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Sales 101

January 30, 2007

I’ve received several emails from people telling me I should write a book.  That fact is, I already have, although I’ve never shown it to anyone.  It entitled How to Sell More by Selling Less.  It basically explains my sales philosophy which is that nobody likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy.  So rather than selling them, help them to buy.

Ultimately a sales person’s goal is to make money. They do that by making sales.  The problem is that most salespeople are so focused on their goal, that they get salesy and pushy and neglect the goals of their customers.  It’s a widely (and wrongly) held belief that the best salesmen are the best talkers, when, in fact, the best salesmen are the best listeners.

If, as a sales person, you put your customers goals first, you will, in the end, reach your own goals.  Its your job to find out what the customer needs, or wants, and then help them to get it.  And, a really good salesman will help a customer to realize that they need, or want something, even if they didn’t already know that they did.  A good salesman is an expert in the product he’s selling and those of his competitors, and he uses that expertise to guide the customer.  A good salesman asks a lot of questions, and then listens (not just waits for his turn to talk) to the answers.  Customers will tell you exactly how to close them, if you’re a good listener.  And you can't be afraid to ask direct pertinant questions. In fact, you can ask anyone anything, as long as they know why you're asking it.  If you walk up to a woman on the street and say "excuse me, what size are your breasts?", she'll problably slap you.  If you walk up to that same woman, with a clipboard in hand and say "Excuse me, I'm with Victorias Secrets and we're doing a survey in the area, If I may ask, what size are your breasts?", she'll problably tell you.  The only difference...she understood why you were asking.

Think about your own experiences as a customer.  Who are you more likely to buy from, a pushy sales guy who is trying to sell you what you don’t want, or a helpful professional who tries to understand your goal and aid in you achieving it?

None of the above is meant to discount the importance of sales fundamentals (qualifying, overcoming objections, and always be closing).  But if you take a sincere interest in the needs or desires of your customer, then you will earn his trust and his business.

This sales philosophy works in all types of sales, whether need or want sales.  To clarify, and I’ll use the car business as an example, most car dealers are in the need business.  That is, their customers come to them because they need transportation.  Exotic car dealers are in the want business. People come to us because they want what we have.  Although the want business is a lot friendlier and less confrontational, sales skills are just as, if not more important.

The book goes into great detail about how to be a successful sales person, how to become and stay motivated, and even reveals the secret that all wealthy people know, that is, how to make a lot of money.

Some day, in the not too distant future, I’ll tighten the book up and get it published...

This weekend is Superbowl, which is a great time to do business in Las Vegas.  The town will be packed, with every one of the 135,000 hotel rooms sold out.  I’ll be surprised if we don’t sell 5 or more cars.

We've also packed the retail store with merchandise and are going to try to break our one day and weekend sales records.  Wish us luck.....

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