I was chatting with a  co-worker about action plans following up on a customer service assignment when she asked me where to go to learn how to sell. The question took me by surprise. As far as I could recall no one had ever asked me this question. So, where do you go to learn how to sell?

Where Do You Learn How to Sell? Where Should You Begin?

I scratched my head and thought for a moment and then I recommended she start by following and reading Hubspot Sales Blog and the TKO Graphix Sales and Marketing Blog. Both offer customer-centric approaches to sales and marketing based on consulting.

Next, I cautioned her on sales seminars based on manipulation. Rather than learning sales psychology, exploitation, and control, I told her it would serve her better in sales to learn how to listen, solve problems, and help clients.

Don’t Take Rejection Personally

I learned to sell by knocking doors and making phone calls. In my youth, I knocked thousands of doors and made, even more, phone calls. The most important thing this taught me was how to handle rejection. Cold calling through the phone or by canvassing a neighborhood doesn’t have a high percentage success rate. I had thousands of doors slammed in my face, and thousands of telephone receivers slammed in my ear.

At first, I took it personally, I even got angry. I’m not certain I knew who I was mad at but it didn’t matter. The lesson I had to learn was the rejection wasn’t about me. It wasn’t personal.

In Sales Doing is learning

At least for me, I could read one hundred books on selling, but I’d still have to knock those figurative doors to learn. Maybe it’s because my learning style is predominately tactile. Regardless, there’s only one way to know what you don’t know in sales, and that’s to have at it. My teammate has signed up to host a product party. She’ll learn a lot about sales.

And Keep Studying

Today there’s no excuse for not finding and taking courses. There are hundreds of sales courses online, and many are free. Whether someone wants to learn sales or how to weave a basket underwater, it’s online. Here’s a Free Online Sales and Marketing Management Courses. Yes, I know this is management, but there are several good topics here, and besides I couldn’t resist sharing that MIT had a free online sales course. Here’s another example, 50 Free Online Courses on the Consultant Sales Process.

Where Should You Learn How to Sell?

So, where does one learn to sell? Begin by learning from respected and successful sources that offer sales consultation advice and best practices. Stay away from sales training based on manipulation. Go online and continue your studies. And get out and get your feet wet. A sales professional never stops learning. Are you in sales? If so, what advice would you offer my teammate?