What are you learning? How are you learning?

What are you learning? How are you learning?

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 gitomer.me.

What are you learning? How are you learning?

How are you taking advantage of your knowledge?

I have been a student of sales since November 11, 1971. Iwas listening (via the brand new voice technology called the “cassette tape”)to a guy named Jay Douglas Edwards, who uttered the sales tip, “If the customersays, ‘Do these come in green?’ you say, “Would you like them in green?” Cool.

That’s the day I realized that there was a science ofselling. I wanted to learn more.

I will admit that most sales skills and sales tips taughtin the 1970’s were somewhat manipulative. But at the time that’s all thatexisted. Over the last 40 or so years sales models have changed.

Probably the best example of change I can offer you comesfrom a column I wrote several years ago about the “Benjamin Franklin close.”

You can get that column in its entirety by going tohttp://www.gitomer.com/articles/ColumnSearchResults.html and entering thekeyword: Franklin.

Basically what the column says is rather than use an old,time-worn manipulative sales close on the customer, try using it on yourselfbefore you go into the sale as a means of preparation.

I have read all or portions of hundreds of sales booksover the past 40 years, but most of what I have learned has come from the sparkof an idea gleaned from a book, and then it was somewhat altered once I got outinto the field and had to actually apply the strategy. Kind of like you.

All sales books offer some form of valuable information.All sales experts offer some form of valuable information. As a student, your job is to determinehow that information fits into your skill set, your environment, yourmarketplace, and your customer interactions.

Learning sales skills is a matter of understanding,adoption, application, and a bit of tweaking.

In my experience I have found that unless the tip orstrategy is comfortable to me, I won’t use it. It has to fit with mypersonality and be in the framework of my comfortable conversation and ethics.

HOW TO READ: As a reader myself, I am challenging you tolook at the ideas you read with an open mind, and strike from your mind thephrase, “I know that.” Most salespeople already know everything. The problem isthey don’t do it.

I would rather have you ask yourself, “How good am I atthat on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Then ask yourself:

  • How does this information apply to me?
  • Do I agree with this?
  • Am I comfortable with this?
  • Does it fit my personality?
  • Is this “me?”

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, then askyourself the following three questions:

  • Is this in the best interest of the customer?
  • Will this lead me to a long-term relationship withthe customer?

And finally the true self-test question:

  • Will this make my mother proud?

Jeffrey, what about CDs and the Internet? YouTube,podcasts, and other forms

accessing sales skills information?

They’re all GREAT! They’re just not as great as reading a book. Of course there aremulti-media forms of sales information you can access. But none are as flexibleas reading. Reading gives you a chance to move at your own pace, underline,scribble notes in the margins, re-read what you may not understand, evendog-ear the important pages and where you left off.

Reading time is usually quiet time. It gives you a chancefor reflection. Whenever you choose, you can stop and think about the meaningand the AHA!, or you can adapt and apply what you read.

The messages offered in books are from a combination ofmen and women, experts in their field, who have actually used these methods andstrategies to build their own success. And your job is to adopt them, adaptthem, and turn them into money.

Got book? Maybe you should try to read a book a month.

If you want my list of recommended reading, go towww.gitomer.com and enter the words SALES PILLS in the GitBit box.