How to become a great salesperson – even if you think you already are.
Question one: Think you’re pretty good at sales? Sure you do. Making a good living, at the top of your game or team, driving the new car, got the perks, and business is good.
Question two: Any room for improvement? Sure there is, more than you think.
Question three: Got a game plan to double your sales skills and sales revenue this year? Ouch.
Don’t feel too bad, most people don’t. Most don’t believe doubling is even possible. These people are in the category of “too smart.” They already know all the answers. And even if you’re good, someone else is better. Your biggest hope is that they don’t work for your competition.
“OK, Jeffrey, get to the point. How do I get “way” better? How do I double?” you ask (hoping for the two sentence panacea).
I’ll give it to you in one sentence: Get every customer you have to bring you one new customer just like them. There it is. Assuming you maintain your level of business with existing customers, your business will double.
But that’s just an answer. Pay attention here, and I’ll give you the game plan. That’s what you really want: the how-to.
We’ll break down the game plan into two parts:
1. The Action-Formula.
2. The Realities and the Strategies.
“Sounds like work, Jeffrey.” You begin to moan. “You bet, baby,” says
And let me be clear. There are no sales techniques in this formula. This is not how-to-sell per-se. This is how to succeed. If you learn how to succeed, selling becomes MUCH easier. How to succeed will help formulate and clarify your philosophy and strategy of selling. Once you realize that you “sell to help” instead of “selling to total up your commissions,” you’ll need a calculator with more zeroes.
The Action-Formula. Here are the 10.5 action elements that will get you from good to great – then from great to greatest:
1. Read about positive attitude 15 minutes a day. Two pages a day from Carnegie, Hill or Peale. Your attitude determines everything you do. If you don’t start there, you can never get anywhere. Quick self test: If you’re constantly blaming other things and people for your failings, it’s your negative attitude that’s in the way.
2. Read one sales book a quarter.
3. Read one personal development book a quarter. Rather than just work on sales techniques, work on yourself. Health habits, personal skills, personal growth, life understanding. Best books: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
4. Read one creativity book a year. Sales people separate themselves with creativity and enthusiasm. They create attraction by being different. This is a learned skill. Best book: Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko.
5. Attend 4 sales seminars a year. Invest in yourself by learning. Learn new things and meet other learners.
6. Listen to sales tapes twice as much as you listen to the radio in the car. Repetition is one of the keys to mastery. The other is practice what you learn as soon as you learn it.
7. Record yourself reading a book on sales. By recording a book yourself, you will master the sales skills AND hear your presentation skills at the same time. It is a powerful exercise. Read and record 30-minutes a week.
8. Post your goals in front of your face and say them twice a day. I post my goals on my bathroom mirror, to give myself a way as I start my thinking for the day. SECRET: When I achieve one of my goals I take it off my bathroom mirror and re-post it on my bedroom mirror, so that each morning as I dress I can see my success. Goals are your roadmap.
9. Have real sales training for 30-minutes a week in sales meeting with your friends or coworkers. Weekly sales training helps you build your knowledge in a real learning environment. Give yourself the gift of new knowledge, strategy reinforcement, and inspirational material you can use the minute you leave the meeting. Check out my weekly online training at www.trainone.com.
10. Record yourself making a sales presentation. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE FORMULA. If you do all the other parts of the formula, and never hear how you sell, you’ll never improve. The day you hear yourself trying to make a sale, is the FIRST DAY of your success quest. Caution: It’s as painful as it is powerful.
10.5 Print out this list. Study it, copy it, post it in several places, and turn each action-element into a goal. Make it part of your being for one year and it will be part of your life forever.
Now for the realities and the strategies – the daily action part. Please don’t be confused by it’s simplicity – this list just makes it seem simple. The fact is: Selling ain’t easy.
I’m going to give you the Realities and Strategies of Sales Success. Your job is to make an implementation plan for each one.
1. Get and stay likeable. The customer buys you FIRST. Sell yourself BEFORE you try to sell your company or your product.
2. Make a list of what you say you do that your competition does NOT say they do. There’s probably NOTHING on your list. In other words, get creative and say something new. HINT: Add new questions that your competition doesn’t ask.
3. There are NO new objections – get rid of them. Make a list of the objections you hear over and over (not interested, happy with present supplier, price too high, no budget, send me a proposal, and so many more), and figure out answers that win. Use those instead of the ones you’re using.
4. Get the prospect hot for you. Make a copy of your traditional customer “hot list.” Then ask yourself the question “hot for who?” Make a list of prospects that are hot to do business with you – smaller list.
5. Try it as soon as you learn it. After you listen to a strategy or sales technique, try to use it within the hour. Listening followed by doing leads to mastery.
6. Modify what you learn – adapt it to your personality. Don’t do it the way I do it – do it the way it suits your personality and style. Be yourself.
7. Adapt what you learn to your product or service. Not all sales information is about what you sell. So what? Just figure out how what they teach applies to you and try that.
8. Get and keep a positive attitude by studying attitude every morning. The secret of attaining attitude is reading for 15 minutes every morning. I’ve been doing it for 25 years and so far it’s working.
9. Join ToastmastersT. An hour a week about how to get better at presentation skills. Your presentation skills are as important as your sales skills. Go to www.toastmasters.org and find the club nearest you.
10. Stay a student – if possible a humble student. The best way to become a master at what you do is to combine “study” with “practice” for the rest of your life.
10.5 The daily dose. You can’t do it all at once (no Vulcan mind-meld here, Spock), but you can do a little each day. Everyone knows “an apple a day,” but very few follow the advice. If you just do a little each day, at the end of a year it adds up to a lot. If you do nothing each day – at the end of the year that adds up to nothing. You don’t get great at sales in a day – you get great at sales day by day.
NOTE: Wait a few months and I’ll probably write an implementation plan for each element. So relax – you can sit back and wait for Jeffrey to provide all the answers – and in the meantime the only people that will beat you are the one’s who do it on their own. Hope they’re not your competition.
FREE GitBit: Want a little sales wisdom to get you going? Sure you do. I have two pages of sales proverbs from The Sales Bible just for you. Go to www.gitomer.com – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words SALES PROVERBS in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at www.gitomer.com, 704/333-1112, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
c 2006 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com