“Everyone lives by selling something”

Categories: Winnthinks

“Everyone lives by selling something.”

So said Robert Louis Stevenson, who was probably better known for writing tales of ‘derring-do’ on the High Seas than for giving business advice to the High Street. But the author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island really hit on a great truth when he made this comment. So what do you think he meant?

Consider the following. Let’s say you go for a visit to Harrods of Knightsbridge, in London – one of the most famous stores in the world. Harrods prides itself on being able to sell you anything you want. If they don’t have it already, they will source it for you. When you approach the store you are greeted by a jovial character dressed in a distinctive green uniform and peaked cap. He is the Harrods Doorman, and as you enter he will tip his hat, smile, say ‘good morning!’ and hold the door open for you.

What do you think he’s selling?

An experience. An impression. A memory. A photo opportunity. An aspiration. A signal that you (and your custom) are welcomed and valued. He is selling Harrods.

Every day, as you interact with your organisation’s customers, potential customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, you are selling a little piece of your organisation to them. And that is true whether you are the doorman, a salesperson, janitor, CEO, designer, shop floor worker, administrator, analyst, team leader, trainer, mailing room operative…

What will YOU be selling today?