Great Sales Managers Evolve from Great Salespeople.

Great Sales Managers Evolve from Great Salespeople.

Written By Jeffrey 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


Here is a memo sent by iXL VP of sales, Bill Whitley, to his sales team. It speaks (volumes) for itself.

As your VP of Sales, I am excited about the opportunity to focus 100% of my time selling. I believe we have everything we need to “kickbutt” in our region… a broad range of high quality services, strategic internet marketing, access to capital, strong management, awesome presentation tools, and happy clients… you name it… we got it. And if there is anything else that you think we need to be successful that we don’t have, I would like to know about it immediately. Best of all, representing all this opportunity is one of the finest sales teams I have ever been associated with. Each of you was hand picked because of your background, drive and proven track record.

As your sales manager, I think it is important to let you know what I believe in and expect from every member of the team. First you need to know that we will make our numbers this year, no matter how hard we have to work to do it. If it takes working 18 hours a day, so be it. If anyone is not committed to doing what ever it takes to make the numbers, now would be a good time to start looking for another job. With that said, here are some general laws of selling that I have found to work for me:

1. It’s a not a numbers game. It’s a smart numbers game. How smart are you? My experience is that for every 5 qualified proposals you submit, 1 will close, 3 will delay and 1 will choose another option. The moral of the story is, if you want to close 1 deal a month you better have 5 active proposals (oh, and when you HAVE to make the sale, the numbers will fail so better have ten, if you really want to win).

2. Enthusiasm is contagious. Give it to someone. Customers want to go with a winner. Your excitement about your company and the services is more powerful than anything you say to the customer. If you’re not already excited about what you do, find something to get excited about. Then radiate your excitement when you’re around customers and prospects.

3. People buy from people they like. Nothing is more powerful than building rapport and bonding with a client. When I walk in to meet a prospect for the first time, I often say to myself, “I am going to make them like me.” Do whatever works for you, but make sure they like you. Arrogance is inexcusable. Get real familiar with the Mackay 66.

4. Do brain work, not hard work. If you’re going to chase accounts, make them big ones. Don’t waste your (and your company’s) time on small customers that can’t afford to buy what you sell.

5. Study ancient history learn how to use leverage. Egyptians had to move 5 ton rocks before they had trucks and cranes. They used leverage. I want you to leverage your brain and contact power. I guarantee that someone here or someone in your network knows someone or something at the prospect’s company you are trying to sell or get into. Ask around, google them, call the prospect’s sales department.

6. Think about asking for the sale (closing) all the time. If you don’t know you are going to get the business, you are not going to get the business. Customers like to buy from people who believe in their product and are willing to ask for the order. Ask questions that let you know where you stand, such as: “I know several people will make this decision, but which supplier are you personally leaning towards? What is the possibility that this project will kick off this month? What kind of budget do you have? What kind of decision process do you have to go through?”

7. People sense when you have their best interest at heart. Make yourself a valuable member of your client’s team by consistently putting your client’s interest first, and recommending valuable solutions.

8. Use the contact management database. It’s your best friend and it never forgets what you committed to do or when you’re supposed to do it.

9. Practice your pitch. Watch other coworkers do the pitch. Rip off the parts that work best for you and then customize so that it becomes yours.

10. If you want to be successful, study success. Buy the books, listen to the recordings, watch the videos… invest in yourself. It’s the best investment you will ever make. As Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

11. Listen aggressively and always take notes. Don’t just sit there and nod your head, write it down. I believe the reason I have succeeded in sales is that a prospect only has to tell me about their business, their concerns and their goals once. I get it the first time. “The palest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.” Or as Zig would say, “Don’t just think it, ink it..”

12. There are four main reasons that people decide to do nothing.
– You haven’t found enough pain (you haven’t struck the buying nerve).
– The prospect doesn’t have a vision of how you can solve the pain.
– You are calling on the wrong person.
– You haven’t built the value proposition.
The only common word among the four reasons is the word “YOU.” Get it?

And lucky 13. If you find out the real reason that your prospect wants to buy, you can make the sale. This is “lucky” because the smarter you become about the prospect and his real reason to buy, the luckier you’ll get at making more sales. And vice-versa. Charles Revson said, “In the factory we make makeup, but in the department stores, we sell hope.” It’s called the unique selling proposition (USP). Know yours before you say a word.

There are two types of sales managers:

1. Go get ’em tiger.

2. Follow me.

Bill Whitley is an example to follow. You see, Bill Whitley’s not just a great sales manager, he’s a great salesman. That’s what it takes to be a great leader and a big winner.

FREE GitBit… Want the Bill Whitley fail-safe 5 question prospect qualifier? Just go to click Access GitBit, register and enter the secret word QUALIFIED.