Selling Without Selling: The Case for Trusting My Own Process

Used Car SalesmanHow do you ‘sell’ somebody? I have no idea, which is why I’m asking.

I don’t consider myself a salesman. When I think of selling an image of a sleazy used car salesman jumps to into my mind.

While I don’t consider myself a salesman, my sister Mary told me that I am very convincing…when I want to be. After all, she read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series to date because of me, all 5,000ish pages of still incomplete work.

Game of ThronesAs a side note: Damnit GRRM, finish the last two books! Season 6 is starting tonight on HBO!! If you don’t, I have half a mind to write the books myself as fan fiction. (Spoiler alert, Bran is going to worg into one of the dragons.) OK, rant over. I digress.

I wasn’t selling Mary on the idea that she should read A Game of Thrones. I was just rambling on about something I was excited about (as I have a tendency to do). I didn’t care if she read the book. However, my enthusiasm convinced her she should anyway.

The funny thing is that this happens somewhat frequently with me. I go on and on about something I’m excited about, and for reasons unknown someone listening decides to follow my lead. Another example of this happened last summer when I was gainfully employed.

bentoThe team decided to eat lunch together in the employee cafeteria on an otherwise uneventful Tuesday. But it was a special day to me and I was going to tell everyone about it. After all, it was Bento Tuesday!

The summer intern didn’t know how the cafeteria worked, so I had to explain to her why Bento Tuesday was rare, and hence special.

The cafeteria had a slightly upscale entree section that employees could choose if they wanted something more than made-to-order sandwich, burger, or pizza.

The entrees were more or less random except there was always taqueria (think Chipotle) on Tuesday or Wednesday followed by bento (think Asian Chipotle) on Wednesday or Thursday. (When taqueria was served on Tuesday most employees referred to it as Taqueria Tuesday.)

There was never a Bento Tuesday because the unspoken rule was:

taqueria first and bento second

That was until there was Bento Tuesday. It was UNPREDEDENTED!

This is all very silly and trivial, but I was pumped to get my egg roll on Tuesday instead of waiting until Wednesday or Thursday. It’s the little things that can get us through the workday, right?

Much to my surprise, another guy in group ordered bento too. He said, “I’ve never gotten bento before, but you seemed so excited about it that I must be missing out”

Like A Game of Thrones, I sold bento without selling it. My enthusiasm was contagious and it influenced another person’s decision.

This is puzzling to me because when I consciously try to sell I’m not as effective, even when I’m genuinely enthusiastic about the idea or action.

Take for example, getting readers to subscribe to this blog and updates on the book I’m writing. No one can deny I’m enthusiastic and passionate about both, but that’s not enough to convince many people to sign up. (It’s been slow going to date.)

George LiarThe only conclusion I’ve been able to reach is that having a motive changes the selling game. You can’t Sell without Selling when deep down you’re trying to sell an outcome that ultimately benefits you. Even if you’re successful that’s both manipulative and deceitful. Thinking about that makes my skin crawl. I’d rather focus on being authentic.

The Score Takes Care of ItselfI recently started reading the book The Score Takes Care of Itself by Steve Jamison about Hall of Fame football coach Bill Walsh. As the title implies it’s about trusting the process. If the process is right the results will come.

I am going to follow Bill Walsh’s lead and trust in my own process. I’m genuinely excited that you’re reading this blog post. I hope you like it enough to subscribe and tell others about it, but if not I won’t be offended. I’ll still keep plugging away.

Thanks for reading.

Don

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