Not everyone can be Alain Ducasse, Ina Garten or the fantastic local star, Connie Desousa. These chefs have a gift. Their talent goes beyond being a great cook, or having superior training, unmatched creativity or a sophisticated palette. There’s something special about them. There’s no amount of training that would turn me into Connie Desousa.
But I can scramble an egg, and make a mean blue cheese burger. I even hold my own at our gourmet dinner club. How? I’ve learned how to follow a recipe. Recipes created by talented chefs and creative foodies, that are simple enough that even pretenders like me can follow along and get predictably tasty results. And let’s not forget tools. I’ve invested in great knives, pots and pans, a great gas range, and more than one drawer of specialty gadgets that allow me to get the job done, more efficiently.
Selling is a bit like that.
You don’t need to be a chef. You don’t need to have gift for the gab, superior behavioural insight or blustery confidence. You can get great results when you consistently use proven approaches and tools.
Of course, like most things in life, some people are naturally better than others. But the key in sales is that everyone can become proficient. Yes, everyone.
In fact, I would go as far as to say, everyone SHOULD become proficient.
Selling is a foundational life skill. Especially for startup entrepreneurs and emerging ventures.
Raising money? Well, that’s about selling investors on your vision, and your ability to execute to create a return in line with risk.
Hiring a team? That’s about convincing talented and smart people to leave the security of their current role, and take a flyer on your venture when you can’t guarantee what tomorrow will bring.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of mad selling skills when you have a spouse, partner or children. ☺
So, I say let’s give sales some respect. Let’s recognize that while it’s not the only important part of a new venture, it’s quite likely you won’t succeed without it.