Sales Gems

Sales Gems

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer
@GITOMER

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

Sales Gems from loyal readers of Jeffrey Gitomer’s column
  • There are two types of sales people; those who approach customers with the intent of lending a hand and those that are expecting a hand out. Tony Ciaverelli
  • Find a common interest immediately. Look around your prospects office for any clue as to their interests ie: a family picture, a golf calendar, a sports team logo. Build a rapport around common interests and get them to talk about it as long as they want. Then proceed with your presentation.Ted Boone
  • Don’t make anything up. If you don’t know what you’re talking about regarding a common interest, your prospect will know and your credibility will tank. Better to keep your mouth shut and move on. Ted Boone
  • I work for a “managed IT services”. Our clients are mostly small businesses and I have found that you not only must read the client, but also, read the “atmosphere”. If you are soliciting a construction company, don’t walk in the door in a three piece suit. This will immediately suggest you are in sales and their guard heightens. On the same note, when soliciting a Law firm, a Tommy Bahama shirt and slacks is probably not the best choice. Always read the atmosphere and blend in as best as possible. People like to do business with people that are like them, or at least perceived to be. Christopher Edwards
  • Be a good listener! The old adage, “It is better to hear than to be heard” works in sales too! I’m enthusiastic about my company but recognize that I need to discover exactly what the prospect needs before embellishing on all that I have to offer. Eye contact, lots of it. Tammy Grove
  • As a VP in charge of Client Services, I try to instill one rule in my sales people, and that is to listen to the customer and find out what they need, at the time of your visit with them. This in most cases is not what you are trying to sell them, but what they need when you’re sitting across the table from them. As a health care professional, my business is for people to refer clients to me for home health care needs. During the years of selling, or as I like to refer to it as “building relationships” I have recommend dog trainers, made dinner reservations, called party planners, just to name a few, all in the interest of bringing something to the table that the client needs, therefore having then think about “what I did for them” and how I made their day a little less stressful, also how I can be an added valve to them in the future. I like to say, I get a lot of calls back for other stuff, but in time, the “other stuff” does lead to business for me, and great professional relationships. Janice Williams
  • The customer doesn’t care how much you know, until he/she knows how much you care. I’m not sure who said this but I heard in a sales seminar some years ago. I keep this phase on the wall over my desk, and it really makes you think twice before picking up the next sales call. Charles Williams
  • Treat the next sales call or client opportunity as the last one you will ever have, and you will commit yourself to provide the best possible service, and thereby significantly increase your opportunity to be compensated. Bill McClelland
  • It was drummed into us 20 years ago when I sold two-way radio systems for Motorola, “Under-promise and over-perform.” So simple, yet so many in the sales profession seem to get it backwards. Mike Lonergan
  • It is so simple. People buy from people they like. If your client likes you, they will buy anything you have. If they do not like you, you could not give it to them for free. Roger Cawthon
  • In a competitive situation, instead of ‘We can do that too!’, comment instead ‘Let me show you what we do differently.’ Works great to generate customer interest, and sets our product apart from the rest of the pack. Annette M. Bakic The mind isn’t open to my sales proposal unless I get a smile on their face.” I am not talking about a laugh fest but really connecting with the prospect and going for their heart as well as their head. When there is a chuckle in the sales meeting I know they are more relaxed and open to a very meaningful and candid conversation. This leads to a comfortable sale. Rich Delaney
  • People buy from someone they trust. Weyman W. Prater
  • First impressions are EVERYTHING. If you screw that up, you don’t stand a chance. You have to be a very good listener, find out what your prospect’s needs are, make them feel at ease with you. I take pride in my work, I believe in my product, and I have confidence to sell myself (not only the product). I once told my boss that I am very lucky with my success I’ve obtained in sales, and he told me that “you make your own luck”. I think that is true. You can’t wait for the sale to “just happen”. You have to MAKE it happen. Diane Schouten
  • When you begin to do business with someone, try to find a way to aid him/her in their pursuits. It’s simple. In my business of selling generators, I try and give the contractor I’m trying to establish regular business with a lead or two in the coming month. Customers call us for installed prices on generators. We only supply them so I refer my friend who installs them and now have him/her for life as a customer. I have illustrated a simple but proven principal of looking out for others. This can be applied throughout any business relationship through many different product and service offerings if your heart is right and you try to place as much importance on your customer’s world as you do your own. Michael R. Thibault
  • If we don’t make it, find a way to have it made for them! Relationships are everything! Customer buy from us because they know we will go the extra mile for them. James Kennedy
  • If you tell your prospect/customer that you’re going to do something for them…do it.” Have you promised to get additional information?…A technical perspective?…product information?…etc. If you’ve promised something, then follow through and deliver. It sounds simple, but if you do that, you’ll set yourself apart from a vast majority of the competition! Mark Baltimore
  • Price only matters in the absence of value. Ray Moore
  • “No” does not mean “No”, it means “Not right now.” When a prospective sale comes back as “No”, treat it as “Not right now”. Stay in touch by periodically “dripping” information to and checking in with your prospect. You never know when circumstances (or decision makers) may change. Denise Burleigh
  • You can’t loose what you don’t already have!” If a prospective client does not select your service or informs you they are using a competitor’s service, probe for more information. You might uncover the “real” reason you do not currently have the business. Even if you do not win the business, you will have a more informed approach toward your next prospect. Denise Burleigh