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How To Win At Work In 5 Easy Steps

Renowned sales authority Dr. Cindy McGovern believes that everyone is a salesperson, regardless of his or her job description. Her 5 easy steps show you how to take control of your personal and professional success.

Most super-successful people have something important in common: They know how to sell themselves.

If you want more from your job or your career, you need to learn how to sell.

Selling isn’t as foreign to you as you might think. You already do it, probably every day.

If you have ever asked for a raise, you had to sell your boss on believing you deserved more money. If you threw your hat in the ring for a promotion, you had to sell the manager on your skills and potential. If you needed an extended lunch hour for a personal reason, you had to sell your supervisor on allowing it. If you wanted your co-worker to wear headphones instead of streaming his music within earshot, you had to sell him on putting them on.

You probably have also sold on behalf of your company, even though your title and position description don’t say anything about sales. Every time you do a good job for a customer, you sell that client on coming back. If you ask, “What else can I do for you?” before you say “good-bye,” you might have sold an extra product or service that the client otherwise wouldn’t have ordered.

The fact is that every job is a sales job, even if your official duties have nothing to do with sales. And every employee—including you—sells, even if you don’t think of opening those new orders or making that pitch for a raise as sales.

Once you wrap your head around the fact that you have to, should and actually do sell, you’re a step closer to selling better and more often. And that can help you achieve your dreams and goals quicker.

What better way to improve your sales technique than to imitate the process that the most successful sales professionals use? In my new book, Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work, I outline that process in five simple steps that are time-tested and proven to work.

The first step is planning. As with most things in life, the more time you spend figuring out what you want and what you have to do to get it, the more likely you are to be successful.

The next step involves looking for opportunities. Now that you realize you’ve been selling all along, you’ll start noticing opportunities to sell every day. Take advantage of those opportunities.

Next, establish trust with the people you want to sell to. If you need to sell yourself to a boss who can decide whether to promote you, give you a raise or include you in the project you have your eye on, get to know her so she will notice your talent, skill, team spirit and reliable work ethic.

Fourth, ask for what you want. This is hard even for seasoned sales professionals. Most people are afraid to come right out and ask for a raise, a promotion or even a favor. If you don’t ask, however, you won’t get.

Finally, follow up with anyone you have sold or tried to sell. If the answer is “yes,” follow up with a “thank you” and by doing a good job in exchange. If he answer is “no,” consider it a “no for now,” not a “no forever.” Keep in touch. You never know when the “no” will turn into a “yes.”

Easy, right?

You can use these steps to sell yourself and your dreams to the people who can help you get what you want. Every step of the way, however, you need to be conscious of exactly what you’re selling.

If you want a raise, be the employee who is never late and always meets deadlines. If you want a promotion, act like a leader, even before you are one.

Your behavior, your demeanor, your habits and even your appearance all play a part in whether you’re selling yourself as a worthy candidate or as someone who isn’t going anywhere. Adopt a personal brand equal to the job or position you’re aiming for.

Then step right into success.

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How To Win At Work In 5 Easy Steps

Dr. Cindy McGovern, known as the “First Lady of Sales,” speaks and consults internationally on sales, interpersonal communication and leadership. She is the author of Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work. Dr. Cindy is the CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting, a sales management and consulting firm. For more information, please visit, and connect with her on Twitter @1stladyofsales and on LinkedIn.