In the next month or so, I will be publishing my first book entitled Authentic Selling: How to Use the Principles of Sales in Everyday Life. I have always really enjoyed writing, enough so that I pursued Creative Writing in college and earned a certificate in that field to go along with my bachelor’s degree. The trouble is, my current profession is in sales, so all of the writing I have done to date has largely been professional in my day-to-day work life, or the various blogs that I throw together from time to time.
It actually made sense then that my first serious project centered around writing in my adult life would be something related to my day-to-day life as a sales professional. This felt like the least risky way to put myself out there and to test the waters on putting more energy into writing. It also happens to be useful for future training and hiring throughout my career, so that others I dialogue with will understand my philosophy and what I think it takes to be successful in sales.
The book is intended for two different audiences. The first audience is, of course, traditional salespeople. There are dozens of sales training programs and philosophies out there and thousands of books by people giving advice on what it takes to be good at sales. There is much debate, in fact, over whether sales is an art or a science. By that, I mean there is a legitimate argument as to whether there is some objectivity around what an individual should and should not say in every specific situation.
My selling philosophy is predicated on authenticity. I have found that I have been able to build more trust with people by being authentic. This includes being authentically frustrated, displeased, or really any other emotion that you might not rush to associate with someone who is trying to get someone else to buy something from them. Whether or not authenticity is truly the most important part of selling, it nonetheless remains evident that authenticity will have a seat at the table over the next few decades as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence take shape in our society. There are already all sorts of sales technologies that leverage AI to make sales teams more efficient, and in doing so, sales jobs are slowly being eliminated. Ultimately, if you want to protect your job from the machines, you will need to leverage your authenticity. It is what literally makes you human, and your humanity is the only real advantage over the machines.
The other audience for this book is, well, pretty much everyone else. Most people do not realize that their entire life is a back and forth of selling people on their ideas, and being sold to by others on their ideas. Our lives become much more meaningful and we are all ultimately much happier if we learn how best to negotiate for ourselves and to better understand what other people are really asking for. I have met a lot of people who tell me how interested they are in learning about sales when they discover what I do for a living, and when I ask them why, they will usually say something like, “I feel like I would get my way more often if I understood sales.” That is good intuition, and probably true. But what most people ultimately get from understanding the principles of sales is a happier life where there is more clarity around their own intentions for themselves and more clarity for what other people want from them.
It is obviously a bit of a challenge to try to tailor a message to one audience that is somewhat niche, and then a much broader audience who hardly understands the challenges of the first audience. For that reason, very little of the book is technical in nature. It is mostly anecdotal, with the hope that stories from my experience as well as common sense analogies can be relatable for a broad enough audience to get the points across. For example, when talking about cold outreach (or approaching strangers, in an everyday scenario), I tell a story about me being too shy to say something to a professional athlete when I was younger. I then was told by someone else that that athlete puts his pants on the same way that I do. Therein lies the lesson: the people we are scared to approach all have problems like we do and they all put their pants on the same way as us. Their problems might be different than our problems, but we all have problems. None of us are god-like creatures with no problems who are better off than anyone else in my estimation, and that is important to remember when you want to approach someone to create a new relationship.
More information will be here on my blog when the book is released. Please consider picking up a copy and sharing with your friends – especially those who are looking to learn about the principles of sales.