Why Now Is the Best Time to Learn How To Sell

Learn How To SellShould you learn how to sell? And if so, when?

Well, let me ask you this:

Do you like the idea of being automated out of that job you have?

Does the thought of staying at pretty much the same income level year after year appeal to you?

If you're a business owner but aren't yet convinced that sales is part of 'what you do', are you enjoying the monthly rollercoaster of ups and downs in revenue?

Here's the unvarnished truth:

Now is the best time to learn how to sell. Right now.


1. It's going to take you awhile.

Selling is a skill. Just like riding a bike, cooking, painting or fencing...there are things you're going to have to learn and practice. Your commitment is required.

Start now, so that in a few months you'll be well on your way to competency. You'll see why this is important in a moment.

2. Many jobs are getting replaced by automation, or downsized out.

If you want to remain at the mercy of someone else and events outside your control, by all means ignore learning sales skills and keep doing what you're doing.

Anything that can be done by fewer people, or a machine, or outsourced to a country with a cheaper labor pool, is at risk of being instantly taken away. The whole concept of work is changing. And having a college degree does not matter.

But sales roles...

3. Skilled salespeople are rare.

Yes, there are loads of people who put on a sales department nametag and head on out--but few, very few, are actually competent. Sales is the only field I can think of that you can be sent out into the front lines without any training. And product training does not count. If you want to learn how to sell, you must begin with a consistent sales process.

Salespeople create massive value. Anyone who can get $2X for something that costs $X will always have a place in an organization.

Selling won't disappear. Able salespeople will always be in demand. And it's simple economics: when supply is low and demand is high, the price (your earnings) go up. So invest in yourself now, and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.

4. Learning to sell will make you a better person and communicator.

If you learn how to sell with a consistent sales process, you will become a more precise communicator. The things you say will have purpose. Take the simple act of asking, "Is this a bad time to talk?" When I call a family member this is the first thing I ask. How do I know what they were doing right before I called? Maybe one of my sisters-in-law is having a meltdown. Checking first is a polite thing to do.

Also, from a personal perspective, I know that learning to sell has made me a stronger person. Since I am looking for best fit rather than a sale right now, I only work with people who will treat me well. This takes away the fawningness that many people associate with selling--as if the salesperson has to become your best friend to get the order. Instead, I am checking for potential problems.

"Easy for You to Learn How to Sell, But for Me...?"

Sometimes I hear people say, "Well, it's easy for you." It wasn't. As a teenager I was nervous. I always wondered what other people were thinking. Getting on the phone was difficult until I got into my mid-20s. And even then, it took about six months as a credit manager making calls until I started getting comfortable with it.

If I can do it, so can you: but the point is, learning how to sell is a transformational process. If you commit to it, learning the skills will make you better.

Sales skills are going to become diamond-value assets in the next several decades. Fewer and fewer people are going to have them. Everyone wants to stay hidden behind a computer or away from the front lines. But for those who want to commit, and transform themselves with these skills, the rewards will be tremendous. Not to mention the stability. When you can pull money from the walls whenever you need it, you can truly write your own ticket.

The time to learn how to sell is NOW.

2022 Update About How You Can Learn How To Sell

The original post was written in 2014 and like many things in sales nothing has changed in the meantime. Despite AI copywriting software and "done for you" sales teams, it's still the best time for you to learn how to sell for yourself.

The first thing to do is find out about different styles of selling, and determine which feels right for you. Hopkins traditional style selling, consultative selling, and Challenger selling are just three examples. Then commit to learning the process and techniques of the individual approach you feel is best for you. Soon you'll be applying a consistent sales process, and knowing why you got some orders and not others.

>> If you're ready to learn how to sell, ethically and effectively, check out SALES ON FIRE <<


Done For You: No Thanks

Done For YouDone For You sounds great, doesn't it. You pay a chunk of money, probably well into five figures, and for that hefty investment someone else sets up your entire business.

They probably choose the product for you. They certainly set up the funnel. Web pages. Copywriting. Buy buttons. Fulfillment.

And, of course, it's easiest if the product is a digital download or physical good. A thing someone else has made.

That way you don't have to do anything at all.

Done For You Is NOT Business In a Box

Done For You is different from Business In a Box...the biz in a box "opportunities" describe a demand for a specific product or service by a niche out there while leaving the selling to you. Done For You does the selling, too.

I am not saying "Never subcontract anything out." I sub out projects all the time. But they are things I shouldn't be doing...though I know how to do them. For example, I can create a header (the banner across the top of a website). I can do a decent job, and the initial version on a new website I'm putting together will likely be mine. But are there graphic artists available who are much more proficient at art programs, and have better design ideas, than I? Certainly! However, my point here is that I know how to do the job. I understand what I am subcontracting.

So there is a point of ridiculousness I'd like to illuminate here. For instance, maybe you don't know how to bake a birthday cake. So is Jason saying not to buy a Done For You birthday cake from the supermarket because you don't know how to make one yourself?

Let's all have a good giggle about that one.

Here's the dividing line: Do I depend on this?

That's the question to answer.

Do you depend on this?

Nobody depends on a birthday cake. Not to live. No one is going to suffer or die if a birthday cake is not present. Except perhaps the cake baker (Ah ha! Now we're getting to the core of the matter).

Do you depend on your business? As a vital source of income? Yes? Then don't you think you'd better know something about it?

The Underlying Problem of Done For You

People who jump at Done For You businesses reveal underlying problems about themselves. These include lack of commitment, lack of confidence, and possibly even a learned helplessness that nothing is ever going to get better if they have direct control of it.

At one point I set up an emergency donation page with a custom header, fresh copy, and donation button in about an hour. The recipient was amazed: he told me I was so talented and asked how I had been able to complete these tasks so quickly. I shook my head. This guy had been in the online marketing field for literally years longer than I had--twice as long, actually--and had not learned these essential basic skills.

What Does This Example Show You About Done For You?

With Done For You, you never learn how to create a profitable business.

You never learn how to choose a winning product or service.

You never learn how to set up an effective sales funnel.

You never learn how to sell.

You never develop any expertise or skill whatsoever.

You never learn how to do anything.

You stay helpless.

If you think that's okay, keep doing what you're doing. But don't shriek when the DFY (Done-For-You) biz dries up or fizzles in the first place, and you realize you don't have any skills...haven't learned anything...and are completely unable to make the next move on your own.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development expert who believes in solid business fundamentals. Please Like, Share or Comment if you know someone who will find this discussion useful. If you're burning to develop skill and have a real business you have full control over--and it doesn't have to eat up all your time--call me. <<