How To Achieve Excellence In Sales

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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 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

salesperson’s favor.

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

convince them.

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



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