• Tyler Jones

Selling Versus Selling in a Pandemic

Growing up, my mother would ask “how are you going to pay for that?” as I left the house and then explain that it was okay to ask for a few dollars here & there. For some reason, I’ve just never felt comfortable asking people to do things for me and that’s been a weakness I’ve focused on overcoming.

For example, I started sending cold emails to college baseball coaches when I was 15 as I set my sights on playing at the collegiate level. This, in theory, was asking strangers to take their time to assess me and possibly add me to a team that their job relied on. It wasn’t until I was about 18 years old until I realized we are all “selling” ourselves in a unique way, whether we are comfortable with sales or not.

A student competes for the highest grades, prepares furiously for standardized tests, and then works to create a unique college application.

An athlete trains to reach a higher physical level, keeps their grades in check, and oftentimes works to become a great teammate.

Once I started working on business development initiatives during undergrad, I found myself fearing the sales side of business because it involved asking. As I worked through this fear, I quickly realized that I had been selling my entire life without even noticing. I only work with products & services that I wholeheartedly believe in, so why would I fear the ask? Over the past two years, I’ve grown thick skin and “no” hardly bothers me in any situation. This was true until 2020.

I, after delays & weeks of thinking, decided to go forward with the launch of SLAB Outdoors in the summer of 2021 and I quickly realized this version of asking was much different. Life wasn’t, and still isn’t, normal upon the launch and I was asking a large group of people to support a new business. I felt like the little kid I was once was and feared the ask because I had no earthly idea of what people were going through during these difficult times. Fast forward five months and I still feel a bit of this fear, but I’ve come to understand that others do as well. Selling versus selling in a pandemic are not the same and companies that focus on people during this time, in my opinion, will thrive forward.

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