Published On: Wed, Feb 16th, 2011

Selling is not a dirty word

By Gerald Sherman

Webster’s definition of the word ‘selling’ is “1. to give up, deliver, or exchange (property, goods, services) for money or its equivalent.” Webster’s lists another definition, which gives the word a more universal and pragmatic meaning, “6. to persuade someone of the value of something.”

Everybody is doing it; selling is not a dirty word. The persuasion process can start with something as simple as this, “Honey, do you want to go out for dinner tonight? There is a special deal on the lobster dinner at The Fishery.” Or, it can be as complex as doing a thorough research project to collect supporting information, statistics, and pros and cons in preparation for an

Gerald Sherman

important presentation.

The guy who recruits a couple of good friends to come along for a golf weekend, the grandpa who convinces his grandson of the importance of going to college; they are all selling. They are selling their ideas, solutions, or simply their personalities. They are persuading someone of the value of something and offering a mutual benefit.

In the Real World, each one of us attempts to sell our deals to people each day; not only at work but also within the familial and social environments. Life is full of non-business sales pitches and negotiations, and those who are better at selling often experience more satisfaction.

Selling is a somewhat subjective process; every salesperson has a unique style but every successful selling approach involves communication, observation, presentation, persuasion, negotiation, integrity, and the ability to close. Learning these skills can help one in many more ways than just earning a salary. To a large degree, our mastery of sales skills significantly affects the quality of our relationships with family, friends and co-workers.

When selling is done correctly, selling is far from a ‘dirty word.’ It forms a foundation that allows for relationships, both business and personal, to grow for the mutual benefit of both parties. Mastering the skills of selling will benefit your advancement in whatever path you choose, be it sales-related or not.

In business, we find there are a countless number of ways to go about selling, and theoretically each business formulates its own sales strategies according to the nature of its industry, the character of its customers, and the economic environment within which it operates. Whether a business succeeds in achieving this formula also often determines whether the business itself succeeds or fails.

Sales techniques can help you form and improve vital relationships with customers, bosses, and co-workers. The persuasion methods can assist you with getting cooperation from difficult people and a better understanding of human interaction can improve your personal relationships with your friends and family.

So, we see, “Selling is not a dirty word.”

Excerpts from the book, The Real World Guide to Fashion Selling & Management, Gerald J. Sherman & Sar S. Perlman, Fairchild Publications, Division of Conde Nast, (N.Y.).

Gerald J. Sherman, of Sherman & Perlman LLC., is a marketing and public relations consultant, sales coach and author who has written several books and articles on these subjects.

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