Is Learning Business, Sales, and Marketing Skills Worth the Effort for the Wannabe Achiever?

Denise Miller Holmes, Director

In his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Guy Kawasaki said that everyone who wants success should learn sales skills.

Think about it, no matter who you are or where you are in life, you are constantly selling yourself. When you meet your child’s teacher, you have to present yourself as a sane, clean human being. (For some of us, that’s harder than for others.) And when we debate with our spouse about where little Bo Squiggly Jr. should go to school, we must know how to sell our idea. That means using the right words, the right way, to ensure we are truly heard. Knowing how to do that can bring much success and satisfaction to one’s life.

Kawasaki says learning how to sell pushes us to overcome fear—and that brings confidence. These strengths alone will change your life for the better.

And, of course, there are those of us who have to learn sales and other business principles in order to do our jobs. Writing is one of those arenas.

When the writers group, Words for the Journey, was still holding brick-and-mortar meetings, I would remind them that marketing and sales is part of being a professional author. They would groan. Most writers want to write creative stories, and leave it at that. However, the frustration of not achieving “published” status can wear a writer thin. Eventually, a wannabe-published creative has to learn how to pitch her ideas effectively. Groan.

So, the answer to the title question is, yes. And sales is just the start of business principles that will help you achieve and even raise your quality of life.

In addition to sales skills, there is also the ability to reach your audience effectively using marketing and publicity. There is public speaking (something the uninitiated are terrified of)—the online version of which is YouTube videos. And then there is more, such as hiring assistants, and growing your writing business (the term for this is scalability).

What vehicle will you use to spread the word about your novel, or that pretty widget you produce in your garage, or your ideas on how the PTA can better serve students? (Myself, I’m using a newsletter!)

Learn business principles, but start with sales techniques. For every move forward, you will need to use words and sales techniques to persuade some gatekeeper, boss, or customer that has the power to stop you or grant you access. Start at sales. Sales techniques will help you sell that novel, widget or idea. You’ll find out that knowledge is power, and sales skills open doors.

And if you aren’t planning to be in business, remember that sales principles help you navigate LIFE.

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