The jobs that many people I work with have are not called sales jobs—like the scientist who pursued a Ph.D. in a technical discipline, only to discover that she has to find funding for the research she would like to pursue.
Or consider the accountant who likes figures and rationality, who goes to college to get an accounting degree and ends up a partner in a public accounting firm, where business development is part of the job. He’s a salesman who didn’t plan to be one!
Or there’s the entrepreneur who starts a company because she’s good at something, and then discovers that, in addition to being good at her technical skill, she’ll have to be good at selling to make that new company successful.
So if you hold the stereotype of the pushy salesman and you don’t like salespeople, how can you be one yourself?
That’s a worthy question. Begin by associating a bit with salespeople in your own life, noticing the approaches that most appeal to you. Make a study of salesmanship in action, and regard it as a discipline to be learned. A vast body of knowledge exists here!
And console yourself that the approaches that are most effective in selling today are kind, respectful, and non-manipulative.