Submitted by: Preston Moore, “The Bald Guy in the Bow Tie,” Partner, and Jack Warkenthien, CEO, NextStep Solutions

Regardless of the title on your business card, you are in sales.  Everyone is in sales. People buy us way before they buy from us.  Nothing happens until someone sells something and the something may not be a product.  In many instances, it can be a concept, idea, opinion, commitment to serve or an affiliation.  Abraham Maslow once said, “he that is good with a hammer tends to see everything as a nail.”  From today on, think of everyone you meet as a candidate. Talk about a full pipeline!  Here is a Five-Part Code you must understand to succeed in sales. 

1.  A Sale is a Relationship, Not a Transaction.
Today, the job begins with the sale; it doesn’t end with one.  You are really “opening” a relationship not “closing” a deal.  In relationship sales, we emphasize serving first and selling second.  Since people buy from friends, focus on establishing rapport and making a connection. The sale will ultimately follow.

2.  People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care.
If you really want someone to warm up to you, be “interested,” not “interesting.”  You know the type: the interesting person can’t wait to tell you everything about their life. Indulge them!  Since people like to talk about themselves, listen – and learn.  The interested person is the one asking questions.  Remember, no rapport, no sale.

3.  The Depth of Your Convictions is More Important than the Length of Your Knowledge.
You don’t have to know everything there is to know about your company, product or services as long as you have deep convictions and sincerely believe in who you are and what you do.  Speak from your heart, not from your head.  You can always find the answers to questions asked, but you can never replace the passion and enthusiasm you convey.

4.  Have Fun and a Sense of Humor.
If you enjoy doing what you do professionally, you never have to go to work!  One thing we can do immediately: lighten up and laugh! Laughter shatters barriers.  When you get them laughing, you get them buying. Sometimes we take who we are and what we do all too seriously.  Life is a journey, not a destination.

5.  Stand Out and Be Memorable.
The bar has been raised.  There are many more outstanding companies and people around than ever before. “Outstanding” is no longer good enough.  Now we must find ways to “stand out” and rise above the crowd.  How do you want the next person you meet to remember you?  

Now that you know life’s a sales call, appoint yourself the “crusader” for your firm. Consider yourself an emissary and spread the good word about what your company does to provide customer solutions.  What you do is probably so much more than just a job.  Someone with a job is never secure; someone with a calling is never unemployed.  You have a calling, and you are on a crusade.  Best of luck on that sales call of life!

Preston Moore “The Bald Guy in the Bow Tie” – Partner, and Jack Warkenthien – CEO of NextStep Solutions, an innovative global leader in organizat