Written by: Alistair Vigier

There is a lot of stigma surrounding the professional industry of sales. There are countless self-proclaimed sales trainers out there. Some are better than others. Most of us have seen the movies of the lavish lifestyle of the young man who comes from nothing and works his way up to have everything that money can buy. Some of my personal favorite sales movies are Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler Room, and Rogue Trader. They are all cautionary tells.

Rogue Trader

But those that work in the sales industry know that the life of a salesperson is much different than that depicted in the movies. We wake up early, stay late, read books on sales, write scripts, and make cold calls. At the end of a 12-hour day there is little time or energy to live a rock star lifestyle.

I work for a company called HART Legal, which to the best of my knowledge is the only law firm that is franchising in North America. I get a lot of phone calls and emails from people that are interested, but our business model is complicated.

The legal industry is extremely regulated and we have to make sure our business expansion plans are compliant with the law societies and state bars. This means I not only have to sell our franchise, but I have to educate investors about the legal industry as well. Many buyers have a hard time understanding, so they drop out. Luckily for me, I have met some highly intellectual individuals who understood what HART Legal is trying to do, and they bought in. I would rather work with a few superstars who are all in than 100 investors who have reservations.

Related: The Only 9 Things You Need to Know About Selling

Here is my insight for how to improve your sales skills:

Only sell something you would buy yourself. I often get asked if I would buy a franchise if I were the one receiving the sales pitch. My answer is yes; I have bought three legal franchises personally. I would NEVER sell anything I didn’t believe in. You better believe in what you do.

Have a passion for what you do. People will say yes to you more because of your passion than your technical skills. You can fake a lot of things in sales, but you cannot fake genuine passion for your vision.

Telling is not selling. Listen to what they say. Ask the prospect what is important to them. How can you possibly convince someone to do something if you don’t know what he or she wants?

Alistair Vigier manages investor relations at HART Legal.