If You Can Sell Something … You Can Sell Anything

LAST WEEK, I received a question from a friend in the U.K. He is still in sales, but has changed industries and wants tips on how to transition smoothly.

That is a situation most salespeople will face at least once in their careers — and sometimes multiple times.

These principles work for any salesperson in any industry.

painting flower girl

The Flower Girl

As with any change, it doesn’t have to be a scary proposition, though.

The wisest thing to do is to embrace the change – manage it, instead of letting it manage you.

Sales skills are transferable skills

Once learned, a penchant for sales becomes a natural part of you. Sales skills offer a certain advantage: They can transition easily into almost any new industry.

Selling is selling. Your products may change, but your internal and external sales processes stay much the same.

Once you have developed a strategy for selling one thing, you can apply that same process to selling anything!

Changing jobs is a learning experience

Here are 12 ideas to make a transition from one product or service to another much easier:

Are you taking advantage of all these resources?

  1. Books – whether purchased or borrowed from a library.
  2. eBooks – you may be surprised to find that your library has these to loan as well. Immerse yourself in your new job. Become a student of your new products or services and the industry behind them.
  3. Websites – If you aren’t a pro at online search techniques, bone up on the basics. Get fascinated by your new industry and you will be fascinating to others. Much of selling is a transfer of emotions.
  4. Online Forums – From Google+ and other social media to old-style Forum boards, you can find a discussion online on just about anything.
  5. Trade Associations – Every industry has its own. The best are clearinghouses of information targeted to your particular piece of the pie.
  6. Be observant: The first few days or weeks on the job, you should do much more listening than talking. A period of observation will help you get your bearing, see people and situations from a fresh perspective and learn, learn, learn the company, business and industry. You only get one chance to have a fresh set of eyes in a new situation.
  7. Join trade associations, local meetups, and other groups focused on or related to your industry. They can provide education, networking, and an opportunity to present what you know.
  8. Attend conferences and trade shows. They can provide endless amounts of priceless information. Not only will you learn more about the goods or services you sell, but you will meet a range of people – from beginners to leaders – from your new industry.
  9. Invest your time in training courses. Determine gaps in your skill set – places where additional training would be valuable – then seek and enroll in those courses. When you invest in training, you are investing in yourself.
  10. Study the competition. You want to know almost as much about the competition as you do about your own company. Where are their strengths? Where are their weaknesses? Why should someone buy from you instead of from them? An incredible amount of tactical research can be accomplished online, but you can also learn by reading their promotional materials and asking the accounts you call on to tell you about them. Most are happy to oblige.
  11. Network, network, network. Reach out and get to know people in the industry. The more people you meet, the more people will be there to help you, provide ideas, and help you get leads during the first few months of your transition.  Networking is essential. You need others, and they need you.
  12. Always ask for referrals. Never miss a chance to let someone know what you do and how you can be contacted. Be prepared with business cards in your pocket and stay alert for those you can help … or those who know someone you could help.

The bottom line: There are a wealth of resources available to help you grow and prosper in your chosen field. Take your time and go through the process. Build a solid base. Possibilities await!!

Commit to learning something new about your business every day – there is no lack of sources in this Age of Information.

And remember:

If you can sell something, you can sell anything. A proficiency in sales will serve you for the rest of your life.

To talk with Debbie White one-on-one, request a no-charge initial consultation here: Talk with Debbie


  1. Thank you very much, this is very encouraging, while reading, I thought to myself, I need to read this more than once….Thanks

Speak Your Mind