How to be a Good Sales Person
It all started when I was 14 years old–my sales career, that is. I took a job as a newspaper delivery boy. It was exciting for a 14 year-old to have money in his pocket and understand the value of a dollar. I was no longer reliant on my parents when I wanted to go to a movie or purchase a Slurpee, and I took every advantage of my new freedom and cash flow. Being a paperboy not only required that I deliver a daily newspaper, but it also introduced me to door-to-door selling.
On Saturdays, the paper route manager would load her van up with 10 teenage boys who delivered papers, and we would drive to a new neighborhood and do what we called “crew working.” This simply meant door-to-door sales. I wasn’t an instant success. However, very quickly I did develop a sales presentation, and as a result that first year, I sold more newspaper subscriptions than anyone in the history of the newspaper, and I was 14 YEARS OLD! I sold nearly 96 subscriptions that year and the average was 25. During my time with the newspaper, I was the number one salesman the entire time.
Since then I have had other sales jobs and every time, I was always the number one salesperson. To this day, almost twenty years after my paperboy experience, I make it a goal to outsell those in my circle. I don’t do it to prove I am better. I do it as an internal competition for myself and as a motivator to keep me from getting stagnate. So how do you maintain a level of “number one salesperson” for a period of twenty years at every sales organization that you go to?
There are a lot of factors. However, two of the most important are: 1. NEVER wing it! 2. Understand that buying is an emotional decision. First of all, the salesperson who does not know EXACTLY what he is going to say, exactly what questions he is going to ask and exactly how long his presentation will be, is setting himself up for failure. I can’t believe my ears whenever I hear speakers say, “I was preparing what I was going to talk about right before I spoke.” or “I didn’t know what I was going to talk about until I got here.” When they say that, there is almost an arrogance in their voice that says, “You know, I am so good and so knowledgeable that I can just decide what I want to talk about at the last minute and wing it.” The sales professional with this attitude is no professional. He is more impressed with his ability and knowledge than the size of his commission checks.
On the other hand, the top sales professional is concerned with how much product he moves. If your goal is to be a top producer, then understand you must be prepared. Decide what questions are thought-provoking questions, memorize those questions and ask them to your prospect. When they are engaged and thinking, then you win. When you are winging it and just spouting information, the odds of them being engaged decreases significantly. Next, understand that buying is an emotional decision. Brian Tracy tells the story of a couple who are looking to buy a home. As the couple walks up to the home the woman exclaims, “Wow! There is a cherry tree in the back! I have always wanted a cherry tree!” The salesman makes a note of this and walks them into the home. The husband says, “The kitchen is too small” and the salesman replies, “Yes, but look through the window and you have a perfect view of the cherry tree.” The husband walks into the backyard and says, “We don’t want to have to take care of a swimming pool.” The salesman says, “Yes, but you can put a chair right here and sit under the cherry tree any time you like.” The husband was using logic and the salesman emotion. The couple bought the house because of that.
One tragic mistake many salespeople make when selling is that they talk constantly about themselves and how the product has helped them. While this is good to a limited extent, notice the difference between: “I took this seminar on memory training 15 years ago. I use this all the time. I used it to give my speeches without notes, memorize people’s names and much more. I have appeared on television and radio because of this training. It has made me somewhat of a celebrity!” Or “I want you to imagine this. You go to this seminar and when you leave your children are able to memorize their school work in minutes. I know their smart, and so do you. They are taught what to learn…and not how to learn. Let’s teach them together how to learn and watch their confidence and self-esteem shoot through the roof! Next, how many times have you been at a baseball game and you see someone that you have sold a home to and you can’t remember their name? Because of this, you are embarrassed, and they don’t feel special. Now, flip that around. You sell a home and 6 months later recall their name. You have made them feel important, significant and special. At this point, you earn their referral business and are well on your way to earning a fortune!”
Notice the difference between the two statements. The first statement is a salesperson stating what this seminar has done for him! The next statement is the same information worded another way. In the second statement, you are getting the prospect to visualize themselves and their family experiencing the value of the product. When you do this you have their emotions. When you talk about yourself, you do not have their emotions. Yes, you may be your favorite subject.
However, you are not your prospect’s favorite subject, and the earlier you begin talking in terms of them the earlier you will touch their emotions. So in review: prepare and touch their emotions, and you will be the top salesperson in your organization for the next twenty years!!