In this guest blog, Brent Chapman, CIO of RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp reminds us that all the world is a marketplace and we’re all selling something.
When you first graduate from college (or at least when I did) with one of those generic “business”-related degrees, there is one type of job you can find with little effort: An entry level sales position. Low base salary. High incentive job. And, for your average college graduate, this job is more available than others and will generally pay better than an entry-level corporate opportunity. And lots of people make great careers following that path. But they have chosen to live a life of “selling”.
And so have you. Don’t think that if you aren’t in a “sales job” that you avoided “selling” in your career. Every corporate worker is selling something. Especially if you have aspirations to grow in a company as a leader. Every job is a sales job.
Here are a few tips to get you thinking in the right direction
To be good at selling you need to be a good communicator. You need to be able to convey your thoughts and ideas in a clear, concise, and digestible manner. Regardless of your field, the higher you go up the ladder, the less in the weeds your audience will be. You need to communicate the “technical terms” of your field in a way that the audience can understand, enabling them to buy-in to your vision. I recently wrote an article for Forbes, focusing on email communication that will help you further develop these skills.
To be good at selling you need to be trusted and have a good reputation. You build a good reputation by doing what you say you are going to do. And getting the job done. If you produce a good work result, people will trust you with a challenge. If you take responsibility, people will trust you when you are explaining why things went wrong. If you make good decisions, people will trust your opinion. Take care of that reputation and know people are watching. An article I recently wrote for Thrive Global provides tips on making a good first impression.
To be good at selling you need to know what you are talking about. People can tell when you are not genuine. They can tell when you really don’t know very much but have a great story to tell. The used car sales routine is tired and can be spotted a mile away. Become a subject matter expert about something. Go deep in a specific job-related topic, subject, or skill. Own it. And be an expert in it. Bonus tip: Admit when you don’t know, but show that you can get the right answer quickly.
To be good at selling you need to be well organized and manage your time. You need to properly prioritize your time and how you spend it, knowing which tasks to focus on now and which to do later. Good time management allows you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, which leads to additional cycles to expand your reach and capability.
Knowing this reality, invest in yourself. Pay attention to the importance of being a good communicator. Take classes, get involved in speaking groups (like Toastmasters), and find a mentor who can help you. Protect your reputation from your first day to your last. Establish a core skill and go deep. Be well organized and manage your time well. Gain experience wherever and whenever you can. Because, whether you like it or not, every job is a sales job.
Brent Chapman, CIO of RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp, is a co-author, with Kevin Brungardt, of a forthcoming book on leadership and culture. Chapman was named to the Charlotte Business Journal's 2018 40 Under 40 and has also been a finalist for both the 2018 Dallas CIO of the Year and the 2018 Charlotte CIO of the Year.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GreenSky, LLC, its management, or subsidiary companies.