How To Be A Sales Superstar
“How To Be A Sales Superstar”
Break All The Rules And Succeed While Doing It
At the end of this chapter, I have included a FREE Special Report and instructions on how you can get several FREE Bonuses worth over $500!
Chapter 1 – Sales is Not a Dirty Word
“DADDY, I WANT TO BE A SALESPERSON”
The odds are pretty good that you never said this as a kid. Most kids want to grow up to be policemen, firemen, professional athletes, singers, actors, lawyers, and doctors. Not too many kids grow up dreaming of being a superstar salesperson. I have never witnessed children playing car dealership. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How did that turn out for you? Many college graduates don’t even wind up in the field that their degree is in. The good news is that the profession of sales can wind up being a lot better than your childhood dreams.
Most people back into sales as a career rather than choose it. Although that’s not ideal, it’s certainly okay, as that’s the way that I and many others became salespeople. I call people like myself who have found themselves in sales careers reluctant salespeople. When you started your job, you probably weren’t calling all of your friends and jumping up and down shouting that you had just gotten a position in sales.
Even though you picked up this book and maybe even bought it, there is a good possibility that you may not be that excited about sales at this moment. Not very many people are. Every year, polls and studies list sales as one of the least desired career paths. Very few colleges or technical schools have courses for selling. Most businesses don’t offer formalized ongoing education for their salespeople.
The common frame of mind about salespeople is that they are supposed to be naturally talented or self taught. Salespeople are continually hired and fired based upon the results they produce, and little to no effort is made to improve them. The motto, “Hire in masses and fire their asses” is still the prevalent, though ignorant mentality today. Salespeople are hired everyday without any type of screening, testing or cogent analysis of their capabilities or talents for sales.
Here is the reality:
Selling can, and should, be one of the noblest professions you can choose. Yes, that’s right; I used the word noble. Among the definitions of noble in Wictionary from Wikipedia is the following: “Having honorable qualities; having moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean or dubious in conduct and character.” Shouldn’t that be part of the definition of salesperson? Shouldn’t that be the norm, rather than the exception? Why wouldn’t anyone aspire to be that person, and to have that description as part of their career? For all the titles I have – author, speaker, trainer, consultant and entrepreneur – I am first and foremost a salesperson, and I always will be. I am proud of this title, and you should be as well.
NOTHING HAPPENS UNLESS SOMEONE SELLS SOMETHING
The world as you know it exists because of sales. If someone, somewhere, somehow is not selling every single day, you wouldn’t have food to eat, a car to drive, or a house to live in. We can live a day without the skills of a lawyer, or even a doctor but you can’t live even one single day without the skills of a salesperson.
Selling is one of the most important functions in our society. Capitalism and the advancement of any society are dependent upon sales. Everyone is a salesperson, and everyone sells everyday. In case you don’t believe me, consider the following: If you are a parent, you sell “finishing dinner” to kids through the reward of dessert. If you are in a relationship, you sell your girlfriend on watching football in return for a nice dinner out. If you are in a career or have a job, you sell your boss on the effectiveness and productivity of what you do. If you don’t have a job, you sell the person you interview for a job that you are the best choice out of all the other applicants. Everyone is selling something everyday.
As a matter of fact, if you want to see fantastic sales skills in action, just watch kids. They are the best salespeople on earth. Kids understand the importance of selling the moment they arrive on the scene. They sell their tails off, and keep selling. If you watch kids, you’ll notice that they ask directly for what they desire. They have not yet been programmed to think that this is somehow wrong or selfish. Kids rarely take no as a final answer, and they think about how to construct alternative persuasive arguments when their initial requests are refused. They try to create leverage in their urging through win-win questions and arguments. They believe strongly in what they want and believe that they deserve it. Usually it’s parents, teachers, and other adults who try very hard to express to children that they shouldn’t be selling. You were probably reprimanded, scolded and scoffed at for most of your early selling efforts. Eventually you got the message loud and clear that selling was bad and something to be ashamed of. Managers and owners of businesses wonder why most people stink at selling; it’s because they have been conditioned not to sell.
The first step in the journey to becoming a sales superstar will be to eliminate this conditioning. Whether you are someone who is considering sales for a career, a struggling salesperson, a salesperson looking to reach another level of success, or a sales superstar who wants to see if I am “spilling the beans” to your secrets, reading this book and utilizing what you learn will change your life.
I bet you have heard everyone of these phrases many times over: “I hate salespeople.” “Salespeople are greedy.” “Salespeople are pushy.” “Salespeople just want your money.” “Salespeople are all liars.” “Salespeople are just uneducated pond scum that could not get jobs doing anything else.” In the same vein, consider the following movies and plays that you may have seen or read: “Death of a Salesman,” “Boiler Room,” “Tin Men,” “Cadillac Man,” “Wall Street,” “Glengarry Glenn Ross,” and “Other People’s Money.” What images and emotions do you conjure up about salespeople and selling in general? They’re not very positive, are they?
I would like for you to try to name one play, movie, TV show, or book where a salesperson is portrayed as a good person, or someone to be admired. I bet you can’t do it. The first part of becoming a superstar salesperson is to understand the horrific negative conditioning to which you and the rest of the world have been subjected about sales. When too much garbage bombards your mind, your mind becomes garbage. You must drain your brain of the negative information that you have been sold and lies that you have been told in regards to selling. And isn’t there a bit of irony in the fact that you and the rest of the world may have a bad image of selling because of what you have been sold, and more importantly – what you have bought?
Many sales careers are stalled or derailed because salespeople never identify and get rid of the negative clutter in their brain about sales. If you are trying to be a successful salesperson, but your imagery, emotions and teachings are in conflict with your mission; you will either fail or become a mediocre, frustrated and unhappy salesperson. In other words, you will have joined the ranks of 90% of salespeople. I have seen a myriad of business cards with creative titles that try to eliminate identifying the person they represent as a salesperson – Marketing Director, Customer Representative, Customer Relations Counselor, and New Accounts Manager. If you can’t admit to being a salesperson or be proud to be a salesperson, you can’t be a successful one. If you are a salesperson, try putting the title “Proud to Be a Salesperson” on your business cards. Let people know you are pleased with your title, and not ashamed. You will stand out in the crowd by doing so. Similarly, I have had numerous salespeople – through telemarketing or face-to-face selling – start off by telling me that they are not trying to sell me something. That’s a part of their pitch. They are liars, however, because they are, and should, be trying to sell me something. Let me give you a tip: its okay to sell something, and its okay to declare it.
I can count on my fingers and toes the so-called sales gurus and trainers who wanted my company to sell their sales seminars because they didn’t feel comfortable selling themselves, and they would rather have someone else do the selling. The truth is that they didn’t believe they could do what they were teaching. You must embrace selling as something you should do, want to do and can do and not run from it. You must be able to embrace whatever it is that you are selling. A business professor from Carnegie Mellon once told me that the sales course he taught through an entrepreneur program was the one course he was sure every attendee would eventually use. Therefore, he thought it was the most important. Ask any successful business owner the key to their success, and if they don’t tell you that it’s the ability to sell, then they just haven’t realized it yet.
In his best-selling book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, (TechPress 1997) author Robert Kioysaki recounts how after his college graduation, his so-called “Rich Dad” and mentor had counseled him to take a job in sales with a company that offered a good sales training program. His advice was that sales would be the most important tool that Mr. Kioyski would have in being an entrepreneur. Meanwhile, Mr. Kioyski’s own father – the so-called Poor Dad who was a college Professor and Administrator – was shocked at the idea, and thought that this was beneath his son. The Rich Dad had a lot less formal education than the Poor Dad, but he had experienced far superior results in the business and financial world. Much like myself and many other salespeople, Mr. Kioyski backed into sales. His initial thoughts and feelings were that sales might be beneath him or a waste of his college education.
I have witnessed situations like Mr. Kioyski’s time and time again. Years ago, as a General Manager at an automobile dealership, I had a salesperson with tons of talent and potential quit his sales job with our company. The reason he quit his sales job was to take an entry level position with a rental car company. He informed me that he wanted to use his college education. Although I am sure that the company he went to work for is a fine company that provided him with many opportunities, I was positive that this young salesperson was simply embarrassed to be a salesperson, and believed that it was beneath him. The prospects of being a rental clerk were more exciting to him than was a sales career. The truth is that he probably learned more about the business world and used more of his education in six months of selling cars than might ever use in the rental car business.
I see more people in sales positions than in any other profession who are only in selling “until something else comes along”. Sometimes I believe there are more admitted career cab drivers in New York and Los Angeles than there are admitted career salespeople. If you get into a sales career “to check it out”, you will check out. In other words, you will fail due to a lack of commitment. If you want to do more than “check it out”, somewhere, somehow, you must truly commit to sales as a career. You must understand that selling is not a low level profession. Being a salesperson puts you at the top of the heap, not the bottom.
“SALES” IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!
You must be proud of what you do. You must morally, ethically, mentally and emotionally “buy into” sales as a fantastic career. Selling is not something you can do half-assed or with unenthused commitment. The good news is that there are very few professions that can provide you with as much fun, freedom, excitement, adrenaline, competition, income, and wealth potential as sales. I have spent a lot of time and ink in the beginning of this book about the mindset of acceptance and exuberance for selling. The reason for this is because without your total mental and emotional commitment, everything is else I share in this book will lead to mediocrity or failure.
This book is not about how to be good at sales. This book is not about how to be better at sales. This book is about how to be a Sales Superstar. This book is about how to make huge incomes from your sales efforts and to get rich. If you don’t believe in this premise, do not read the rest of the book. There are tons of sales books that will gain you mediocrity; I only want superstars. Life is too short to aim low and live a daily uninspired existence that is average and frustrating.
SECRETS SALES SUPERSTARS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Selling is both the highest and lowest paying profession on earth. Unfortunately, the majority of salespeople are in the low end. The good news is if you do the exact opposite of what 95% of salespeople do you will succeed and can become wealthy in doing so. Let’s look at what it means, by definition, to be different in your approach or viewpoint.
Contrary: Opposed, opposite in nature, altogether different
Contrarian: A person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion as in economic matters.
Several Native American tribes such as the Cheyenne, Crow, and the Iroquois had warrior sects called Contraries or Contrary Warriors. The Contrary Warriors were different from their peers in their nature, often acting in direct opposition to the conventional tribe wisdom. Despite their controversial actions, they were thought to be very wise warriors, and were said to act like lightning in a storm. The Contraries became one with the sacred power they most feared. They liberated themselves from conventional and hallowed fears. As you look through history, you will likely make the same observation of most successful people. Successful people, like the Contrary Warriors, think for themselves and don’t blindly follow the teachings and thoughts of the masses.
I have been in sales for most of my life and have spent a lot of time, money and effort to study superstar salespeople and entrepreneurs. Because of what I have studied, learned and taken action on I have had a lot of success and made quite a bit of money in sales. I have often found that superstar salespeople take a Contrarian approach to sales and their business. Following the masses seldom leads to success in sales, just like following the masses seldom leads to success in any endeavor. When everyone else in the marketplace buys stocks, real estate or anything else in false exuberance, the Contrarian investor patiently waits to pounce on the opportunities created when the market turns and winds up and picking the bones of the dead carcasses from the ignorant masses. When the world was busy buying tech stocks and looking to get rich quick, the “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett refused to follow the trend and buy businesses he did not understand. No matter how much the so-called experts blasted him as being a “has-been” or out of touch, he took the Contrarian Approach. Mr. Buffett stayed invested with companies such as Coca Cola and Dairy Queen, instead of the sexier tech stocks that most people thought would bring quick riches. Warren Buffet never followed the masses, and through an approach that seemed contrarian to many investors at the time, wound up with substantial profits while the tech stocks sank.
The entrepreneur who follows the masses and opens up the tenth coffee shop in a small town because it seems cool and is what everybody is doing; it winds up failing and losing money. Unsuccessful salespeople are like lemmings. Lemmings are the animals that blindly follow one another in a line right off a cliff to their death. On the other hand, the Contrarian entrepreneur looks for the niche opportunity created because of all the new coffee shops, and succeeds because he goes where no one else is going.
Thirty years ago when I began my career, I made note of who was the very best in sales – who the “superstars” were. I observed that they made way more than the rest of the salespeople, and I noticed that they broke all the so-called rules of selling. The superstars didn’t think or act the same way as the rest of the salespeople. The sales superstar did not wait for customers or even expect the business they work for to provide them with leads. The sales superstar knew that the REAL money is in their customer base, and did not ignore this. Sales superstars didn’t use the same sales presentations or customer qualifying techniques that everyone else uses. The sales superstars understood their customers, and they used this understanding to bend the rules in the selling system or in the companies they worked for.
Often, sales superstars’ managers can’t stand them. The superstars are often thought of as uncontrollable, and they don’t tow the exact company line. The superstars are often called “mavericks”, or “high maintenance.” Those same managers tell new salespeople not to emulate superstars because “they are different, and everyone can’t do what they do.” The truth is those managers only look for people they can control. Superstar salespeople tend to threaten weak managers. They are often condemned because they do things differently. But of course they do things differently; that’s what makes them superstars.
When you become a selling superstar, be prepared to deal with the jealously that you will incur from managers and fellow salespeople. Just remember that no one can keep you from being successful but yourself. You are in charge of your destiny. Be happy that you have critics, as it means you have success to be envied. Critics don’t pick on the weak; they don’t have anything to gain in doing so. In Australia, this is called the “Tall Poppy Syndrome.” When one poppy grows taller than the other poppies, the others begin to squeeze and smother the tall poppy to keep it from growing taller than the rest. This way, all the poppies stay the same height. That’s exactly what will happen to you if you let it. Don’t be a poppy. Allow yourself to grow despite the squeezing and smothering you may experience.
I am not telling you to be a troublemaker, or to break rules for the sake of breaking rules. I am not telling you to purposely be a thorn in your managers’ side. However, I am telling you that to be successful in anything, you have to make tough decisions and follow a path that may not always be popular, and will most certainly often be Contrarian.
During my time as general manager of the automobile dealership, I held a meeting one day and asked my sales team, “What if we started doing everything differently? What if we did the exact opposite in everything we currently do? What if our meeting and greeting of our customers was opposite of what it is now? What if our customer qualifying process was opposite? What if our presentation process was opposite? What if our negotiation process was opposite? What if our marketing was opposite?”
Several of the salespeople asked me why I was asking this. I told them that I felt that the industry was stale. I believed that we had been selling cars the same way for over fifty years. I told them that I thought our customers were becoming more educated and they were changing, and that we and the rest of the business would have to change with them. I said that customers would simply not put up with the nonsense that they had experienced in the past when they shopped for and bought vehicles. I told our sales team that we could either be leading this change, or we could fall behind. I said that although we were currently number one in sales in our marketplace, that stagnation would eventually lead to trouble for us
This book, and a lot of what’s in it, come directly or indirectly from that one question I asked my sales team many years ago: “What if we started doing everything differently?” I began to observe every step of the sales process from the simple meet and greet down to negotiations. I began to use trial and error in seeing if my Contrarian approach would work. Some things worked really well, while others had to be tweaked. The bottom line is the fact that one simple question led to major changes, which lead to big success. Since that time I have applied that same thought process to helping salespeople from all kinds of businesses representing all kind of industries.
The same principle applies to your sales success. Here is the truth – much of what you’ve learned is wrong. Most of what sales trainers are pushing is useless. You may have sat for hours in training sessions writing down everything that you hear because you’re hoping that one of these gurus has the “magic button.” You are looking for the one line that’s going to miraculously overcome objections and close every sale easy as one, two, three. The truth is that most of those gurus are peddling old fashioned information. They’re only teaching 25 tips, or 10 rules, or a “road map” to sales success. That’s the old school approach. The reality today is that sales success takes more than sales skills. You need proficiency beyond the “Tie-Down Method”, or “Qualifying Your Customer.” You need more than just a networking group meeting and thank-you cards. You must have access to what’s working in today’s market, and you need to use what works in this century. You need the mindset and real world knowledge that are going to make you a superstar. Selling is a job that demands a new and improved tool kit. I’m not talking about tricks or slippery systems to get a customer to cave in. These tools are ones that influence you not the customer. These are the tools that make you better. And when you get better, it’s amazing how much better your customers get.
That’s what this book is about. It’s about throwing out all the old school rules of sales, or at least being willing to question them. It’s the Contrarian Guide to being a sales superstar. In all fairness, I must give you a disclaimer that not all sales education, techniques or training are bad; some are quite good, and still usable today. However, many are not. The idea is that everything is up for review. Nothing is sacred just because it’s the way you were taught or the way you have always done it.
This book will teach you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and most importantly, why to do it. Everything you learn in this book may be explained in a manner that is probably opposite of what you have been taught. As a matter of fact, what I tell you to do may sometimes be the wrong thing to do; but doing the wrong thing is part of success. Continually testing, tinkering and improving are all parts of the equation that brings about sales success. To be a sales superstar, you have to be willing to make mistakes more often and fail more often. Your failures are a big part of your sales education. Learn to embrace the bumps in the road, but don’t accept them as permanent.
The world of sales is a not a perfect one, and nobody in it has absolute answers. Selling is part science and part art, and it can never be fully mastered. That is exactly why selling is such a fun, exciting and fulfilling profession. Very few people reach sales superstar status; that is also why it pays so well. Am I trying to scare you by telling you this? If this scares you, then pick another profession. Selling is not for the faint of heart.
The Millionaire Maker – What do you need to be a sales superstar?
· Sales Skills: You don’t need a magic button to overcome objections. You need to understand why people have objections in the first place, and how to eliminate eight out of ten objections before they ever occur. Sales today is about being proactive, not reactive. You must be able to recognize an objection even when your customer is not verbalizing one. Sales skills include abilities such as how to present and demonstrate your product or service, how to take or make sales calls, or how to negotiate professionally.
When most people think of a salesperson, they picture a slick, fast talking individual with of all the answers who manipulates someone onto buying something, whether they want it or not. Although sale superstars are excellent persuaders, they are equally as good at helping people to find the solutions to their problems. The best superstar salespeople I have ever seen were great not just because of sales skills, but because of the other skills listed below. Instead of learning 50 ways to close a sale, why not try writing down the 4 most frequent objections you get, and why they come up. With a little thought and preparation, you just might be able to head off many of the objections. Think like a Contrarian. Reverse the mindset.
Here’s a shocker…
Improving your sales skills will help you tremendously, but this alone won’t make you a sales superstar. That’s what most salespeople and sales training focus on; but it totally misses the mark. You must become great at the following skills to become a sales superstar; the ability to master these are the mark of a true Millionaire Maker.
· People Skills: Whenever I interview potential salespeople and they say, “I love people,” it frankly makes me want to puke. Yes, you must want to help your customers solve their problems, and you must TLC – Think Like a Customer. You must really care for your customers. However, sales superstars rarely become superstars because of their love of humanity. Mother Theresa was a great salesperson for humanity, but probably could not have done well selling computers.
Although salespeople do not have to be great humanitarians, they must practice good human relations skills such as listening. When your customer speaks, you must know what they are saying, what they are trying to say, and what they really mean. Old school techniques rely solely on what to say back, which only makes your customers mad. Sales superstars have excellent listening skills. Superstars observe people, are highly intuitive, and have the capacity to read and truly understand people.
· Life Skills: These are the everyday skills that separate you from the masses. You must be precise with what you think, what you do, when you do it, and why you are doing it. You must understand abundance versus scarcity. The world is an abundant universe with unlimited resources. Money is not limited, sales are not limited and customers are not limited. Proper life skills will allow you to tap into this abundance at any time.
How to gain and maintain a sales superstar attitude is part of honing these life skills. Figuring out what to do with your day that leads to the most bang for your buck is a life skills. Knowing how to trigger strong sales persistence when your competition has already quit is a life skill. These skills are not rah-rah sales tips or how to do your To-Do list. These are real, live, actionable ideas. For example, in the Action Management section of this book, you will learn that what you have been taught by time management gurus can make you a slave and keep you broke. In the Goal setting section you will learn why 95% of salespeople fail or don’t reach their potential because of life skills alone.
Superstar salespeople figure out early on that you must work as hard, or even harder, on yourself as you do in your business. Successful people are eager learners. They understand that you never stop learning, and that you are never too successful to learn. Education must become a regular part of your day. If you are a sales manager and you interview sales recruits, ask them how they feel about continual education. Ask them what they have done to educate themselves lately. If you are faced with a person who can’t demonstrate a desire for learning, then don’t hire them. These people turn out to be Prima Donna low producers.
·Marketing Skills: Lots of people tell you how to market yourself. Every day I read more about the power of marketing, or branding, or some other new idea that keeps salespeople broke. Showing up at cocktail parties or business networking breakfasts and handing out your business card is no way to market yourself. Chances are, the salesperson at these events has too much time on their hands, and the sales superstars are not there, because they are out making sales. If the sales superstars are at these events, they have a better game plan than handing out boring business cards that fail to market them and that lack incentives for someone to take action with them.
This book will show you low- to no-cost marketing techniques to make you money. To thrive in sales, you must become a student and practitioner of emotional direct response marketing. You have to have a constant flow of leads that you create. For over one hundred years, traditional sales training has tried to teach you what to do to become great with customers. However, you first have to be great at getting customers, so that you have customers to be great with. Without customers, you fail. You have to acquire customers, and just as importantly – you have to keep them. Most salespeople worry so much about getting new customers that they forget to do what is necessary to keep the ones they already have.
I will cover all those skills in detail the following chapters. Why listen to me? Because I’ve been there. I’ve lived it, and I still do. I have been a successful salesperson from a young age. I know what it’s like to be broke and need to sell something just to eat and pay rent. I know the challenges you face. I have gone from being broke and homeless to being wealthy and successful because of sales. I am not a sales professor or some has-been sales hack that talks about success, but has never experienced it. I have sold many millions of dollars of products and services and have risen from the bottom to the top. So have countless others using my methods and ideas. I have created several successful businesses using the exact methodology that I will share in this book.
Salespeople are not born; they are made. I don’t believe in the natural born salesperson. I have had people tell me that Michael Jordan was a natural born basketball player. Michael Jordan may have been born with immense talent and gifts, but he was cut from his high school basketball team. Even he had to practice and work his rear off to become great. Don’t use excuses and allow thoughts of mediocrity to keep you from superstar status.
Sales superstars learn early on that they have to work as hard on the business as they do in the business. Every day, your thoughts and actions must be directed towards an effort to grow your business exponentially, and how to automate a large percentage of your everyday functions. You can learn to automate many parts of your marketing, customer follow up and other functions. You can learn to grow your business by expanding your efforts through others and outsourcing. The average salesperson will often complain that they don’t have enough time. He does not believe that he can find alternate resources for anything he desires to do or have done. The average salesperson waits for things to happen and hopes and prays for success. I use the anagram “HOPE” to describe this person’s actions, which can be defined as Having Optimistic Predictions and Emotions. Although having hope is the first step, there is a saying, “Pray, but move your feet.” Hope can only get you so far.
I have seen superstar salespeople who were not considered attractive – I definitely fall into that category. I have seen superstar salespeople that were not smooth talkers. I have seen superstar salespeople that had foreign dialects and were very hard to understand, who were not well educated, and who were not necessarily nice people. There is not a cookie cutter formula for superstar salespeople. Superstars come in all shapes, sizes and personalities.
So eliminate any excuses, get rid of any preconceived ideas, eradicate the mental baggage; and let’s begin your journey to becoming a sales superstar.
Wait, that’s not all…
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6 Elements of Success by Mark Tewart
Psychological and emotional relationship to money. All successful people believe that money is abundant. When economic times are tough, the normal thing to do is to begin to cut expenses. Expense control is something you do when times are good. If you wait until the economy or business has turned bad, it’s usually too late.
Everything should be viewed through terms of ROI. Many people will in the vain of expense cutting begin to cut out the very thing that is making them money. It’s simple, if you spend a dollar and you make two, keep spending until it does not. Saying you have an ad budget or that you spend so much in advertising or marketing is ridiculous. Nobody has ever been able to explain to me why they do this other than that is what everybody else does. It’s all about ROI.
The highest rate of return for dollars spent is on education and self-improvement. Yet, I have often heard people say, I can’t afford this seminar, book or class. The usual comment I hear is that the person will start when they are making money. Hello! Is anyone at home? That person will never start to make more money until they spend what they think they don’t have on their self education. This is what I call the When -Then Syndrome. A limited mindset in relation to money is the single biggest factor that keeps someone from being successful and limits growth even in good times.
Extreme concentration of effort and time on the right things. The right things are the actions and thoughts that create success and money. In our world of massive improvements in technology we are bombarding ourselves with email, test messaging, cell phones, instant messaging and even new applications such as Twitter. The problem is when you become addicted to technology and use it to fill up your time. When are too connected, you now have more technology and less productivity. This is called unintended consequences.
An open mind to increasing gross margins. Strong producers always believe you can push the needle of gross and net profits. Weaker producers believe that gross profits are limited and that increasing margins means you will lose volume and or gain a bad reputation.
Time and time again we have proven to salespeople, businesses and people in general that gross margins and value have absolutely no correlation to volume of sales or previous value attachments such as previous pricing or pay. As a matter of fact we have repeatedly seen that once a belief system has been changed about profit that sales actually increase because of the confidence gained by eliminating limiting beliefs.
Strong producers have a system for encouraging repeats. The average salesperson or business has a small percentage of repeat business. The reason is that most people do little to nothing to create a relationship with their customers. I have seen salespeople and businesses that have anywhere from 36 to over 90 contacts a year with their customers. These contacts need to be as personal as possible. I have spoken at a ton of mastermind meetings where the majority of the business owners reply that too many contacts will piss off their customers. Whenever I ask if a salesperson or business owner if this theory has been tested to see if this is true, the answer is always no. Once again this is a limiting and untrue belief.
Weak people tend to dwell on the one or two complaints versus the thousands of people who do not complain. If you are staying in touch with your customers you should be getting complaints. There always a few odd balls and nut jobs. Simply remove them from your list. You don’t need to do business with everyone and you should not try to make everyone happy. Strong dealers use multiple media in a personal and ongoing way to reach their customer base. Direct mail, lumpy mail, gifts, postcards, voice broadcast, newsletters, email, functions, special invitations, test messages, social media – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace etc.
Strong producers have a continuity system. Are selling once with no further attempts for future sales? Are you creating continuous sales, services and value added purchase points for your customers? The average business gets only a small percentage of customers who buy from them to transfer into continuous sales.
You must do anything you can to make sure your customers who buy now move into a program of continual sales with you. What is the lifetime value of your customer? When you create a continuity program you are utilizing the Law of Familiarity. When people get comfortable with you they tend to stay with you. A continuity program automatically affects all your net profit channels such as volume, gross, repeats and speed of repeats. Most dealer shave little to no system to create continuity. Most salespeople or businesses who think they have a program really are not close to what is needed.
Strong producers use emotional direct response marketing. No matter the economic market or the type of customers you have, people will respond to emotional direct response marketing in all formats of media. Conventional newspaper display ads are ineffective and even more so in tougher economic times. The traffic you do bring is not what you want. It tends to bring low ROI. The same holds true for conventional feel good type marketing done in radio, TV or name a media. A business cannot 100% delegate all their marketing without at least educating himself to what should be done and be successful. Most advertising companies are media whores who have no idea of what really works.
Note: Many who read this will ask what about people? It’s amazing how when people have training, customers, sales and money how attitudes tend to be good. Good businesses are very stringent on whom they hire and then they do all the things that would keep a good person. The weak business owners bitch and moan about how you can’t get good people. Strong businesses have people wanting to work there.
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