Here's a thought for the week:
"Business doesn't happen until somebody sells something."
The term "salesman" brings an image to our head of a guy in a gold plaid jacket and polyester tie trying to convince us that a 1987 Ford Escort is destined to be a classic, and with a little elbow grease it'll be collectible.
Good salespeople, however, know sales is simply connecting a person with a product they want or a service of they need.
Sure, sometimes a salesperson will encourage us to buy something we don't need or didn't really want, but good salespeople don't do this.
You see, good salespeople are able to repeat the process over and over and over with the same customer base. If someone persuades you into a bad purchase, you won't buy from them again. However, if someone helps you identify a need, and shows you a solution that works, you're likely to come back to them repeatedly.
Everyone is a salesperson. You simply need to keep your eyes open for people who have needs that your organization can fill.
Conversely, even dedicated salespeople should never encourage the customer to buy something they don't need. You're better off discouraging them. Your long-term relationship depends on correctly identifying wants and needs, even if it means losing a sale or sending them to a competitor.
You may be saying to yourself, "...but sales isn't my job."
If you work for a business, it's absolutely your job! Sometimes it's selling to a customer. Other times it internal sales... providing information or services to your coworkers, vendors, and others with whom you come in contact.
Focus on meeting needs and solving problems and you, not only will become a salesperson, but you'll become a great salesperson.