All of life is sales. Not in the sense of objective reality, but as a model or frame or better yet: a map of reality. A good mental map is really useful because it not only gives you insight but a path to better navigate the territory of reality. With that said, the map is not the territory.
And you don’t have to use that particular map all of the time, it’s more about knowing which map to use based on what you’re aiming for. That’s why you’ll hear me talk about having different maps, maps like being a player in the game of life or having a shark mentality.
Looking at all life and all human communication at sales will really open your eyes the first time you see it, not only in terms of getting what you want, but in terms of understanding other people and understanding yourself. Here’s how to see the big picture:
All Life Is Sales
You’re Always Selling (Whether You Realize It Or Not)
To understand the mental map you need to understand what selling is. Selling in it’s essence, is persuasion or imposing your will on someone else. In life there are only two types of persuasion, force and seduction. Force is masculine, seduction is feminine. Force is persuasion through involuntary agreement, seduction is persuasion through voluntary agreement.
Every time you communicate with someone you’re selling something whether you want to or not. Whether it’s conveying anger, sadness, frustration, joy or even just polite conversation, every time you communicate with someone you’re selling them. In other words, all your communication is an attempt at persuasion.
If you’re conveying anger, you’re trying to persuade them to feel pain. Or if you’re conveying frustration with something in your life, you’re trying to persuade them empathy. Or even just a neutral conversation with a service provider, you’re trying to convey politeness and reasonableness so that you can persuade them get one of your issues solved.
Even when you try and cheer up a depressed looking supermarket clerk with cheerful conversation you are manipulating her emotions to serve your purpose, even though your purpose is noble. The desired result in mind is to make that clerk feel happy which in turn will make you feel good about yourself. If the clerk thwarts your attempt and greets your cheerful conversation with a surly grunt you’ll probably feel something else: anger.
And sales isn’t just about your verbal communications. Experts say that as much as 80% of all of our communication is non-verbal. When you’re dressed well, stand up right and speak in a clear, level tone, you’re selling yourself as someone who is successful and has high self esteem. When you’re dressed sloppily, and you’re hunched over, and you speak in a soft voice, you’re selling that you have low self esteem.
You’re Always Being Sold (Whether You Realize It Or Not)
Every single day of you’re life you’ve been and are being sold. From your parents to your teachers to your friends to corporations, academics and businessman. Everyone is selling you on something.
Your parents wanted you to behave and reflect well on them
Your friends want validation and respect
Corporations want your money
Politicians and academics want control of your mind
And not just in a negative way, some people want to influence you in a negative, but some people are selling you because they think their influence will help you be happier. Whether it’s your girlfriend or your best friend trying to cheer you up when you’re down, they’re still selling you, they just happen to be selling you on a better state than you’re in.
Maybe you can’t see it right now, because you’re only thinking about overt, poor quality salesmanship, like when you step into Best Buy and a bad salesman tries to force a product on you that you don’t need.
In reality, sales goes so much deeper, every word you’ve ever learn was sold to you including how to use that word.
Every ideology from capitalism, to nationalism to communism has been sold to you. If you believe in capitalism its Adam Smith. If you believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness it’s Tom Paine. If socialism it’s Marx.
And very major spiritual and philosophical belief has been sold to you. Jesus And Mohammed still have a billion adherents each. Religion is still the most powerful ideology because it solves your biggest pain point – death
Chances are your 10 major ideological beliefs are shaped and have been sold to you by 10 exceptional men. Think of your major beliefs, someone most likely sold you that point by going into your inner world and solving your pain points or appealing to an emotion or logically box closing you.
How To Make Use Of This Knowledge
Protect Yourself From Being Influenced
The golden rule of investing is don’t lose money. Before you even think about your upside, you need to protect your downside. The same logic applies to protecting your mind. There is on for control of your mind. And mental warfare is more powerful than physical warfare.
And its not just the media, and the corporations, and the politicians, it’s everyone including guys like me.
I’m going to let you peek behind the curtain and see exactly what that looks like:
I’m selling you right now, every article of mine you read you’re getting sold. What I’m selling is a solution to your problems, every article presents a problem you might have and offers a solution you might find valuable.
While I’m doing that, I also aim to present myself as an authority by consistently adding value and consistently solving your problems.
My end goal is to give you enough value, and gain enough of your trust as an authority that I get you to become a lifetime customer as well as to get revenue from affiliate sales and advertising.
In addition to getting money, my other goals are respect, influence, status, a bit of fame and the satisfaction of helping you be happier.
Sometimes I use logic, sometimes I use emotion, sometimes I use both, whatever I think will best persuade you.
I’d like to think I’m ethical and that my content is valuable, but that’s up for you to decide. And not just with me, but with every influencer in your life.
To be able to protect your mind from negative influence, you need to understand the three major areas of mind control and how to properly defend yourself:
1) Emotional Control
The easiest way to hijack your mind is through your emotions – specifically fear and outrage. Think every other news report or clickbait title both from the mainstream media and the “alternative media.” They get you worried about some disease or amplify some foreign threat in exchange for your attention and advertising dollars.
Or they use anger to get you fired up about some issue that you probably don’t have much control over. When you’re examining your beliefs, and thinking about what you watch and read online, it’s very important to ask your self, what am I getting out of this? Does this add to my life or does it detract from it? Does consistently listening to this influencer help me have a better quality of life?
I recommend doing an audit on everything you consume and cutting out areas where you’re being negatively influenced. I noticed a big change when I cut out social media (outside of for business purposes) and cut out the majority of politics. I also noticed a big difference when I started consuming content from positive influncers.
2) Situational Control
It can be argued that situational control is just an extension of emotional control, and that’s true, but it’s also worth mentioning on it’s own. As opposed to emotional influence you get online or watch on TV, situational influence is where you put yourself in actual physical situations where you’re susceptible to emotional sales pitches.
Take the strip club for example where you’re encouraged to drink overpriced drinks while you watch naked women dance. And then the girls come and talk to you, selling you on their interest in you by asking questions and feigning rapport. By that point you’re starting to feel really good, and it’s an easy sell for the girl to get you to by another round for yourself and for her and her friends.
If she’s a good saleswoman you feel like you have a connection with her, so it’s another easy move for her to get you to come for one lap dance. And one dance turns into 4 or 5. And now, after having come in to spend $100, you’ve already spent $300. But you don’t want the party to stop, so the girl leads you over to the ATM and you take out another $300 at a 10% transaction charge.
And then she hints that if you come to the VIP room, you’ll have some privacy and that she might give you something extra. But when you get there, you get a few more dances, at a higher price than before… but nothing extra. And by the time you’re done, you’ve dropped $600 or 6 times what you planned to spend and go home with nothing but your soldier in your hand.
The same thing applies to many “free” financial seminars. Often times guys will offer a free seminar, which is really just a sales pitch for their expensive training products. And then spend the first few hours getting everyone into a peak, energetic state. And then when you’re feeling really good, they start to sell you from the stage on dropping 10k on one of their overpriced products.
Some people buy right away but most people are hesitant. A good salesman however, who has created an environment of situational control has those objections handled in advance. First he uses the positives, the dreamselling, all the benefits and features you’ll get for dropping that 10k.
But if that doesn’t work he starts hitting you with guilt and shame. Telling you that you don’t care about your future or your children’s future because you’re not willing to invest in yourself. That you’ll never get financially free unless you buy his “foolproof options trading system”. I’ve even heard of guys going so far as to get you on the phone with your bank to increase your line of credit so that you can buy their products.
Situational control, under a skilled and deceptive salesman can turn into nasty business very quickly if you haven’t properly protected your mind. And even then, it’s usually a smart idea to avoid situations where you know you’re going to be subjected to high pressure pitches.
3) Use logic
While logic doesn’t have the same knockout power of selling on emotion, it’s a very effective way to close, especially when you’re selling to smart people. A high-IQ, seasoned logician can do a lot to persuade you through reason.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right, they can just present a convincing case while handling your objections, and box-closing you into their position. When I would read philosophy in my teens, it was very hard for me to put up a convincing argument against someone like Nietzsche or Sartre. I had no defenses against their arguments because I was too young to have reference points.
But looking back now, I can see all their biases, how they didn’t practice what they preached and how they weren’t very happy in their lives, and therefore their arguments don’t hold weight for me anymore (with the exception of a few points by Nietzsche). The truth is there are very few philosophers whose lives I’d like to model.
Logic is your most powerful defense against beliefs that don’t serve you, but can also be used against you by a trained professional. You have to really examine not just the arguments as well as the guy who is making them to make sure those beliefs are serving you instead of you serving them. Deductive reasoning is your friend.
Examine Your Beliefs
At the end of of the day, you’re the manager of your own reality. You are the CEO of You Inc. And therefore, it’s you’re job to make sure that your beliefs serve you and not the other way around.
Unfortunately many guys are carrying around beliefs that not only don’t serve them, but hurt them. And often times those beliefs are shaped at a young age and carried into adulthood without being questioned. At 14 I was a nihilist who believed life was pointless and nothing I did mattered. And I can tell you from personal experience, that belief was pure poison.
If I haven’t examined that belief, and reframed my mindset to positivity, I would have suffered much more than I needed to.
It’s you’re duty to yourself as CEO of You Inc. to examine your beliefs and get that negative garbage out of your reality. Just like I doing an audit of your top recurring problems and strategies to solve them, I recommend writing down the top 10 major beliefs that shape you’re life. And if they aren’t positive, putting your focus and creativity to work to reframe those beliefs.
For a lot of you this means moving past ideologies, because that ideology that you’ve been letting control you, and looking at objective fact, is really just another man’s opinion, and often times truth is just a rich man’s lie.
Get Good At Selling
Since you’re selling every time you open your mouth and so is everyone else you meet, and not just through words but through demeanor and body language, it only makes sense to get good at selling. Imagine the edge you’d have in life you’d have, where all communication is sales, if you became an excellent salesman.
I can tell you that getting good at sales has made a massive difference in my quality of life. I literally make 100% of my money off of game, or off of my salesmanship. In fact I’ve been making money off of sales for close to a decade now. And if you want to learn exactly how I did that, and how to sell, check out my book How To Sell, (see what i did there).
In the book you’ll learn how to survive and thrive in corporate sales, how to sell and service customers, how to stack your cash and how plan your exit. Or if you’re not willing to part with your cash you can check out my four part definitive guide to sales here for free.
However you decide to learn selling, it’s a crucial skill to have to succeed in life. Because as we covered before, all communication is sales. The average guy however, is a rank amateur – he uses anger, guilt and shame and ends up alienating people instead of influencing them. A salesman on the other hand is a professional – he gives people what they want by adding value, and if he’s ethical (like you should be), it’s a win/win transaction for both sides.
At the end of the day, if you want the good things in life you need to know how to sell, there is no other way. When you can sell you can make succeed in rain, sleet or snow, anywhere in the world, or as Jay Z once said:
“Put me anywhere on God’s green earth and I’ll triple my worth…motherf*cker”