What's Your Advice on Becoming a Star Salesman?

by CFamm 24 replies
Hi guys,

I know questions about how to sell and the best products to teach selling are a dime a dozen on this site. I've played with the search function so much it rolled over and went to sleep; but I haven't found a thread that gives the kind of answer I'm looking for here.

I've been consuming lots of sales information on and off over the last few years. Books, seminars, articles, newsletters etc etc.

My way in actual, practical selling as been very limited. I have excuses but what does that matter?

Back to the question (finally, right?)

If you were to start over what would you do to get yourself back to your level of selling ability today?

What books would you read, what jobs would you take, what would you listen to, watch, and what would you do each and every day in order to build your skills as quickly and as completely as possible.

I know that sales materials are plastered all over the internet like acne on a 15 year old boy's face. But some are clearly better than others, and some are pretty shit (I'm looking at you, any encyclopedia of closes)

Which materials offer the most bang for your buck?

And most importantly, what habits need to be formed to build powerful selling abilities?

What advice can you give to me and everybody else who comes to this thread on the best ways to build yourself into a star salesman?
#offline marketing #advice #salesman #star
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by CFamm View Post

    What advice can you give to me and everybody else who comes to this thread on the best ways to build yourself into a star salesman?
    Read some of Claude Whitacre's books and chat to him on the forum.

    Look up some of Ewen Mack's - Dr E Vile - threads - contact Ewen as he has a some valuable perspectives to add to help you with your predicament.

    Most people will say join a sales team and find a good mentor.

    Sometimes that's a lot harder nowadays than what is was in the past.

    Experience by watching real masters at work is golden but many of the true star performers are busy and it does take a degree of luck an persistence, investigation etc to find some good guidance that is relevant in today's marketplace.

    It takes some time to hone your skills but people like Claude and Ewen shorten that time.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post


      Look up some of Ewen Mack's - Dr E Vile - threads - contact Ewen as he has a some valuable perspectives to add to help you with your predicament.

      Ozi
      He is already exhibiting traits which stop him from being a star salesperson.

      Putting all the reason for his failure onto others.

      Nobody will want to attach themselves to that,
      unless they are clueless or a masochist!

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        He is already exhibiting traits which stop him from being a star salesperson.

        Putting all the reason for his failure onto others.

        Nobody will want to attach themselves to that,
        unless they are clueless or a masochist!

        Best,
        Ewen
        Where did he put the reason for his failures on others?
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by umc View Post

          Where did he put the reason for his failures on others?
          "My way in actual, practical selling as been very limited. I have excuses but what does that matter?"

          "I haven't found a thread that gives the kind of answer I'm looking for here."

          The first statement is the story he is repeating to himself over and over again.
          He needs to divorce himself of that story to move forward.

          The second statement tells me he is looking for that one thing, that one magic
          trick which will make him a star salesperson.

          If he doesn't find it, then he has an out, a reason to tell himself
          why he didn't become a star salesperson.

          It's not his fault, it's others.

          He's not taking full responsibility for his life.

          2 superstar sales guys I've worked with didn't come with that thinking.

          By superstars, I mean helping them get their first jobs in sales and within 5 months
          breaking the company record by bringing in a deal 50 times bigger than past record.

          Then he breaks the division record in another company 5 months after arriving
          selling advertising space over the phone.

          The other salesperson sells stocks over the phone.

          He sold more stocks as a rookie than any other in the first year
          in all branches around the world.

          They only just scraped in to get those jobs because the guys hiring them
          were doubtful they had what it takes.

          And that's the BIG problem in sales organizations,
          they don't know what a superstar looks like before
          he/she becomes one.

          The poster hasn't come back in to reply
          which speaks volumes as to whether he has what it takes
          to become a star salesperson.

          I welcome him to come in and prove me wrong
          because at the end of the day, we all want others to be successful.

          Best,
          Ewen
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          • Profile picture of the author umc
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            "My way in actual, practical selling as been very limited. I have excuses but what does that matter?"

            "I haven't found a thread that gives the kind of answer I'm looking for here."

            The first statement is the story he is repeating to himself over and over again.
            He needs to divorce himself of that story to move forward.

            The second statement tells me he is looking for that one thing, that one magic
            trick which will make him a star salesperson.

            If he doesn't find it, then he has an out, a reason to tell himself
            why he didn't become a star salesperson.

            It's not his fault, it's others.

            He's not taking full responsibility for his life.
            You may be right. I read that first statement as him divorcing himself from that story, saying that those excuses are invalid. I read the second as him saying something as simple as that he hasn't found a good thread in his searches, nothing more, nothing less. You read a lot into what he said.

            We'll see if he comes back. I do think it says a lot when people post seemingly important questions and then disappear. It doesn't reflect well. Unfortunately, I see a lot of reading into what people say and jumping on them here. Lots of chips on shoulders. Oh well, not my question or thread, just trying to see what you were seeing in what he said.
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            • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
              Originally Posted by umc View Post

              You may be right. I read that first statement as him divorcing himself from that story, saying that those excuses are invalid. I read the second as him saying something as simple as that he hasn't found a good thread in his searches, nothing more, nothing less. You read a lot into what he said.

              We'll see if he comes back. I do think it says a lot when people post seemingly important questions and then disappear. It doesn't reflect well. Unfortunately, I see a lot of reading into what people say and jumping on them here. Lots of chips on shoulders. Oh well, not my question or thread, just trying to see what you were seeing in what he said.
              You are right, I do read a lot into the written word on this forum.

              I've experienced people coming on here asking for help.

              One occasion on how to cold call.

              I offered them to listen in as I make them for my business,
              which yielded national brands as clients.

              Lot of excitement,
              nobody showed up.

              I get private messaged asking for help.
              A recent case where I offered to hop on Skype to help.

              After that, not a message back.

              Vanished like a thief in the night.

              Other times I respond to private messages and not a thank you.

              Yes, I do pick up behavior patterns.

              All I'm doing is calling out what I see based on experience,
              not to shame people for it.

              It is what it is.

              Best,
              Ewen

              .
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  • Originally Posted by CFamm View Post

    Hi guys,

    I know questions about how to sell and the best products to teach selling are a dime a dozen on this site. I've played with the search function so much it rolled over and went to sleep; but I haven't found a thread that gives the kind of answer I'm looking for here.

    I've been consuming lots of sales information on and off over the last few years. Books, seminars, articles, newsletters etc etc.

    My way in actual, practical selling as been very limited. I have excuses but what does that matter?

    Back to the question (finally, right?)

    If you were to start over what would you do to get yourself back to your level of selling ability today?

    What books would you read, what jobs would you take, what would you listen to, watch, and what would you do each and every day in order to build your skills as quickly and as completely as possible.

    I know that sales materials are plastered all over the internet like acne on a 15 year old boy's face. But some are clearly better than others, and some are pretty shit (I'm looking at you, any encyclopedia of closes)

    Which materials offer the most bang for your buck?

    And most importantly, what habits need to be formed to build powerful selling abilities?

    What advice can you give to me and everybody else who comes to this thread on the best ways to build yourself into a star salesman?
    Read sales books by star salespeople. Go to Amazon.com and buy the books with the most positive reviews.

    Keep notes of what happened on every sales call, whether you sold or not. Spend non-selling time, studying what worked and what didn't. Eventually, you'll see patterns in what works.

    Maybe my best advice is to only see people who have proven that they are buyers of what you sell (or at least the same category).

    In every market, most prospects are highly unlikely to buy from you...and a few are highly likely to buy from you.
    You need to concentrate on the people that are highly likely to buy...based on what they have done in the past.

    That may be the single most profitable realization I came to in 35 years of selling.

    My book on Sales prospecting covers all that.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexTee
    If you want to read what the PROs read click here Selling Power | Success Strategies for Sales Management

    Read something on this site at least 15 minutes/day every day!

    They have been around since the 90s and now are online.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    I would Google Harry Brown "How to sell anything" on top of getting Claude's book on prospecting.

    Brown's book is in the public domain I believe.
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    • Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      I would Google Harry Brown "How to sell anything" on top of getting Claude's book on prospecting.

      Brown's book is in the public domain I believe.
      That's an amazing book that had insights I hadn't seen from a sales author before.


      To the OP;

      The good news about sales is that the methods are pretty evergreen. Human nature changes little, and appeals stay pretty much the same.

      But do you want to be the best rep in your company?

      Find out what the best rep is doing now. how did they build their business? Who did they prospect? Try to ride with a top rep for a few days, do him favors, carry his stuff....learn from the masters. See sales being made.

      That may be the biggest thing, you need to see lots of sales being made, right in front of you. See that buying is the expected result, that buying is natural...

      Even the top reps are doing a few things right..and lots of things wrong. Learn from a few different reps. I used to go along with a rep in other industries (always the best I could find) to see what they did....and they wanted to see what I did....and a few hours with a top rep...in a real selling environment, can cause you to leap to a higher sales plateau.

      But the essential to being the best rep....is a concentration on that fixed point...getting the sale. When I sell, it may look like I'm dancing around the subject...letting the prospect talk on and on....but I always have a laser focus on the end result, no matter what it looks like.

      "how can I further the sale?"
      "How is this to my advantage in getting a sale?"
      "how is this a reason for them to buy?"

      I gently steer the prospect to the obvious comfortable inevitable conclusion that they should buy from me. It may look gentle,even barely a touch, to the uninitiated. But it is never let up, never released.......like a gentle slope that barely moves you...but it's always pulling, in the direction I want.

      I've heard it called "Killer instinct", but that isn't quite right. It's isn't adversarial. Your motives are pure...help the customer....but in nearly 100% of the cases, the best way to help your customer is if they own what you are selling.

      In fact, the only way you are not wasting their time, is if they buy.

      But deep down in that brain stem of yours, you have to have the instinctual drive that makes you want that sale, as much as you want water when you are thirsty. The thirst never goes away, and it never leaves your mind.

      All top salespeople have this.

      When I sold life insurance (forever ago), I would see the production results for the office, with the office rankings. My first need was to be the best in the office. That wasn't hard, most there did as little as possible to survive...but then I saw the company production..the company rankings...and that made me work harder.

      In a year, I got to #3 (for the year)....not quite #1. But I was young and stupid then.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yvon Boulianne
    that`s about relations, once you have a good relation you have 99% of getting the sales.
    Empathie is very important
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    StartupCowboy.com
    helping startup gain traction
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    The first thing is selling and having a system to correct your faults. You can read all you want but only so much can be conveyed through words.

    Most importantly, if you don't do, you won't have any idea if what you are reading is at least plausible.
    It's like trying to learn how to swim without access to a body of water.
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  • Profile picture of the author SalesGod
    Not sure what books would be good. Most of them will tell you stuff that sounds good on paper but doesn't work in live sales situations. I personally leanered just from working with phone sales pros at organizations. Kenny cannon has some solid sales advice. We learned from the same group people in the same era and sell exact ally the same. I just don't make videos and he does.
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  • that`s concerning relations, once you have got an honest relation you have got ninety nine of obtaining the sales.
    Empathie is extremely vital
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  • Profile picture of the author innn
    The most important features of the seller:
    1. The ability to speak easily, at ease, practically, with any person in any circumstances.
    2. Ability to tolerate failures.
    3. Ability to manage the emotional state of the interlocutor.
    4. Ability to talk the interlocutor and "deduce" him on personal topics.
    5. Ability to support conversations in an unknown or uninteresting topic for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I've read so many books over the years but use very little of what I've learned. And the reason is because it's either obvious hard pressure (which creates resistance and turns people off) or takes a mouthful to say (which signals you're trying to convince them) or they heard the same lines from the last three salespeople they saw so they know they're being boxed into a corner. Plus a lot of it will let you down, for example, when you realize getting them to say fifteen little yesses in a row still doesn't get them to give you the one big yes for the order.

    But the main reason why I disregard a lot of it is because I favor the kind of selling that actually is about helping and guiding the customer to sell themselves, because I believe that's the most powerful way to do it. It leverages the customer rather than you trying to convince or persuade. And you know, if they convince themselves they want something then it's going to be pretty hard to stop them from buying, am I right?
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      for example, when you realize getting them to say fifteen little yesses in a row still doesn't get them to give you the one big yes for the order.
      That's an example of a sales myth that has been said in a book, maybe 50 years ago, and it sounds good, so it gets repeated...and eventually becomes gospel.
      It's right up there with "It takes five closing attempts to make a sale" and "You have to run an ad 5 (or 7) times before someone will buy from the ad"

      Wait...wait...."Every No brings you closer to a Yes".....
      or "Every No is just a request for more information"

      I've got a million of em....


      People who can't sell, teaching their inability to sell to others.

      PS I have to agree on SPIN Selling. It's right up there with Influence.
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Misterme, if you haven't you should check out SPIN selling by Neil Rackham.

    It should be right up your street.
    Signature
    I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Thank you. That's certainly a book I've read many times over. Good pick!
      Signature
      "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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      • Profile picture of the author PirateBarnabus
        Guys,
        Listen up. You need to read :
        "The Perfect Close"
        By James Muir.
        Instead of wasting time with all these old methods.
        I'm not saying that SPIN selling doesn't work, it's just that you could read the crux of this book in 15 minutes (as James says that you can) and put it into effect immediately.

        I did and it works.
        It's a 100% foolproof.
        No risk of losing the sale either.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by PirateBarnabus View Post

          I did and it works.
          It's a 100% foolproof.
          No risk of losing the sale either.
          It's a fine book, and a great 2 question close. But it doesn't always work. Nothing does.

          Use it 100 times and then get back to us.

          Added a tad later...
          The close will work..if the prospect is already ready to buy....it doesn't make people want to buy.

          The problem with just about any close you read about...is that it irritates some of the people you sell with it. Sometimes the buyer feels threatened..pressured by the close...sometimes the close will start an argument...it will create objections. In other words, most closes actually hurt the sale..they keep people from buying.

          And the two questions in the book don't do any of that. They are non-threatening, conversational questions that don't bring up the customer's guard.. And that's why they are good.

          Thy aren't magic. And not everyone will buy after they hear these questions. There is no magic close. The sale is made before you ever get to the close. The closing questions just let you know what that decision is.
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        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          It's the close, not the selling process, so for those two questions to lead to the desired conclusion, the prospect has to be sufficiently sold where he doesn't just say no thanks and walks... and so all that sales happens with everything else leading up to that point in time.
          Signature
          "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    I wonder what Claude thinks of the book
    Signature
    I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
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  • Profile picture of the author Rosca
    You seem to have a good brain of a salesman, but you're going to need more than that if you actually want to make a killing off of it. Get out there and talk to your clients and get ready to face rejection.

    Remember that at the end of the day, reading books on sales isn't going to help you unless you actually go out of your way to talk to people and convert them into sales.

    Speak to maybe four new leads a week and you'll see an improvement on how you sell t them.
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