Selling Isn't About You, It's About Me

If you are breathing you are in the business of sales in some form. Maybe it is trying to sell your qualifications to someone who is hiring. Maybe you are selling a product or service. If you are on LinkedIn or any social media you no doubt have had numerous ads, emails, etc. hit your eyeballs with information on something someone is trying to sell you. has a stat that states you are exposed to 5,000 ads a day in some form if you are living in the modern world. Dakota Shane, co-founder of Copy Buffs, wrote in a 2019 Inc. article 96% of consumers don’t trust ads. Those two stats combined are a strong argument showing selling has become white noise. Adding more avenues in which you talk about yourself or your product will not change that.


Let’s assume you are indeed exposed to 5,000 ads a day in one form or another. Can you name ten that you were exposed to yesterday? Maybe, but probably not, unless you’re in that business. What are the ads, traditional or in the form of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, posts, etc. that you do retain? You remember the ones that speak specifically to you and your interest. That’s not selfish, that’s just science. A July 16, 2013 Scientific American article shared 60% of our time is spent talking about ourselves. June 22, 2016 Nick Fellers wrote an item including a Dale Carnegie quote “95% of our time is spent thinking about ourselves.” For better or worse we are ego centric individuals. We know this and the dynamic exist in and outside of sales.


If you want to be more than white noise, and leave an impression remember the stats above and act accordingly. Without a solid impression you’ll have no impact, and no impact equates to no opportunity. Here’s an example of solid impact… I believe it was the summer of 2008, while working in Petersburg, VA and doing some side work at Virginia State University, talking to interns about social media I randomly reached out to craigslist’s Craig Newmark for feedback. He offered to conference in. Flash forward to 2020 and I’m certain every time he retweets a teacher’s funding request they get the same feeling I got in 2008, ‘this guy has my support throughout the reminder of my career and beyond.’ Why? Because he offered to help, not sell. Mr. Newmark easily could have led with a fee request or passed any of us by and I know I wouldn’t have thought anything except ‘I know he’s busy, it was a long shot.’ He indirectly taught me that impression is everything and the direct route to impact.


Good sales/selling is not and will never be about selling. It will always be about helping. To get from introduction to impact the impression you leave better include how you are making ‘their’ world better in some manner, otherwise you are nothing more than a white noise machine.

 “They won’t remember what you said about yourself. They will remember your interest in them, your help and/or kindness.”

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