Written by Hannah Farah
Hannah is a third year senior graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a Minor in Florida Teaching. She is very connected with her family and loves anything to do with the business side of all operations within corporations.
Reading fiction is an unheralded, but great way to expand one’s sales skills. It lets out anyone’s creative abilities, which are essential in rapport building, problem-solving, and critical thinking. While most people don’t think reading is a creative activity, it is more creative and interactive than everyone thinks. For example, my personal experience while reading fiction is just like watching a movie that I created. While reading, I view things in my own way and watch a movie in my mind. Obviously, the storyline is not created by me, but the way characters look, speak, and even their body language is up to my interpretation.
Creativity is valuable in sales jobs, especially when building rapport with anyone you run into while cold calling. Building rapport is important in sales jobs because it makes it easier to close deals. Developing connections with strangers can be difficult, especially when you can’t even see that person. You have to use creative problem-solving and think outside of the box when building relationships in business.
While reading and creating these kinds of interpretations, you are practicing those creative thinking skills that you can use later to build rapport. For example, instead of imagining what the characters look like from the book you are reading, you can imagine what the caller looks like based on how they speak, their tone of voice, and sometimes even their accent. Recognizing these traits while talking to someone and a bit of creativity will improve your chance of building relationships in business.
The reason I say reading fiction specifically is because non-fiction books are supported by facts, which limits your ability to use those creative skills. Also, it is difficult to imagine someone’s appearance when most of the time we know who the person we are reading about looks like and are familiar with their prominent features. If you are reading a book about Elvis Presley’s life, we all have an idea of what he looks like. We cannot create our interpretation of what he looks like.
Reading fiction helps bring out your creative side, even if you don’t realize it while reading. In turn, this creativity is carried over into our rapport-building skills while making calls and helps us close deals.
This book is about a girl who goes away with her family every summer, but one summer has a tragic accident and is never the same afterward. When she returns for one last summer, something seems different about the island and all of her family members, but she can’t quite put her finger on it. You do not find out about the mystery until the very end, so this book forces you to do some creative problem solving by putting yourself in her shoes to figure out why everything is so different.
The last book from the series has not come out yet, but the first two are exemplary at getting your creative juices flowing, so I can’t imagine the third won’t. These books are about a girl who inherited billions of dollars from a stranger. The only catch is that she has to live in his mansion for a year with his four grandsons and their jealous parents. They all go on a journey to discover why she was chosen to inherit all of the money, considering she never met this man. While searching for answers, the old man set up multiple riddles before he died to help them figure out why it was her. The riddles are tricky ones that readers try to figure out with the knowledge they gain from the book. Similar to the experience while cold calling in sales, this series presents situations that help you with skills like creative problem-solving.
I have not finished this book, but I already see myself being very creative while thinking about this book. From what I know, this book is about a girl who is doing her senior project on a murder that happened in their small town almost five years ago. This news shocked the town because the girl’s boyfriend supposedly killed her and then killed himself afterward. Pip (the main character doing the project) begins speaking with witnesses, going through police reports, and investigating what happened and if it was all a setup. Like the other books, this one creates a mystery that gets you thinking creatively about what the small town looks like and what happened. All of this creativity can then come together and be put to work while cold calling in sales.