Someone once said that doing what nobody wants to do will make you more successful than everybody else. I would say on the top of that list of things “nobody wants to do” is sales, telemarketing, networking, and similar income-producing / business activities.
The idea of getting in-front of somebody you don’t know and asking them to buy something from you is more fearful to people than dying to some. In fact, 85% of people are more afraid of pitching a sale than falling off a ladder, heights, public speaking, and a myriad of other activities. It is almost as un-nerving as asking a pretty girl you do not know on a date. (By the way, the men who know how to get girls often have some insight on making sales too).
So what most people do when they start a business is they try their hand at online marketing, social media marketing, or buying advertising, if they even go forth at all. There are another handful of people who would rather just go to college or get a job for the rest of their life, abandoning the wholly American obligation of starting a business altogether.
People always ask me, “Does it really come down to picking up the phone?” Yes, is my answer. It comes down to having a worth-while product or service, doing your prospecting, and then working up the courage to start making calls. I’ll get more into details about these 3 things later in this article. By the way, if you are really serious about getting your hands dirty and learning how to master sales, I recommend visiting Claude Whitacre’s blog and buying some of his books. I have bought almost all of his books, along with some from Grant Cardone regarding sales. You can learn a lot from them. The best experience is still the hard-knocks of doing it, though. However, these books will give you valuable insight on what to try and “put into your own words,” so to speak, when you go out and apply these things.
I Write This Because I Love You
I want all of us in America to be happy and prosperous. If you are a master at sales you will never be without no-matter the economy around you. Even if the dollar dies, currencies collapse, and the economy deflates. People make economies and your ability to sell an idea (yes, even a new currency) will get you out of any trouble and make the world around you better. Salesmanship is the most important skill in the entire world. It is the highest paying skill. And yet – nobody wants to do it. Talk about market gap, huh?
Sales is the only industry which pays you exactly what you are worth based on how hard you work. Every other industry pays you what they think you’ll take. It is the only job you can do for yourself that can truly provide a lifestyle of freedom, which, by the way, isn’t free.
The 5 Myths of Selling
Myth #1: It’s a numbers game. Bad sales trainers tell you this. It is only somewhat of a numbers game. For instance, it’s a numbers game when you need to talk to a gigantic lead list of people. It is a numbers game when you prospect and find out who even wants your product / service. But other than those, salesmanship isn’t about numbers, it’s actually about engineering. There are steps in a sales process that you cannot skip. Objection-handling is a lot like Chess (for those of you who are introverted).
Myth #2: Your enthusiasm and sociability is the key to more money. Wrong. Your over-exuberance will hurt your sales. Trust me. One time I had gotten a referral from someone who needed SEO services to rank on Google. And I sell SEO services that guarantee ranking first on Google. Pretty good fit, right? I was so excited about the sale that anyone around me, during that phone call, within 100 miles could hear my voice. Well I ended up having to follow up 3 more times and never made the sale. What’s worse, those 3 additional times I only spoke with the gate-keeper. Not a very good outcome, particularly considering this was someone who already wanted what I sold and was also a referral.
One reason why this doesn’t work is because the person you’re talking to has no reason to know why you’re excited just yet. So you just look and sound weird. And they may perceive you as someone who is excited about the sale rather than helping them.
Myth #3: Whoever asks the questions has control. This is partially true. Brian Tracy came up with this theory during a time when psychology was becoming a respected science of the mind and regarded as such by most of the populace. He is somewhat right in this approach. However, the person who really has control is he who asks questions and also gets answers. Or at least a response. Engagement is the goal.
Myth #4: You have to be out-going. Nope. As a young teenager I occupied myself mostly by playing RISK and video games. And they weren’t cool video games, they were turn-based strategy games, Ever Quest, and a little Counter Strike here and there. For Summer camp I went to game programming school. I was not out-going. In fact, I was actually a nerd. I am still a nerd. But I learned how to do bold things. Notice, I didn’t ever really learn how to BE bold, just how to DO bold. I am not in my natural state when I am at large social gatherings. I don’t like weddings or outings with people I don’t know. If I’m not the center of attention in which there is an expectation of me being praised or honored in some way I prefer to be behind the scenes (LOL).
However, that means nothing in sales. You can just act and pretend your way into victory regarding this. The only requirement is that you follow a guided process, which, in a nutshell is this:
- Vehicle (what do you want to sell that will take you where you need to go?)
- Prospect (who is the most likely type of person who will benefit from buying this?) Note: this is not about sorting through who can and cannot afford your product. This is about finding out who will benefit the most.
- Write a script that always ends with a question. (You can contact me at DoubleDownDollar@Gmail if you want me to write a script for you). At the risk of sounding like a typical American capitalist, I’ll let you know up-front that my scripts are $100 each. It’s worth it and it will make you sales, I promise. We will also develop a strategy for an hour as my gift to you. This $100 investment in yourself will make you $50,000 this year I guarantee it. If it doesn’t I’ll give it back. I’m that confident. Try me.
- Make 100 calls a day. Sometimes this will require you to spend a day or two actually making a list. You can also buy lead lists online. There are many “main-stream” services but I will make a recommendation – Robert Eagle. Robert Eagle is the only person you need to know if you want to cold-call businesses. He is the only person that can give you an entire industry of leads for $100. If you want, say, the name, number, website, and email of every single doctor in America, you can get it for $200. He didn’t ask me to tell you this by the way – his offer is just so good that I couldn’t NOT tell you! You can find him on Linked-In or email me and I’ll give you his contact info. Other sites like InfoUSA will charge you $200 for about 2-400 leads. Get the picture?
Just trust the process.
Final Myth #5: Salesmen are sleazy scumbags. I kind of answered this in my intro a little but now is the time to really get into this. Salesmen (and women) are so vital to our economy. It is literally the most important job in the world. Nothing moves without a sale being made. Products don’t improve and GDP doesn’t grow. There is no more noble position than sales. When I got my first sales job I did okay. I actually out-sold the entire boiler room (I was a donation solicitor) for 2 weeks in a row at a company called Marketing Squad in New York.
I got bonuses from my manager out of his own pocket. They were upset when I left. But I left because I wasn’t 100% sold myself. What I mean by this is that I thought I was being selfish by doing well and taking people’s money. That’s why I left. I was wrong. The people I called on WANTED to donate and they wanted to feel good and make a difference. What I should have believed is that I was the gap between them and the difference they were making. I was also making sure my company’s lights stayed on, thus keeping opportunity and jobs available.
It is your responsibility to sell yourself first, and know with complete conviction that you have something important for someone else. If you are not, then get out of that industry and find something else. You will not do well without this.