Beyond Avon: 4 Biggest Myths About Selling

Courtesy: Avon Digital Library Media Centre "Ding Dong, Avon Calling" campaign

Courtesy: Avon Digital Library Media Centre "Ding Dong, Avon Calling" campaign

Tell me what you think of when you hear the term “selling.”

Maybe you picture an old-school Avon lady with a perfectly coiffed bob and immaculately arched eyebrows lugging a huge suitcase filled with foundation door to door.

Or perhaps it’s the overly enthusiastic late-night purveyor of the newest piece of fitness equipment. It’s always the biggest craze, the solution to all your ills and, even better, can be bought in six easy installments with no money down.

Based on those stereotypes, you can’t blame some entrepreneurs, particularly those who may count themselves among the introverted, for not wanting to sell.

Well, I’ve got news for you, no matter where you fall on the Myers-Briggs scale: You can’t avoid selling if you are the proud owner of a start-up.

To be honest, you can’t much avoid it even if you’re working within a traditional company. Nowadays, you must be able to sell yourself, your function in the company, or the projects you’re working on if you want to advance in your career.  

Luckily, you won’t have to channel the cynical slick talker Alec Baldwin portrayed in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Instead, you should be embracing a skillset called “the entrepreneurial sell,” a customer-centric, research-seeking, listening-before-talking approach. 

This skill is so important that I have written an entire book about it: “The Entrepreneurial Sell: Tools and Techniques Every Start-Up Needs to Succeed.” 

I encourage you to read more about it in the book which you can order HERE, but in the meantime, I will share a glimpse of my philosophy on this subject by dispelling what I believe are the four biggest myths about selling. 

Myth 1: Entrepreneurs should focus on the vision; let the sales team worry about “the sell.”

When you consider someone like Mark Zuckerberg conceiving of Facebook or Sir Richard Branson embarking on space travel or Sara Blakely cutting up pantyhose to create a whole new line of shapewear, you could be forgiven for thinking that being an entrepreneur is purely about vision. Of course, you must have vision or else you wouldn’t be willing to step out on a limb offering your own product or service to the masses. But if you think about it, you are selling from the moment you conceive of your “big idea.” I always say, and I included this in my book, not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur but EVERYONE should think like one.

Pedro Vega Jr.