Sell, Sell, Sell

Whenever I ended a sales meeting or a one-on-one with a salesperson, my last words were always “Sell, sell, sell.”

That’s your primary job as a salesperson.  SELL.

Always ask people to buy.  It’s amazing how many salespeople rarely ask their prospects to buy.  You’ll be amazed; sometimes people will buy just because you ask.

Stay focused on your job!  Most salespeople waste time every day.  The odds are that if you could get some of that lost time back, you would generate more sales.  So, don’t lose time.

If you sell by telephone, count your calls every day.  Try to increase the number of calls you make each day.  To a degree, selling is a numbers game.  Put those numbers to work for you by making more calls.

Sell, Sell, Sell.

Sales Philosophy #15 – Never Order Chicken Fried Steak in a Place That Doesn’t Have a Jukebox

Sales Philosophy #15 – Never order chicken fried steak in a place that doesn’t have a jukebox. And when its good, show your appreciation to the waitress and the cook.

In addition to being a professional, deal with professionals.

Fortunately, your company probably has professionals in every department, so you have a great support team to back up your efforts.  If your company sold chicken fried steak, it would be the best, and you would have the jukebox and the cream gravy and the green beans and the mashed potatoes…and it would all be the best!

And remember to show your appreciation to the professionals who help you along the way.


Sales Philosophy #14 – Outwork the Other Guy

Sales Philosophy #14 – Outwork the other guy.

Give 110%.  Work harder and smarter than the other guy.

If you want more from your job and from life, you have to do more than others are willing to do.

Make more calls.  Practice good time management.  Be organized.  Start making sales calls at the same time every day.  Don’t let distractions or excuses keep you from making calls.  Spend more time each day selling, and spend some time every day prospecting.

I encourage you to arrive at work early and stay beyond quitting time.  Put forth the extra effort required to give yourself a professional edge.

Sales Philosophy #13 – Utilize Your Computer System to Give Yourself a Tremendous Competitive Edge

Sales Philosophy #13 – Utilize your computer system to give yourself a tremendous competitive edge.

The only way to sell today is with a computer with contact management software.  Your computer system gives you a tool that your competitors may not have.  It gives you powerful information and intelligence that will enable you to dazzle others with your knowledge and your memory.  It enables you to make good use of your time, and it organizes priorities for you.

Use it.  And learn to get more and more from it.

Sales Philosophy #12 – Promote, Promote, Promote

Sales Philosophy #12 – Promote, promote, promote.

I believe in consistent promotion.  I want customers and good prospects to receive at least one mailing from us every month.  I want each salesperson’s Top 20 accounts to receive yet another mailing – a letter, a copy of some research, a special article, whatever.

One of my favorite recollections is something that happened to me at a trade show a few years back.  I went up to a booth, spotted the name badge of the man that I had learned was the key person, and introduced myself.  “Hi, I’m Bill Windsor with Windsor Communications and SCREENplay Magazine; are you familiar with us?”

He responded: “Three times a month.”  I said, “I beg your pardon.”  He said “Three times a month.  Month in, month out, I receive at least three pieces of mail from you.  My secretary tells me we have one file drawer that she calls the ‘Windsor drawer.’  I must admit that we have adapted many of your promotional pieces for our own use.”

And with that endorsement, I began to ask questions about other ways in which we could serve as a member of his Marketing Department…all of which lead to a significant advertising contract backed by a variety of merchandising services.

For a period of several years, I used Ultra-Brite (neon) stock for a series of postcards.  I had a number of advertisers who told me that they would get a big stack of mail each day, but they’d spot those neon postcards sticking out, and they’d think of us and know it was from us before even taking a look.  One man confided that every time he saw one of those bright neon colors anywhere, he automatically thought of our magazine.

Promotion is important.  Targeted promotion is even more important.  By utilizing our computer system, you must retain details on accounts that will enable highly targeted promotional letters and material to be sent to specific accounts.  In these competitive times, this targeted, personalized promotion will be the most effective promotion you can do.

Identify every conceivable prospect!  Be fanatical about identifying and adding to the database every conceivable prospect for your company.  Always be on the lookout for new prospects.  And add information to the database that will cause targeted promotions to be sent to these prospects in the future.

Promote.  All the time.  On time.  On a regular basis. 

And convey a quality image.  You want to maintain a quality, professional image at all times.  This image is to be reflected in the appearance and content of all printed materials, spoken word, and actions.

Sales Philosophy #11 – Try to Develop Customers for Life

Sales Philosophy #11 – Try to develop customers for life.

I have an acquaintance in Dallas named Carl Sewell.  In the 1990s, he had a $250 million-a-year automobile business.  Carl had figured that each customer was worth $332,000 over a car-buying lifetime, and he obviously wanted that money spent at one of his dealerships. 

What does his company do to ensure the second, third, fourth, and fifth sales?  Well, let’s start with a fleet of 250 loaner cars made available to his customers when they have a car serviced.  Incidentally, the service rep will pick up the car to be repaired.  Trouble on the road?  If you bought your car from Sewell, just call the emergency number and a service technician will do everything from making you a new key to bringing you gasoline or repairing a flat tire – all at no charge.

His salespeople make a big deal out of delivering brightly polished new cars to the proud owners.  Customers are made to feel like Kings and Queens.  Salespeople always call within 24 hours of delivery to make sure everything is okay and that the customers are very happy.

Service is incredible.  Each salesperson makes it crystal clear to customers that if there is ever any problem, he is the one to call.  The salespeople stay in touch with their customers and monitor every service or repair visit.  The special touches just go on and on

And Carl was not satisfied to be only as good today as he was yesterday, so he studied from experts to learn how to be even better.

I sold an eighth of a page ad ($125) in the first issue of Impressions Magazine to a couple of Arabian guys in Chicago – A&G Sportswear.  It would have been easy to pay little attention to such a small advertiser.  Fortunately, we didn’t know any better, and we didn’t.  Sixteen years later, they were still regular advertisers – now running eight pages in each of the fifteen issues. 

What we want are customers who are with us year after year.  To get that, we have to work really hard to be much more than a company to each and every one of our customers.

Supply the little extras that give you an edge.  Have a little flair.

Remember: “And then some.”  Give people more than they expect.  Deliver more than you promise.  Do what it takes to set yourself apart from the pack.

Paying attention to your customers will pay big results.

Deliver customer satisfaction. 

Provide fabulous customer service. 

One of the Company’s primary goals is to provide excellent service to the many people who are customers of our company.  To our employees, we say believe in our company and what we are striving to accomplish.  Take pride in our company.  Help our effort to be successful by doing more than just putting in your time.  We hope you will look upon your association with our company as something more than “just a job;” with that type of attitude, we will all work to try to develop customers for life.

The one thing no business has enough of is customers.  If you want to have them and keep them, what you do after the sale matters more than what you do to get it.

The customer may not always be right, but is always the customer.

Create a role for yourself as a consultant, an ancillary employee.

If we don’t take care of the customer, someone else will.

When we take care of our customers, we take care of ourselves.

Have impeccable manners. 

Keep your promises.

Show respect for other people’s time.

Promise big.  Deliver big.

The goal is to develop customers for life.  It can be done by really concentrating on customer satisfaction, providing great customer service, and doing more than is expected.

Sales Philosophy #10 – Never Step Over a Dollar to Pick Up a Dime, Unless You’re Pretty Sure It’s a Rare Coin

Sales Philosophy #10 – Never step over a dollar to pick up a dime, unless you’re pretty sure it’s a rare coin.

Concentrate on the largest, most important, active accounts.  Spend the greatest percentage of your time on those accounts.  Remember the 80/20 rule.

You should maintain a list of your Top 20 accounts.  Work those accounts.  Learn what we need to know about each of those companies, and learn as much as you can about your contacts within those companies!  Work hard on those “dollars”

All businesses lose a certain percentage of customers every year.  You need to minimize those losses.

The difference between the success you are enjoying this year and exceeding goals beyond your wildest expectations rests with the list of companies who are no longer doing business with you.  If you had a meaningful number of those companies back, think about where you would be!  Those would be classified as “rare coins,” and you need to work to get those companies back

Let’s take especially good care of our active customers.  And let’s focus on keeping those customers active!

Closing – Decision Analysis Is Important to a Good Salesperson

Decision analysis is important to a good salesperson.

Knowing how your customer makes a decision gives you great sales leverage.  People make decisions for their reasons, and you must ask them for information about those reasons.

Instead of hoping that your prospects translate generic features and benefits into personally meaningful concepts, a professional salesperson learns what’s important to the buyer and presents his product accordingly.

To determine the personal hot buttons of your customers and prospects, ask these key questions:

What do you want in ________________? (answer = criteria)

What would having (criteria) do for you?

What features are most important to you?

How will you decide what _________ to buy?

What factors will influence your decision?

What are the things you like and dislike about (the competitor’s) product?

People Express Their Decision Factors in Different Ways

Although people tend to use consistent ways to make decisions, it is rare that someone would repeatedly describe these ways of deciding by using the same words.

The following list of important factors and their synonyms is provided in the book What They Didn’t Teach You In Sales 101:

advertising        reputation, name recognition, familiarity

alternatives       variety, selection, product line

appearance        looks, atmosphere, ambiance

cleanliness        looks, neatness, sanitary

convenience      location, proximity, near

help                   service, assistance, support

courtesy            consideration, service, respect

credit                 cash flow, bargain, discount

dependability    reliable, reputation, confidence

extras                gifts, incentives, bonuses

habit                  tradition, familiarity, sentimental

image                style, status, “in” thing

honor/honest     integrity, honesty, trustworthy

money               price, cost, charge

performance      durability, high standards, holds up

prestige             class, peer pressure

prompt              quick, speed

affiliation          relationship, friendship

quality              value, craftsmanship

reputation         referral, popularity

safety                security

suitability         appropriateness, applicability

times open        convenience, hours

Sales Philosophy #9 – Be Original

Sales Philosophy #9 – Be original. 

When I was in the T-shirt business, I had a mural of cartoon characters wearing printed T-shirts painted on the side of my Dodge van.  It was great advertising and became known throughout Orlando.

When I moved the T-shirt business into a 6,000-square-foot building next to McDonald’s, I had a cartoon mural painted 120-feet long and 10-feet high on the side of the building facing McDonald’s.  It was quite the attention-getter.  We were in the newspaper and on TV.

When I expanded my first publishing company into a new office building on the outskirts of Dallas, it took our staff too long to go eat lunch.  So, we bought lunch for the entire staff every day.  When we advertised for employees, our ad always ended “We even have a free lunch.”

I once published and distributed a list of all of our subscribers.  No one gives away their customer list.  I did.  Just the names, no addresses.  It was an impressive list, and it sold more advertising.

I once had custom fortune cookies made to promote a new trade show.  Buyers loved it.

Be original.  If that means being a little eccentric, so be it.

Always be on the lookout for new ideas.  And copy, copy, copy!  Adapt the ideas of others to your business.  Creativity begins with imitation. 

Be creative.

Use your imagination.  (Charles Goodyear found 32,000 uses of rubber!)

Ingenuity is a key to success.

Sales Philosophy #8 – Be a Student to the End of Your Days

Philosophy #8 – Be a student to the end of your days.

Never stop learning.  Study. 

Most people study diligently in school to prepare for life and their chosen career.  Then they graduate and expect the rest to just happen.

Commit yourself to constant self-improvement.

Learn something new every day.  Force yourself every day to do something new; expose yourself to new experiences.

There are learners and nonlearners.  There are people who learn, who are open to what happens around them, who listen, who hear the lessons.  When they do something stupid, they don’t do it again.  And when they do something that works a little bit, they do it even better and harder the next time.

Education can help you avoid the high price you pay for experience.  Education is a lot less painful than learning the hard way.

Remember, second is last of you don’t get the sale.  The difference is often a slight edge to one salesperson.

Keep learning.  You will always have things to learn about selling.  You learn every day, and you learn from everyone.  Every prospect makes you that much stronger, whether you sell them or not.  You learn with every objection, problem, situation, personality.

Maintain a constant self-improvement program.  Read, study, and think about being a professional salesperson.  Take as many sales and self-improvement courses as you can; attend seminars; listen to cassettes; watch videotapes; read books.  Read at least one business-oriented book a month.

Become highly skilled at what you do.  Practice, drill, and rehearse.

Reading the material provided will provide some benefits, but to be really worthwhile, you must learn the information provided.  Then you must learn to apply it, because knowledge for the sake of knowledge is worth very little.  Use the following formula as your learning system:

1.  Impact – When you are interested in a subject, you remember details about it more easily.  So, psyche yourself up to learn.  Dwell on how much the knowledge is going to help you; visualize the benefits you are going to get from possessing it.  This will intensify the impact of the material you are studying, and you will learn it faster.

2.  Repetition – the key to learning.  Repeat anything often enough and it will be learned.  Repeat and review information, statements, questions, closing techniques, etc. until you know them.  Effective repetition means you write it, read it, speak it, and hear it.

3.  Utilization – Use it or lose it!  Use your sales skills or you will lose them.  You can’t wear out knowledge and skills.  Knowledge takes on greater depth and meaning through hard use.  Skills become strong and tough through hard use.  Knowledge is worth very little until it is utilized.  Apply what you have learned every day.  During the training process, concentrate each day on at least one specific skill that you have learned.

4.  Internalization – When the knowledge and skills become second nature, you have internalized what you have learned.  This will give you tremendous power.

5.  Reinforcement – The more professional and talented an athlete or a salesperson, the more he must practice and train.  When you review your knowledge and skills, you reinforce your learning and maintain your skills.

If you will study and learn the material that I provide to you; if you apply it to your sales efforts; and if you routinely review the information, practice, and study, you will become one of the best salespeople in the world.  And you will become far more successful than you are now.  But you have to make a commitment to be a student for the rest of your days.