Being a sales person is one of the toughest jobs out there. It is said that only 1% of the population have what it takes to make it as a successful sales person. Those odds are not very good and yet many of you are attracted to the sales arena because of the rewards that come with being successful. Salespeople are the modern day gladiators who fight for everything to the very end. You face daily challenges, survive and often prosper. You enjoy the competition and the recognition that comes with being good at what you do.
So how do some sales people rise to the top while others can only dream about it?
Most of the best sales professionals I know have been mentored by other experienced professionals who have shared with them their secrets of success. A number of years ago my sales manager offended me with a statement that also changed my life.
He said, “Frank you’re a good sales person, but you could be a great sales person”. As one of the top sales people in the area my ego was bruised. I went away annoyed that he could say such a thing. I had been on many sales courses and seminars and my results were excellent, I was a dedicated salesman.
After thinking about what he said for a couple of days, wondering why he said it, I then plucked up the courage to go into his office and ask him what he meant. I told him that I considered myself to be better than just good at selling and that I felt aggrieved.
His reply shocked me, after reassuring me and telling me he was glad I was on his team. He said that if I wanted to be great salesman I had to listen carefully to some advice. He then told me to STOP SELLING! This left me totally stunned. He then explained that my job was not to sell but instead to help my customer to make an informed purchasing decision.
He had to repeat the statement twice before the light bulb came on for me.
Of course he was absolutely right. I needed to move from being a contestant ready to do battle, to becoming a trusted authority. My responsibility was to bring my product expertise to the table and help the potential purchaser understand the pros and cons of their decision. It is their money, it is their decision. I had to do everything I could to help them make an informed one?
Over the years I have shared this nugget of information with many “good” sales people and always smile as I watch their reaction when I suggest they can improve their sales if they STOP SELLING.
If you practice this concept today I applaud you. Should you adopt it going forward, I wish you much personal success.