What’s the difference between failure and success in salespeople?
It’s my anniversary. March 23, 1992 my first column appeared in the Charlotte Business Journal. I could not have been more proud, nor could I have been more mistaken. At the time I wrote it, I thought it was a great column. I just re-read it and I was mistaken.
But anniversaries are a time for triple reflection. One, the past. To observe where you’ve been – both in hard copy and in memory. Two, the future. To think about where you’d like to be and what you’d like to achieve. And three (perhaps the grim reality of) where you are right now – The present. The present is the only one of the three that you can affect. You cannot change the future, you cannot predict the future, but you can affect the present. If you affect the present the right way, the future is more predictable but never completely.
And so today in celebration of my anniversary, I would like to share some thoughts with you and some concepts about how you can affect your today so that you’re happier at the moment and have the piece of mind to know you are preparing with some sort of game plan. If you understand my prime two philosophies of sales, “People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy” and “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things not being equal, people still want to do business with their friends”, then you understand the guiding principles that will drive your success as a sales person and a person. The friendlier you are, the greater chance you have for long term relationships – and the more people will buy from you. With that big picture in mind, here are the elements you can implement today so that tomorrow’s sales will be certain.
1. Kick your own ass. If you’re waiting for someone else to “motivate” you, you’re gonna wait a long time. Other people can inspire you, but you are responsible for your own motivation. Always have been, always will be. The easiest way to do this is to develop a “yes” attitude. The different between “yes” and “positive” is that “yes” is more powerful. More self-certain. If you think yes and you speak in terms of yes, then you will develop a yes aura and all others around you will start to say yes to you.
2. Prepare to win, or be prepared to go down in defeat. “Be prepared”, the 100-year old boy scout motto has never been more true than today. Get prepared by turning off the TV and turning on the computer. Definition of television: something your competition hopes you watch lots of, so that they can be more prepared than you are. Heed the advice of my friend Scott Crawford’s grandfather who lived by the creed, “The workday day starts the night before”.
3. If you can’t get in front of the real decision maker you suck. How many times have you given a GREAT presentation and the guy tells you he has to go ask his daddy if he can buy it? Answer: too many.
4. It’s all about value, not about price. Give value first, don’t add it. Value is where you can jump ahead of 70% of the market. “Price” is where you make no money and create zero loyalty. “Value First” builds the law of attraction. Your prospect or your customer wants a sales lead, not a brochure. The problem is you have a closet full of the wrong thing. My personal marketing strategy for the last 12 years has been, “Put yourself in front of people who can say yes to you, and deliver value first.”
5. Engage me and you can make me convince myself. What are the 10 questions your competition never thought to ask? Ask them! Questions are the process by which a buying atmosphere is created. Most sales people ask the wrong questions and by definition, get the wrong answers.
6. Use CREATIVITY to differentiate and dominate. At the core of the sale is the science of creativity. And your ability to use it. Study creativity.
7. Reduce their risk and you’ll convert selling to buying. Eliminating risk leads to purchase. You must ask the customer, “What’s the risk? What’s the reward?” And you must ask yourself the same questions. If the risk is low and the reward is high, then the purchase becomes obvious.
8. Who is better at selling your product, you or your customers? Testimonials are the missing ingredient to the “lost” sale or the “price” sale. They are also the deciding factor in the “everything else is equal” sale. If all things are equal, the prospect will look at the price OR be convinced by your testimonial of the “value” of doing business with you.All things being equal, testimonials can make the sale.
9. Be selfish. Selfish wins. Learn for yourself. Do it for yourself. No one else will, anyway. In order for you to be the best you can be for others, you must be the best you can be for yourself first. The best mom or the best dad or the best salesperson, requires that you first be the best person.
9.5 Resign your position as general manager of the universe. Clean your own closet before butting into other peoples closet.
It took me 25 years to figure out that “today” is the only day you can affect. You learn from the past, you plan for the future, but you deal with who you are today. In my mind, today is the best day there is. It was the same yesterday and it will be the same tomorrow.
Free GitBit: It starts with philosophy. If you’d like mine as a guideline, I’d love to share it with you, just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word PHILOSOPHY in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the 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 internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org