I would have never thought that this point in my career I would be studying how to sell and how to be good at it. I know for a fact that I hate getting any sales calls, I hate having to talk to some stranger about how amazing the opportunity they have for me and how it can change my life. I’m sure that you have received a similar call before.
This blog post is going to be a summary of some of my learnings that I have gathered. Most of my learnings that I have picked up come directly from this book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar”
I picked up this book because I want to be a better sales person. Not just with the services that I offer or the products that I sell. I want to be able to persuade myself for a certain action or persuade others to do the same. This is what you can call having a sell. But of course it goes far beyond just making the sale, you also want to actually make some money.
I believe that if you are able to make a sell you will never go hungry. -Rick H
Selling is not easy…
I’m not going to sit up and jump up and down so you can buy my product, that does not work and will most likely never work. You have to be able to do a couple of steps correctly to get a sale.
The book was originally published back in 1996. When I picked up the book, I asked myself one question
Can this book help me?
If the answer was yes I was buying it.
Just like with any good book you should be able to open it up to any page and start reading and if you like what you see you should purchase it.
I read through a couple of the first pages of the book and the words are well written, I decided to go for it and buy it. I purchase the book and like most things that you buy they sit idle doing nothing.
If you are an action taker you pick up that book and read it.
I decided that I needed to become a better sales person, so I picked up the book and started reading.
The book starts off with a great story and the struggles of a sales person. The story is a great one of Sandler himself. He goes on telling you how his career as a professional sales person and how he was not getting where he wanted to be.
Then Sandler goes the next step and shows you everything that is wrong with selling and how everyone around you was probably taught the wrong way to sell. Then he introduces you to his secret selling technique “The Sandler Selling System”.
In the book, there is a diagram of the Sandler Submarine which shows you the selling system that he is going to show you how to use. In each of the chapters he goes into more details of the parts of the system and shows you how you can start to use the system to make more sales.
This image itself got me thinking. Is this “system” worth learning, should I invest the time to master this system?
The answer for me was an absolute YES.
If you have read the book The E-Myth Revisited you know how important systems are. You need something that is replicable and sustainable. This is what sold me on “The Sandler Selling System”.
Now I’m not going to go through the entire book and tell you how to use his system. Instead of that, I’m going to be writing ideas that I have learned about in this book and see where any of my knowledge gaps are.
Before you continue reading here. I’m assuming that you have a good relationship with money. If you do not have a good relationship with money I would not recommend you to read any further. I don’t know of any good books yet that can help with this. Money is a tough topic to talk about and this book is a great starting point but not a great way to work through your money problems.
As a salesperson, you have to figure out any issues that you have with money and FIX them.
Here is the complete list of all my new learnings that I have gathered.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
This is not the first time seeing NLP being referenced before. Multiple books that I have read point back to this technique, from sales, self-help, marketing the list goes on. The book does not go deep into NLP and how you can start using it. The author just gives you a tip so you can go out and learn more about it yourself. If you are interested more in NLP and how to build rapport with others I would recommend you to read How to Win Friends & Influence People.
Your prospects do NOT want to hear from you and they will do everything in their power to hide, cheat, lie and possibly even steal from you. This is why it’s important to obtain PERMISSION from them to be able to tell them more about your product or service. You can do this with permission marketing, in the book the author gives you a couple of ways to achieve this. Since the book was written before the internet age all of this techniques have changed.
The principles remain the same though if you want to know more about permission based marketing check out Seth Godin’s book on Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers
This is something interesting that I picked up from the book. Actually act as a “Dummy” on purpose when you are interacting with a prospect, this way you can ask more questions and it’s something that the prospect is not going to be expecting. Give it a Try!
This is easier said than done. You have to force yourself to shut-up and listen to the other person and the point of view that they have. This is far more difficult, in your mind, you might be running the conversation all the way to the end and they are just beginning. Use the dummy curve to force yourself to talk less.
If you have been following me for some time I’m a big GOAL setting machine. I set small goals and BIG goals, some become reality others don’t.
I’m always looking for a way to improve and become better. For a sales professional this is even more important, not only do they need to have the goals that they are working for but also the goals that they want to achieve that day. Sandler explains in far more details the importance of having daily goals. Daily goals will get you results that same day, not in some far away future.
Reverse Selling is a bit interesting, you see kids do it all the time. If you want a technique that will catch your prospects off guard this is the one for you. This can take some time to master so be patient with yourself and keep trying.
Start with No
Getting your prospect to say no is easy. It even might be the first thing that comes out of there mouth.
Thanks, but no thanks.
You want to get a strong no before you even approach the customer. This will do two things for you.
- Increase your probability to give your presentation
- Intrigue Curiosity
Of course, this needs to be a positive no, not a negative one. The book gives great examples on how to do this effectively.
I have been trying to do this for some time now and it’s not easy. You have to set up the time and make the commitment to do it. For Me It’s the first thing that I do in the morning for 20 minutes I just start writing away whatever is on my mind. This will do a couple things for you.
- Let you see what your thinking on paper
- Clear your mind for the day
I have found that a daily journal is a great way to start the day, but you have to make it a habit that you follow every day and stick with it. It’s really painful at first and it might take you multiple months before you get the hang of it but it’s well worth the effort.
Look at it this way.. 10 years from now you will be able to look back at any day and be able to read what you were thinking that day. How awesome is that?
+ or –
I have read on multiple books what Sandler introduces here. It’s the positive and negative sides of selling and how you can end up throwing your entire day away if you fall on one of this sides.
If you’re in the positive side everything is good. You are making sales and you are on the way to the bank.
If you’re in the negative side everything is going to hell. You are not making any sales and the entire day goes to waste.
The book goes in detail on how to stay on the positive side of this curve and how you can prevent yourself from going over to the negative side and how you can pull yourself back to the positive side if you happen to fall into a negative day.
Live To sell, not sell to live
You do not need to place your self-worth on how much you are selling. However much you sell is not how much you should be worth. Making a sell is great and not making a sale can feel like the world is going to end.
Your self-value does not need to be made up from your sells. You are worth the same if you make the sale or if you don’t make the sale.
Do not let sales fool you into thinking otherwise.
Got straight to the top
If you want to get an actual sale make sure that you are always talking to the right people that can make that decision that typically involves going straight to the top of management. If that includes a CTO, CFO, or CEO make sure that you are always talking to the right person.
This is important! Most sales books will not tell you this. I will give you an example of this. In the book 10X Rule by Grant Cardone he goes and tells you something along the lines of
If you make 10 calls per day 10x that to 100 calls per day and get 10x result.
Which on paper looks great and it makes 100% sense to do more and you get more.
100% agree with this.
The only problem is that humans are emotional.
Why is that the person can only make 10 calls per day?
It’s because that is all that their emotions will allow them to do.
If you want to improve your self-worth and self-image I would recommend you to read Psycho-Cybernetics.
Ask More Questions
You want to uncover pain that the prospect is feeling. You can do this by asking questions, the more questions that you can ask the more information that you will have.
Asking more questions will help you find the problem that they are facing, and give you the right information for you to be able to provide the correct presentation.
If you are having a hard time coming up with questions you can always fall back to being a dummy and asking basic questions about what their biggest needs are.
Give More Get More
Offer up as much value as you can to any of your possible customers. Give and give and then give some more.
The word “Manipulation” might bring up mixed emotions about selling. You do not want to be ever misleading or lying to any of your customers.
If you are having a hard time with this concept read the book. It gives you a good perspective on to stay true to your message and being honest with any of your future to be customers.
Away and Pleasure
Everyone is either moving away from pain or towards pleasure.
You want to use this as a tool. If you need to take your customers towards pain take them there, and if they are moving towards pleasure help them get there faster.
This is a two edged sword and you have to make sure that you always leave your prospect at the same place you found them or a better sate of mind.
You do not ever want to leave them, worst off.
People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons. -Zig Ziglar
Emotions play a BIG role into deciding if you are going to purchase an item or not.
You are going to want to use emotions when you are selling a product or at a minimum be aware of the emotions that the prospect is going to be feeling when you are interacting with them.
A really good book on how to use emotions during a sale is Secrets of Closing the Sale .
I would say that pain is one of the most advanced techniques that you will learn as a sales person. It might take you a lifetime to master this one skill.
In the book, Sandler shows you how to use pain by understanding.
I don’t have any good readings for this one. I’m still new and trying to understand how to use this to get more sales.
Time is Money
Your time on this earth is limited.
What you do with that time will determine how you will be remembered.
You want to make sure that you are always doing something because of a specific reason.
You never want to be doing anything if you don’t have a specific reason why you are doing it.
If you are just doing things to “pass the time” when you are out selling.
YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG
You never want to be passing time.
Focus on your daily goals and the soon enough you will be turning time into dollars.
More Pain = More Money
The larger pain someone has the more money they are willing to pay to get rid of that pain
This is a sound statement but it did not really make that much sense, until a couple of days later when I started to think more about it.
The bigger pain someone has the more money they are willing to spend to get rid of that pain.
Your job as a salesperson is to find the pain and bring it to life and make the sale.
If you want to make more money find a person that is suffering and help them get out of the pain.
The bigger the pain is, the bigger the check will be.
Fear is a scary thing. It can take over your entire body and not let you do what you have set out to accomplish.
I want to give you something that will actually help you get past this fear.
You can do this with ACTION.
That’s the only way to get past the fear.
The longer you wait to do something the bigger the fear will get.
The only way to get past any fear is to go ahead and move forward and get passed it by doing the actual task.
If that’s picking up the phone.
If that’s emailing someone.
If that’s going up and talking to strangers.
Just do it.
Pick up the phone, pull up your email, start walking.
That’s the only way to get passed this fear.
This is way easier said than done.
YES or NO
Before you give your presentation to anyone you want to make sure that you are talking to the right person. You can do this by simply asking a question before you begin. That question is this.
Can you give me a definitive yes or no for my product or service at the end of my presentation?
If they say maybe.
Don’t give the presentation.
If they say will see.
Don’t give the presentation.
The only answer that you are looking for is a definitive YES.
If they can’t do that, in the beginning, don’t even bother wasting your time with the prospect.
Cut your losses and move on.
The attitude that you have towards selling will determine a big portion of your success as you move throughout your sales career. Attitude Matters, you want to have a good outlook for the type of sales that you are going to make. If you get a couple of rejections don’t let those stop you from going out and closing the next sale. Your attitude towards yourself and other will be a big determining factor in your success.
All of the things that I covered in this blog post are going to require courage. Remember that word? The ability to do something that frightens one. You are going to have to act while you are in fear that is courage. It’s scary and difficult at times. But if you want to be a great sales person you have to get past the fear and move forward with courage.
The book ends with a really nice quote
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Everyone is a sales person, why not be a GREAT sales person?
Go out and get them.
Till Next Time,