The sales profession touches each of us. From a toddler who learns the rewards associated with his or her actions to the seasoned sales professional, the art of selling impacts us all.

I’ve met people that believe they are not salesmen or saleswomen, yet they use their skills to sell or convey their wants, needs and desires every day. We all use our individual and unique selling skills to get what we want and how we want it. We may not recognize or even appreciate the fact that we are selling, but it happens all the time. We need these skills to live, work and enhance ones’ quality of life.

When I have the opportunity to work with others in the realm of selling or customer service, the reality is that we need customers. How do we contact, attract and bring the prospective customer to our place of business? We all know of (and dread) even the thought of cold calls. Think of the door-to-door salesman or the telephone solicitor – not much fun. There is a better way.

Consider how we want to be approached when it comes to our buying preferences. As a selling agent (and we have many different titles) the more I know about my prospect, the better I can convey the features and benefits of what I’m offering. With social media, personal references and other public information, we can learn about others in ways that were not available several years ago. Use these tools for good causes. We basically give others an OK to know more about us through these social media channels.

“John, I saw on Facebook that you were a University of Arkansas graduate; I graduated in the same year. How about coffee next week? I’d enjoy meeting you and learning more about what you do.”

That’s just one example of how one can make contact without coming across the wrong way. One key point to remember when trying to meet and convey information is never force your message on someone. If they indicate no interest – respect that, say thanks and move on.

Like so many disciplines in life, common sense should prevail. If something just doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Selling involves the ability to recognize a need, then the desire to deliver a solution. You need to believe in what your offering to others. I have a high level of respect and admiration for a true sales professional. They offer a great service to us all. There’s a fine line and a delicate balance between being too pushy and not available when needed. That’s not easy but is appreciated when experienced.

A person interested in your product or service will appreciate that you took the time and demonstrated interest in them as an individual. Then follow the golden rule and enjoy the benefits of your success.

After all – we’re all in the business of selling.

Ken W. Knies is an agricultural and rural consultant. He holds a bachelor’s of science and arts from the University of Arkansas and a master’s of business administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. He formed Ag Strategies, LLC as a business unit focused on quality borrowers and lenders.


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