I had a chat with my team about skills I wish they invest in and I feel it’s worth sharing.
I told them that it’s important to know how to handle the espresso machine and to create delicious beverages, it’s required for you to know your products, it’s desirable that you bring your game face to work but none is as important as knowing how to sell.
We had a chat about the difference between selling and being a salesman and how there is a stigma on “being a salesman”.
I believe everybody needs to learn how to sell, simply because we all sell something. Back when I was a management consultant, we sell ideas. Ideas of a more efficient and effective organisation. When I was an officer in a master developer, we sell dreams. Dreams of a better life, a better Johor Bahru, a better Malaysia. At Double A Cafe, we sell cakes and coffee. Cakes and coffee that put a smile on your face.
While management consultant and master developer would undoubtedly sound sexier than that of floorcrew or salesperson, it’s all the same skill, selling.
Just like any skill, you get better by practicing it, by doing. I recall a time in university that I would dread presentations. Ironic then that I took up a job as a consultant, where I would have to present on a daily basis. I recall the overthinking notion of “what would people think of me” and “shy laaaa”. (Confidence is something only you can teach yourself, and the faster you learn to not overthink, the better).
With hindsight, I’m thankful for the rigour I was subjected to for it had allowed me build my skill in selling. With foresight, I hope my staff would one day realise the rigour I subject them to in learning the skill to sell would be have enriched their life positively.
I’m a nice boss, really.