Learn to Sell, Become a Better Person

September 11, 2018

You, like most people, can’t sell yourself, and it will the greatest mistake of your life not to learn.

When you think of sales, you think of cold-calling, telemarketers, sales charts, and business suits.

Yet, selling is none of that.  That’s the popular image of sales that the media feeds to you.

Rather, selling is really about giving value.  At its core, value is about giving before expecting to receive anything in return.  When you provide value, you will always be in demand.

How do you provide value?  I’m going to tell you how.  First, professionally (make lots of money), then personally (make lots of friends).

Professional Selling

Being a professional is not about you, it’s about others. Find out what people want, not what YOU think they want. This is why you must listen to them first.

As an exercise, for two weeks, whoever you meet or work with professionally, make it a habit of only listening to what they are saying.  Don’t contribute unless prompted. Use your silence as as opportunity to figure out what they’re looking for.  What do they want?  Even better, take key people out for a coffee  and ask them directly what would make them happy.

Once you’ve determined what they’re looking for, you are now in a position to provide a value proposition.  As you talk to people, pick up on what they’re looking for, and then think of ways to provide that value.  Try to think of solutions to their problems and execute on solutions. Then, give them that work without asking for anything in return.


If you repeat this process over and over, you will become invaluable to your organization. Your company will bend over backwards to keep you.

If you are a freelancer, you need to narrow your audience to a very specific group.  Understand their issues and provide maximum value to that niche group by providing the solution.  If you do this, the amount of money they are willing to pay you will be almost limitless. Just ask kalzumeus:

There is virtually no difference in the mechanics of work done between $100 an hour, $200 an hour, and $30k a week — all of the leveling up there is in sophistication on who you go after, what engagements you propose and deliver, and how you package things for clients.

Personal selling

If you want to become socially invaluable, you need to sell yourself.  Much like professional selling, personal selling requires providing value.

The following are the best ways to provide social value.


Learn to be funny.  People like to hang around those who make them laugh.  Take improv classes.  Several months of improv classes will markedly improve your humor if you are dedicated to the craft.  Also, watch lots of stand-up comedy.  Humor is developed through osmosis.


Be interested in what others have to say.  People like being heard.


Be able to get people together to socialize.  Also, make decisions for the group during an outing whenever everyone else in indecisive.  Most people are natural followers and will want to hang out with those who can lead them.

The classic book on leadership: The 21 Laws of Leadership

Have interesting experiences to share

If you know how to share your experiences, people will find you fascinating.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be born with these skills.  With dedication, all of these skills can be learned.

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