Published: February 16, 2020
When it comes to "selling", there is a certain distaste that associate with anyone who sells for a living. I sure as hell had that perception when I was assigned to become a salesman for an electronics retail store when I was just an intern in my trade school.
Images of snake oil & a slimy salesman with their disregard of one's moral compasses. Generally comes to mind when anyone talks about a person who sells for a living. With cult classics like Wolf of Wallstreet or Glengarry Glen Ross, this personifies the stigma further.
Nothing could be further from the truth if you spend time chatting with these people who are really good at selling. You will be amazed that they are one those that are friendly & loving people that you will encounter.
What if I were to tell you it is just a minor segment of the sales professional that operates as a classic stereotype. Then again, we do have something similar as well in our industry, don't we?
Like the myth of a 10x developer, means you are a genius with technology. Being Hacker gives off the image of a person who lives in a dark basement with their parents and breaking laws with hacker skills.
Now let us leave that aside and find ways to understand them to help your career growth as a developer if you plan to be either an independent contributor or management or freelancer or tech entrepreneur.
By seeking a way to solve a problem with what they have or could find someone to get the resources to make things happen. With technology, psychology, body language, voice tonality, storytelling, data and emotion to arose action or gather resources to make things happen.
So what's the difference between leading a team, going for dates, teaching, parenting, coaching, fundraising, writing, creating youtube videos, mentoring, podcasting, customer service and marketing?
According to the best-selling book by Daniel H Pink calling To Sell is Human there is really not much of difference. A lot of our daily activities revolves around it. We use different words to represent the various activities to persuade someone or "moving" from point A to point B in Daniel H Pink's book.
If you don't believe me, try persuading your nieces, nephews or your child that is a child from not doing something or to do something. Like putting their toys away after they are done playing, without strong-arming or punishing them. I'll bet that you might have developed ways to deal with them without strong-arming or punishing them.
Not learning to sell can be quite detrimental to yourself and your career as a developer. From job search, salary negotiation, landing your dream developer job, getting an opportunity to work on interesting projects, having a voice for the customer or a general understanding of what brings in the cash to your company. Could help a lot to make career choices in staying or moving to another company.
By understanding where does the money come in for your company, you are actually giving yourself an edge to understand the business objective or strategy used to drive sales. This impact technical decisions to deliver products or services on what you build due to the resources that you could gather base upon these activities.
Plus you will have a much better time in explaining your solution with customers or users. Who are non-technical trained to understand your software & use your software. They could become your raving fans to offer you valuable feedback & insights to improve your software.
Ultimately sales are the lifeblood of any company, by understanding how your company makes money. Which shift your focus of being a code monkey to a person that focuses on creating value for your company, customers and users through the software you build.
I hope this article is useful for you to know why you should learn certain sales skills to improve your career as a developer. Besides, it can greatly affect your developer journey as well. Due to you applying what you know to help the developer community by standing out as a developer in your own specific niche or the type of work that you had chosen.
Earning you job opportunities, contracts or gigs that flys to you without you knowing it because of your single-minded focus on giving instead of just taking due to your sales skills that you had learnt to gather resources for your developer community or technology conference.