How To Sell Anything Guide
How To Sell Anything by ForteStrength
Part 1: Your Mental Blueprint
Some years ago, Harvard University did a study upon 16,000 salespeople – determining that there are basic qualities that determine the successes and the failures for a salesperson…and the determining factor?
It was all mental.
It is everything that goes on in the mind of that salesperson that makes all the difference.
If a person had certain psychological qualities with everything else constant – that salesperson would succeed.
If you personally develop these same psychological qualities, then you will form your own foundation to your own sales success.
If you want to see how tall a building is going to be built; look at the foundation. The deeper that foundation, the taller the building is going to hold. The same concept applies to sales.
The greater understanding and foundation you develop about sales, the more money you’ll be able to build for yourself.
Once you have built your foundation and truly become phenomenal at selling, you can now go where ever the hell you want and write your own check.
Never stop trying to dig a deeper foundation for yourself.
*People Don’t Use Their 90% Of Their Potential *
Most salespeople only use 10% of their sales potential. It is estimated that the average person doesn’t use more than 10% of his or her potential.
What this means, is that the average person has 90% or more potential left untapped. When you learn how to unlock the 90% of your own potential, this is when you can move yourself to the top 20% of the highest earners.
Follow The Lions, Not Other Sheep
The first thing you do in your field is figuring out who is the top 10-20%.
Instead of following other followers – in this case, the other sheep, follow the lions.
Pretty obvious, right?
Learn to compare yourself to the lions. Remember, nobody is better than you or smarter than you. We were all cut from the same cloth.
If someone is doing better than you, all it really means is that he or she found a more efficient way of having a selling success that you’ve yet to discover.
The very proof that something can be done, is that someone already did it.
This means if someone is earning a seven-figure income, this is real, concrete evidence that you can also earn the exact same amount of money as that salesperson did.
The four-minute mile was supposed to be unbreakable. Roger Bannister thought otherwise and broke it.
And what do you know? Everyone now has the confidence to break 4 minutes mile (which was always achievable…someone just had to do it).
Remember, everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. If someone specifically is doing better than you, find out the exact strategies that salesperson used to eject him or herself from the bottom to land where he or she is today.
Sometimes the very best way to figure this out is to just go and ask. He or she will probably tell you.
Top performers are usually willing to help other people who are willing to succeed. Since they’ve already beat everyone in the field they’re in, they demonstrate more value for themselves by teaching others to get to where they are today.
So they write books, set up courses and seminars, or teach other people to achieve that exact same success.
One of the biggest breakthroughs in psychology in the 20th century was the discovery of a “self-concept”.
Your self-concept is a bundle of beliefs you’ve created about yourself (both external and internal).
This is the way you see yourself in the mirror or think about yourself in any area of your life. This is exactly what goes on your subconsciousness – and has a direct relationship on how you interpret reality and the actions you take in it.
Everything in life starts to improve when you start to improve the source – the inner programming of your mind.
You always perform externally in direct relation to your subconscious and self-concept.
You also have a series of mini self-concepts.
These are little self-concepts that will determine the effectiveness and success in each area of your life from making perfect, fluffy pancakes – to the extreme of giving a speech amongst thousands of people.
Your Self-concept In Sales
If you are confident and have a high, positive self-concept about yourself – then prospecting and selling is absolutely no problem.
You get up in the morning, ecstatic to call, sell, or approach new people. You are so confident, your sales pipeline is always full because you know people want the product or service you are selling.
If you have a poor self-concept about the sales your making, you’ll approach sales with fear and anxiety.
If your subconsciousness is filled with this negative traits, you will subconsciously take actions in the real world that will sabotage your sale.
You will avoid it, whenever possible.
The very idea of selling will make you tense and uneasy.
You will try to do a little as possible, and subconsciously try to find ways to avoid the act of selling. This is true in any other facet of life as well.
Every salesperson comes to work with a self-concept of how much they are going to earn. Psychologists have found that you cannot earn 10% more or less than your self-concept about your income.
If you earn 10% more than you think you are supposed to be earning, you’ll subconsciously engage in behaviors that will derail you from ever achieve 10% more income.
You will start to go out to fancy restaurants, buy a nice car, or even take months off for vacation. This will eventually burn a hole in your pocket big enough to the point where it’s like you’ve never made more.
If you earn 10% less than you think you are supposed to be earning, you will be engaging in scrambling behaviors.
You’ll start thinking about working harder. Longer. Smarter. Better.
You do this in order to get your income back up to your comfort zone. When you get into your comfort zone, you will relax and take things easy again.
Change Your Comfort Zone
The only way to expand your income is by expanding your comfort zone.
Some people have a comfort zone of making $50,000 a year. When they get to that level, they relax and coast.
Others have a comfort zone of $100,000 a year. They strive to get to that level; and once they do, they relax when they hit that target.
There is a very little difference in talent between these two. The only real difference is that once has settled at $50,000 – while the other salesperson refuses to settle until he or she makes at least six figures.
Reset Your Mind
You can never earn more on the outside that you think you can earn on the inside.
If you see yourself as a $50,000 a year person, you will continually engage in behaviors that will keep your income at $50,000.
For example, a salesperson will set his/her goal for $50,000 a year. Once that salesperson hits that $50,000 mark, earlier than they were supposed to, the sales awkwardly dry up.
That salesperson, for some reason, can’t get him or herself motivated to sell more until the end of the year. That salesperson spins his or her wheels until December 31. Then, on December 31st, they become phenomenal salespeople again.
In every case, it’s your self-concept. This is actually quite common.
Break Free Of The Past
Some people think that it isn’t possible to earn more than their parents. Time and time again, people plateau at a certain income level because that’s the highest amount their parents have earned.
At an unconscious level, they have decided for themselves not to earn more than that amount. In turn, it becomes reality to them. After You’ve Reset Your Mind: Change It To increase your income, you must achieve these financial goals in your mind before you can ever achieve them in reality.
You aim should be to increase your level of you self-concept slowly, as a higher income earner.
Imagine yourself as already the person you want to be, already earning the kind of money you want to earn.
Look at other people making more money than you; then act exactly like them.
Imagine you are already financially independent, and the only reason you’re making these sales is to meet new people.
This calm, collected, and confident self-concept will help you perform at your very best in the market.
But, Be Realistic
It is extremely important in developing this new self-concept realistically. When I first learned about the power of self-concept, I was earning $25,000 a year.
I immediately set a goal to make six figures the next year.
Instead of this goal motivating me, this was probably one of the biggest demotivators.
This was supposed for my mind to look the make that kind of money, my mind became extremely overwhelmed and down.
A goal that is vastly large – anything that you’ve never achieve for yourself, is ignored by your self-concept.
I finally realized my mistake, and set it for $50,000 a year. Guess what? I already hit my targeted goal in half a year.
A salesperson may start at the bottom, and work his way up over several years eventually making six figures.
But then, the economy goes south, the industry retracts, and he has to start out at a new company selling a different product.
How much do you think that salesperson made that following year?
Still well over six figures.
Why? Becuase this salesperson already has a self-concept of a six-figure salesperson. No matter what happens, this salesperson will find some kind of way to make six figures.
The fact is, once a salesperson is a millionaire, this is no reason to offer this salesperson anything less since they have proved to themselves that they can achieve a million dollars. It’s all a matter of self-concept.
Another concept to learn, are the “Key Result Areas”, or KRAs.
Introduction To Key Result Areas (KRAs)
KRA’s are a strategic factor (either internal to the organization or external), where strong positive results must be realized for the long-term vision of success.
A good analogy used to represent these KRA’s and how they work is like dialing a telephone. When you dial, each number you press (in this case, KRA’s) is a specific KRA put in a sequence to ahold of another person.
In this case, you need to use specific KRA’s in a specific sequence in order for the salesperson to make a sale.
What Are The Seven KRA’s?
The seven KRA’s include:
Prospecting Building rapport Identifying Needs Presenting Answering objections Closing the sale Getting both a resale and/or referral
You self-concept in these seven areas, determine your success in sales as a salesperson.
Fortunately, everyone who is good at the areas was once poor at it. Every salesperson in the top 20%, started in the bottom 20%.
The good news is, if you can talk to people, you can perfect these seven skills. It simply a matter of learning and practice.
If you maintain a poor self-concept of any of these KRA’s, you will avoid that specific key whenever you encounter it. The only reason you feel fear and anxiety when taking a specific action is that you are not good at it…yet.
You haven’t mastered the skill.
If you are horrendous at a certain skill, you will be angry. It will be awkward. You will make mistakes. It will be normal and natural for you to avoid it.
Master That Skill
Your job is to master all seven skills as a salesperson. Fortunately, there are a lot more books, audio programs, courses, and advice available to you now to help you master each other these skills that will take you forever to learn 80 years ago.
There is absolutely no reason for you to be held back from achieving the top 10%, and the only reason you’re held back is that you are weak in a particular area.
You can learn how to close the sale effectively. You also can learn how to present and build rapport effectively.
You can become skilled on how to ask questions – while listening carefully to the answers. Practice + repetition + consistency = success.
You can become an expert and accurately be identifying the needs of your customers, by asking even more precise questions. You can answer the customer’s objects so well; the objections disappear and never come up again.
These are all learnable skills.
Get Better At What You Do
The better you get you get at any of these given areas, the better your self-concept will be for yourself. The more confidence you have the ability to do it, the happier you will end up feeling when performing that specific activity.
You can, in fact, shape your sales personality. When has someone felt uneasy doing something that they weren’t good at?
Every step you take to improve a specific area raises your self-concept – and your likelihood of success.
Face Your Fears
The first time you’re trying to perform a sale as a salesperson, your heart is jumping out of your chest and into your throat.
Your heart is pounding so loudly you think your customers can hear it.
Psychologists say when you are afraid of performing something you’ve never done – this resembles the same feeling as if you were a child soon to get a spanking.
Your self-concept is not based on reality. your self-concept is based on the ideas about yourself, including the same limiting opinions/factors that hold most people back.
Fear and doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential. Many people doubt their ability to excel in a certain area. Even though it isn’t true, it starts to become true.
Don’t sell yourself so short.
Some people think they are absolutely terrible at closing sales. As long as you think that, you will then be forever terrible at closing sales. The fact is, closing is a normal and natural thing to end and close a sale.
Challenge Your Self Limiting Beliefs
The self-limiting beliefs you put upon yourself is based on idiotic information not based on any kind of facts or reality. These are very often illusions of your own mind.
Because they are unreal, you can easily get rid of them and replace them was new, positive beliefs of confidence and competence.
Self-limiting beliefs actually develop early and easily. When you try something new, like skating, you’ll immediately conclude that you’re not any good.
For then on, you will sabotage yourself – and soon you’ll avoid that area altogether.
We feel as if people doing better than us…are actually better than us. If they are worth more than we are worthless. This is probably the biggest, a fundamental cause of unhappiness in our society.
A person who likes him or her self that has a high self-esteem probably has a positive self-concept about themselves.
When you really like yourself, you perform at your best. The more you like yourself, the more you like other people.
The more you like other people, the more they like you.
The more you like your customers, the more your customers like you. From this, the more willing they are to buy from you and recommend you to their friends.
High self-esteem people meet and marry other high self-esteem people. High self-esteem parents raise high self-esteem children.
High self- esteem bosses enforce high self-esteem employees. They then set higher standards for themselves, and practice higher levels of self-disciple. They are generally happier and more fulfilled than people who don’t like themselves too much.
Low self-esteem salespeople who don’t like themselves, don’t really like other people either. As a result, they have a hard time building high-quality relationships with customers.
You Are What You Think About
Happy people think happy thoughts. Successful people think successful thoughts.
Wealthy people think wealthy thoughts. In addition, you become exactly what you say about yourself.
Successful people can control their inner dialogues. They can talk to themselves positively and confidently as they go through their day.
Saying things like:
“I like myself.”
“I am the shit.”
“I’m pretty amazing.”
“I’m a great salesperson.”
Will not only improve your self-esteem but actually cause you a chemical change in your brain. You release endorphins that will generally give you a feeling of confidence and well-being.
The more confident you feel, the more confident you perform.
I still repeat this at least 20 times a day until I drove the message deep into my subconscious mind and became locked in.
The Best Time To Make A Sale
The best time to make a sale is truly right after you’ve made a sale. After you’ve closed a deal – your self-esteem soars.
You feel terrific about yourself as a salesperson. You feel like a winner. You go ahead and talk to the next prospect feeling terrific about yourself, you will perform at a best.
This spike in sales performance is because your self-concept of yourself gone up.
As you sell more and more, you start to convince yourself that you are actually an excellent sales person. When your feeling terrific about yourself, you know you can do anything you can put your mind to.
You feel so good, you need less sleep. You have more enthusiasm. You have more energy. You feel more positive about yourself.
There Are Only Two Obstacles To Sales Sucess
There are two major obstacles when opening or closing any sales. This is also all mental. They are:
Fear of failure Fear of rejection
The fear of failure is actually the biggest reason for failure in adult life. Not failure itself; but the fear of failure.
Fear of failure is actually created and rooted in our minds when we were young. The fear of failure usually stems from receiving destructive criticism from our parents.
If your parents were continually criticising you when you were growing up, then you are experiencing this deep, unconscious fear of failure as an adult – at least until you learn how to get rid of that fear.
The fear of rejection is that the potential buyer might say:
The fear of rejection is triggered by the possibility of come across as rude or get criticism and/or disappointment by the potential buyer. The rule is; that 80% of sales approaches will end in a no – for a thousand different reason.
This does not mean there is anything inherently wrong with the product or the salesperson.
People sell “No”, because they simply: do not need it; do not want it, cannot use it; cannot afford it, or some other reason.
If you’re a salesperson and afraid of rejection; you’ve picked the wrong profession, my friend. Every experience of failure r rejection will affect your self-esteem.
It will hurt your self-image.
It will make you feel bad about yourself, and trigger your worst fear – that you’re not good enough. Trust me, if humans were equipt without the fear of rejection, we would all be amazing salespeople. We would definitely all make so much more than we are making now.
Rejection is nothing personal. Great salespeople have built their self-esteem to a point where they no longer feel rejection.
If someone says no to them, it doesn’t hurt them or put them off. It does not get them going back to hiding in their offices or cars.
Here is the key to dealing with rejection:
You must realize that rejection it is not personal. It has nothing to do with you. Just like it rains outside, or the sun comes up to shine. It just happens, day to day. Rejection is the sale concept.
When you can rise above yourself, and stop taking rejection so seriously, it will remove all fear you have for rejection.
When you get rejected, you’ll shrug your shoulders, and immediately move on to the next prospect.
Never Give Up
it takes courage to get up every day and face your constant fear of rejection.
It takes courage to maintain the persistence, to come back day after day, in spite of all difficulties and disappointment.
The good news is, courage is a habit. Like a muscle, the more your practice courage, the stronger you become.
Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you’re virtually unafraid. After that, your sales career takes off.
You Are Still A Good Person
When a person says no to you, they are not saying it because of who you are. They are simply saying no to your product or presentation. Potentially your prices. The rejection itself is not personal.
Once you know and understand that saying no is nothing personal, you stop to worry about if someone were to react to your product negatively.
Heres the danger: If you take the no from a rejection of a sale personally, you start to think they are rejecting you as an individual.
When you begin thinking like this, you will soon become discouraged and lose your enthusiasm for selling.
When you organize yourself to make yourself a high self-esteem person with a positive self-concept about themselves, that alone will help contribute more to your income than any other factor.
Hopefully, this helps some of you guys.
Part 2: The Biggest Factor To Why Only A Few Are Successful, And The Only Reason People Spend Money
To start, probably one of the biggest factors to what differentiates successful salespeople and unsuccessful salespeople. What are salespeople doing that you’re not doing?
Top Salespeople Are Goal-Oriented
for people who al goal-oriented, there is a direct relation to success. If you live a goal-oriented life, you will never lose sight of your goals and your dreams.
The problem is, people are the only goal oriented when they are motivated. Right when they lose that motivation, Then you know what happens next?
Eventually, they give up, “life happens”, or they [insert excuse here] and cave back into their own comfortable routines, finding any kind of rational through a series of mental gymnastics finding any hole they can.
Then, they won’t readdress their goal until something motivates them again.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale You might say:
“This is obviously common sense.”
But I’ve seen the majority of the people give up pursuing their goals when it becomes to difficult for them and I personally believe this makes up for the majority of the population.
When you relentless purse a goal that a majority are not, your chances of ending up more successful is extremely high because your sharp shooting your target – rather than hustling 6 months there, a year there, 1 week there.
“How do I live a goal-oriented life then?”
Make goals, and attach deadlines with repercussions. I’m asking you to use fear to your advantage. Fear is primally deeply rooted and etched into our brains. Once you will move out of your comfort zone – you will scramble to find your way back.
Fuck all that bullshit of:
“Make conscious decisions to step closer to your goal throughout the day.”
“Write down your goals and you’ll remember them.”
Lot’s of individuals become entrepreneurs because of the fear of being controlled by a boss. The fear of wasting their life in corporate America. The fear that they will spend the rest of their lives doing something they absolutely loathe.
Lots of poor individuals become so obsessed with success (and become successful) because of the fear of being poor again. The fear that they won’t achieve greater things in life. The fear of that same pain of being so broke, they would skip multiple meals and suffer.
You develop a discipline for yourself that will make your hungry for your goals and to achieve them.
Lot’s of artists use the fear of not being able to make a living from what they love doing, so they relentlessly pursue it until it comes to life.
Former fat people become so fucking obsessed with becoming jacked because of that fear of being fat, unwanted, and ugly and the dark side it comes with it.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the only way to be motivated. But this is the only want in my experience plenty on how a lot of successful people stays on their toes.
This is considered “fear-setting”.
You aren’t making the money you want to be because you are a lazy fucker, it really is that simple.
You aren’t making the money you want as a salesperson because you don’t want it bad enough.
Lot’s of salespeople who first struggle to pay rent, in fear that their lives will continue being this constant struggle – so they develop strategies to get to a point of being comfortable (where your comfort zone is).
Hint: your comfort zone does not exist.
Now I can make this completely philosophical, and advocate always practicing misfortune so you’ll both constantly be comfortable with being uncomfortable – but that is not the point of this post.
When making your goals, it is absolutely essential for you to know how much you will earn each year, or you’ll end up with nothing just like you did a year ago.
Now, ask yourself:
“How much do I intend to earn for the next 12 months?”
Write this number down. This is the target which you will orient all your activities throughout the year.
Statistics don’t lie: A Harvard study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down, ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together, just ten years after graduation.
A goal that is realistic, but challenging. Remember, goals rediculous goals won’t motivate you – they will demotivate you. You will quit at the first sign of adversity.
For example, take the amount of money your making now: and increase it by at least 25%.
Top salespeople know exactly they are going to earn each year.
If you were to ask any successful salespeople how much they are going to earn that day, they will give you that exact number. Low performing salespeople have absolutely no idea what they are going to earn. Every day is a new adventure with no compass.
Now ask yourself:
“How much am I going to have to sell to achieve this annual goal?”
After you decide your annual sales goal, break it down over the months.
Then, ask yourself:
“How much am I going to have to sell each week/month to achieve this annual goal?”
Break it down to the point where you are making daily sales goals. This is the best way (personally) how I found myself making the annual sales goal I desired. If I wanted to make six figures (tax-free), I would make a goal for myself that would look like this:
$100,000/52 weeks = $1,923/week. $1,923/7 days = $275/daily. I would then wake up every morning, relentless pursuing this $275 daily goal – and eventually, give me a yearly goal of six figures.
Then, you will need to develop strategies to get to that $275/daily goal.
“How many calls will I have to make to make this daily goal?”
“How early do I have to wake up to start prospecting, to make this daily goal?”
“How much should I sell my product for, to make my daily goal?”
“Who do I need to talk too, where, and how long for each prospect to make this daily goal?”
“Who do I have to hire and what marketing techniques do I need to make this daily goal?”
When you can document everything and look at it objectively, you’ll soon be able to predict (with accuracy) exactly what you’ll have to do each day to achieve your annual goal.
Force yourself with this motivating factor to follow through doing everything you’ll exactly have to do each day.
Think about this about yourself: is this you, or are you that person who tries to sell “as much as possible?”
The Law Of Averages
You will have dry periods, and you will make more than you’d thought. You will have your sales highs and your sales lows.
Some days you’ll make nothing – and some days you’ll make x3 the amount. If you continue to make those necessary actions to achieve your goal in sales, you will eventually make that annual goal on schedule.
As you make it a habit, you will train your subconscious mind – it will further alert you to new opportunities, and give you the “right” ideas to get to your goal quicker. Your subconscious mind will help you better read your prospects face, smell bullshit a mile away, and even further distinguish if a prospect is even worth your time.
Your mind will always help you perform at your best – in the pursuit of your goals. When you have a positive self-concept about yourself and are goal oriented – you will always have the right things to say, at the right time, in the direction of your goals.
When you set goals for yourself, you will be amazed what’s possible.
How Setting Goals Outside Of Sales Will Further Lead You To Sucess
“I have a daughter, and I want to show her what success looks like. So, I’ll [insert all your actions here]”
“I want my family to finally be happy.”
“I eventually want to enjoy life alot more than I am now”.
Using additional facets of goal setting outside of sales will give you the motivation to bounce back and continue pursuing your sales goals. This is sort of like a system of checks and balances.
When you’re aggressively trying to sell your product; will the person with only one obligation/goal succeed, or will the person with 50 different goals/obligations succeed? More reasons, more desire.
After you have your mental blueprint set up and have a goal that you will relentlessness pursue; you’re ready to further build on your sales foundation to become one of the top salespeople in your field.
I firmly believe the biggest, number 1 rookie mistakes amateur salespeople make (and still are making) is…the inability to figure out their customer’s needs by asking questions in order for them to take action.
The Two Reasons People Buy
*Desire for gain *Fear of loss
The desire for gain is the improvement within their life, of some kind.
Your job is to help your prospect understand how much better his or her life would be with your product, to the life they are living now.
Prospects are afraid of wasting their money.
As prospects become familiar with the market which results in becoming more cautious of what they buy, they fear they will lose if they make a purchase if there is no real value behind it.
This is called Loss Aversion
People generally prefer to avoid losses than to acquire its equivalent gains.
It is better to not lose $5 than to gain $5.
The Prospect Theory, which is research done by both Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, found out the psychological value of losses and gains indicated that people may have a loss aversion ratio of between 1.5 and 2.5.
This means a loss that is identical in money terms to a gain may be valued up to 2.5 times more than the gain.
People hate losing more than winning.
What is the key that makes successful salespeople close more sales?
Salespeople are able to demonstrate both.
Your job will be to both: find if that individual will gain from the product or service (desire for gain), and how much worse off he or she will be if they don’t act (fear of loss).
The Psychology Behind Why We Take Action
Every action we take is based on a motivating factor to take that action. simple as that.
People buy products and services because of two main reasons:
*They feel as if they’ll be better off in life after purchasing your product *They have so much “fuck you money” so they can spend all day and every day because money is no factor to them.
Rarely you’ll get the second reason. It’s happened to me a couple times, but it probably made about under 5% of the sales throughout my sales career.
There are three actions a person can take in the realm of sales:
*They can buy from you *They can buy from a competitor *They can buy nothing
Understand, you are ultimately signaling to the prospect that they are better off with your product, than without.
Your product must serve as a solution to their lives since they’re looking for one.
They then will be willing to give up a portion of their freedom (money) in order to find whatever solution they are looking for.
The Human Desire For Freedom
Also, it will help if you understand that money does not exist. Money is a medium of exchange to buy people freedom.
Money is a fiat. Money has no value behind it. Most people traded their time and labor for their hard earned “money” which they will use to exchange for a product or a service that will help them give them a degree of more freedom or an improvement in their lives.
If prospect buys a product that has no value to him or her, they’ve just traded a portion of their life away for a product that gives no value to their lives.
For the majority of people who understand that they’ve worked hard for their money – there will always be some kind of buying resistance.
An individual always wants to get the most out of what they buy, so they look for a product that gives them the most benefit and satisfaction to their lives.
In economics, this is called marginal utility.
If you put a product out on the market, it is already assumed that your product is at it’s best price and quality.
A mistake I’ve seen is when salespeople reinforce the product by saying:
“Buy my product because of the price and quality!”
Sure, you are a salesperson, but it it’s most literal definition.
You are an individual who sells goods or services to other entities, but you’d probably not be a very successful one.
Finding Your Customers Needs
In order to help your prospect both not lose – and for you at the same time win; you need to see if your product or service will bring value to them at the point in time.
How do you do this?
You need to ask a plethora of questions – the more specific the better, in order to dig out specifically why the customers want to buy your product or service at that current sale.
Let’s put this is an example in simpler terms, using a scenario in car sales.
Prospect A just graduated college, just signed a lease for a new apartment next to his work office and just want a car the is both sufficient and economical to get to work every day.
How did you know this? You asked about who he or she was, their background, and why they were shopping for a car at that time.
Do: ask questions.
Here is are two scenario that I’ve seen destroy salespeople, so you can better understand this concept.
In the first scenario, prospect A walks into the dealership. You, as a salesperson, make commission off the cars you sell want to make as much money as you want possible: so what do you immediately do? Start asking the prospect questions immediately show him or her the newest car out, substantially wasting time forcing information about a car (that they gave no indication that they were interested in it) down their throats.
He or she looks at the price tag, sighs, and eagerly waits for an opportunity to tell you that they’re not interested. Then, after an hour of the salesperson talking, he or she stops and says:
“So, what do you think?”
Little did you know, he or she just graduated college and isn’t looking for a big-ticket commitment like that car. He or she was just looking for an economical car that they could afford, just to take them to and back from work each day.
You are out a sale and a precious hour of your time. What you could have done:
You could have shown him or her a used, cheap economical car which would have potentially got you a sale if you understood your prospects needs first.
As addressed in Part 4, you have a daily goal to hit and you only have 24 hours in one day. You just wasted an hour of it.
What makes you think someone would want to buy your product? Because you like it? Because it’s nice? Because you making a living off of it and you have no choice?
No. People buy your damn product because it has to align with their goals during that given time. If a wealthy individual walks in and you use the same tactic and made a sale without asking a question, you got lucky, friend.
After that sale, you’ll subconsciously look for clues that signal wealth. When you make enough sales to wealthy people, you’ll start to be hyperfocus to prospects upon the way they dress.
They way they speak.
What that currently drive.
Then, through trial and error, you’ll (hopefully) realize to sell cars to people who can obviously afford it and to sell other cars to people looking for cheaper alternatives. You’ll also realize people who are a waste of your time.
In the second scenario, let says a salesperson is trying to sell car insurance.
That salesperson might spend the time to talk about its affordability, how it’s better than it’s competitors, the reputation of the company, or how cheap it is.
Sure, this is all important. But this is not the sole reason why a customer will buy car insurance. He or she will buy it, for peace of mind.
A simple strategy you can use when identifying new prospects:
“Do you feel the need to keep your car safe and secured – with a peace of mind and 24/7 support, spending as little as possible?”
If the prospect does not say “Yes!” immediately, you will not spend any more time trying to convince him or her. If he or she is feeling relucted to secure their car, they won’t care too much in case of an accident.
Learn to ask questions and discover your customer’s needs in order for them to take action, or to figure out if they’re worth their time.
Reasons Why People Purchase
Once you find the right motives to why they are purchasing your product, it is usually the individual:
*View a purchase of your product as an accomplishment or an item that represents their status *The product your offering either makes or saves the individual money *Security (to become safer) *The appeal after the purchase to being liked, accepted and respected by others *If your product can enhance health & fitness (high levels of energy and/or attraction) *Gives the prospect power, influence, or popularity *The desire to staying “up-to-date” (need the newest iPhone, ect) *The ability to give the prospect of love, attraction, sex, and companionship *Personal growth (learn new skills or a permanent transformation)
People Are Ruled By The Sensual And The Visual; Logic Always Comes After All buying decisions are usually emotional, based on what they see and how it makes them feel. People justify their decisions logically and usually decide emotionally.
Humans have an array of emotions – but the strongest emotion operating at the particular moment will determine what that person will act upon at that time.
Part 3: Creativity Is One Of The Most Essential Quality Both In Sales And Entrepreneurship, and How Sales Is Warfare – The Pursuit Of Competitive Advantage
Both in sales and in entrepreneurship you can always be learning. If you know this already, fantastic. To the ones who are always hungry to know a little bit more: this is for you.
If it is necessary cleaning up to do in this posts, I would love feedback to better supplement this posts for both a better understanding and better clarity. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the read.
So, let’s just point out that the most successful salespeople are creative – it’s the most important sales tactic. But what does this really mean?
For example, if you are in a traffic jam at 8:45 am and you need to get to work by 9 am, you’ll begin to think creatively to get out of the jam as fast as possible. You’ll begin to strategize different ways to either:
*Get out of the jam as fast as possible so you can get to the office by 9 am *Find an excuse that would be compelling enough for your boss to get you off the hook
In sales, you have to be creative to convince someone that your product is something that they need in their personal lives. That’s the only secret.
The sad part about this is that most people don’t particularly associate themselves to be anyway, shape, or form to be creative.
From what I’ve seen with associates I train, is that they’ve already painted a mental picture of what creativity looks like.
They associate creativity with people who are “successful” artists or entrepreneurs; for example, creating a song or a business that nobody else has heard of. But, like any skill, creative thinking can be learned.
Understand that in the world of sales, creativity means escaping from existing perceptions and concepts – and opening up new ways of doing things to sell your product or service as a salesperson. The best way to describe creativity is the process of improvement towards a particular goal (to sell your product).
Sure, half of you might say duh and your on this subreddit to find more “creative” ways to fuel both your sales and income. But people are still to this day looking for quick pills of success.
Creativity Versus Strategy
This is probably one of the oldest debates in all of sales, entrepreneurship, and marketing.
Understand, in short, creative people go round and round in circles processing as much information as possible, involving many iterations and multiple inputs of feedback (like people telling me if they like it or not) and we hope that what we end up with something that fits the brief. But, the public does not particularly see that.
Most of the creative people have been through series of failures (some more than others) in order to offer a product that will shine brighter than the rest.
The earlier you start, the more you’ll fuck up, the more strategies you’ll acquire not to fuck up, thus you’re officially creative to people.
For example. Creative rappers rarely even produce one single and it’s a one time hit wonder. It does happen, don’t get me wrong – but most of them spend endless hours finding and producing other music, albums, or songs that don’t quite make it.
Here is where lots of people’s “creativity” fall short. In the process of their creativity, they begin to become discouraged by the lack of a successful product or service – so they give up. This is where people who have a clear goal and a vision will step right over you.
Three Ways To Stimulate Creativity
Here are three strategies you can easily stimulate your creativity. These methods include:
*Clear goals *Pressing problems *Asking focused questions
If there are no goals to feed yourself, there would be absolutely no reason for your mind to be equipt with the process of creativity to achieve those goals.
Do you understand the more intense you desire a specific goal, the more creative you’ll be into achieving that goal?
To further tap into your creativity for achieving your sales goal, you must develop that burning desire for that particular goal.
Personally, I hate being poor with a passion. This is exactly what drives me to achieve my goals.
I’m not asking for pity, but I grew up never living with my mother – I lived with my father with a $35k salary feeding a family of 5 (including himself) in one of the most expensive places to live in the United States.
There are individuals who have it worse. I was constantly tasting poverty, and my father worked many (and odd) jobs in order to keep us above water.
Finally, the pain was so immense I had to do something about my financial situation. I put myself in the realm if sales because I knew it could be lucrative with a low barrier to entry (but extremely difficult).
I really didn’t care. I had nothing to lose. My desire for sales success was so strong I just had to make it. To me, this pain was igniting a burning desire to succeed.
I had no choice. Either win, or I perish.
This was my pressing problem. The more pressed you are in solving a particular problem, the more creative you’ll be into solving that particular problem. Trust me, I was pressed.
Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist and author of The Art of War, advocates creating a “death ground” – a place where your army is backed up into a geographical terrain with no escape route.
What happens here is that Sun Tzu deliberately stationing soldiers on death ground to give them the desperate edge that makes men fight like they never had before.
This is when you will become more resourceful with your efforts and under pressure, and your creativity will flourish.
It’s just like the soldiers on the battlefield, with nowhere to go and their backs against the mountains-and then suddenly they find strength and stamina they didn’t know existed and just enough to come out alive.
Then, you’ll start to develop more focused and specific the questions you ask yourself or your prospects, thus becoming more innovated in developing answers to your prospects.
You need to be using all three of these processes continue to be creative at your highest level.
Know And Understand What Exactly Your Selling
The more you know about your product or service, and why it’s more superior to the competition, the better you’ll be at explaining the customers and overcoming buying resistance. If the product your selling is not your very own, read, study, and know exactly what your selling.
Find out what your competitors are selling.
What exactly they emphasize.
What exactly their change for their product.
You need to be an expert in your market.
First, ask yourself:
“What are the most attractive features of my product?”
Secondly, ask yourself:
“What specific need does this product or service fulfill?”
“What does my product or service offer, that others don’t?” (or better yet) “What benefits will this give to my prospects?”
You need to answer these questions clearly and confidently before you get face to face with your potential prospects.
The more clarity you have to these questions, the more creative you’ll be in finding both better prospects and making more sales.
How To Practice This Creativity In Sales (KRAs)
The more creative you are in improving these seven KRAs, the closer you’ll get to your desired income level.
It really is that easy.
To quickly reiterate to refresh your mind, the seven KRA’s include:
*Prospecting *Building rapport *Identifying Needs *Presenting *Answering objections *Closing the sale *Getting both a resale and/or referral
The more creative you are in these seven KRA’s, easier client/prospect acquisition will be – and what does that equate to? More financial successful for yourself.
In this posts, I will show you how to be creative in each individual KRA (remember, the more creative you’re are within these seven KRAs, the more financially successful you’ll be).
Your ability to prospect efficiently or find your desired audience is a one out of the seven areas that determine your financial success. The ability to prospect is only limited by your imagination.
Spending More Time With Better Prospects
The only way to achieve this is by treating your time as your most valuable asset. Spending time with low-value prospects is only going to do one thing: Take away from your time you need to spend with high-value prospects and customers.
We all know the “80/20 rule” that says 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Sadly, too many salespeople spend too much time on the wrong customers.
In the end, your ability to spend more time with fewer, better prospects and customers are going to come down to doing one thing: Saying “no” far more often than you have in the past. Saying “no” will allow you to have more time to say “yes” to the big opportunities.
Broadening Your Audience
For example, traditional prospecting would be spending hours going door to door to find clients and customers to buy your product (let’s use a book as an example).
Let’s say you can get 200 conversations in from sunrise to sunset. You have a conversion rate of 25%, with only 50 people buying your book at $2.99. In that 24 hours, you have spent 16 hours of your free time marketing yourself and selling your book door to door.
You’re tired. Your feet hurt. Your only able to keep a 25% conversion rate. You can only make $100 a day.
As this pain starts to creep, you’ll start to think more creatively. You’ll start to find other resources to better market your book.
So, you go online (which is connected to billions of people) and publish your book as an ebook.
Depending on which medium you are using (the more the better) – the more potential prospects you have – The more sales you can make. Now, as you continue to sell door to door, your book is also selling online.
Let’s say 200 people find your website a day, with that same conversion of 25%. Your now making $200 a day. You’ve improved your prospecting by broadening your audience.
The better you can combine these two factors, the better you’ll be at prospecting. Simple as that.
2.) Building Rapport
What specifically is building rapport? This means to build relationships with people – stemming from that bond of like and trust you create as a salesperson. When your prospect shares some sort of priority or values in life; the more of an influence you’ll be upon them.
When you have a rapport with someone, you’re better placed to influence, learn and teach, particularly as the trust that you’ve built up means other people are more likely to accept your ideas, to share information, and to create opportunities together.
This does not only correlate to sales but other facets of life like relationships or personal interviews.
3.) Identifying Needs
You must be creative in questioning exactly what your customer needs and wants.
Remember, prospects automatically have buying resistance to any kind of approach. When you find out with your prospect specifically wants, they will be too weak to resist the product that your offering.
Why a lot of salespeople in face-to-face sales fall short is that they present before they identify needs. They love to talk about their product, but they have no idea if the prospect will use it or not.
These are salespeople with the “it’s a numbers game” mentality – as their rationale for their own success in sales.
After you’ve identified the needs, you present your product in a way where it will help them solves their needs.
The more far-fetched your product is compared to their needs, the more creative you’ll have to be in order for your prospects to buy. This is why you need to prospect and identify needs strategically before you present.
Another strategy is to quickly end the presentation if you find that it will be impossible to sell if their needs do not align with your products goals.
5.) Answering Objections
I’ve found in another article The Ultimate Guide to Objections Handling: 40 Common Sales Objections & How To Respond.
Use this resource to your advantage so you can be more creative in handling sales objections.
6.) Closing The Sale
What I’ve noted in closing multiple sales is if you got them this far, sales professionals must stop thinking about simply pushing products.
The way to close more business today lies in first being sensitive to the customer’s needs and then adopting a flexible, creative approach to customizing products and solutions that will help customers achieve their desired outcome.
For example, If you have to ship the product to the customer – then do it. This is creatively closing a sale. By adding more strategies to your arsenal of flexibility, the more creative you’ll be into closing that sells or selling that product.
The customer must feel absolutely comfortable throughout the sales process.
But guess what? Some salespeople may feign interest in the customer’s needs and goals just long enough to steer the conversation in the direction they need it to go to position the solution they already want to offer.
Lots of customers won’t tolerate being manipulated like this. If you can work with them until this last step, this last step can cause resistance to the point of you losing the sale.
In turn, if the customer wants your service at 5 am and you have no employees that wake up that early; know when to assert your expertise and when to defer to the customer.
7.) Acquiring A Resale And/Or Referral
salespeople are often uncomfortable asking for referrals because they don’t know how.
Some ask too early in the relationship – this is when the odds of getting a referral are low. Some people don’t ask because they’re afraid of rejection. Remember, as a salesman – rejection doesn’t exist.
Strategies to acquire both a resale and referrals include:
Simply Saying Thank You
Thank the customer or prospect for giving you the referral and keep them updated on your progress. Send a thank you note or gift card. Nurture your best referral givers. If someone is sending you business, learn to reciprocate. Timing The best time to ask for a referral is after the customer has benefited from your product/service. A great cue is after a customer gives you a compliment.
Making It Easy
Avoid using the generic “do you know anyone else who could use my services?” This makes it easy to say no. Be specific with your request. Based on your criteria of your target customer, prepare a short description of the type of referral you want. This makes it easier for the customer to help you.
Asking for referrals is one of the simplest ways you can generate new business.
Sales Is Warfare: The Pursuit Of Competitive Advantage
With regards to decisions in warfare, strategies are implemented by its generals in regards to both the enemies actions and/or motives, in order to beat them in battle. This is their competitive advantage.
The decisions you make in sales, in regards to what your competitors are going to do, is based on the same concept in order to beat them in the marketplace.
What’s your competitive advantage?
“In what way does your product or service give a competitive advantage over your competitors?”
“If you don’t have a competitive advantage over your customers; don’t compete.” – Jack Welch
Fully understanding your competitive advantage (and if you don’t – don’t bother selling) – will give you the most effective sales presentation as a salesperson.
Prospects purchase products or services from you because they believe that your product is superior to solving their needs, at that given time.
Prospects buy from you (instead of other competitors) because your product or service is special in some kind of way. This is your competitive advantage.
Factors include: *Lower prices compared to your competitors *Benefits that your competitors are not offering *Personally likes the salesperson (or better customer service) *Or, potentially you are the first person to be creative enough to implement their service or product to their lives (when they were unaware that you’ve even existed)
If your product or service is not unique or different than the competitors, your competitors can easily hire one more person to outwork you – since your playing a game of how many targets I can hit in 24 hours.
You need to be more strategic with your product or service. Remember, why would I buy from you and nobody else?
Your Competitive Advantage During A Sales Presentation
When you’ve gone through the KRA’s, and as you approach presenting, you need to have a certain feature or factor that puts you ahead of your competitors in a certain way.
This then also becomes a key factor when looking for prospects and all other sales activities.
When your prospect wants that competitive edge that other products or services don’t offer, it will be fairly easy to make the sale.
If your prospect is unaware of your competitive advantage, then you make that this first and most important factor and gear the whole presentation around that factor.
Hustling Is Dead; Learn To Build A Brand
Hustling is essentially hard work moving towards a goal. While this is essential in the realm of sales, you only have 24 hours in one day. Where’s your competitive advantage?
This is where you need to look at your product or service differently. You don’t hustle, but you build a brand.
See, a brand has name recognition. The competitive advantage that you have will create a name for yourself so for when people encounter your product or service; you’ll be known by your competitive advantage.
Coke, Pepsi, Geico, Gillette – these are brands that you’ll recognize immediately as you read them – and for a certain reason for each.
Let’s take Geico for example. Their slogan states:
“15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
Who the hell doesn’t want to save money? This is their competitive advantage.
Geico wants to be known as the savior from you spending “too much” and car insurance.
Because lot’s of people don’t really do their homework before shopping for car insurance, that will be enticed. They’ll call or go online for a quote that could potentially save them 15% or more on car insurance.
This is their brand. This is what they’re known for. Warren Buffet only has a few, simple guidelines when investing in particular companies.
He invests in the company’s longevity based on its competitive advantage.
“It would tend to be a business that for one reason or another we can look out five or 10 or 20 years, and decide that the competitive advantage that it had at the present would last over that period,” said Warren, at the Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Shareholders Meeting.
And guess what? They’ve ended up turning out to be good bets with a net worth of 84+ billion.
If you want your product to stand out in front of competitors and potential investors; make sure you have the specialization in a specific competitive advantage.
Another area where salespeople get stuck when trying to sell their product or service is that they value volume over competitive advantage.
With their product, they’ve identified no competitive advantage, therefore turning their wheels only using the factor that everyone else has: hustling.
With everything else equal, if you hustle 24 hours a day, and you competitors hustle 24 hours a day, you have no competitive advantage. There is no reason for you to dominate you desired market.
But, if your offering cheaper prices – you have that competitive advantage.
Most of the market will come towards you since you have the competitive advantage of cheaper prices.
This exactly will protect yourself from the competition – specializing in key areas that certain prospects or prospects will value above everything else and buy your product or service instead of anyone else.
Example: Donald Trump; The Brand Master
People both love and hate President Donald Trump for numerous reasons. But one thing that is non-negotiable; this man is a great marketer and businessman.
He carries a “larger-than-life” persona that everyone perceives through the media, and he did a pretty damn good job doing it.
See, Donald Trump has crafted himself into what he is now- and wouldn’t have been so successful if he didn’t understand branding and how one builds a personality into a brand that people can buy into and support blindly.
Sure, he started out in business with a loan of a million dollars and dabbled in different business ventures throughout his life. This gave him a no-nonsense attitude and a positive image of capitalism for America.
The Trump towers weren’t built by him. Someone obviously built those towers for him and wanted his stamp on the buildings (his brand) which will both bring himself and the towards revenue.
Even though his failures, his still had the aura of self-assuredness even though he’s lost millions of dollars. He understood his prospects (America), and that our economic system is based on capitalism – he branded himself in a way where he’s had so much experience he can dominate.
Then, to reach more prospects through the entertainment industry, he appears on WWE playing an angry, violent character.
In 2015, Trump became famous on the campaign trail for “telling it how it is” and not worrying about being politically correct. Representing himself as a firm, anti-establishment leader yet again.
Through a series of campaigns like these, Trump never let his brand as ‘the tough guy’ diminish. Now he’s just a tough guy with nuclear codes.
find a value or specific needs for the non-customer to want to own your product.
By focusing on your competitive advantage and backing it up by strong guarantees; as a salesperson, you’ll make a lot more sales than you are just talking about the product or service, from start to finish.
*Creativity is just the ability to strategize through failures and using resources. Stop associating yourself with being uncreative. If you’re already labeling yourself as uncreative, you’ll never be.
*There are three ways to stimulate creativity. Having clear goals, have a pressing problem to achieve those goals, and it’ll press you so hard you’ll have to ask focused questions to achieve it.
*Know exactly what your product and services do (ins and outs). Duh, but I still see this.
*Learn different strategies to perfect your KRAs. Wallah, your now creative in sales and making more money.
*Fully understanding your competitive advantage (and if you don’t – don’t bother selling) – will give you the most effective sales presentation as a salesperson.
*Hustling Is Dead; Learn To Build A Brand. Be known for your competitive advantage. You’ll become more successful taking that path.