It makes me uneasy when I say I have been is sales for 40 years. But I have. 42 to be exact. I was very lucky to meet some great folks early on that became lifelong friends. I also was lucky to meet some folks that I never saw again but I was able to take something of value from them.
The Great Gratz taught me a few things. Never cross the street unless there is a reason to do so. The difference between leaders and assholes. Think big and move mountains! So what exactly does the latter mean?
It means think BIG. Dream BIG. Do BIG things. Don't think small.
So let's start at the most basic. Sales is overcoming objections of the would-be buyer. No objection, no sale.
Problem is most people who are supposed to be in sales go off the deep-end when you raise objections and questions and challenges. See their job is to answer them not be upset by them. Not be surprised by them. But actually welcome them. yes welcome objections. The more the better. See the "Objection" is at the heart of every sale. An objection means you are interested not the other way around but MOST salespeople get ANGRY or frustrated when they should be calmly answering the question at hand like you actually know what you are talking about and not being defensive but being confident. That is the foundation of it all.
Now you can't even get to an objection unless there is need, want desire. Because at that point, they don't give a shit about what you are saying because there is no interest on their part and you as a sales person have done nothing to spark their interest. Then the really bad sales folks start talking about price. Not value. Price. Well why would you talk about price when we already established they don't give a shit about what you are selling?
So I can spot a sale a mile away and I can spot things that will never lead to a sale from an even further distance.
When they walked in the door of that mattress store I worked at when I was 19, they already made it clear they had a need a want and a desire. We were some schlock house and they already went to Sears and Penny's and Macy's and they were still looking. You know what that meant? They were ready to make their purchase and go home. Wish I would have realized that back then But I did not. The owner did. He closed every single customer that he waited on in the entire time I worked there. Every single one and he explained why. So simple. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Now that I look back, I understand it. Customers walking in his door had need, want and desire and what was probably missing was Value. So they were shopping price and comfort and benefits and when it could get delivered and they just wanted to go home.
Sales is a universal art. Some sales are hard-hitting. Some are a slow smooth mild pitch. Some sales involve no selling at all but just showing overwhelming value. Sales is an art and a science. I can spot a real sales pro in minutes and a faker in seconds. It is nothing more than a series of questions and answers and building a confident relationship. The questions are objections and objections are the path to a sale. But MOST get frustrated with questions. Mainly because they have no answer and when you have no answer, you LOSE! You lose because you are not prepared and you lose because you did not go out of your way to find the answer. You may have even been bothered by the question.
Now on the other hand there are questions that say I am serious and questions that say I am just going to waste your time. They are easy to spot. But you have to know human nature. You have to be able to interpret something. For example, when somebody says it is not about the money, they are generally not being truthful. It is always about the money. Always. 99.9%. The more you argue the point, the less I will even listen. There are some truths you just learn over time. It's always about the money.
So as long as you are getting pertinent questions, you are on the road to a sale. And as long as you answer them completely and confidently, you will be making that sale. And you may even have to ask for it. However if you do it really well, they will tell you they are ready.
As a consumer I have choice. You have choice. We all have choice. That is why sales is key. It is the subtle difference between eating and starving.
We are all in sales. All of us. We start out as kids and we whine until we get what we want. That is sales!
I love when I meet a CEO and he tells me he is not into sales. Wow! That's like a runner that does not like running. It is part of the job description whether you like it or not and if you are no good at it you are going to have a rough road.
Sales is a combination of human nature and all the other things I have mentioned. Sometimes one of the parties even get pissed. It's okay. Don't take it too seriously. It is all part of the human show. Just laugh it off. Think of a good comeback. Touche.
Sales is a thought process. It is a challenge and many times you don't make the sale. Or you may not make it right then. But if you did your job well, that sale may still come. You got to know when to back off and when to go for the sale itself. That old thing TIMING once again. If you go out on a date and you expect something too quickly you will probably end up with nothing. But if you go with the flow and don't push or rush it, much more likely to unfold the way you want. Same thing in sales. You are romancing. romancing a vision or a product or an idea or a service or whatever it is you are trying to sell. And if you are a good romancer, you can CREATE, Need, want and desire. You can illustrate value and benefits. But to do all that, you need to overcome all the objections. You can't ignore them. Once you ignore the objection, you lose. You may be able to skirt the issue once, but if it comes up again and you have no answer, Go home. You lose. No sale!
I know when we talk sales the first thing most think about is a Used Car Salesman because they are the worst and the lowest on the food chain. Most have had their job for days and not years. It costs nothing to hire them and most get fired within 6 weeks. That is not the sales I am talking about today. I am talking about a much more sophisticated type of sale where there is a common goal and the sales person can be your guide to get what you Need, want and desire. Like a concierge for example. They are in sales, but it is a soft sell. Time shares are a hard sell.
Sometimes you only get one shot at making a sale so you have to go for the fences pretty quickly. Other sales take months or even years. That is a very sophisticated sale with lots of time invested.
Sales is an art. Sales is a science. Sales is your ticket to eating for as long as you live. Sales is nothing more than a meeting of the minds with a reward.
Much Thanks for you’re doing for All of Us
Thanks for what you’re doing for all of us entrepreneurs
We did a national campaign (a big one) for a major advertiser who wanted ‘buzz’. The end result (which some of you probably saw on TV) was an ad that didn’t mention the name of the company. It was oh-so hip, painfully clever and chic. The “concept” was you’d be so impressed with the awesomeness of the ad, you’d go to the website to learn more. I was loudly opposed to it. You can be hip and clever without such bullshit. You don’t try to persuade John Q with an arthouse film (and this was very much a John Q Product).
It failed. The lessons (they) learned from post-focus was that if the ad didn’t immediately convey what they were supposed to be buying, they didn’t have the patience to ‘figure it out’. The team was so concerned with their own sense of aesthetic-awesomeness, nobody bothered consider the fundamental question: is this going to help sell what we’re being paid to help sell.
Touches Indeed. Just bought received and am listening to Power Negotiating and the audios seminar is ALL about sales and consumer psychology. Interesting to hear and learn of the psychological strategies that we have been falling victim to for years. That won’t happen again, or depending how good the sales person is it just might ;-)
Been a lot of downtime for domainers the past five years. Wonder how many have spent this time in quality educational exercise and thought time to prepare for the spotlight that is about to shine on our industry courtesy of billions of dollars and sales and promotion activities that will mark the GTLD based internet era?
Reminds me of the old story of god who sent three rescue vehicles in a flood the priests way only to have the priest respectfully refuse the aid and redirect it to others. Upon arriving in Heaven the priest asked “Why did you forsake me” and God replied “What do you mean… I sent you two boats and a helicopter”
Thx for sharing
‘I love when I meet a CEO and he tells me he is not into sales. Wow! That’s like a runner that does not like running. It is part of the job description whether you like it or not and if you are no good at it you are going to have a rough road.’
Unfortunately Rick that’s why most large retail corporates are getting nailed. Those running them don’t understand the micro economics of individual buying habits and how the internet is effectively a double edged guillotine. Look at the sales content in any MBA and you’ll find precisely ZERO. EVERYONE IS SELLING SOMETHING, Profit is the bit between SALES and COSTS. Universities are the WORST providers and teachers of business, they could possibly introduce an SME MBA that has more of a consultancy style focus, but they seriously don’t have a clue.
Run a small business for a while and you’ll learn more than any MBA in the art of making or not making money. They should put CEO’s on boot camps called ‘Market Stalls’ and people would quickly find that they are not suitable to run a large corporate, currently being amiable and having the right presence is the biggest factor for being a CEO, and not being sharp. That’s why retail companies are failing. JC Penny and all the rest are all the same, The CEO has to be smarter than the marketing people because invariably they talk sh*t and I know (They don’t understand how to make money only how to friggin SELL to get that volume bonus, that’s why CEOs have to understand how to motivate yet deliver margin and therefore profit).
Nb: As an example, because profit is the difference between Revenue and Costs, I absolute bet if there was survey undertaken of CEOs that more of their time would be spent on costs than revenues and more of that time would be short term in nature compared to medium and long term.
The internet has been a major threat to retail companies for a DECADE now. So, any CEO worth his/her salt would have allocated at least 10% of their thought processes to this game changing (logistics/sales etc etc) situation. ONE WHOLE YEAR. Then step back and look at all the companies that have failed and are now failing (Retail, Newspapers etc) and assess whether they really did spend any time thinking, or did they simply manage a situation while the company fell off the cliff with all the other lemmings?
LSM- Great point. I see this all the time.
Everyone I have met and will meet is a total asshole. The more they argue the point the more angry I get.
In fact we all are in sales at some point. The CEO feels degraded accepting that he is a sales personnel due the traditional difference created by the British people. CEO means top of the pyramids while they forget that the person with art and science doing the great job to keep the company running with caring of the customers should be on the top of the pyramids.
Any way, we must appreciate Rick for his time and… For sharing his thoughts and experience with us. Not an easy task !
Type Strengths Potential Weaknesses
Disciplined Excludes feelings from decisions
Goes too far; perfectionist
Too rigid or demanding of self/others
When communicating with an Analytical
Be systematic, thorough, deliberate, and precise
Focus on the task
Be prepared to answer many “how” questions
Provide analysis and facts
Don’t get too personal
Recognize and acknowledge the need to be accurate and logical
Don’t rush unnecessarily
Expect to repeat yourself
Allow time for evaluation
Use lots of evidence
Compliment the precision and accuracy of the completed work.
Diplomatic Tends to conform to wishes of others
No time boundaries; things do not get done
Not assertive or directive
Be relaxed and agreeable
Maintain the status quo
Be logical and systematic
Create a plan with written guidelines
Be prepared to answer “why” questions
Agree clearly and often
Use the word “we”
Compliment him or her as a team player
Be a good listener
Determined Has trouble operating with others
Does not take time to consider other perspectives
Domineering; too focused on doing it “my way”
When communicating with a Driver
Focus on the task
Talk about expected results
Be businesslike and factual
Provide concise, precise, and organized information
Discuss and answer “what” questions
Argue facts, not feelings
Don’t waste time
Don’t argue details
Expressive Good communicator
Imaginitive Talks too much
Comes on too strong
When communicating with an Expressive
Focus on developing a relationship
Try to show how your ideas will improve his or her image
Be enthusiastic, open, and responsive
Relate to the need to share information, stories, and experience
Be forthcoming and willing to talk
Ask and answer “who” questions
Remember to be warm and approachable at all times
Work to minimize his or her direct involvement with details or
I am looking forward to buying your book(s).
George In Miami
Thank you for the great lesson.
Here’s one I didn’t even dream about:
“We are all in sales. All of us. We start out as kids and we whine until we get what we want. That is sales!”