From the Desk of Chris Whitley

Everything in life involves some sort of sales. This may seem odd just looking at it on the surface, but think about it, it truly does. It goes beyond the store or a pitch. This is something that affects our everyday lives. We are all salespeople to a degree.

This is not about you getting a phone call trying to sell you solar panels, or even an email for 50% off a pair of shoes. This is about how we, in our interactions, sell something every single day. People sell ideas and themselves every day. When you go for a job interview, you are trying to sell yourself to a prospective employer. You want to invite someone to dinner, you are selling them on yourself, the place you will be dining at, and the appropriate time to meet. You want to take a weekend with your best friend to the beach, you have to sell them on why, how to get there, where to stay, and other various decisions that have to be made.

Some people can sell ice water to Eskimos or stripes to a tiger. People make a living off selling product, but the main thing is that you have to sell yourself as well as the product. In today’s world, most people have a hard time trusting. Watching the news, reading articles online, and social media have all soured people on trusting someone. However, as a sales person, you have to find a way to convince someone that you are on their side, and that you have their best interests at heart, which means you need to build a relationship with them,

Recently, my father-in-law wanted to sell his home to move closer to his daughter and I. He signed with a reality company that runs television commercials non-stop. We met the realtor assigned to sell his home, and he did an excellent job selling himself, and why we made the right choice to use this company. Next thing we know, he was no longer with this reality company, and we were assigned to someone who we could tell didn’t want to be bothered by selling this property. Even going as far as to tell us we need to lower the price point, which would mean my father-in-law would lose money and would need to finance the remaining balance of a home that he was wanting to buy.

By the time it was all said and done, we pulled the house off the market, and chose to let the contract lapse with the company that runs ads in all day parts on local television stations across the southeast United States. The day after the contract lapsed, the original person that we were working with had called us. He had moved on to another company, and wanted to see if we would work with him again. Because of how he was, how he treated us, and his respect that he had given this 79 year old man, we jumped at the opportunity.

At the end of it all, not only did we get the house sold for what we felt was market value, but we also used this agent for the purchase of the new home. He was very transparent and honest about how he didn’t know the market here in our area, but he was able to negotiate and worked in our favor. We were able to secure a great home for my father-in-law. He built a relationship with our family, and because he sold us on him to sell his home, we used him to help with the purchase as well. A win-win all around.

While I just gave a business example, we have to sell ourselves all the time. Parents have to sell their kids on doing the right things and their behaviors. Some sell themselves to someone they may want to have a romantic relationship with. I am selling you on why I feel I would be a great fit for your company. It goes beyond the exchange of money. This is a mindset that could help all of us once we truly understand how it could improve our relationships with people.

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