The things I’ve learned from “Sales.”

Posted by on Feb 25, 2010 in Blog, Review, Success | 0 comments

Sales is one of the most interesting area that I’ve been involved in. There are so many different facets of sales that intrigue me that are not within the scope of this post.

I’ve come to work in sales for the past couple of months and have gotten so much out of it. I understand people so much better now. I understand what gets motivates people. For instance, today, a customer was asking about a watch, and she wanted to know how much she’d like it. I told her what she wanted to hear. I can’t tell her how much she will like it, but I can tell her how much I think she will like it.

I’ve learned a couple of things in sales that have been instrumental in other areas of my life.

  1. Build rapport through conversation
  2. Smile (even if you’re on the phone, it gets you energized)
  3. Be positive and if you have to say something negative, end off with something positive and of value
  4. Be energetic. Being animated helps with this.

These are just some things I’ve come to notice from the different patterns that I’ve seen. I don’t want to sell a customer on something but rather, I enjoy reinforcing situations that make them want to buy. I enjoy presenting a customer with the option to buy and if they don’t want it, it’s a deal that they’re losing out on because the value is there, it just may be that I haven’t presented it well enough. This has led me to a feeling of ‘acceptance.’ Accept situations as they are, but always work on improving on each experience and creating better situations next time.

I’m not an expert in this area though. While I do get told that I can close deals, I am far from an expert. I know I can improve on my skills. For the past couple of months I’ve been reading books by Jeffrey Gitomer. The first book I read was the Little Red Book of Selling which attributed me to reading the next book, the Little Book of Sales Answers. Both of these books have a multitude of great ideas which I will be sharing here. So read on, enjoy, and tell your friends how awesome my blog is!

Take advantage of opportunity. First, recognize it (often it shows up disguised in the form of adversity). Second, act on it. Opportunity is elusive. It exists all over the place, but very few can see it. Some people fear it because it involves change; most don’t believe they are capable of achievement.

Make mistakes. The best teacher is failure. It’s the rudest of awakenings, and the breeding ground for self-determination. Don’t think of them as mistakes – think of them as learning experiences not to be repeated. How willing are you to make mistakes?

Everyone fails. But, failure is relative. Its measurement is subjective. Mostly it occurs in your mind. If you exchange “I failed” for “I learned what never to do again,” it’s a completely different mindset. The status of failure is up to you.

Principle 1: Kick your own ass.

Kick your own ass!

Ever had a bad day? Ever lose a sale you thought you had?

Ever been in a slump? Ever been rejected 10 straight times? Ever had someone say yes to you and three days later just evaporate? Can’t get them on the phone? Won’t call you back?

How do you react and respond to these situations?

Do you have all the sales training you need? Do you watch TV at night when you should be reading sales books or getting ready for your sales call the next day?

These are all symptoms. Not problems. They are symptoms of the fact that you are not self-motivated. That you are not self-starting.

Wanna know what to do about it? Wanna know the surefire way of making certain that you achieve the success, the money, the fulfillment and the personal gratification that comes with a sales career?

Here’s the answer …

Kick your own ass!

No one will do it for you. No one really wants to help you. Very few will inspire you. And even fewer will care about you. People care about themselves. Just like you do.

The only way [success] is going to happen is with self-inspiration, self-determination, and hard work that starts before everyone else gets up and after everyone else has gone to sleep. Kick your own ass is not a statement. It’s an axiom.

Take your boss with you on calls for a week – You’ll get more feedback than you can handle, but it will help.

Avoid negative talk and negative people – Find people that encourage you.

In sales, it’s not who you know. In sales, it’s who knows you.

Make friends before you start. When I meet a prospect on a sales call, the first thing I do is establish some kind of rapport that includes finding some common ground. I laugh with them, I talk to them about them. I establish some credibility with them and then I begin my sales presentation.

All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.

All things being not quite so equal, people STILL want to do business with their friends.

To make the most of a networking event, spend 75% of your time with people you don’t know.

To use questions successfully, they must be thought out and written down in advance. Develop a list of 15 to 25 questions that uncover needs, problems, pains, concerns, and objections. Develop 15 to 25 more that create prospect commitment as a result of the information you have uncovered.

Practice. After about 30 days of asking the right questions you’ll begin to see the real rewards.

Making people smile or laugh puts them at ease and creates an atmosphere more conducive for agreement. If they agree with your humor, they are more likely to agree with purchasing your product or service.

Need to improve your humor? Become a student of humor.

Know your risks of purchase. There are less than ten. List them and have “risk removing” answers for them. List what your prospect has to lose if they buy. List the corresponding (or cancelling) gains if they buy. Ask your prospect to weigh in the total package – not just the weaknesses or risks.

Replace risk with a powerful closing tool: Risk Removal

Set achievable goals.

Here’s what I do: Almost all of my customers have children or grandchildren. Instead of buying a traditional bottle of wine or booze, or giving them some silly corporate trinket, I give them children’s books. Books that have won awards and that have been signed by the author. For less than thirty dollars, I’ve made the most memorable impression possible on a human being.

Approach potential mentors with care and respect. Go slow. You find mentors by earning their respect – not by asking them to be your mentor. They just become one over time.

Success Challenge: Make a short list of people (possible mentors) you believe can impact your career. Find a way to get to know them. Find a way to get them to know you. Find a way to get the impact of their success, to have an impact on your success.

Cold calls are a lousy way to make a sale – but they are a great place to learn how to sell.

The last 10 sales will show you the eleventh. Capture and repeat your success habits. Easy concept. So easy it’s never used.

Rule of thumb: Any question asked by the prospect must be considered a buying signal.

The most powerful buying signal is when your prospect asks: “How much is it?” It means you have peaked enough interest to get the prospect to think “ownership,” and want to know how affordable it is.

There’s an old adage that says, “Most sales are made after the seventh NO.”

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