Sales. It’s kind of a dirty word these days. The rise of social media and digital life has in turn given rise to a lot of people trying to sell us stuff. But done well, sales is a crucial tool that enables us to help customers see the value a given product can add to their life. And it’s that little idea that makes sales such an integral part of business. No matter how great your product is, if you can’t persuade someone to see its value, you’ll never move a single unit. Here’s the problem, though: if you ask a new entrepreneur what’s more important, the product or how it’s sold, 9 times out of 10 you’ll get an earful about the product. Parth Misra, a Content Strategist and Writer at Quill Canvas, says one of the issues facing entrepreneurs in any given market is that consumers are often “swamped with endless options.” Just think about how many places there are to eat, work out, do taxes, buy clothes. Every industry is swamped. Because of this, just having an interesting product isn’t enough anymore. You have to know how to sell it. But, any salesman will tell you that making a sale is more than just being able to convince somebody to buy something. Sales is a way of life. It impacts how you view the world, the market, and your product. 15% of Fortune 500 CEOs started in sales. It’s there they learned how to fight for every penny they brought home and compete to be the best of the pack. “One of the first truths you’ll learn about entrepreneurship is that you’re 100 percent responsible for your success or failure. It can be hard to adjust at first, but selling products or services to strangers and living off commission is a perpetual training ground for that very lesson,” says Mike Monroe, Digital Strategy Manager at Vector Marketing. And, in the words of the immortal Zig Ziglar, “Nothing happens in the world without someone selling something.” Now, if you find yourself embroiled in the entrepreneurial life and feel you have missed the sales training ground, have no fear. There are books and podcasts galore that can teach you the lessons learned by the greatest salesman of all time. The key is, you have to take what you learn and do something about it. If you’re looking to level up your sales game, find some good resources and put them to good use. Then, you’ll truly be able to stand out from the competition.