How I'm Improving My Sales Skills

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Even if I give up this entrepreneurship adventure, it would have still been a success because it has improved the one aspect of my life I have always wanted to change. My (non-existing) sales skills. I am already beginning to see myself as a salesman. And in this post I'll be sharing the ways I have been improving my sales skills.

1. Watching Sales Movies
Funny? Yeah, and also serious. When it comes to some things the best way to learn is by watching a pro. So I have on my movie list:

  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Boiler Room
  • Tommy Boy
  • Lord of War
  • Suckers
  • Cadillac Man
  • Thank you for Smoking
  • Jerry Maguire

2. Reading Books on Sales and Entrepreneurship
There is always a difference between reading about what you're doing and reading about what you plan to do someday. Suddenly all the sales and entrepreneurship books I have are coming alive, speaking to me in ways more intimate and forceful than I have ever heard them before. I now hang on every single sentence in those books and put to practice the useful tips they give me.

The books on my reading list are:
  • The Cold Calling Secret by Mark Boardman
  • Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier
  • How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
  • Founders At Work by Jessica Livingstone
  • Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder
  • Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Kit for Entrepreneurs by Norm Brodsky
  • The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie
  • The Learn Startup by Eric Ries
  • How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy
  • Dig Your Well Thirsty Before You're Thirsty Harvey Mackay
  • The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
  • Building Your Network Marketing Business by Jim Rohn
  • Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
3. Professional Networking at Conferences and Meetups
Before now, I don't talk much about myself at conferences and meetups. I'm always doing the listening part. Now, I do almost all the talking, telling anyone I consider a potential client all the amazing things my company can do for his/her company. And I talk so passionately I always get a good audience. The new problem I have is applying the follow-up mechanisms I read in books.

4. Calling and Visiting Prospects
This is the one that gives me the most joy. I now find it much easier to call prospects and propose to come visit them to discuss more. I'm now learning to be a bug and not feel uneasy about it. I have one sales goal, at the moment, and it is to pitch everyone in corporate Lagos. It's easier to measure my success and meeting the goal is as easy as talking to everyone, one person at a time. I'm already planning to sell my remaining shares in the stock market and fund my sales goal. I know that I'm a fast learner, if I can become a good salesman I will make it big in life regardless of what side of the employee -- employer divide I am.


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