Home » Work » Corporate lesson 2 : How to sell

Corporate lesson 2 : How to sell

Its been more than 4 yrs since I’ve started working. And its a no-brainer to figure out how important these formulative years are. Specially for someone whose fresh out of college and into his first job. Been one helluva learning experience so far.

Last year, I started a post (with hopes of making it a series) on lessons learnt in the corporate world. My first post was on communication. Never got around to do any more posts after that one. But now, finally, I’ve decided to pick up where I left.

Corporate lesson 2 today is going to be on the single, most relevant piece of advice I received on how to sell.

For the uninitiated, I work as an Account Manager for Oracle Corporation – i.e. IT/Enterprise solution sales to telecoms, media, utilities and aviation industry across the Middle East.

Like all organizations out there, my company too has a fiscal year divided into quarters. And like all organizations, Q4 is the most critical of them all. It was Q4 (Mar-May 07) . I had already hit my annual sales numbers and was, literally, chilling through Q4 while others were slogging these asses off. One morning, after I got to work, I saw an email in my inbox. It was a corporate broadcast by our VP just to get our attention and pep things up a bit. He spoke about products, industries, focus areas, finances, economy etc etc which almost went unnoticed. But what really caught my attention was his last line:

Sell with Passion. Sell with Skill. Sell with Integrity.

And I was transfixed. He put all thats behind sales in less than 10 words. It made so much sense: Passion, Skill, Integrity. If we think about it, that’s all we really need. And not just for sales but for anything. But in the right quantities. We need a bit of everything.

Those 3 words are etched in my memory, as well as on the whiteboard at my desk, at all times.

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63 thoughts on “Corporate lesson 2 : How to sell

  1. I agree with those 3 words… !!!

    But I would like to add… !!!

    Sell only to those who you are sure will pay up on time.. !!!

    just in a bit of a soup… 😦 so its clouding my mind !

  2. That is so true Masood! These words make so much sense! A true sales person will ‘Sell with Passion. Sell with Skill. Sell with Integrity.’ You can make out when somebody is out of depth or does not know/care enough about the services/product that he/she is selling!

    Great Post!

  3. Thats a ture salesman talking.
    Integrity is important. the other path gives quick results but is not sustainable. unfortunately a lot of wrong selling too happens.

    • haha…4 yrs has thought me enough! πŸ˜‰

      Yes, I think of the 3 virtues, integrity is the one most lacking in most salesmen. And it is complicated coz in some places, it is impossible to sell honestly. So it is a catch-22 situation.

  4. didn’t have u on my reader 😐 😐 😐

    yes! me loves this! and totally relate!

    passion n skill n integrity….who can stop success then? πŸ™‚

    tho sometimes masood…while passion and skill is ours, we fall into a
    dilemma when the product is not holding integrity towards its end-users…..

    i am a copywriter, and sometimes offers i have to promote have loopholes, that are well hidden…..i think i lose out on passion then….coz i really don’t wanna sell that…

    great post this masood! πŸ™‚

    • I hope you do now! πŸ™‚

      I agree about the integrity bit. Thats the most confusing one. Specially while you are being completely honest with your work, the product that you endorse or sell, isn’t quite up there. And that has a negative effect on passion.

      Thanks Crafty πŸ™‚

    • yes, everyone was changing their avatar and so thought I’d join the bandwagon too. Mine was the default one since the day i joined WP. So thought its about time. Moreover, my FB and orkut profiles have dozens of pics so there wasn’t any reason why I should not load a pic of mine here! πŸ˜‰

  5. if only everyone do their work with integrity there’ll be lesser bankruptcy, fewer terminations and a more happy workforce…..
    I like the passion and integrity bit……..but I would substitute skill with ability.

    • Bingo.

      But don’t you think skill and ability are interlinked? Without the right skills, one will not have the ability to do the job.

  6. Oh yes, they are interlinked and you’re right in your statement of right skills for ability to do the job. That is a broad layman understanding of the usage of the two terms. But ability in the parlance of doing a job as defined in training terminology or HR terminology constitute aptitute, intelligence, skill and expertise. Ability is a state of being able to do something and skill is a competency. makes sense ? πŸ™‚

  7. Sell with Passion. Sell with Skill. Sell with Integrity.
    lesson in these words not just for the corporate world but for life I think..
    thanks for sharing!:)

  8. Salaamvalaikum Masood
    Saw your comment on Nancy’s blog, and your name being the name of the best man in my life (my dad’s) prompted me to click curiously and here I am.
    Unsuccessfully tried to find “about me” section of your blog….but ended up reading few of your posts, enjoyed reading writings on your baby and your convenient interpretations to his babytalk πŸ™‚

    Inshallah will keep in touch.

    • wslm sadiya and welcome here.
      oh yes, my ‘about me’ page is missing. I changed my WP template last week so it must have gone. Will find a way to get it back. Thanks for bringing this up.
      hehe..yes, my interpretations have quite biased no? πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for dropping by. Keep visiting πŸ™‚

  9. you know HR & Sales is a deadly combo?? i think i am lil late here.. i read earlier n missed commenting but reading the HR talk, couldnt resist leaving footprints πŸ˜›

    • hehe…I see a result of that combination daily at work (aka your hubby :p)

      and yes, maybe you can add your 2 cents to the HR talk above.

      Using HR skills to Sell is definitely a great combo. I agree.

  10. Oh i am late here 😦

    Well said by ur VP passion,skill and integrity.I worked in sales before i came here and agree that one need a passion to sell the product

    • Yes, quite late. I was composing my next post.

      About passion, I agree. Also, its not always necessary to be passionate about the product. But being passionate about the sales process or closing or customer satisfaction and/or, most importantly, commissions. Ofcourse its always good to be passionate about the product but one can do without it as well. Like me! πŸ˜‰

        • Bingo. You’ve got it bang on there!!! πŸ˜‰

          Seriously, its only the sales commissions that keep me motivated and passionate with my job. No bones about the fact that we all work to make money. Lots of money. There might be a rare few who work just for the heck of it. But for me, I need to earn so that i can feed my family.

          So it is important for me that the job pays well. And that keeps me passionate.

  11. Good going,Masood…passion,skill and integrity the essense of sales. So true!I sound as though I’m the sales guru whereas in reality I know zilch about sales πŸ˜€

    But from your post your integrity,skill and passion are oozing out πŸ™‚

    • haha…deeps..we sell every day, every minute. May not be a product but we sell ourselves …sometimes to convey a point, sometimes to convince someone, sometimes to get things done, to woo your loved one, to avoid doing the chores etc etc.

      Selling is involved everywhere! And I don’t mean monetarily.

      Thanks!! You just made my day πŸ™‚

  12. If given a chance, I will show this to my GM who says, ‘saurabh, I don’t need a hard worker, for Mumbai I need a crook’ . Thanks for sharing sir, and as many ppl said, the third one is really a tricky one especially for a entry level sales person like me, who follow orders and are not expected to think.

    • LOL Frankly, I don’t think your GM is wrong. I’d use the word ‘Smart’ instead of ‘Crook’ πŸ˜‰ to make it sound better but, sadly, that is the case in Mumbai.

      But as an entry level sales person, I’d suggest we should just put our heads down and do whats told to do! Eventually when you are out of the system, and grow into it, or when you have the power to change, we should take it onto ourselves to initiate that change.

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