SELL, sell, sell!

In the long distant days before journalism I had dipped my toe in a few industries.

I still remember dull night shifts at a shelf-making factory and functions, and the pain of watching others have fun as a barman and waiter.

However, one career move that still resonates in my mind is selling risk management to the legal sector.

I used to talk about my job a lot less in those days.

If pressed I would be vague and say “… it’s like being a superhero only with more environmental mapping”.

It was a hard sell as the company had decided to give the product to all the agents solicitors already deal with and then tried to compete selling them directly to law firms to make more cash.

A typical conversation with a legal eagle would be: “Wow that’s a good idea how much cheaper do we get it from you?”

“You don’t, our policy is high margins, in fact for you it’s a lot less convenient, why are you looking at me like that?”

Having read the last sentence it won’t surprise you to learn the workforce was sent on a sales master class.

Perhaps I could use these skills to sell myself to women. I remember being told to turn a need into a want and vice versa.

I hadn’t really understood what this meant so had rejected it out of hand and felt using either of these words as part of a seduction technique would be the behaviour of an oddball.

For the same reason I rejected smiling all the time and demanding unnecessary eye contact.

I had also been advised that you could win a person’s trust by subtly mimicking their expressions and posture – this wouldn’t work on a date, there would be no point in us both looking bored and uncomfortable.

Feeling down about my lack of inspiration from the field of sales I popped into the supermarket to see how they pushed their products.

While it didn’t give me ideas on how to better sell myself, I felt better as I resolved to aim for easier to reach girls possibly in blue and white striped T-shirts.