As I mentioned in my last post, I went to a breakfast meeting where the speaker, Dave Turano of Next Level Inc., gave a talk about how to be comfortable trying to make sales. This talk was to a room full of non-salespeople, so he had his work cut out for him. What do I dread more than selling anything to anyone?

But, Dave explained, we’re all trying to sell something, all the time.

Hmm, really? I guess so.  I’m trying to get you to hire me to do your writing and editing. I’m trying to sell my husband on going to a concert on Saturday night even though the up-beat funk music isn’t really his thing. I’m trying to sell myself on getting my house more organized, even though I’d rather spend my time doing fun things, like going to that concert.

Here are some of Dave’s tips:

1- Think of sales as nothing more than a series of conversations.

2- Those conversations are not about talking, they’re about listening to the other person.

3- Find a victory in every day. You won’t make a sale every day but you can’t let that swing your confidence or it will drive you crazy. You can’t always be in control of your sales, and you will get many more no’s than yes’s. So find something else you can be in control of and make that your “mark of victory”. An example: have 15 meaningful conversations a day.

4- Surround yourself with quality people, who want to help you and who you can help. This is your hidden sales force.

5- Get outside your comfort zone. It improves your attitude and your self esteem. He gave a story about teaching a CEO to learn to let people go when it was necessary. My version of getting out of my comfort zone is going to involve getting over a fear of heights. Rock climbing here I come. More on that in another post, I promise.