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November 2018

sales is cool/aaron sansoni

Sales Can Still Be Cool

560 315 Aaron Sansoni

There is a certain perception of sales professionals among the general public that is, unfortunately, widely shared. It’s communicated a hundred different ways in a thousand different words, but what it boils down to is this: selling isn’t cool.

The natural response of many in this particular profession is to find out more. Why is selling uncool? What behaviors can I change to seem less sales-y? Some professionals will even resort to lying about their position. They adopt ambiguous titles and rely on wordy job descriptions to mask their actual role. I try to make it a point to question those professionals about their responsibilities and the reason they are in the position they are in. Why? Because sales CAN be cool…as long as you understand the concept behind what you do.

Every single working human being is helping someone out with something else. It could be money. It could be time. It could be security. It could be anything, really. The important point is that everyone that goes to work on a daily basis is helping someone else in some way, shape, or form. For sales professionals, it is especially crucial that they understand who they are helping and what they are helping them with. A firm comprehension of this information has the potential to change the way you feel about what you do for a living.

Let’s say, for example, that you go to work every day to sell shoes door-to-door. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this job. It is a perfectly respectable position, but the public perception of sales professionals has shamed us into thinking that it isn’t. So, when someone asks what you do for a living, your natural instinct is to say something like “I’m a marketing executive” or “I’m an account manager.”

While not altogether inaccurate, these responses almost always prompt the listener to ask for more information, and you’ll be forced to share the truth anyway. But what happens when you change your response to reflect who you help and how you help them? Then the conversation might look more like this:

Person 1: What do you do for a living?

Shoe Salesman: I provide extremely busy and/or disabled individuals with the opportunity to purchase footwear necessary for them to be successful in their daily lives without ever having to leave their home.

Do you think the individual asking the question is going walk away with a negative impression about what you do? Unlikely. The response above doesn’t seem shady, or greasy, or slick, or dishonest. It sounds cool. The job description didn’t change. The title didn’t change. Your own perception of what it is that you do changed, and that makes all the difference.

What You Think You Do | Aaron Sansoni

What You Think You Do vs. What You Actually Do

560 315 Aaron Sansoni

Today, the nature of a business can change in an alarmingly quick instant. Innovation, technology, and connectivity have the potential to turn any industry on its head in a heartbeat. That is why it’s absolutely critical that modern business owners truly understand the purpose of their company. They must determine the difference between what it is they think they do, and what it is they actually do.

Many of you are probably asking yourself what the difference is. That’s normal. We have a tendency to think only in terms of what we accomplish short-term and the direct impact it has on our own business. A company that produces energy drinks, for example, might say that what they do is manufacture and sell highly-caffeinated beverages for profit. While this isn’t inaccurate, it also isn’t enough to prevent the company from failing as they fall victim to an unexpected 21st-century invention.

Instead, the company should think in terms of their greater purpose:

  • Who purchases the energy drinks?
  • What do they hope to accomplish by purchasing them?
  • How can the company help their clients accomplish this in the best possible way?

By focusing on the larger goal behind the current product, business owners are better able to invest in the things that will help the company maintain relevance in the future.

Returning to our example above, let’s say that college students purchase the energy drinks in order to study more material, and new parents purchase the drinks to stay awake long enough to check off everything on their to-do lists. It would be safe to say that what the company actually does is help people find additional time to handle life’s challenges. With this knowledge, the company owner can invest in new research or technology that also aids in “finding additional time” for life.

It’s important to remember that merely identifying what you actually do is not enough to prevent your brand from becoming obsolete over time. You need to ensure that you’re communicating your greater purpose to consumers and investors alike. Marketing campaigns should evoke the emotions felt by your target audience when you’ve accomplished your greater purpose, regardless of what method was used to accomplish it. This will effectively allow your company to explore new product avenues while maintaining the public perception of your brand and increasing opportunities for growth over time.

Aaron Sansoni - Fear Header

Changing The Way You Think About Fear

560 315 Aaron Sansoni

Fear is universal. Every single person on this planet feels it in some way or another, and it’s not uncommon for fear to be the reason we choose not to succeed. Yes, you read that correctly. We choose not to succeed when we are afraid. We let something as fundamental as fear hold us back from achieving our goals and realizing our dreams. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we changed the way we think about fear?

For most of us, fear is an enigma. So much so that some of us don’t even know what our actual fears are…we just know that they terrify us. It is imperative that we make a conscious decision to break through those fears regardless of their nature. We need to break through our fears of failure, success, change, standing out, or being noticed. We have to make the conscious decision to move past them and some of us need to do it more than once.

Fear doesn’t go away. It’s human nature to feel it. So, while we might be able to suppress it, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate altogether. It returns when we least expect it and it’s our job as aspiring entrepreneurs to relearn the fears that cripple us and break through them time and time again. The best way to do that is to start failing.

There are so many would-be business owners out there that are so afraid of failing that they refuse to start trying in the first place. They constantly sit and wait for the perfect, risk-free opportunity to present itself. I’ll tell you what. That’s never going to happen. The only way you are going to break through your fears and succeed at running a business is to fail first. Once you’ve spent some time not succeeding, you’ll know exactly what it takes to reverse the trend. You need to start screwing up!

Being fearless means jumping in when you don’t necessarily know the outcome. Being fearless means getting it wrong a few times so that you know how to get it right. Learn to let your fears motivate you. Understand them and regear them if necessary, then use them to your advantage. Stop letting your fears control your decision-making process. Set out on your mission to start failing. Because it’s only when you control your fears and learn how to fail a few times that you’ll learn how to succeed.