The Most Important Skill in the World, and How to Master It

There’s one skill that every single human being can master to improve his or her career, social standing, and even home life – that skill is the art of selling. To those who would say, “I’m not in sales, I don’t need to master the art of selling,” I encourage you to keep reading. You, too, can benefit from mastering sales, in your professional life and in your personal life as well.

Whatever you want from life, being able to sell can help you achieve it. If your true passion is travel, selling will help you negotiate with your boss to give you more time off, or convince your significant other about the benefits of seeing the world. If you want to give back to your community, being able to persuade others to join your cause will make your impact that much greater than if you were to act alone. No matter what you desire, improving your ability to sell will help you achieve your goals faster and more effectively.

One of the hardest things for non-professional salespeople to realize is that we are all, in fact, salespeople. The teacher in his classroom is trying to sell his lesson to students and educate them in the best way possible, just as the lawyer in her courtroom is trying to convince a jury that her defendant is innocent in the best way possible. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, sales play a role in your life – and it’s time to embrace that fact. If you don’t sell, you’re being sold to.

Once you embody a salesperson mentality, you will start looking differently at situations. The art of persuasion can help you in a multitude of ways, and improving your sales prowess should be at the top of your to-do list. Here are a few resources I’d highly recommend checking out if you’re interested in upping your game, and mastering your sales skills.

First, you’ll want to start reading. There are ton’s of great books on the topic of sales, but these are my four favorites for beginners.

Zig Ziglar – Secrets of Closing the Sale

Jeffrey Gitomer – Little Red Book of Selling

Dale Carnegie & Associates – How to Win Friends & Influence People in the Digital Age

Neil Rackman – Spin Selling

When you’re not reading (or listening to these via audiobook, which I highly recommend), you can also educate yourself in other ways. Follow sales expert Grant Cardone on all social media, but in particular check out his videos on YouTube. He’s full of valuable insight, and great examples of how you can improve your sales efforts. In addition, you should listen to the Salesman Podcast where Will Barron interviews the world’s leading sales, body language and influence experts every week. Listening en route to work is a great way to keep yourself informed.

You don’t have to attend $1,000 seminars to improve your sales skills – you just have to set aside some time to improve, and good things will follow.

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Read more from the Cave archives:

Double Your Reading Speed in 5 Minutes

The 25.5 Hour Day: How to Get More Done in Less Time

5 Powerful Expressions for Entrepreneurs to Live By