Selling. Why Some People Become Great At Selling, And Most People Never Do.

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Yesterday we had four people in the store that I was showing vacuum cleaners. A slow day. One was not really considering buying, just gathering information, and I couldn't move her any closer to buying (without being obvious and rude) One bought, and the other two did not. On most days, both of them would have bought...barely bought...but not yesterday.

I knew at the exact moment when the other two couples that didn't buy...decided not to buy. Both of these short presentations should have resulted is a sale. And I screwed them up, and so the people didn't buy. In both instances I immediately knew when the people were starting to move away from buying...and I caused it. Me, the master salesman. As soon as I knew that I missed a beat in my presentation, and they were shifting away from buying, I knew it was lost. Sometimes knowing these things isn't all that fun.

This morning, I was on Facebook, reading posts from people in my business, talking about how they aren't selling anything. They blame it on economic conditions, competition, suppliers (very common) and mostly on the "stupid customers". After 45 years selling, training salespeople, writing books on selling, and talking to tens of thousands of customers.....I can say this with absolute certainty...

I know the reason only a few people achieve greatness in selling, and most people never learn a new thing after the first year in sales. And it's this...

You Never Learn Anything From The Missed Sale You Blame On Someone Else.

Every interaction with a sales prospect either results in a sale or it doesn't. If it does, you made a sale. If it doesn't (and you were trying to sell) you now have a perfect lesson in how to sell, because you found something that didn't work. So you can try to avoid things that hold back sales, and learn which things bring you closer to a completed sale. Your sales skills evolve, sharpen, and become more profitable.

But I have learned that one thing, above all others, keeps you from learning from your missed sales. And it's blaming that missed sale on something other than yourself. And the reason is simple. If you blame someone else, you stop trying to figure out what went wrong. Learning stops dead in its tracks.

So when you hear a 'salesperson" say "That deadbeat should have bought" or "Our supplier should advertise better" or "Nobody buys anymore"....just understand that this person will never get any better at selling than they are right now. Never. I just hope that person is your competitor, and not you.
#great #people #selling
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  • tbh Claude, I still got no idea why NASA insists on blastin' astronauts into space in rockets.

    All we gotta do is form alla the passed bucks into steps & stairs, an' we can kinda jus' walk there.

    So here's a story I got -- not exactly vacuums, more kinda People On BLOW.

    Las' month I had to go see my doctor, an' while I was hangin' around, an old gal came in an' made herself kinda a spectacle.

    Seemed evrythin' was wrong -- gal at the desk, lightin' in the room, the seats.

    I dunno, she jus' seemed to be makin' a scene without dowin' nuthin' direct, like she was appealin' to higher Gods to justify her in her plight in the hope evrywan gonna sympathize in the Holy slipstream.

    Meantime, plenty other people were sittin' around so genuinely kinda sick they got no energy to complain 'bout nuthin'.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmosticc22
    This is a very good characterization of most sales people, most sales people do not have the charisma and savoy to sell fluently. The good ones understand their customer and learn from every sale they make.
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    I agree with everything you said, but I wonder how does someone learn from a missed sale if they don't know what they don't know? They can recall step by step and word for word what they said and what the customer said, but only seasoned salesmen like yourself will know exactly what went wrong. Do you think your sales people are capable of breaking down a sale and determining what went wrong? I don't think they could...which is why they are placing blame elsewhere.

    That leads me to my question for you - some people seem to be so smooth in sales and some are just plain awkward and therefore lose many sales. Both can have all the technical skills of selling (product knowledge, body language, intro, connecting, countering objections, follow ups, rehearsing etc), but one will still have far more sales than the other. In your opinion, how do you think people can improve their "swag" and posture and charisma in sales? Is it just practice?
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by palmtreelife View Post

      Both can have all the technical skills of selling (product knowledge, body language, intro, connecting, countering objections, follow ups, rehearsing etc), but one will still have far more sales than the other.
      Perhaps because all that stuff is all BS...
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by palmtreelife View Post

      I agree with everything you said, but I wonder how does someone learn from a missed sale if they don't know what they don't know? They can recall step by step and word for word what they said and what the customer said, but only seasoned salesmen like yourself will know exactly what went wrong. Do you think your sales people are capable of breaking down a sale and determining what went wrong? I don't think they could...which is why they are placing blame elsewhere.
      First, two highly intelligent questions.

      When I was selling in people's homes...for the first 25 years, I took notes after every presentation; What questions they asked, what objections they brought up, how I answered them, etc. And then I regularly studied those notes looking for patterns.

      It is time consuming work.

      But when you are selling for any length of time, you begin to see common patterns in human behavior. Shifts in emotions. It honestly took me years to be able to see when I was losing a sale, and when they were going to buy. I'm not even sure this skill can be taught. It has to be learned the hard way.

      But one thing that I can teach is to look for a "cooling off" in the conversation. If they begin repeating the same objection to buying...or start talking in a more "matter of fact way"....you have lost them. And when you learn to recognize that moment...and what was happening at that stage of the presentation...you see what you did to turn them off to buying.

      But the most important first step is to know...in your gut...that you are in complete control of what you say and how you behave. And for the vast majority of presentations, what you do and say...the questions you ask, and how you answer their questions...determines whether they buy or not.

      Here is something I learned long ago. A few people you see will easily buy, no matter what. A few will never buy, no matter what.

      But if you have good product knowledge and decent people skills, the vast majority of sales are either barely missed...or barely made. Knowing this means that every little thing helps or hurts your chances to make a sale. And most times, it doesn't take much more or less of what you are doing, to determine the outcome of the presentation.


      Originally Posted by palmtreelife View Post

      That leads me to my question for you - some people seem to be so smooth in sales and some are just plain awkward and therefore lose many sales. Both can have all the technical skills of selling (product knowledge, body language, intro, connecting, countering objections, follow ups, rehearsing etc), but one will still have far more sales than the other. In your opinion, how do you think people can improve their "swag" and posture and charisma in sales? Is it just practice?
      It's awareness of where you lack skills, where you lose the sale, and instruction and practice, and a consistent desire to make it work.

      When I first started selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes...it was 3 months of daily selling, before I made my first sale. i was terrible at it. I had no natural ability. I was clumsy, awkward, and had no social skills. I was like that all through school. Painfully shy...withdrawn. I'm not joking.

      But I knew two things. I wasn't an idiot, and other people were making sales. Just not me. So I knew it was just a matter of figuring out what worked.

      I read books on selling, talked to successful salespeople (in my field and outside), and made a few daily attempts at making sales. I worked hard. And I kept notes of every presentation I made. (No idea where I got that habit). I watched other people make sales in people's homes....and tried to figure out what they were doing, that I was not doing.

      It took time. In a year I was competent enough to make a good living.

      But I did what most others don't. I kept learning. I kept reading books by other successful salespeople. I still kept notes. I studied videos of sales presentations. I studied infomercials. And I became great at selling. It was all an uphill struggle. More than for most people.

      It doesn't matter where you start, no matter how bad you are at selling. It matters the direction you are going.

      In my life, I've hired a couple "natural salespeople". They get the basics quickly, and get by on looks, charm, and charisma. Things I never had. The problem with these natural salespeople is that the tend to stay at the same level. They have no real need to study human nature, so they never get better than their first year.

      A year or so ago, a couple came into my store. They both went to high school with me. A very nice couple. They couldn't believe I was the same guy they knew in high school.
      When they knew me I was so shy that I never went to a school dance, the prom, or my own graduation. My shyness was crippling. But through practice, over years and years, I became an expert salesman. They now saw me as outgoing and charismatic. But it's just skills...learned over years. And anyone of average intelligence and a desire to learn....can do it.
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      • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        But when you are selling for any length of time, you begin to see common patterns in human behavior. Shifts in emotions. It honestly took me years to be able to see when I was losing a sale, and when they were going to buy. I'm not even sure this skill can be taught. It has to be learned the hard way.

        In Yoga, stillness offers opportoonities to study how stuff moves.

        From outta a neutral balance point, all subsequent movement reveals itself.

        Gotta figure we all got a 'mat' we can throw down between our potentially errant momentum an' truth of gravity's pull.

        From offa this level comes meaningful calibration 'bout where we at, I guess.

        Sum may describe Yoga as "floppin' out with dolphin music, spangly joggers & ready-to-hand gin" ... but I would wanna be more philosophical.

        Thing is, sumtimes you gotta look long an' hard at stuff before you see for actshwl what it is.

        An' I say that as sumone regularly greets herself in the mirror evry mornin' tryin' her darndest not to pass for no kinda ditz.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

          In Yoga, stillness offers opportoonities to study how stuff moves.

          From outta a neutral balance point, all subsequent movement reveals itself.
          Similar to Nei Kung. And the internal Kung Fu styles.

          Long periods on standing stillness, to bring out the internal movements, increase awareness of what goes on inside our bodies, and eventually...the ability to control internal movements....

          ...Like delivering a powerful strike, without visible movement. All the momentum is built inside the body, invisible to an onlooker.

          And yes, your balance (not philosophically, but literally) is dramatically improved by long periods of standing perfectly still.


          A related skill that you learn from selling for years (if you study and pay attention), is you can tell if they are going to buy, early on, by the lies they tell you.

          We all lie. It's human. But when you ask a question, and already know the answer...the prospect will often give an answer that is untrue, not just a mistake. It is the direction of that lie, that tells you their intent.

          For example, I ask "How old is your current vacuum?" (and I know it's about 5 years old). Sometimes they say "It's about 5 years old". But usually they either say "I've had this for at least 12 years" or "It's almost new".

          They don't think of it as lying. They are managing the narrative. And it's almost all unconsciously done.

          If they say "It's almost new", it a way for them to (again, unconsciously) say "I'm not going to buy a new one". If they say "At least 12 years old", that's them signalling to me that they are interested in replacing it with something new. It's a way for them to tell themselves a reality that comes closer to what they want to be true, because it serves their purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author senupal
    Each person want to became a successful businessman but some are get success. because they have great skills of business ,Knowledge of business ,Products Quality ,Production quantity, employer skills.these are factors run in a successful business.
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  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Well i think its also about the real value that help people . In marketing you need to know your audience ,their needs and how to give in front of them the proper product
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    In my life, I've hired a couple "natural salespeople". They get the basics quickly, and get by on looks, charm, and charisma. Things I never had. The problem with these natural salespeople is that the tend to stay at the same level. They have no real need to study human nature, so they never get better than their first year.

    A year or so ago, a couple came into my store. They both went to high school with me. A very nice couple. They couldn't believe I was the same guy they knew in high school.
    When they knew me I was so shy that I never went to a school dance, the prom, or my own graduation. My shyness was crippling. But through practice, over years and years, I became an expert salesman. They now saw me as outgoing and charismatic. But it's just skills...learned over years. And anyone of average intelligence and a desire to learn....can do it.

    I so understand that! I learned to sell - and since I was doing it for a living I learned to do it well. However, it was - and is - almost a separate persona for me. By nature I'm an introvert and a loner When I put on my sales 'coat' I was a top seller in every company I worked for.


    I used to analyze both my sales - and non-sales - to better understand what worked for me and what didn't. Selling was never a normal personalty for me - I worked at it until it LOOKED like it came naturally.


    A plus side to learning the 'sales personality' is that I can also put on that persona in social gatherings, professional groups, etc...events that are ordinarily stressful for me. Very few people see through the 'act' - those who do usually end up as friends.
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    Sometimes people come into your life and they need to stop doing that...
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Hi Claude,

    I would quote the sections but my mousepad on this computer is shot and it a royal PIA to try to copy and paste redact etc.

    I was thinking about your OP the other day and it brought back some memories which also prompted me to write and share something in this thread so thank you and maybe you might respond somewhat.

    I totally get the knowing when you lost the sale and also when the client is telling porkies but I wanted to get a bit deeper into your personal situation.

    Back in the way old days ( BTW I became a grandpa today about 23 hours ago) but I'm in no way old or anything.

    I dated a girl who was from a fine Boston family who had a house in a pretty unique location between Sting and Yuhudi Menuhin in Highgate, London.

    She was totally out of my league but we got on well and dated for a while.

    It could have been forever.

    But.

    Just like your sale. . . I sabotaged the relationship unneccesarily.

    and I knew it.

    The attraction this girl had in me was she was drawn to my ( in her words) "death wish" - when elaborated on that it was really my risk taking and the way I didn't care about being fully accepted by our peer group and she was the same.

    She got teased about her name by the in-crowd - Abigail became A big whale etc.

    We got on so well and if I wouldn't have been super stupid I would be not talking to you now but living the high life because the family was right up there and our relationship was right there for me to screw it up.

    Anyway back to selling.

    Over the years I've met some really good sales people just like I'm sure you have.

    In some circumstances there has always been the comment that "They wished they sold XXXX"

    Usually real estate or Lamborghinis or you name it something else with HIGH returns.

    This brings me back to your post and your motives, if I may pry a little.

    I wondered why you stuck with Vacuums when with your ability you could have sold shuttles to Nasa or a multitude of other things.

    Then I thought about your relationships and the wonderful relationship you have with your wife.

    The love of your life.

    It got me thinking about the sabotaging of the sale.

    It got me thinking of the opportunities lost or missed.

    It got me thinking about your retirement.

    Those thoughts kind of manifested in two ways and I've thought about your post for a couple of days now and even dreamed about the thoughts surrounding the situation and I know you may not share or have even considered what I'm about to say but here we go.

    Given your original post is really a day that just happened recently.

    Could the loss of the sale be related to the idea you may NOT want to retire.

    What I mean by that is you can go home to your wife or speak to her out the back of the shop and say " I don't know I've got to just make a few more sales to......"

    Is your mind really making you fail subconsciously to make you work longer and achieve something that is deeper than I can explain here?

    You knew you could have made those sales right?

    That also move me towards that questions as to why you stuck with Vacuums in Wooster?

    I suspect it was something still niggling inside you from your early days about the lack of confidence and being seen as successful in your local area, family etc. - plus keeping it together with your wife.

    Reason I ask is because you have some great sales skills and perhaps you might awaken some kid who has decided to sell something and has become a bit good at it and with your inspiration they might just sell rockets to Nasa rather than vacuums.

    I question myself about the path I've taken often and I'm happy with my lot as I'm sure you are happy with yours.

    Not trying to prod or poke for a response but you do have an influence over people who might read this in the future so I share some of my past to get you to inspire others for the future.

    Best regards,

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

      ( BTW I became a grandpa today about 23 hours ago) but I'm in no way old or anything.
      Ozi congratulations on becoming a Grandpa. Don't want to high jack Claudes great thread.
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      • Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

        Ozi congratulations on becoming a Grandpa. Don't want to high jack Claudes great thread.
        I would not wanna SPLATTER MASCARA AT RANDOM bcs ima also BREAKIN' THE F*CK ON UP, but as a hooman person I gotta set boundaries here.

        Gotta tellya, Ozi -- cutesy knitted booties max out forevah.


        But I gotta quit writin' fore'n I can to knit 'em on out sweet for nowan.


        Gotta hope my diligence spares your fam the worst kinda shapeless sacks.



        .
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

      Hi Claude,

      I would quote the sections but my mousepad on this computer is shot and it a royal PIA to try to copy and paste redact etc.

      I was thinking about your OP the other day and it brought back some memories which also prompted me to write and share something in this thread so thank you and maybe you might respond somewhat.

      I totally get the knowing when you lost the sale and also when the client is telling porkies but I wanted to get a bit deeper into your personal situation.

      Back in the way old days ( BTW I became a grandpa today about 23 hours ago) but I'm in no way old or anything.
      Ozi;
      Congratulations on being a Grandpa.

      I'm going to try to answer your questions without quoting your post, over and over again.

      Why vacuums? At first I sold life insurance, and then someone came to my home selling a vacuum cleaner. Several things appealed to me;
      It was a fun sale.
      I'm better suited to sell one offer.
      Once I was paid (three days after the sale) the sales was done. I'm not a "relationship" kind of person. So long sales cycles, multiple sales calls...aren't what I'm comfortable doing.
      I'm happier with a one call close, rather than multiple calls.

      And it's not really vacuum cleaners. Remember, for years I spoke to groups of business owners, selling a high end local online marketing service. I was very comfortable doing that, except when I had to be at an event multiple days.

      Why Wooster? My wife's family is here. And my Son went to school here. Could I have sold something that makes more money per sale? Absolutely. But I don't enjoy committees, hierarchies, schmoozing, or building relationships in pursuit of business. Had I been able to go back in time, I would have sold my offers as a speaker, and as soon as possible, sold my local online marketing service full time. Plenty of money to be made. More than I could ever spend.

      I'm not trying to extend my business life. And I'm pretty sure I'm not trying to sabotage sales. Missing two in a day like that is highly unusual. Sometimes, I'm just not really paying attention to what I'm doing in my selling (in retail). And I may miss a cue now and then. It's mostly age, a little rust, and not caring as much as I used to. And I no longer get any emotional reward from selling, nor do I feel bad when I miss a sale. To me, it just indicates that my real skills are getting rusty from lack of use.

      And I'm losing my interest in business. We could retire now, but the store takes almost no effort, and it's still profitable. When I'm 66, I'll be done with it.

      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

      I suspect it was something still niggling inside you from your early days about the lack of confidence and being seen as successful in your local area, family etc. - plus keeping it together with your wife.

      Reason I ask is because you have some great sales skills and perhaps you might awaken some kid who has decided to sell something and has become a bit good at it and with your inspiration they might just sell rockets to Nasa rather than vacuums.

      I question myself about the path I've taken often and I'm happy with my lot as I'm sure you are happy with yours.

      Not trying to prod or poke for a response but you do have an influence over people who might read this in the future so I share some of my past to get you to inspire others for the future.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
      The main reason I post is that I think about that young kid that's just starting out...and I want them to learn whatever I could pass on. There are several here that truly contribute, including you.

      For whatever reason, I really don't question my path. I'm doing what I want, almost effortlessly now...and the rest of my life will be spent writing, reading, and thinking.

      Strangely, I don't really think like a salesman. I think like an engineer. I've just applied it to selling.

      It's a privilege knowing you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Ozi;
        Congratulations on being a Grandpa.

        I'm going to try to answer your questions without quoting your post, over and over again.

        Why vacuums? At first I sold life insurance, and then someone came to my home selling a vacuum cleaner. Several things appealed to me;
        It was a fun sale.
        I'm better suited to sell one offer.
        Once I was paid (three days after the sale) the sales was done. I'm not a "relationship" kind of person. So long sales cycles, multiple sales calls...aren't what I'm comfortable doing.
        I'm happier with a one call close, rather than multiple calls.

        And it's not really vacuum cleaners. Remember, for years I spoke to groups of business owners, selling a high end local online marketing service. I was very comfortable doing that, except when I had to be at an event multiple days.

        Why Wooster? My wife's family is here. And my Son went to school here. Could I have sold something that makes more money per sale? Absolutely. But I don't enjoy committees, hierarchies, schmoozing, or building relationships in pursuit of business. Had I been able to go back in time, I would have sold my offers as a speaker, and as soon as possible, sold my local online marketing service full time. Plenty of money to be made. More than I could ever spend.

        I'm not trying to extend my business life. And I'm pretty sure I'm not trying to sabotage sales. Missing two in a day like that is highly unusual. Sometimes, I'm just not really paying attention to what I'm doing in my selling (in retail). And I may miss a cue now and then. It's mostly age, a little rust, and not caring as much as I used to. And I no longer get any emotional reward from selling, nor do I feel bad when I miss a sale. To me, it just indicates that my real skills are getting rusty from lack of use.

        And I'm losing my interest in business. We could retire now, but the store takes almost no effort, and it's still profitable. When I'm 66, I'll be done with it.

        The main reason I post is that I think about that young kid that's just starting out...and I want them to learn whatever I could pass on. There are several here that truly contribute, including you.

        For whatever reason, I really don't question my path. I'm doing what I want, almost effortlessly now...and the rest of my life will be spent writing, reading, and thinking.

        Strangely, I don't really think like a salesman. I think like an engineer. I've just applied it to selling.

        It's a privilege knowing you.

        I am glad to know you Claude.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    In the cell phone business I instruct the salespeople to always work one question into the first two minutes of a call. Keep in mind the customer is usually an existing customer and has heard of all the newest, greatest and sometimes cheaper devices with other carriers:

    "How Do You Use Your Device?"

    The answers to that one question will clarify exactly what the customers "needs" in relationship to what thee customer "wants" and enables the salesperson to "source" the perfect device with the needed and wanted features at a slightly lower or slightly higher price point.

    Next comes the Closer aka Payment Options. That is whole different matter altogether. Give a customer too many options with too many disadvantages and research shows loss of potential sales. ~ On the other hand, give the customer only two options with only one disadvantage and research shows increased sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


    This morning, I was on Facebook, reading posts from people in my business, talking about how they aren't selling anything. They blame it on economic conditions, competition, suppliers (very common) and mostly on the "stupid customers".
    A lot of times (a whole lot of times) ((almost all the time))...

    the whole green, ripe, rotten scenario is big blame for what you mention in the part I quoted from your post.

    Green salespeople will often sell every one they talk to.

    Economy can suck and they'll still sell.

    Customer will be an ass and they'll still sell.

    Ripe salespeople will perfect their sales, but not to the point of becoming rotten.

    Rotten salespeople start thinking with all their experience they're suddenly super kung fu selling masters...but ultimately start sucking at sales. They begin to grumble about everything. They begin to pre-qualify people...and on and on.

    My comments are based on my experience in the car biz.

    I completely agree salespeople should learn from their experiences. I also was always wary of too much learning.

    Between the ripe and rotten stage, salespeople will start to overthink and overanalyze everything...

    they'll miss sales and start trying meditation and psychoanalysis, books and videos (sometimes vodka), to figure out what went wrong...this is the point where most salespeople drop out because of frustration. Flipping burgers at FAT BOB's BURGER BUCKET starts to seem more worthwhile.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Green salespeople will often sell every one they talk to.


      Ripe salespeople will perfect their sales, but not to the point of becoming rotten.

      Rotten salespeople start thinking with all their experience they're suddenly super kung fu selling masters...but ultimately start sucking at sales. They begin to grumble about everything. They begin to pre-qualify people...and on and on.
      I know precisely what you are talking about. The new guy makes a big splash, because of strong work habits and enthusiasm for the offer.

      For example, I sold life insurance for about 1 1/2 years before deciding to sell vacuums. The full year I was with the company, I was their #3 agent in the country. Not because I knew anything about selling, but because I worked a full 8 hours every day, and I wasn't affected by rejection. And I've had new guys sell rings around the "old pros".


      But I want to address this in particular.
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Ripe salespeople will perfect their sales, but not to the point of becoming rotten.

      Rotten salespeople start thinking with all their experience they're suddenly super kung fu selling masters...but ultimately start sucking at sales. They begin to grumble about everything.
      They think they have sales skill, because they have been doing it awhile. The reason they suck at selling is that they really aren't advanced in skill. They are tired. They mistake seniority for accomplishment. These people never read a new sales book, never try a new idea...never go for breaking a personal record. They have grown stale.
      What they have learned isn't technique....


      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      They begin to pre-qualify people...and on and on.
      There are two ways to "Pre-qualify".

      Figure out who is more likely to buy, from real history and data, and contact those people in any way you can. That's pro-active. And it works in throwing your sales to a new level.These winners get more excited, not less. They work more, not less.

      But that's not what your example means. These "old pros" think they are qualifying. They aren't ....What they are doing is using superstition and bad examples to eliminate people to talk to. People who really are decent prospects. And if they talk to a new prospect, they look for excuses to not talk to them...at least not try to sell them. Why? Because if they refuse to try to sell them, they can't be rejected or put off, and the failure doesn't register as a failed attempt at selling. These guys aren't experienced, they are broken.

      These guys are of the "Look, that guy has old shoes. He doesn't have any money". mind set. And I can't even tell you how many people told me "We're just looking" or "We're just getting prices today" that bought 20 minutes later.

      When I was selling in people homes, the first year, I figured out that single men never bought. I have no idea where I got that idea, but to me, it was the Gospel Truth.

      Twenty years into selling, I got an appointment with a single guy. I knew it was a wasted appointment. But I didn't have another appointment, so I went on it....and he bought.

      I did another appointment with a single guy...and he bought. And when I looked back at my records, I found that about 40% of the single men I pitched, bought. These were cold appointments, not referrals. My percentage with single women and married couples was only a few percent higher.

      These "old pros" that you talk about, only think they know what Doesn't work. Not because of vast sales experience, but because of a couple of bad experiences...or even just accepting someone else's story as true. So they end up sitting in bars with the other salespeople, talking about how bad business is.....while others are out there making sales.

      These "old pros"? You can't save them. You have to get rid of them before they poison the new guys. They are in every office, killing sales. And for every guy in sales that is really making a mark, there are dozens of these losers who are "too smart" to talk to anyone except someone who insists on buying. The movie Glengarry Glen Ross is about a room full of these time wasters that are "too smart for the leads".

      My only advantage I ever had was that I was lucky enough to not be interested in talking to these guys.


      Added later; Even in Glengarry Glen Ross, they had leads...People Who Actually Asked For Information About The Offer.. When I was selling in people's homes, I never had these. Every appointment in the earlier years was cold...in fact...before I got there, they had Sworn To Each Other That They Wouldn't Buy Anything..

      They didn't ask for me to come out, I invaded their space. Actually having people asking for information about my product would have been heaven...easy sales. Even referrals weren't interested in what I sold. They were just interested in making a friend (or relative) happy.

      Having someone actually come into my store? How could it possibly be easier? And I hear car salesman complain about the people that come on the lot.....people who read an ad, got in their car..talked about getting a new car....are thinking about getting a new car....and arrive at the car lot...at no expense to the "salesman".

      Mind Boggling.
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Rotten salespeople start thinking with all their experience they're suddenly super kung fu selling masters...but ultimately start sucking at sales. They begin to grumble about everything. They begin to pre-qualify people
      Here's what a rotten salesperson does. The sale fails and they blame it on the prospect. So then they try to retro fix those outcomes by imposing pre-qualification rules on the prospect. They handles sales much like a clerk would, like a show and tell, seeing if they have the blue one in stock and giving a price on it. They don't tip prospects over the buying point so then when the prospect stalls and objects and ultimately leaves to "think it over" the salesperson figures the wrong prospect got through.

      Their idea of a "ideal client" is the lay down. Someone coming in excited, all ready to buy, throwing money at you, buying everything you suggest.

      About money comfort zones: The best way I've heard it is, it's like an internal thermostat setting. When it's cold, you're uncomfortable, you raise the thermostat back to where you're comfortable. When it's hot, you're uncomfortable, you lower it back to where you're comfortable.

      Similarly, if you start making less money than you're used to, you look for ways to bring in more revenue. If you start making money more than you're used to, what seems stupidly more to you, that makes you uncomfortable (for various reasons such as feeling it's too much for anyone to pay, or you're suffering from an imposter complex, or believe you're being greedy, etc.) so you subconsciously start to sabotage what you're doing so that you can be comfortable again.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        Their idea of a "ideal client" is the lay down. Someone coming in excited, all ready to buy, throwing money at you, buying everything you suggest.

        I used to hear these guys say "I'm a great closer, you give me a qualified lead, and I can close it".

        But what they really mean is "You give me someone who is ready to buy, and I can write it up".

        When I was selling in homes and had reps, I explained what a qualified lead was. it was an appointment with someone who could conceivably buy. Meaning that they were an adult (or adult couple) with a job, a car, and a phone number.

        It's good to see you here.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I know the reason only a few people achieve greatness in selling, and most people never learn a new thing after the first year in sales. And it's this...

    You Never Learn Anything From The Missed Sale You Blame On Someone Else. .
    Can I put another view to this? although the above would be true, I am not sure that in itself to me anyway, does not describe greatness in selling as a overall view.

    In that you could become the greatest pencil seller in the world by listening to every customer and learning from the pencil sales you never closed and over time, end up with a great close rate and become world champion pencil seller and achieve greatness in selling in the spirit of the meaning.

    Or you could learn to close down high ticket items using the same principles, earning many multiples in return for the same effort in time and learning.

    So for greatness, yes learning the skills and ethics is important, but at the end of the day it comes down to show me the money, or return in your pocket for your efforts, the same efforts as the next greatest salesperson. Show me a ethical salesperson with a pocket stacked with cash and that's the one I would want to learn from.

    Many Self titled great sales people that I have worked with or have known, also dine at the local burger joint, and drive yesterdays bomb, sure they could sell pencils like a pro, but being rewarded for their hard work is a distant second.

    In many ways this is because the person does not believe they can close the big deals and maybe has not gone through the process of stretching to the next level and some how get stuck in the I am comfortable sales space, not sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      Many Self titled great sales people that I have worked with or have known, also dine at the local burger joint, and drive yesterdays bomb, sure they could sell pencils like a pro, but being rewarded for their hard work is a distant second.

      In many ways this is because the person does not believe they can close the big deals and maybe has not gone through the process of stretching to the next level and some how get stuck in the I am comfortable sales space, not sure.
      That's a very valid point.

      This is one of those instances where I think I should only speak for myself. It's just because I don't have first hand knowledge of other top salespeople's real insecurities or fears.

      I don't know about selling pencils, but some street salespeople sell (or used to sell) slicers or knives. A $20 sale is small, but if you do 100 a day, you're making a great living.

      I can only speak about my own comfort zone.

      It isn't fear for big deals...or talking to CEOs. Most of my friends are business/company owners, and many are wealthy.

      But it is about comfort zone. Not about money, but about the process.

      I'm just not comfortable schmoozing, or relationship building...to get a sale down the road.

      Corporate culture, jockeying for position, and working my way up the ladder to see the CEO are distasteful to me. It isn't fear, it's a distaste for working with a certain type of person. Wearing A tuxedo to an event, awards shows, and going to company parties are painful to me. Even accepting awards was painful to me.

      But selling something for $100,000 to a person in front of me? If I could justify the value...I'd feel right at home.

      When I sold my local online marketing service to groups of business owners at trade shows and marketing events...I made what most would consider a huge amount of money.

      But that's because I could tolerate the people, at least for short periods.

      Selling vacuums is just a thing I sell. I never think about them, other than as something I sell for more than it costs.

      So it's not the comfort zone with me...when it concerns money, or shooting big game.

      It's that there are certain kinds of behavior I find repelling (for example, Kowtowing to the CEO, multiple sales calls, or socializing with customers), and I choose to avoid them.

      And even guys that are great at selling relatively low ticket offers, still make a comfortable six figure income.

      But the guy that's great at selling window washing fluid door to door, making $50 an hour? No idea what he's thinking.
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      • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


        But it is about comfort zone. Not about money, but about the process.
        Cool discussion we got gowin' here -- an' I would wanna zoom in momentarily on this point.

        BIG ENTREPRENOOR STUFFS says ... you gotta bust outta your COMFORT ZONE.

        An' While I figure it is way troo you gotta challenge yourself an' push on boundaries so's you can light up noo beacons atop yet-to-be ascended mountains far off ... this don't mean nowan gotta be frickin' stoopid 'bout stuff.

        I ain't nevah travelin' without APTITOOD an' ENTHOOSIASM for nowan.

        Otherwise, my lack of Comfort Zone prolly gonna kill me, an' sum other schmuck gonna vacuum my soul outta my ass like a vampire.

        Process, always, is 'bout where people are skilled or talented ... allied to a practical diligence wants sumthin' cool to happen offa that.

        Here's where COMFORT becomes productively expansive -- ground from offa which to leap into the air.

        That is why I ain't no FISHERWOMAN, divin' deep into the ocean to spear obscure molluscs for the rich & culinarily exotic.

        I can't swim too good, I do not like octo frickin' pussies, an' if we gotta have rubberwear an' masks, plz can we confine them to the boudoir.

        Thing is, we all got a path to tread, an' strikin' out sumplace else is kinda like shootin' out your own frickin' brains.

        Self-indooced disempowerement.

        So I would want always to make 'comfortable' choices on the basis of what I have to offer, an' what is possible, an' what I love to do -- 'steada this stoopid loser trip proliferatin' all ovah the internets says we gotta switch out Guts, Gravitas & Gotta for sum other f*cker's loodicrous scheme so's we can be "challenged" or "grown" or whatevah else makes me wanna smack people in the tits.

        Wanna say "POTENTIAL-ENHANCIN'" zones, platforms from offa, clarity 'bout stuff based on expertise, a desire not to be consoomed by dire & brute chance, self-defined catalytica ... aw c'mon we gotta challenge these Comfort Zone liars the f*ck offa their drain on our souls.


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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

          Cool discussion we got gowin' here -- an' I would wanna zoom in momentarily on this point.

          BIG ENTREPRENOOR STUFFS says ... you gotta bust outta your COMFORT ZONE.

          An' While I figure it is way troo you gotta challenge yourself an' push on boundaries so's you can light up noo beacons atop yet-to-be ascended mountains far off ... this don't mean nowan gotta be frickin' stoopid 'bout stuff.

          I ain't nevah travelin' without APTITOOD an' ENTHOOSIASM for nowan.

          Otherwise, my lack of Comfort Zone prolly gonna kill me, an' sum other schmuck gonna vacuum my soul outta my ass like a vampire.

          Process, always, is 'bout where people are skilled or talented ... allied to a practical diligence wants sumthin' cool to happen offa that.

          Here's where COMFORT becomes productively expansive -- ground from offa which to leap into the air.

          That is why I ain't no FISHERWOMAN, divin' deep into the ocean to spear obscure molluscs for the rich & culinarily exotic.

          I can't swim too good, I do not like octo frickin' pussies, an' if we gotta have rubberwear an' masks, plz can we confine them to the boudoir.

          Thing is, we all got a path to tread, an' strikin' out sumplace else is kinda like shootin' out your own frickin' brains.

          Self-indooced disempowerement.

          So I would want always to make 'comfortable' choices on the basis of what I have to offer, an' what is possible, an' what I love to do -- 'steada this stoopid loser trip proliferatin' all ovah the internets says we gotta switch out Guts, Gravitas & Gotta for sum other f*cker's loodicrous scheme so's we can be "challenged" or "grown" or whatevah else makes me wanna smack people in the tits.

          Wanna say "POTENTIAL-ENHANCIN'" zones, platforms from offa, clarity 'bout stuff based on expertise, a desire not to be consoomed by dire & brute chance, self-defined catalytica ... aw c'mon we gotta challenge these Comfort Zone liars the f*ck offa their drain on our souls.



          About comfort zones...

          There are monetary comfort zones and social comfort zones (There are others, but let me stick with these. ) And I can only speak for myself.

          Monetary comfort zones. When I started in sales, I imagined myself earning $500 a week. But that was in the late 1970s. And that was a pile of money back then.

          Then it was $1,000 a week, and then $100,000 a year. I would constantly get better at selling, but I would simply adjust my work habits so that I would always hit my goal, and not much more. Eventually I was really working in the field 4 days a week (on average) maybe 5 hours a day. I never really enjoyed selling, it's just the skill I concentrated on.

          And when I opened a store and began advertising and marketing...my income shot past my comfort zone. It's hard to tell a relative or friend that you are earning $300,000 a year...from just selling out of a small retail store in a small town. I was also selling in customer's homes in the evening. And I began to get used to the increased earnings.

          Then the recession hit, my profits dove into the center of the Earth....and I had to get back up to my new comfort level. So, my online marketing and advertising took over, and I got back up close to where I was before. Then I began speaking at trade shows...selling my service...and my comfort zone took another leap.

          But you know what? The truth is, we don't need $500,000 a year..or even $300,000 a year. About 3 or 4 years ago, I stopped selling online, stopped my speaking gigs, and just kept the retail store. (and a few clients) Now I'm down to a very healthy living, with almost no stress, no employees, less drama.

          And in the times I made a real concerted effort in sales, just to see what I could do....these efforts only lasted a month at most. Usually a week or two...testing a new idea...or proving a point to my sales reps.

          Social comfort levels? I think are pretty hard to stretch. Personally, I'm a "meat and potatoes" kind of person. It's not that upwardly social situations scare me, it's that they are meaningless to me. Social hierarchies are meaningless to me. Not because I'm "above that sort of thing", but because the part of my brain that needs to fit in socially...is missing.

          And so I avoid nearly all social engagements. Heck, we have lived in a very nice home for 12 years. and I've invited two people over....ever....including my Son. This doesn't include my wife inviting her brothers and sisters over for the holidays...which I find less painful with the passing years.
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          • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Personally, I'm a "meat and potatoes" kind of person.
            tbh you pressin' all the buttons say I should channel my Inner Fearo here ... but I get where you comin' from.

            Prolly there space in your brain for a NORTOMATIC CHAI TEA MAKER gonna make you look hip ... but why bother?


            Mean time, you my Hot Posts Sweetie.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      In that you could become the greatest pencil seller in the world by listening to every customer and learning from the pencil sales you never closed and over time, end up with a great close rate and become world champion pencil seller and achieve greatness in selling in the spirit of the meaning.
      .
      I want to address another part of this.

      Some of these short pitches are simply that. Memorized short pitches. You aren't asking for much money. There are no long sequences of handling objections, no committees to address, no multiple closing attempts. and there is no real qualifying or marketing involved.

      Selling a "slicer dicer" at the fair involves real skill, You have to know how to gather a crowd, involve them, and "Wow" them. You have to know how to show real value and make buying the obvious choice.

      But it's a simple sale, compared to others.

      And when I was selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes (at least the last 20 years) it was a highly complex sale. I had about two hours to take them from "We swear we aren't going to buy anything" to "Well,of course we are going to buy".

      Every question, every gesture, every claim...was a mine field. Every question they asked had to be answered in a way that brought the sale forward, and didn't push it backward.

      And like I've said before. The vast majority of prospects either almost bought...or barely bought..

      And that's why the industry has about a 15-20% closing rate. They can't get the "Barely bought" customers.

      There were very few easy sales. They always came as a shock to me. Later, after studying marketing for years, it dawned on me to seek out people that were pre-determined to be far more likely to buy, because of their purchase history and other common factors. It was the marketing knowledge that helped me break sales records without wearing myself out.

      These same skills were nearly a perfect match for selling high end local internet marketing services while speaking to groups of business owners at trade shows and company events.

      So I would have felt comfortable selling just about any product or service, as long as it was possible to complete in one call.

      But the truth is,
      I only am attracted to selling because of what it teaches me about human nature. Patterns of thought...how the brain works. Selling is and was my "Lab".

      It may be the sole reason I kept studying selling all my life. It's the process that was/is fascinating to me.

      Everything else about it means less to me than I let on. I picked vacuum cleaners because I got paid fast, and I only had to talk to the people once.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Reminds of a millionaire salesman who is no longer with us but if you look at his success and the wealth he built out of public view you get a new respect for selling the everyday item.


    Best regards,

    Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Claude,

    I want to start out by saying you start the coolest threads. I ENJOY reading them and the banter that always happens around the topics you select. I actually attempt to restrain from commenting.. keyword being "attempt" Because you and I are such polar opposites. And to some extent I don't even think its just you... I think I am different than most here because I actually am a service provider.. all the services and things you all sell ( in terms of marketing ) I actually do "For a living"

    Over time I found the opposite of what the conversation here is suggesting. I chased and closed Whale deals. Just as easy to close a $50,000 job as it is a $5,000 right? And I can actually sit here and say NO, NO its not. More importantly its not even about closing them, its actually getting yourself in front of anyone, someone to make the offer to.

    Back when I was creating 30, 40, $50,000 web sites.. I could pump out 2 or 3 a year. And after paying for Art, and added programmers and this and that.. I was making peanuts at best. I truly found my stride a few years ago when I tossed in my hat and went full on into Wordpress sites at $600 a crack. At the time.. oh I hated it - hated the thought of it here I was this "Great" programmer that could write out a sites code line by line in notepad.. and I was using wordpress. Life sucked at first

    The reality however was pretty much anyone and everyone I bumped into was a potential client VS travelling half way across the country to some meeting that took 3 months to set up. I literally went from all my eggs in one basket to a basket full of eggs.

    One of those life lessons that we really don't speak about is "Consistency" Both in GETTING work, and COMPLETING work. Screw up either of those and you are done.. regardless if it is YOU doing the work.. or passing it off to someone else. Regardless if its a $2.00 pencils or $50,000 websites.. If you cant close the deal Consistently ( make the sale ) and do so in a repeatable consistent time frame, again its over.

    In MY life I was literally at my broke est when I was slinging WHALE deals. and today at 1/5th to 1/10th or less with every deal I am at my richest. I have far less stress, W A Y more fun.. and life is pretty damn good.

    Aside from my business.. my personal expenses every month.. cars house food electric gas etc im at $2200 a month. An EXTREMELY modest living - and that's for a family of 3. This was the carry over from the lean times, and as the monetary comfort zone increased I did my very best to keep my monetary base at a bare minimum.

    So one might ask.. so what is your financial motivation then? And the answer to that would be SOCIAL. Im not working anymore to support myself. I work to support all of those around me. My 11 business partners that others would call employees, their spouses, their kids. To some extent my community that made a huge amount of this possible. For all of my clients.. Don't get me wrong I like their money LOL but I am more driven in their success - Social for me is a big deal

    I think money basically grows on trees, ITS EVERYWHERE.. I have a thread over on the Warrior Path Forum where I made $4000 profit with a $40.00 investment from selling crap on eBay in 30 days.. MONEY is not the hard part.. Its the CONSISTENCY of action to make it.

    Just my 2 cents
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Claude,

      I want to start out by saying you start the coolest threads. I ENJOY reading them and the banter that always happens around the topics you select. I actually attempt to restrain from commenting.. keyword being "attempt" Because you and I are such polar opposites. And to some extent I don't even think its just you... I think I am different than most here because I actually am a service provider.. all the services and things you all sell ( in terms of marketing ) I actually do "For a living"

      Over time I found the opposite of what the conversation here is suggesting. I chased and closed Whale deals. Just as easy to close a $50,000 job as it is a $5,000 right? And I can actually sit here and say NO, NO its not. More importantly its not even about closing them, its actually getting yourself in front of anyone, someone to make the offer to.
      Agreed on the "enjoy the discussion and try to not comment to take over the thread" part.

      Money Tolerance is what I term the money comfort zone. I did a three hour Friday Night Live on the topic in the Gorilla Army Nation group on Facebook. It drives a huge number of factors in daily life experience. Where you live, where you shop, who you see, what you drive, the noises you hear (country lane vs busy city block)...all kinds of factors we wouldn't necessarily think are connected.

      IMO it is easier to close the $50K project IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TOLERANCE FOR IT because the buyer is going to have the money. And lots more besides. They just slide the portion over to you that you ask for (and it's all about what you feel good about asking for.) Unlike the broke people, who have to rob from Peter to pay Paul that $500. It's an emergency for them, unlike those shopping at the $50K level.

      Is there a credibility gap sellers have to overcome? Mostly in their own mind. Yesterday I was at an event and spoke with an executive of a long established local windows and blinds company. Without difficulty, I found out they had an inventory management problem in the large warehouse I hadn't even known they had.

      No credibility gap. No need to explain myself. With a handful of sentences from meeting for the first time it was, "Come in and get a tour and see what you can do."

      Can everyone (a newbie) do that? Probably not--they probably wouldn't even know how to start the conversation--and I was NOT gunning for work. It just came naturally out of the networking.

      Another interesting factoid: people around here mainly run lifestyle businesses and are cheap because $70K/year is "a lot of money" to them. Since I've been networking with them in the past few weeks after a 9 year hiatus, I fell into the trap of thinking these folks were like them...and got a surprise.

      I dropped in my own money tolerance and started blurting that "help didn't have to be expensive."

      The guy cut me off and firmly said, "If it costs $80K it costs $80K. What we care about is VALUE, not price."

      And I was restored to happiness, because I knew I had found my kind of client.

      So...takeaways?

      > Even highly experienced salespeople can get messed up in their own mindset pretty easily

      > Credibility comes from how you present yourself, what you say and how you say it...not some flashy marketing thing the newbie typically thinks he's missing

      > What's "a lot of money" for you is not necessarily "a lot of money" for members of your target market.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Money Tolerance is what I term the money comfort zone. I did a three hour Friday Night Live on the topic in the Gorilla Army Nation group on Facebook. It drives a huge number of factors in daily life experience. Where you live, where you shop, who you see, what you drive, the noises you hear (country lane vs busy city block)...all kinds of factors we wouldn't necessarily think are connected.

        IMO it is easier to close the $50K project IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TOLERANCE FOR IT because the buyer is going to have the money. And lots more besides. They just slide the portion over to you that you ask for (and it's all about what you feel good about asking for.) Unlike the broke people, who have to rob from Peter to pay Paul that $500. It's an emergency for them, unlike those shopping at the $50K level.
        You are throwing the 2 extremes at this.. those with endless budgets, vs those that are robbing Peter to pay Paul. The fact is there is a whole bountiful middle ground in this. And finding those business' / people comes down to identifying an ideal client, and seeking them no?

        For me personally, the AMOUNT of money is not the issue.. its the amount of WORK, that increases with the amount of money. So lets dig out of the gutter a bit, and lets charge $1000 for the same amount of work as your example at $500. A nice simple little Wordpress site 5 to 10 pages and if you have any amount of process and workflow in place you are looking at 10 hours of "work" Add some extras and you can easily creep your way into $2500.. for maybe 15 hours of work.

        Compare that to a massive $50,000 build with 500 man hours, over a span of months and where is the greater profit potential? little peanuts budget of $2500 each at 5 a week ( $12,500 ) vs 8 weeks for $50,000.

        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        So...takeaways?

        > Even highly experienced salespeople can get messed up in their own mindset pretty easily

        > Credibility comes from how you present yourself, what you say and how you say it...not some flashy marketing thing the newbie typically thinks he's missing

        > What's "a lot of money" for you is not necessarily "a lot of money" for members of your target market.
        The interesting aspect of this is not the deal, and the amount of the deal.. its understanding the bottom line at the end... Where exactly is there more money to be had. FOR ME its in the lower budgets and not with the Whales.

        Another example of this as it pertains to me... I do CRO my 90 day contract is $10,000 plus right now.. obviously not for everyone.. not dealing with those that rob Peter to pay Paul. Im also not dealing with $250,000 clients either. One whale for the YEAR, or 100 low budget $10K clients for the same time frame. The math is pretty simple - and the results of said math are down right scarry.

        The only time I concern myself with "a lot of money" is when I am looking at the bottom line at the end of the day because it can go 1 of 2 ways if you are not paying attention... "a lot of money" is going out and there is not enough coming in for the work being done. OR there is "a lot of money" that turns into "Profit" at the end of the day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Claude,

      I want to start out by saying you start the coolest threads. I ENJOY reading them and the banter that always happens around the topics you select. I actually attempt to restrain from commenting.. keyword being "attempt" Because you and I are such polar opposites. And to some extent I don't even think its just you... I think I am different than most here because I actually am a service provider.. all the services and things you all sell ( in terms of marketing ) I actually do "For a living"
      I enjoy your threads and posts as well.

      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Over time I found the opposite of what the conversation here is suggesting. I chased and closed Whale deals. Just as easy to close a $50,000 job as it is a $5,000 right? And I can actually sit here and say NO, NO its not. More importantly its not even about closing them, its actually getting yourself in front of anyone, someone to make the offer to.
      It isn't the dollar amount. It's who you have to see to get the sale. It's easier to get to see people that can spend $1,000... than the people that can spend $50,000. It's way harder to get to see them.

      Added after reading Jason's post; You can cold call to get these big deals, but it's usually from networking that these sales come from. My easiest large sales came from "casual" conversation with the sole decision maker in non-sales setting...usually at high end marketing events or trade shows...at least for me.

      When I was selling my vacuums in people's homes, I concentrated on high end mobile homes, nicer apartment complexes and homes in the lower middle price range. Why? Easier to see. More likely to talk to me. As an experiment I went with a sales rep knocking on doors in a very exclusive sub division. It took 6 hours before we gave up. Nobody would let us in the door. The same with businesses. It's just much harder to get to see the big buyers.

      What's harder about large sales is that you usually have to talk to more than one person..more than one decision maker. When I sold like insurance, I made a few sales to wealthy men...in the $15,-$20,000 range in annual premium. It wasn't any harder than a $50 a month sale. But I only had to talk to one person, and they were harder to get to see.




      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Back when I was creating 30, 40, $50,000 web sites.. I could pump out 2 or 3 a year. And after paying for Art, and added programmers and this and that.. I was making peanuts at best. I truly found my stride a few years ago when I tossed in my hat and went full on into Wordpress sites at $600 a crack. At the time.. oh I hated it - hated the thought of it here I was this "Great" programmer that could write out a sites code line by line in notepad.. and I was using wordpress. Life sucked at first
      I get it, believe me.

      When I sold vacuum cleaners on my own, I would sell 12-16 a month, and make about $15,000 in real profit. When I had a sales organization, we would all sell maybe 35 to 50 a month, and I would make, after paying everyone...and paying all the expenses...sometimes less money. But my headaches were multiplied.

      A mentor once told me;
      If you can train others to sell as well as you can, you should hire and train others to sell for you. If you can't train people to sell as well as you, you should stick with selling on your own, because you'll never be happy with the sales results of others".

      I've found that to be true. It's different with support people, technical help. They do things I can't (or don't want to learn).


      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


      > Even highly experienced salespeople can get messed up in their own mindset pretty easily

      > Credibility comes from how you present yourself, what you say and how you say it...not some flashy marketing thing the newbie typically thinks he's missing

      > What's "a lot of money" for you is not necessarily "a lot of money" for members of your target market.
      Absolutely.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    You said you didn't want to kowtow to CEOs...

    It's a rather depressing comment about our society. In effect, it implies a glass ceiling if you don't want to enmesh yourself with a certain class of people.

    But:

    what if you're born in a family of immigrants for example?

    If it comes down to with whom you prefer to socialize, you're not likely to fit in.


    Or what if the local Chamber of Commerce is simply full of mobsters? Or monarchists? Or ryanbidulph followers?

    I grew up around this narrative ("in order to succeed, you have to know the right people") but I wonder if there's no other alternatives.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      You said you didn't want to kowtow to CEOs...

      It's a rather depressing comment about our society. In effect, it implies a glass ceiling if you don't want to enmesh yourself with a certain class of people.
      First...it's not the CEOs I don't feel comfortable around. It's the sycophants. It's the entire idea of social hierarchy. For example, I've had lots of employees over the years. To me, they are just people that happen to be working the same place I do...for a common purpose.
      What's hard for me to remember, is that that's not how they see it. It's natural to see social hierarchies, pecking orders...it's just not the way my brain works.

      And when I'm in a meeting with a CEO, and a dozen of his employees, I treat them all the same. I disagree, question...all the same. Because to me, they are all the same thing. Sometime it means I come across as confident, sometimes it looks like I'm arrogant...sometimes I sound like I hold the employees in contempt for their lack of individuality.


      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      I grew up around this narrative ("in order to succeed, you have to know the right people") but I wonder if there's no other alternatives.
      I'm glad you brought that up.

      For a lucky few, children born to the super rich, children of famous actors, famous athletes...the doors open for them because of who they are with.

      But it only opens up the door. "Knowing the right people" doesn't get the work done.

      And growing up not knowing the right people..is a setback, but only for a very short time. If you show talent, initiative, skill, and energy.....you'll soon pass up the guy that got an interview......just because of his last name.
      Because I'm going to tell you a secret about truly successful people. They nearly all started as nobody....and they had no connections, no "friends in the business". They started with nothing....except smarts and initiative.

      And they recognize that in others. And those traits are far more attractive to them than being born in the right family.

      When you are 18 years old, your race, gender, height, family, place of birth...all make you who you are. And there are real disadvantages for people born in the wrong families, or the wrong locations.

      But by the time you are 40? It's all you. It's all what you have done and whether you quit.....and most importantly, whether you blame others.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Originally Posted by Claude Whiteacre

    When you are 18 years old, you're race, gender, height, family, place of birth...all make you who you are. And there are real disadvantages for people born in the wrong families, or the wrong locations.



    ...
    But by the time you are 40? It's all you. It's all what you have done and whether you quit.....and most importantly, whether you blame others.
    That's true, but I'm just curious:

    To say I dislike social engagements would be an understatement.I'm planning so I don't have to engage in them or if I have to, I do so on my own terms, but I'm not sure to what extent it's possible to fly perfectly solo.


    300k is more then enough, but supposed you wanted more, what would you have done?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      That's true, but I'm just curious:

      To say I dislike social engagements would be an understatement.I'm planning so I don't have to engage in them or if I have to, I do so on my own terms, but I'm not sure to what extent it's possible to fly perfectly solo.


      300k is more then enough, but supposed you wanted more, what would you have done?
      Just worked more consistently. Except for a few scattered weeks during contests, I've never worked anywhere near capacity.

      You can always fly solo. Just make arrangements with a supplier (of almost anything), sell it, and keep buying and selling. No social requirements except when in front of a customer. And that's not socializing, that's work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bear1k
    Claude, thank you for posting this. I can agree with everything you've brought up. I also appreciate the awareness you have of yourself socially and how you followed up on that understanding by putting yourself in the best position to succeed. THAT is what makes you a great salesman. These are traits of awareness, reflection and curiosity you posses naturally and transfer into your business and sales doings.

    Here's a quick story on an experience I had in my past. I'm 27 now but when I was 19 I failed miserably at starting a local office janitorial cleaning company. I had everything I needed to be in business both materially and intellectually in regards to the market, the business model, etc. However one thing that I faced was I was completely paralyzed by the fear of selling to people. It's something that I HAD to face and overcome. I knew then what my long term vision was and there was no way around it.

    So - I for a moment, accepted defeat and that same week I walked into a online SEO marketing company that serviced lawyers of all types throughout the US. 90% of their sales came from cold calls. And this is what I walked into that office that day to sign up for.

    Well, lo and behold out of pure will (and the pressure of having the sales manager watch me in action) I made a $3,000 sale my second day on the job to a gentleman in San Fransisco. As tiny as this may seem to some of you - I can't describe the feeling of confidence that this instilled in me. I learned many great lessons on human behavior in the ensuing months while working at that job.

    What's been the biggest take away for me from the experience, is that despite the incredible growth of the digital world and the possibilities that the internet gives us to sell - there will always be a need and demand for human direct sales. There's a growing opportunity, more than ever, to master this skill.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Bear1k View Post

      What's been the biggest take away for me from the experience, is that despite the incredible growth of the digital world and the possibilities that the internet gives us to sell - there will always be a need and demand for human direct sales. There's a growing opportunity, more than ever, to master this skill.
      Another take-a-way is that the vast majority of us hate the idea of selling.
      It's not that we hate selling, we hate what we think selling is.

      But once you get started, it's really a relatively painless process.
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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Another take-a-way is that the vast majority of us hate the idea of selling.
        It's not that we hate selling, we hate what we think selling is.

        But once you get started, it's really a relatively painless process.
        A relatively PAINLESS process. Indeed.

        There were a couple of years that myself and toothpick Pete were the top selling salesman in a 25 chain consumer electronics store. Week after week, month after month we'd make it into the top 10 (sure, any given week some kid sold his uncle a big stereo unit) in the chain, and we worked in the same store.

        Pete came to work, grabbed a toothpick and then planted himself in the back of the store, leaning against the VCRs, and appeared to be napping. Unlike the rest of the sales people, he never was on deck or next in line.

        Here was his sales pitch:

        Pete: Buy this one.

        Customer: Why this one?

        Pete: Because I said so.

        When pushed a little, Pete would give his full sales pitch:

        Look around. See all the kids in here selling? Go across the street to Tokyo Shapiro, see all those kids, or to Northeastern, see all those kids selling electronics?

        I've got a family. Two kids. Own my home. Been doing this for 10 years. I'm good and people keep buying from me year after year or referring people to me. See those kids? They will sell you what makes them the most money, BECAUSE this is an unimportant job to them, and it is a career to me. So, buy this one.

        Because I said so.

        It was hard to keep up with Pete, but we were two of the oldest guys in the chain, at that time, in our mid 30's.

        Pete made it a painless process, and he didn't sweat over any given sale. It was, take it or leave it, but if you take it, take it from me and you'll be glad you did.

        GordonJ
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  • Well the product does count to a degree. There are outside influences. The tide is more important than the swimmer.

    Try and sell ice cream in north Canada in winter....might struggle.

    Personality does matter. Certain people make better sales people. Usually the swarmy, over friendly, psychotic people that can charm people in order to manipulate them. I know..I know..we shouldn't tell the truth..you can't handle the truth

    REst of that you say is true to a degree. Not 100%
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

      Well the product does count to a degree. There are outside influences. The tide is more important than the swimmer.
      Everything counts. The product, the media, whether it's in person/phone/or online selling, whether they contacted you...or you called them....all this stuff changes the contact/sales ratios.




      Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

      Try and sell ice cream in north Canada in winter....might struggle.
      I agree. That would be silly.


      Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

      Personality does matter. Certain people make better sales people. Usually the swarmy, over friendly, psychotic people that can charm people in order to manipulate them. I know..I know..we shouldn't tell the truth..you can't handle the truth

      REst of that you say is true to a degree. Not 100%
      Personality does matter. But "the swarmy, over friendly, psychotic people that can charm people in order to manipulate them" don't get very far. They may get an occasional sale, despite their personalty....but businesses are built on trust, and repeat business. And smarmy people turn customers off. Most of us have radar than can detect insincerity and manipulation. Sometimes, we buy anyway.

      Again, personality matters, but it's the work ethic, confidence in what you sell, knowledge, and willpower that makes a great salesperson.

      The best salespeople are rarely the ones you would pick as star salespeople, out of a group of strangers because they are glib, attractive, or smarmy. I've hired these people They don't do very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author chuckholmes
    The best salespeople evaluate each experience and focus on continuous improvement. They set high standards for themselves and they strive to get a little bit better each day. They educate themselves on their product or service, their customers and the art of selling.

    I believe this holds true in every profession. The top 1-5% simply have a different attitude, mindset and skill-set than the other 95 to 99 percent of the other people in their profession.

    More than anything else, top salesmen take 100% responsibility for their actions and never pay the blame game.

    These are the people you want to model and study.
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    Your Dream Business Is Here - It Won't Hurt You to Look & Create a FREE Account
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Kucera
    It drives me nuts when unsuccessful Salespeople blame the customer or talk negatively about them. They may be back, but truly need to think about it. They may not have the money (legit) and need to save up and come back. Being negative is likely showing in the sales pitch or they are pre-judging the customer's ability or willingness to buy.

    Self Fullfilling Sales (in a bad way)

    Great post!
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  • Profile picture of the author mindtricks18
    Don't be wishy-washy. Decide exactly what it is you want in life. Set it as a goal for your sales career and then determine what price you are going to have to pay to get it.

    According to the research, only about 3 percent of adults have written goals. And these are the most successful and highest-paid people in every field. They are the mover and shakers, the creators and innovators, the top salespeople and entrepreneurs.
    Do what successful people do. Follow the leaders, not the followers. Do what the top salespeople in your company do. Imitate the ones who are going somewhere with their lives. Identify the very best salespeople in your field and pattern yourself after them.

    If you want to become one of the best salespeople in your company, go to the top earners and ask them for advice. Ask them what you should do to improve your sales career. Inquire about their attitudes, philosophies, and approaches to their work and their customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    go to the top earners and ask them for advice. Ask them what you should do to improve your sales career. Inquire about their attitudes, philosophies, and approaches to their work and their customers.

    I've found it better to learn and improve on my own - work hard to achieve goals and improve income...then approach top earners as potential PARTNERS.... Be knowledgeable, willing to do the time consuming tasks, the detail work, the customer service, the writing, etc....get a cut of the profits and learn from them at the same time.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but forever changes the world for one dog.
    ***
    Sometimes people come into your life and they need to stop doing that...
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    Selling has been a universal language and even though many dislike the idea of selling, little do they know that they have been selling ever since they can remember. Choosing a particular job is also considered selling, but you are selling yourself and your set of skills.
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    Cearion Uy - Marketing Advisor
    www.influencerauditor.com

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