Most people are always striving to better themselves. It’s the
« American Way ». For proof, check the sales figures on the
number of self-improvement books sold each year. This is not a
pitch for you to jump in and start selling these kinds of books,
but it is a indication of people’s awareness that in order to
better themselves, they have to continue improving their
personal selling ab abilities.
To excel in any selling situation, you must have confidence, and
confidence comes, first and foremost, from knowledge. You have
to know and understand yourself and your goals. You have to
recognize and accept your weaknesses as well as your special
talents. This requires a kind of personal honesty that not
everyone is capable of exercising.
In addition to knowing yourself, you must continue learning
about people. Just as with yourself, you must be caring,
forgiving and laudatory with others. In any sales effort, you
must accept other people as they are, not as you would like for
them to be. One of the most common faults of sales people is
impatience when the prospective customer is slow to understand
or make a decision. The successful salesperson handles these
situations the same as he would if he were asking a girl for a
date, or even applying for a new job.
Learning your product, making a clear presentation to qualified
prospects, and closing more sales will take a lot less time once
you know your own capabilities and failings, and understand and
care about the prospects you are calling upon.
Our society is predicated upon selling, and all of us are
selling something all the time. We move up or stand still in
direct relation to our sales efforts. Everyone is included,
whether we’re attempting to be a friend to a co-worker, a
neighbor, or selling multi-million dollar real estate projects.
Accepting these facts will enable you to understand that there
is no such thing as a born salesman. Indeed, in selling, we all
begin at the same starting line, and we all have the same finish
line as the goal – a successful sale.
Most assuredly, anyone can sell anything to anybody. As a
qualification to this statement, let us say that some things are
easier to sell than others, and some people work harder at
selling than others. But regardless of what you’re selling, or
even how you’re attempting to sell it, the odds are in your
favor. If you make your presentation to enough people, you’ll
find a buyer. The problem with most people seems to be in
making contact – getting their sales presentation seen by, read
by, or heard by enough people. But this really shouldn’t be a
problem, as we’ll explain later. There is a problem of
impatience, but this too can be harnessed to work in the
We have established that we’re all sales people in one way or
another. So whether we’re attempting to move up from forklift
driver to warehouse manager, waitress to hostess, salesman to
sales manager or from mail order dealer to president of the
largest sales organization in the world, it’s vitally important
that we continue learning.
Getting up out of bed in the morning; doing what has to be done
in order to sell more units of your product; keeping records,
updating your materials; planning the direction of further sales
efforts; and all the while increasing your own knowledge—all
this very definitely requires a great deal of personal
motivation, discipline, and energy. But then the rewards can be
beyond your wildest dreams, for make no mistake about it, the
selling profession is the highest paid occupation in the world!
Selling is challenging. It demands the utmost of your
creativity and innovative thinking. The more success you want,
and the more dedicated you are to achieving your goals, the more
you’ll sell. Hundreds of people the world over become
millionaires each month through selling. Many of them were flat
broke and unable to find a « regular » job when they began their
selling careers. Yet they’ve done it, and you can do it too!
Remember, it’s the surest way to all the wealth you could ever
want. You get paid according to your own efforts, skill, and
knowledge of people. If you’re ready to become rich, then think
seriously about selling a product or service (preferably
something exclusively yours) – something that you « pull out of
your brain »; something that you write, manufacture or produce
for the benefit of other people. But failing this, the want ads
are full of opportunities for ambitious sales people. You can
start there, study, learn from experience, and watch for the
chance that will allow you to move ahead by leaps and bounds.
Here are some guidelines that will definitely improve your gross
sales, and quite naturally, your gross income. I like to call
them the Strategic Salesmanship Commandments. Look them over;
give some thought to each of them; and adapt those that you can
to your own selling efforts.
1. If the product you’re selling is something your prospect can
hold in his hands, get it into his hands as quickly as possible.
In other words, get the prospect « into the act ». Let him feel
it, weigh it, admire it.
2. Don’t stand or sit alongside your prospect. Instead, face
him while you’re pointing out the important advantages of your
product. This will enable you to watch his facial expressions
and determine whether and when you should go for the close. In
handling sales literature, hold it by the top of the page, at
the proper angle, so that your prospect can read it as you’re
highlighting the important points.
Regarding your sales literature, don’t release your hold on it,
because you want to control the specific parts you want the
prospect to read. In other words, you want the prospect to read
or see only the parts of the sales material you’re telling him
about at a given time.
3. With prospects who won’t talk with you: When you can get no
feedback to yours sales presentation, you must dramatize your
presentation to get him involved. Stop and ask questions such
as, « Now, don’t you agree that this product can help you or
would be of benefit to you? » After you’ve asked a question such
as this, stop talking and wait for the prospect to answer. It’s
a proven fact that following such a question, the one who talks
first will lose, so don’t say anything until after the prospect
has given you some kind of answer. Wait him out!
4. Prospects who are themselves sales people, and prospects who
imagine they know a lot about selling sometimes present
difficult selling obstacles, especially for the novice. But
believe me, these prospects can be the easiest of all to sell.
Simply give your sales presentation, and instead of trying for a
close, toss out a challenge such as, « I don’t know, Mr.
Prospect – after watching your reactions to what I’ve been
showing and telling you about my product, I’m very doubtful as
to how this product can truthfully be of benefit to you ».
Then wait a few seconds, just looking at him and waiting for him
to say something. Then, start packing up your sales materials
as if you are about to leave. In almost every instance, your
« tough nut » will quickly ask you, Why? These people are
generally so filled with their own importance, that they just
have to prove you wrong. When they start on this tangent, they
will sell themselves. The more skeptical you are relative to
their ability to make your product work to their benefit, the
more they’ll demand that you sell it to them.
If you find that this prospect will not rise to your challenge,
then go ahead with the packing of your sales materials and leave
quickly. Some people are so convinced of their own importance
that it is a poor use of your valuable time to attempt to
5. Remember that in selling, time is money! Therefore, you
must allocate only so much time to each prospect. The prospect
who asks you to call back next week, or wants to ramble on about
similar products, prices or previous experiences, is costing you
money. Learn to quickly get your prospect interested in, and
wanting your product, and then systematically present your sales
pitch through to the close, when he signs on the dotted line,
and reaches for his checkbook.
After the introductory call on your prospect, you should be
selling products and collecting money. Any callbacks should be
only for reorders, or to sell him related products from your
line. In other words, you can waste an introductory call on a
prospect to qualify him, but you’re going to be wasting money if
you continue calling on him to sell him the first unit of your
product. When faced with a reply such as, « Your product looks
pretty good, but I’ll have to give some thought », you should
quickly jump in and ask him what specifically about your product
does he feel he needs to give more thought. Let him explain,
and that’s when you go back into your sales presentation and
make everything crystal clear for him. If he still balks, then
you can either tell him that you think he product will really
benefit him, or it’s purchase be to his benefit.
You must spend as much time as possible calling on new
prospects. Therefore, your first call should be a selling call
with follow-up calls by mail or telephone (once every month or
so in person) to sign him for re-orders and other items from
your product line.
6. Review your sales presentation, your sales materials, and
your prospecting efforts. Make sure you have a « door-opener »
that arouses interest and « forces » a purchase the first time
around. This can be a $2 interest stimulator so that you can
show him your full line, or a special marked-down price on an
item that everybody wants; but the important thing is to get
the prospect on your « buying customer » list, and then follow up
via mail or telephone with related, but more profitable products
you have to offer.
If you accept our statement that there are no born salesmen, you
can readily absorb these « commandments ». Study them, as well as
all the material in this report. When you realize your first
successes, you will truly know that « salesmen are MADE – not