How to Sell Better, Lesson 1 – Want to Sell

I got this crazy idea yesterday morning to start a How to Sell Better series. It just came to me, and it sounded like a good idea.

I don’t know how long it’s going to last or how many posts it will be. I’m gonna take it day by day and see where it goes.

Remember the movie Forest Gump where Forest (Tom Hanks) just started running?  Well, it feels kinda like that. I’m just gonna write and will stop when it feels right to stop.

The objective is simple.

I’m going to blog about how to sell better. That’s it. Each post will highlight something that sales people should be doing to improve their selling skills — pretty simple

I don’t know if there will be 10 lessons, 27 lessons, 93 lessons or 122 lessons.  I’m just starting, and I’ll know when I should stop.

For me, the best place to start this series is with the idea of wanting to sell.

To sell better, you have to want to sell. Selling is like most things. If you don’t want to sell or don’t like selling you won’t be good at it.

Selling is a noble profession. It’s what makes the world go around. I’ve talked about this before. Nothing happens until shit gets sold.

Sales people are influencers. We have the power to help companies reach new heights, win new markets, save billions of dollars, make billions of dollars, get new customers, provide better service to customers, make people’s lives easier, create more jobs, save lives, and more. Sales people are the jet fuel in the economy.

Salespeople are bold and fearless. It’s not uncommon for salespeople to be guaranteed as little as 50% of our compensation, while have to earn the rest. For some of us, we’re guaranteed nothing. Yet with confidence and pride, we come in every day, pick up the phone, scour social media, pound the keyboard and connect with customers and prospects.

We’re not afraid to bet on ourselves. We earn the 0ther 50%, 75% or 100% in commissions. We know we’re good and therefore are OK with commissions earned, not salaries given.

We face rejection every day. We battle with procurement and other anti sales combatants. We labor in the trenches tediously making calls and sending out emails all day, working the numbers. X number of calls and emails creates X number of connections, which creates X number of appointments, which creates X number of opportunities, which creates X number of deals. We work the system, we put in the time, and we make it happen. We sell.

That’s what sales people do. Sales people are the extreme athletes of the business world, and selling is not for everyone.

Lesson 1: Want to Sell

I don’t know how else to put this. But before I write another post, before this series goes further, we have to level set. To sell better, you must want to sell.

I know it seems obvious, but I can say right now, with absolute certainty, not every one of you wants to sell. You may like it OK. You may even be somewhat good at it, but deep down in side, selling is not what you want to do.

So you need to stop.

Somehow or some way you got into sales, it’s working, for now, you’re making real money, you’ve got flexibility, and so everything is just kinda working out. But it’s not.

It’s not because you’ve already hit your peak and you don’t even know it. Because you don’t want to be in sales, you’re not going to get much better. You’re not putting in the time. You’re not reading books. You’re not expanding your selling skills. You’re not fully engaged with your clients or in pipeline management. You’re just doing what it takes to make quota, get your commission and get to the next day and it may be working. But what you’re not doing is getting better every day. You’re not committed to becoming the best sales person you can be. You’re not on a journey to be great, to be a 1%er.

To get better at selling you have to want to sell. You have to want to do what you’re doing and want to do it well. Before we can talk about how to get better, we have to want to get better, and that doesn’t start until we want to sell.

Take the time and get real with yourself. Are you doing what you want to do? Do you want to be a sales person? Is it the career you want for the next 20 years? If not, nothing I write after this post will help you. You have to want something to get better at it.

If yes, then nothing can stop you.

Who wants it?


How To Sell Better is an on going series tackling the challenges and issues sales people need to focus on to get better. I don’t know how long the series will be or how many I’ll write, but feel free to check past lessons here.