After all these years I am still always surprised, and sometimes stunned by the lack of preparation most sales professionals don’t do.
For most sales professionals, salesmanship is the warn out clichés, which somehow implies that a “salesman” takes advantage of others with their slick fast talking smoke and mirrors magic tricks. Which is why I assume most of my fellow sales professionals either don’t bother to practice trade, or if they do, they practice the tired old hard closing manipulative techniques touted as some get rich quick, sell anything to anyone to easy to be true sales system.
I know I am being a bit hard on my brothers, and sisters in sales, but I am hope if you have gotten this far, and are reading this you have been through some sales training, and know what I am talking about. If you are like I was when I first started I at least hoped that there is another way! The good news is there is.
I have set up this book in the order in which you should also handle your sales. Everything is a system designed to produce a specific result. The systems, and strategies you are about to learn are the most powerful tools of attraction, and persuasion you will have every learned before now, or will ever witness even latter. Nothing before or after this has of will be more powerful than what I am going to share with you here. You maybe wondering how I can possible make this claim. I can because I have sold insurance face to face for 29 years. Today I had 6 sales interviews, made 18 cold calls, and sold $9,817 in new commissions. How about you?
Please take the time to understand how each piece fits into the next. There is a natural flow to this book, as there soon will be to your salesmanship. Each idea ends with the next already starting. Each idea is built on the foundation of the prior one.
As you will quickly figure out I am about to tell you the truth about becoming a great salesperson. In doing so I have to expose not only what I perceive as the general flaws and weaknesses I witness and experience from other sales professionals, but I also have to share with you my own. This is different from others that seem to posses skills beyond the normal human state. I believe that by sharing my weaknesses, along with my strengths you will come to have confidence in yourself, and see that what I am sharing with you is actually attainable for an average Joe like myself. I am not going to tell you what sounds good, or makes me look good in hind sight, I am just going to tell you what I have learned, how to apply it, what it looks and feels like when it goes wrong, as well as when it goes right.
The first key to becoming the great habitual salesman that you are is to only do what is best for you clients. This seems so simple but how many times do we (I use we as you and I are more the same then different) go into a meeting, or make a call, or present our wares with the thought of our commissions on our minds?
Have you ever been around a sneaky drinker, or smoker? I mean have you ever been around someone that sneaks a drink, or a smoke, then chews some gum, splashes on some cologne, or perfume and thinks no one knows they had been smoking, or drinking? You know the person I’m talking about. If not how about someone that wasn’t trying to sneak it, but just reeked of it? It is about the same experience when we meet with a prospect reeking of our own self interest. Somehow they just know.
Here is the deal. You are reading this to get better at selling your goods, or services. You want to be better so you can build your business, to make more money, to take better care of your family, to take better vacations, put your kids in better schools, and so on. Am I close? All of these are good reasons for you, but have you noticed that the most important person in the transaction is missing from all this? Your prospect or client! Not that all of this isn’t important to your client also, but they just don’t care about yours, they care about theirs!
What you are going to learn here can give you the tools to be the most helpful person you know of. They can also help you become the most manipulative passive aggressive person you know. The choice is yours. I am hoping you use these skills to help others. If you have an honest desire to help others this is the book for you! If you are not interested in helping others, honestly committed to it, the tools and techniques I am sharing wont work for you, so return the book for a refund. The skills I am going to teach you will be transparent to your clients. That’s a good thing if you are honestly there to help. It is a very, very bad thing if you are there to “sell” something for your own needs. I think you see my point.
So What Are You Selling?
It is funny, or at least interesting how we all seem to sell what ever it is we are selling. What is interesting is that if I asked you right now, for 95% of all sales professionals they really are not clear on what it is they sell. Most sell a product, or a service, rather than a solution.
I recently bought a wireless internet deal for my lap top at a cellular store. The salesman was kind, knowledgeable and sold me the wireless devise I needed. He has about 40 or so wireless products, and I am sure he sells his fair share one at a time. One product at a time. I wondered why, or if he had ever thought about why I had a Black Berry on my hip, or as we talked about my other cell phones, with different companies. I wonder why he was content selling me one little wireless device. Wasn’t I at least a suspect? A suspect for what? Well what is he selling? I would have to conclude he is selling wireless products one at a time, in an order taking environment having a small situational monopoly, with suspects (me) asking all the questions, and he offering only answers. He was selling products not solutions.
What is your sell?
In insurance for instance I have so many products to talk about. Many of my peers sell auto insurance, or home insurance, some offer life insurance, and so on.
A long time ago I caught on to the idea that I would sell what ever it is I was trying to sell. So why not make a conscious choice about what it is you sell on purpose?
So for me I can sell. Auto, home, umbrella, and life insurance packages, with boats, rvs, what ever my client has to insure I can insure it. But still I noticed I was selling products. Then one day I was attending sales training back in the Midwest. About the third day I was day dreaming a bit. As you might guess there is nothing on earth more energizing and exciting than an insurance conference. (I am kidding of course). But as I sat there I was thinking about how mechanical the sales training was.
I was being trained on selling life insurance, and the trainer was clearly a fan of high pressure sales tactics. I never have been very good at the high pressure pitches, as I always get to nervous. I was in my early 20’s then. I have since learned that most sales trainers aren’t trainers because they were great sales professionals, rather particularly in the insurance field most trainers are trainers because they never were really good at doing it. And no wonder, this high pressure stuff was hard to watch. One thing that I kept coming back to in my mind is how unnatural the transitions from selling auto and home insurance to selling life insurance was. I also struggled with the idea of making another appointment with my clients using a “canned sales pitch like, I need to come over next week to discuss something very important to your family’s future. All the other off beat scare tactics were similar.
Sitting there that day I kept telling myself there has to be an easier more effective way to sell life insurance. I couldn’t believe anyone actually manipulated people the way the insurance “sales trainer” was teaching. After three days of training I knew one thing. I couldn’t do any of this high pressure stuff. Heck it made me sick to my stomach with near panic attack levels of anxiety just watching my fellow insurance sales trainees do there role playing, practicing their sales pitch. I knew if I could hardly watch it, there was no way I could do it.
Finally a break through. Somewhere on day 4 “I think” I had a simple thought. Why not just sell solutions every time? Instead of selling products one at a time, why not just take care of what ever my client needed? I know this seems like to simple of an idea, and of course everyone knows this, right? Wrong. I didn’t, and no one ever taught me this. By the way based on the salesmanship I witness everyday, I am probably correct in my assumption that no one has ever taught you this simple idea either. If they did you most likely haven’t embraced the concept. Ok, you are the one other sales professional on the planet with me that “gets it”! What is it? Well to start with, most clients don’t know what they need. They only know what they want, but seldom do they know what they need, or why they need it. So to sell solutions I had to start with better, more complete fact finding. Fact finding that in fact was a back porch salesmanship technique. By that I mean I had to uncover all the needs, and desires of my clients in a manner that motivated them to also want to take action. More on fact finding, AKA: closing the sale latter.
What you should do now. Take action. Write down exactly what your product or service does. Describe in detail what happens to your client when they don’t have your product, or service properly done. Compare that to what happens to them if they have things in order.
Next write down what it means to have properly taken care of all the needs each customer has. Give it some detail; what does “A Client” of yours mean? Do you have an ideal client on the books now? Do you know someone that does? What services and products do your customers need, and how does it all fit together.
Finally describe what it is you are selling. First write a small report, detailing what you are selling, and why. How it helps your clients and what happens to them with out your product or service. Now summarize this into a one paragraph statement.
Hang onto this for a bit. We need to have it handy when we work on develop you closing
Strategies, also called fact finding…