HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

How to Really Love Selling (It's Possible)

It doesn't matter if you're selling a product, a startup idea, or simply a vision: Selling is not about pitches or closing deals. It's something much more simple.
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Many people--even some who sell for a living--feel uncomfortable when they're selling, even if they don't actively dislike it.

The reason people feel uncomfortable is that they're making the mistake of thinking of selling as an activity that's separate from what they really enjoy doing.  What they haven't learned is that selling is simply passion with a purpose.

Passion is what happens when you do something  truly interests and excites you. Passion has nothing to do with other people. Indeed, great artists often have a very passion for their art that's disconnected from whether somebody else ever sees or hears it.

However, when you ask somebody else to participate in whatever it is that excites and interests you, you're adding a purpose to your passion.

At that point, whether you realize it or not, you're "selling" because the other person must now decide whether to spend their time or money (which are the same thing, really) on whatever makes you excited and interested.

For example, suppose you've got a great idea for a product, and you love talking about it, and you're enjoying making that idea into a reality. That's your passion.

When you tell somebody else about your idea, or show them the prototype, or ask them to invest in it, that's adding purpose to your passion.

The most successful entrepreneurs never "sell" as a separate activity and neither do the most successful salespeople. Whether their passion is to change the world or just help people one by one, it's that passion that does the "selling."

This is not to say that sales skills don't exist or that they aren't valuable. However, sales skills are only ways to help you communicate your passion more clearly. They're never important as ends within themselves.

So forget about "selling." Don't even think about the word. Find what makes you passionate and then give that passion a purpose by inviting other people to become a part of it.

How can you not love that?

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Apr 7, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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