Jan Motshagen

When business owner Boyd Parker was asked what skill most contributed to his success as a CEO, he replied without hesitation that it was sales ability.

He believes that success is limited without sales skills, explaining that too many people view sales negatively as manipulation and pressuring the vulnerable; they imagine the stereotypical image of the window salesman, who convinces people that they should spend thousands on windows whilst refusing to leave their property.

But Parker see sales ability as actually being about communication, explaining the logic and benefits of a decision. Surely everyone needs these skills in life generally? In business they are critical. Whether you call it sales skills or communication skills, Parker believes working in sales will teach you more communication skills than any other discipline.

A direct sales role will stand you in good stead for any future career. Parker stressed the importance of negotiation and how salespeople learn to listen, evaluate variables, identify key drivers, overcome objections, and find solutions. Rejection is hard but you have to learn to accept it as sometimes it is inevitable. Salespeople hear the word "no" continuously, but learn to see it as a challenge to overcome.

In Parker's experience, the greatest reward for learning and teaching sales skills was gaining confidence, not just for yourself but seeing timid, reserved people, transform into self-assured confident men and women. 

If you want to forward your career then get a job in sales and learn a great transferable skill that will set you up for life, whether you plan to run your own business or work for others.

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Jan Motshagen
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