales people. Once we recognize this we can work on our craft and get better. Like Mrs Gates.