how to sell

Objective vs. Perceived Value

In school, if you get 95 out of 100 questions correct, you get a 95% score. Much of childhood education grading is done on an objective basis. However, once you enter the workforce, this changes. You get promoted based on how others perceive your abilities, as opposed to any objective measure of your abilities. You [...]

But, I Deserve It...

In school, you get the grade you objectively earn. In the workplace, what you get isn’t as objective. In many cases, you get what you convince someone else to give you. Want that promotion? You need to convince someone. Want a raise? You need to convince someone. Want a budget for your project? You need [...]

Lessons from my "Lazy" Daughter

When my oldest was eight years old, she decided that she wanted more money than the allowance she got from me. She thought about who else had money and noticed that her younger sisters did. She decided to figure out a way to convince her sisters to part ways with their allowance in a way [...]

Leadership = Salesmanship

My first boss in industry started a company from scratch, took it public and still runs it today. He was such a ridiculously intense person. We fought and argued every… single… day. I was his chief of staff. His job was to demand the impossible from everybody in the company. My job was to make [...]

The Big Ask

In your career, there will be a few pivotal moments when you “sell” a big idea to someone else whose decision will become an inflection point in your career. You could be “selling” your boss on the idea of promoting you, choosing you to lead a high profile project, or taking on major new responsibilities. [...]

Influence, Teenagers, and False Eyelashes

The other day, my teenage daughter asked me to buy her false eyelashes. When I asked her why she wanted them, she said, “It’s for my school camping trip with my classmates.” Of course, I said, “Why in the world do you need fake eyelashes to go camping?!?” I don’t remember her answer. What I [...]

“Blue Collar” Sales and Selling

Most people who get an Ivy League MBA do so to get a coveted job at a consulting firm, investment bank, or in industry. They aspire to be a McKinsey partner, a Goldman Sachs partner, a startup CEO or a leader in industry. Many get an MBA to avoid the most “blue collar” of professional [...]

Getting What You Deserve...

When I started my career, I was under the impression that in the workplace you always get what you deserve. I was naive and wrong. There are plenty of deserving people who never get the credit, promotion, or raises they deserve. Perhaps you can relate. Many years later, I realized the following truth: You don’t [...]

Leadership = Selling Your Ideas

I once heard somebody say that Leadership = Selling. It struck me as odd because I had never heard somebody say that before. While the reverse is not true (selling is not always leadership), I’ve come to the conclusion that leadership is very much about selling your ideas. If you want to build a great [...]

Getting What You Want

Much of getting what you want in life involves getting what you want from other people. Do you want a job? You need to convince the other person to give you one. Do you want a promotion? You need to convince your boss to give you one. Do you want a higher income? You need [...]

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