Travel & Sales Genes; Sales Skills
By Reza Ganjavi
It’s been shown that liking travel is genetic – some people have the travel gene and some don’t. Even siblings can have or have not this gene. My sister doesn’t like traveling. I love traveling and have been to and played music in some 80 countries.
Sales skill is the same thing. I don’t know of any scientific studies on that but I’ve always felt that sales skill is either “in your blood” or not. It seems to be genetic also.
For example, my mother has no sales skills – even invoicing is difficult for her. Her sister is excellent in sales and can sell anything. Her other sister has no sales skills. I have good sales skills. Some people don’t, and in the business world, it’s sometimes like pulling teeth when a CEO or CFO for example has no sales skills. You might think a CEO or CFO doesn’t need sales skills but it’s a great skill to have for any position, and it’s something that has to be in your blood, I believe. You can learn to have good sales skills but it’s much easier if you have it in your blood – otherwise, it’s a struggly.
At the heart of sales skills is empathy: to see the world through the prospective buyer’s eyes. And to be honest and allow a good helpful product or service sell itself.
Sales skills are related to negotiation skills – not the kind Donald Trump touts. In fact, the Trump “art of deal” is total nonsense. His idea of negotiation is stiffing business partners which he’s done many times over the years – or bullying his way – and walking away. An average Persian street seller puts Donald Trump, the chronic liar, in his back pocket any day, when it comes to sales and negotiation skills.
Sales skills are handy for most positions I’ve been involved in – even software engineering, when it comes to helping users adopt new technology. In Program/Project Management it’s essential because you have to deal with corporate politics, and getting sign-offs, etc. – as well as in change management, etc.
There are many principles in marketing and sales which I won’t go through here because this is not an MBA course, but identifying need is very important. And honesty is key. If you get into lying and deceptive sales practices, you lose integrity, and without the customer trusting you that what you are saying is true, you cannot succeed.
These days some industries are engaged in creating fake needs – e.g., that you really need faster download, driverless cars, etc.
But creating fake needs is nothing new – marketers have known it for a long time. But the social and environmental and health impact of promoting fake needs must be considered. The wireless/telecom industry, for example, is totally irresponsible and doesn’t consider those consequences. This is where role of government regulators comes in. And in this topic, the government is in bed with industry because of money. But that’s off-topic.