I’ve been looking for advice in the area of sales for a while now, and the only thing I learned is that there is good advice and there is bad advice. Many of the things we read are just misconceptions or elementary errors resulted from over-generalization or even lack of basic knowledge and limited experience. So, read with skepticism all the advice on sales. Even this article.

One false assumption is that one has to be an extrovert and a showman in order to be good at sales. Yes, if you sell on TV and you don’t meet actual people. If you meet people and on this direct interaction depends your sale, then you need to listen more and take your time to understand. The only way you can impress and make the sale is by giving the right solution to the actual problem presented.

Many pretend that you don’t need to actually know what you are selling and that learning is a thing of the past, the main quality being the ability to sell everything to everyone. You know the exercise about selling a pen to somebody, all sorts of guru’s already have a method to this. Thing is we don’t sell pens and not to everybody. Yes, it’s a smart way to show that selling is a crafty art, but this is not everything. One has to know, to sell.

We are all busy being entrepreneurs, businesspeople and salespersons. And, sometime we feel the need to show off our state of being always busy as we would have shown the scars of a war that we survived if business and sales would be the case of heroism. Let’s be honest. It’s not. We are just busy, and we are lucky to be busy if we are managing our time properly and fill it with things that build our success. So, no need to complain or show off.

The last thing I want to mention is about prospecting every day. Some say that the most important thing is to close the deal, which is not entirely wrong in my opinion although is bad advice since focusing on this might lead you into thinking that it’s all about persuading people to buy. I think that more important is to have someone to sell to, if this is the case you have a chance. Selling to a wall won’t help to much your numbers. So, prospecting matters.

That’s it. Be careful with gurus, everyone can be a salesperson if it’s willing to learn as much as possible about the products or services that she sales, focuses activities in a productive way and keeps building the list of potential clients. There’s no magic here. Just work, attention and inspiration.