I’ve always adamantly believed I am NOT a salesperson. I didn’t want to be one of those people who pressure others and get them to do things they don’t want to do. I didn’t want to try to get people to buy or do things just to make myself a commission. It made me really uncomfortable to think about. When I thought about those poor folks at the large bank who pressured people to start savings accounts because they had a quota they MUST fill, I felt so sad.
People have gently pointed out to me that when I think something is great, I can be really persuasive. I am the home sales person’s best friend. Just let me get going about my love of the Pampered Chef ground beef breaker-upper, for example, or about the essential oil product I use for sore muscles. I’ve sold a lot of items for my friends with these kinds of businesses. I think Longaberger Basket stayed in business because of me for a decade or so. And WOW was I persuasive on the benefits of feeding your baby without buying products to do so (a career I used to have, in which I even won awards).
But no, I would not start one of those businesses. Nope. Not a salesperson.
So how did I end up doing this real estate stuff and blogging my little fingers off about what a good thing it is? How do I feel about promoting our business model hither and yon, if I don’t want to be a “sleazy salesperson”?
Well, I’ve figured something out. Sales can be OK if you are actually trying to meet the needs of other people. If you are offering a service that can benefit both yourself AND the other party, sales (and those sales techniques I found so annoying in car dealerships in the past) can be an honorable and ethical practice.
In the past I’d never taken a sales course (just a lot of writing and philosophy courses!), nor did I officially study marketing other than talking to my marketing coworkers a lot. But, since I’m committed to doing my very best to connect my team with people who are the right fit for what we do, I’ve decided to take the plunge and learn about sales and negotiation. I’m in an 8-week online class, along with Russell on our team, which will culminate with some in-person training with two amazing practitioners of sales and negotiation. I feel good about it, because they stress ethics and respect for the people you are selling to or negotiating with. I want to set high standards for myself and maintain them.
I also want to be able to tell when someone I’m working with is using the techniques against me in an unethical way. Hmm.
Real estate is one constant negotiation process. Our coworker Carol is even certified in it! Are you comfortable selling or negotiating? I’m getting better. Practice makes perfect, I hope. Of course, in the class I hope to have plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment. That’s important as well. Anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this?