I asked business owner Boyd Parker to name what he felt the main skill was which contributed to his success as a C.E.O. And without hesitation he offered that it was due to learning sales skills. He believed that success is limited without sales skills, explaining that for too many people the idea of sales skills implies negative connotations of manipulation and pressurising the vulnerable; the stereotypical image of the window salesman, who convinces people that they should spend thousands on windows whilst refusing to leave their property.
When in fact, what Boyd Parker meant was the invaluable skill of communication, explaining the logic and benefits of a decision, surely everyone, business owner or not, needs these skills in life generally? In business they appear to be critical. Whether you call it sales skills or communication skills; Boyd Parker strongly advises that you will learn more communication skills by working in sales than anywhere else.
After spending time with Boyd Parker, I understood the impact a direct sales role could have on any future career you choose. We discussed the importance of negotiation, salespeople learn to listen, evaluate variables, identify key drivers, overcome objections, and find solutions. Perseverance or rejection is hard on anyone and in life this is something which is going to happen to you regardless. Salespeople hear the word “no” continuously, and so rather than being a rejection it is just a challenge to overcome.
In Boyd Parker’s experience he found the greatest reward to learning sales skills was in the confidence it attributed. not just his own personal development but witnessing timid, reserved people, transform into self-assured confident men and women, who found their voices.
In conclusion if you really want to forward your career then find a way to work in sales, learn a great transferable skill to take with you for life, whether you plan on owning a company, work within a company or interact with customers, then learning sales skills is paramount.