Sales Essentials Blog

Selling is everybody’s business – How to get started

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Everybody lives by selling something

After thousands of hours of study and many years honing technical skills to be a competent professional in your chosen field, it can come as a rude shock that you now need to sell your services and capabilities as well.  A competent selling capability isn’t a nice-to-have skill, it is an essential business and life one.

The topic of selling and growing a business doesn’t often feature in university lectures.  In fact, selling is in many cases covered over and, if spoken about at all, is only mentioned as an unsavoury aspect employed by the desperate. ‘We don’t have to sell because we are …’ are the famous last words of many failed professional or small business owners who focus only on their domain of expertise as the distinguishing factor.

This view of the essential life skill of selling has often left people feeling vulnerable, confused and financially worse off.  No longer can you rely on only your technical competence to guarantee your success or wait around for passive referrals.

Selling is a life skill

The truth is one can lead a very successful sales career. Research into highly effective sales professionals shows they are often humble, highly self-aware, collaborative, see the big picture and details, they are effective at what they do, and have a ‘we’ not ‘me’ focus. They are worth knowing. Is this what most of us want for ourselves?  Don’t we want people to know that if they work with us they will be better off as a result?

Many people struggling with the concept of selling pay good money to go on selling skills courses to learn how to sell and yet they never put it into practice. So before you start, examine the state of your mind; the beliefs, feelings, and intentions you hold about selling. 

It’s all in your mind

Your beliefs, not your abilities, could be holding you and your career hostage. To become skilful and masterful at something as complex as selling, you need to want to sell.

Here, are a few things to consider if you want to learn how to sell:

  • Why do you need to sell? Who will benefit from you being able to sell competently?
  • How will promoting and selling your capabilities ethically and proactively help you and your clients?
  • What is your current view of selling? Do you hold onto a view that makes you feel ashamed of selling? How is that view affecting your ability to keep your business healthy and viable?
  • Can you reframe your thinking about selling? See it as a way to make what you do visible to the people who need to know about you so they can benefit from your skills and talent?

Limiting beliefs about selling are a significant issue for many people and something that can be overcome with patience, clarity, and persistence.

Author: Sue Barrett,


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