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Sales 101

Sales 101

“I will live this day as if it is my last. …I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, Yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?”

I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?”

― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World

As a sales person, I love sales. I love to sell things, I love to talk to people, I like to tell prospects that they are not a fit for our company. It’s rather empowering. As the owner of a company, I get calls from sales people that are in charge of landing my business for insert service here.

The other day I received a call that went something like this. Rookie salesperson: “Mr. Thompson, we have researched you and we are in a position to give you a contract.” Me: “Oh my, I’m honored, can I ask a couple of questions”. Rookie: “Of course!” Me: “Why would I want a contract with your company?”. Rookie: “Shuffle, dance, and then, quite simply you are on my list.” Me: “kindly remove me from the list and have a great day”.

The sales manager for the above company I’m sure will be fired soon. The lack of a point of difference and ability to engage me in a conversation was never even contemplated by my friend the Rookie.

So, what should he have said to get me engaged? If you are new to sales, the fact that you don’t know squat is a key advantage over your elder statesman. You are like the kid that just found out the neighbor had a train collection and you are over at their house actually interested in what they are doing, asking meaningful questions, and taking a genuine interest in their hobby. That’s what sales is all about, taking a genuine interest in another person and engaging them to see if what you do is a fit for their needs

When you make a sales call, try the following: Bob: “Chuck, this is Bob Bother, did I catch you at a bad time”. Chuck: “Nope”. Bob: “Ok, this is a sales call, it’s going to take me about 30 seconds, at the end of the 30 seconds you decide if we should keep talking, ok…” Chuck: “OK” Bob: “Chuck I own / work for / manage a company that offers solutions to your industry. Clients hire us for various reasons, but many times, they are frustrated with their current vendor, angry that the last time they had an issue it was handled improperly, and finally, they are usually a little concerned at all the changes occurring at their current provider. Did you hear any reason that might lead you to believe we should keep talking?” Chuck “Well, last year we lost our sales rep and things have not been the same.” Bob “simply start a conversation”. At this point I should give a little credit to my friend David Sandler, if you don’t know David, GOOGLE him, he’s been a good friend for years.

The mystery of great sales is all about first making the call, second being able to start a conversation, and then determining if it makes sense to meet. Rookie sales people are all about getting that meeting only to learn they have no chance in hell of doing business with the prospect.

There is an actual buyers cycle that we have conditioned all prospects to follow, but there are tools you can use to break the cycle. To learn more about the sales cycle, click here:

Sales are a game if you are not having fun, something is dreadfully wrong!

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