Question about learning sales

by thet
32 replies
What is the best approach when new to sales to learn sales?

I am a firm believer of learning by doing. But what is your take on it?
Do you believe seminars/books/audiobooks help, or hurt, somebody starting in sales?
#learning #question #sales
  • its' a great question.

    I love reading the stuff.

    but, like all of life, the best is your own experience and applying what you've read to see if it works, works for you, and then you really take off and do it your way.

    IMO
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by thet View Post

    What is the best approach when new to sales to learn sales?

    I am a firm believer of learning by doing. But what is your take on it?
    Do you believe seminars/books/audiobooks help, or hurt, somebody starting in sales?
    If you don't have a consistent sales process, as I didn't for the first decade of my professional career, you don't know what's going on.

    If you spend all your time reading books, you don't get any practical experience.

    You know how things "stick"? You screw up.

    And you know you screwed up.

    You say to yourself, "That hurt. I know what I did wrong: I forgot to do this step (or use this technique). Next time I get into this situation, I'm going to remember the pain of not doing what I should have done...and do it."

    And you will.

    For the rest of your life, you will remember those incidents. One day, you'll even grin about them.

    But if you don't KNOW the techniques or methodology...you will be like a struggler in quicksand. Down you'll go, and you won't know why or what to do to get out of it.
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    • A Process :

      try the things you've learned on calls and track results.

      you ever wonder why the terms bachelor (a batch of something), a masters (master a niche of that something), and a doctorate (apply book learning... to the real world), in describing our educational system and designations?

      you can have a doctorate of sales! a diploma and money!!


      thats the way I see it
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  • Profile picture of the author Rotate
    Yes, seminars/books/audiobooks are very effective to learn about sales. These are involves various effective resources, information, ideas and tips about increasing sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      You read books on selling, as you start your sales career. In other words, you do both at the same time....studying and selling.

      Reading great sales books, will teach you techniques and principles, faster that you would learn in the field, by trial and error.

      But you need to actually sell, so that your new knowledge becomes a skill, and not just academic learning. By being active, the techniques you learn will make more sense, and you'll remember them.

      To save you time and money. You don't need to attend sales seminars (even though I put them on). You need to read sales books. The book will cost a few dollars, and will contain more information than any sales course conducted live.

      When you start with a sales organization, the most intelligent thing you can do, is to volunteer to ride with (or something equivalent) the most productive salesperson there. It will slash your learning curve. You need to see sales made.

      Once you see that sales happen naturally, and aren't the exception.....your whole outlook will change.

      If you like, I'm sure some of us would recommend the best 5 or 6 books for you to read.
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  • Profile picture of the author thet
    If you like, I'm sure some of us would recommend the best 5 or 6 books for you to read.
    I would like that, thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by thet View Post

      I would like that, thank you.
      This is my short list;

      How To Win Friends And Influence People
      How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling
      SPIN Selling
      The Feldman Method
      Influence
      Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work
      (7th edition)
      Beyond Referrals (Pretty advanced, but about the best book on referrals there is)

      If you tell us what kind of selling you do, it would help us focus our recommendations.
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      • Profile picture of the author thet
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        This is my short list;

        How To Win Friends And Influence People
        How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling
        SPIN Selling
        The Feldman Method
        Influence
        Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work
        (7th edition)
        Beyond Referrals (Pretty advanced, but about the best book on referrals there is)

        If you tell us what kind of selling you do, it would help us focus our recommendations.
        In my position I will be busy with booking meetings with new clients, for the account managers. The goal of this is to get a. new business. b. to get me up-to-speed about the knowledge of this industry so I can do meetings on my own.

        So, I think I am really at the basics of selling: Cold calling, booking meetings, doing meetings.
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        • you can do it.

          sometimes learning curves look so steep, but in weeks you will know more than most you speak to.

          and, you will hear every common thing a prospect says (objections, concerns, etc..,) in a short time.

          how do you eat a cow? 1 steak at a time
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          • wow. like this Beyond Referral book

            TEN SIGNS YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT :

            here is a link (no affiliation with him) - Ten Signs You Are Not An Expert | Beyond Referrals

            excerpt here :

            I heard a great phrase the other day that perfectly captures the challenge when an expert attempts to assess their value to clients.

            "Sometimes it's hard to read the label when you're inside the jar."

            To help you read the label on your jar I have provided a list of ten signs that your "expertise" might be questionable. If any single one of these ten rings true with your firm I suggest you take some time to do a more thorough assessment of your firm's expertise
            - the most important element of creating value for your clients.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

              wow. like this Beyond Referral book

              TEN SIGNS YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT :

              here is a link (no affiliation with him) - Ten Signs You Are Not An Expert | Beyond Referrals

              excerpt here :

              I heard a great phrase the other day that perfectly captures the challenge when an expert attempts to assess their value to clients.

              “Sometimes it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar.”

              To help you read the label on your jar I have provided a list of ten signs that your “expertise” might be questionable. If any single one of these ten rings true with your firm I suggest you take some time to do a more thorough assessment of your firm’s expertise
              – the most important element of creating value for your clients.
              It's on the shelf, staring at me...I bought it a month ago but haven't had a chance to crack the cover yet.

              Good list, and I was happy with my own answers.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

              wow. like this Beyond Referral book

              TEN SIGNS YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT :

              here is a link (no affiliation with him) - Ten Signs You Are Not An Expert | Beyond Referrals

              excerpt here :

              I heard a great phrase the other day that perfectly captures the challenge when an expert attempts to assess their value to clients.

              "Sometimes it's hard to read the label when you're inside the jar."

              To help you read the label on your jar I have provided a list of ten signs that your "expertise" might be questionable. If any single one of these ten rings true with your firm I suggest you take some time to do a more thorough assessment of your firm's expertise
              - the most important element of creating value for your clients.

              Smart List. To the OP, I would read Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work by Stephen Sxhiffman, The Ultimate Book Of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks, and 7 Steps To Sales Scripts For B2B Appointment Setting. by Scott Channell.

              Buy all the books, and read the Schiffman book first. Be sure to buy the 7th edition. It's a complete rewrite.

              After you get to the point where you are setting appointments for yourself, you can read my book on prospecting. But for now, these books will keep you busy.

              Concentrate on prospecting. When you start going on your own appointments. you can study books that cover the rest of selling...like qualifying, presenting, and closing. Right now, learn how to prospect.
              Signature
              One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

              Terence Fletcher: "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than Good Job." Whiplash.
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              • Profile picture of the author thet
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                Smart List. To the OP, I would read Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work by Stephen Sxhiffman, The Ultimate Book Of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks, and 7 Steps To Sales Scripts For B2B Appointment Setting. by Scott Channell.

                Buy all the books, and read the Schiffman book first. Be sure to buy the 7th edition. It's a complete rewrite.

                After you get to the point where you are setting appointments for yourself, you can read my book on prospecting. But for now, these books will keep you busy.

                Concentrate on prospecting. When you start going on your own appointments. you can study books that cover the rest of selling...like qualifying, presenting, and closing. Right now, learn how to prospect.
                I can only get cold calling techniques in my country. Do you have alternatives for the other 2??
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                • Profile picture of the author Joel
                  knowledge + experience + ability + attitude = potential sales success (look to see how you build all these areas)

                  A mental attitude that has led me to much success in life & sales is, "Everything in life is either learning or fun" look at every experience as either learning or fun.

                  Joel
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by thet View Post

                  I can only get cold calling techniques in my country. Do you have alternatives for the other 2??
                  High Probability Selling. The section on cold calling is ground breaking.

                  How To Master The Art Of Selling by Tom Hopkins

                  How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Betcher

                  Another great book on prospecting...

                  How To Prospect Your Way To Sales Success by Bill Good.

                  And maybe the best book on phone selling I've seen...

                  The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks

                  But, my suggestion is to read the Stephen Schiffman book first. ( Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work) Study it. It's better to really study one great book on selling, than read 10. Adapt what's in the book to your offer. practice the scripts. Figure out why they work, because they all do. Think of this book as a Textbook. Use a highlighter. Write notes in the margins.
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                  Terence Fletcher: "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than Good Job." Whiplash.
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                  • Profile picture of the author thet
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    High Probability Selling. The section on cold calling is ground breaking.

                    How To Master The Art Of Selling by Tom Hopkins

                    How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Betcher

                    Another great book on prospecting...

                    How To Prospect Your Way To Sales Success by Bill Good.

                    And maybe the best book on phone selling I've seen...

                    The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks

                    But, my suggestion is to read the Stephen Schiffman book first. ( Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work) Study it. It's better to really study one great book on selling, than read 10. Adapt what's in the book to your offer. practice the scripts. Figure out why they work, because they all do. Think of this book as a Textbook. Use a highlighter. Write notes in the margins.
                    Haha was about to order all books. Great last tip.
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                  • Profile picture of the author AlexTee
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                    But, my suggestion is to read the Stephen Schiffman book first. ( Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work) Study it. It's better to really study one great book on selling, than read 10. Adapt what's in the book to your offer. practice the scripts. Figure out why they work, because they all do. Think of this book as a Textbook. Use a highlighter. Write notes in the margins.

                    By far....my favorite book on cold calling. The techniques work and I use them to this day.....I just tweak the script for what I'm selling.

                    Saw this today and thought I'd share:
                    Cold Calling Techniques, an Interview with Stephan Schiffman
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  • Profile picture of the author thet
    Maybe there is a thread with the best sales books on the planet?

    I already downloaded some of the books mentioned
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  • Real world selling along with this book, Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale: Zig...Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale: Zig... and you will be well on your way.
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  • Profile picture of the author thet
    I am reading "how I raised... ".

    It's very motivational, self helpy so far but I will give I a chance. Keeping a record of how many calls you make is a smart idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author thet
    Is pitch anything too advanced?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by thet View Post

      Is pitch anything too advanced?
      Not too advanced, but too specific, for a highly specialized form of presenting.

      It's a fantastic book but should be somewhere down your list. And it doesn't really cover prospecting.
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      • Profile picture of the author thet
        Cold calling techniques (that really work), 7th edition, will take 2-3 weeks to being delivered.

        Is there another book I can study until I can study this one?
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by thet View Post

          Cold calling techniques (that really work), 7th edition, will take 2-3 weeks to being delivered.

          Is there another book I can study until I can study this one?
          Can you get Kindle books where you live? if you can, just pick one of the other books on prospecting mentioned. Good luck.
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          • Profile picture of the author thet
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Can you get Kindle books where you live? if you can, just pick one of the other books on prospecting mentioned. Good luck.
            I got the kindle for Cold techniques. So will be busy enough with that book until I memorized it completely.

            Both books I can't get, so after this one I will probably read SPIN
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Learning through the process definitely helps for hands-on experience, but you also want to utilize resources such as webinars and online articles as well so you can try different things on your selling pitches.

    This way you'll learn from experience as well as try new strategies and test out what works best for your selling style.
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    • Profile picture of the author thet
      Originally Posted by TrumpiaTim View Post

      Learning through the process definitely helps for hands-on experience, but you also want to utilize resources such as webinars and online articles as well so you can try different things on your selling pitches.

      This way you'll learn from experience as well as try new strategies and test out what works best for your selling style.
      do you have some sources?
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  • Profile picture of the author Reddy20
    Going through a seminar workshop, enroll a post graduate class or research would help
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    • If a young child asked me to really help... that he wanted to learn to ride a bike....

      I don't think I would send him to a class,
      mention the laws of physics and motion dynamics,
      or how to grease the chain.


      get on the bike seat,

      get on the phone

      p.s. - in car sales - they have you tell customers "your new"
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
    I agree with Claude, Jason and Kirby. I do recommend reading books, but I also think that the sooner you take action, the better. My experience is that those with the most success keep things simple. I believe it was the great Fred Gleek that said "Keep it simple, salesman" or "KISS".

    I recall reading a story where Fred went on the "Tonight Show" (I think). He sat down and Johnny Carson said something like "I hear you're supposed to be this great salesman. So try to sell me something."

    Fred thought about it for a moment, reached over and picked up an ashtray and asked Johnny, "If you were going to buy this ashtray, how much would you expect to pay?" Johnny thought about it for a moment and said "$1.00". Fred said "SOLD!"

    I know I didn't get that perfect, but it's been a long time since I read it.

    My point is this, study the best sales rep where you're going to work, just like Claude said, and use his presentation verbatim when you're first starting. Memorize any consistencies in their body language, voice fluctuation and how they deal with different types of people. There are only a handful of types of personalities. Study how they handle each type.

    I've personally found that by asking a series of work related questions and letting the prospect talk you can usually discover what their pain points are. Some new sales people will get so excited and over the top that they actually talk themselves out of sales. They're incredibly nervous. Just be cool as a cucumber, but confident in what you have to offer. Ask questions and listen closely to the answers. Oh, and don't be afraid to ask for the sale!

    I've met guys that knew many presentations and closes by heart, but only used a handful. They found what worked best for them and stuck with them. Most of them were very simple.

    Start reading books, but you'll be best served if you get a solid presention and close memorized and just get busy. Like kirby said, you'll learn best by doing and get better as you go.

    HTH
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  • Profile picture of the author atomAnt
    Originally Posted by thet View Post

    What is the best approach when new to sales to learn sales?

    I am a firm believer of learning by doing. But what is your take on it?
    Do you believe seminars/books/audiobooks help, or hurt, somebody starting in sales?
    thet,

    A couple of thoughts to help answer your questions about training. One rule for success in sales: Do what others are unwilling to do. Presentations and prospecting are the "heavy lifting" in sales. You know this already.

    Practice helps you internalize these skills. Do more of them than others are willing to and you'll earn good money. However, you want more than just "good" money, right?

    Being well informed signals to everyone who comes into contact with you that you're on the way up. Credibility is the currency of professional sales.

    Learning from experts (through books, vids, seminars) provides you with a way of carrying yourself and speaking in ways that resonate success and professionalism. You are a resource for anyone that does business with you. In sales consulting, that's where you want to be, positioning yourself as a resource.

    I attended an investor financing seminar where I first heard about this. The presenter, a 7-figure sales pro, said he uses the word "resource" with every prospective client. He does this by telling them that he wants to be a valuable resource for them with their investment goals. He slips it into the conversation in some way at least once. It made sense to me.

    I began incorporating this into my presentations with high-income clients. I immediately recognized a favorable response. This translated into more sales and higher income. You pick up these methods through reading and learning.

    You can look at it as balanced between two extremes: On one end you have sales pros with a great work ethic who charge into their territory every day and get the work done. They don't read or attend seminars. They never do anything to "Sharpen the saw." Many of them earn a healthy income through the sheer numbers of prospects and interactions they have.

    At the other end of this you see fledgling salespersons who study methods and systems but never get into the field. It's as though they're always "Getting ready to get ready" to go and make sales. Jason Kanigan makes the point well with his comment, "If you spend all your time reading books, you don't get any practical experience."

    I mentioned this to someone the other day: Sales is the lowest paying easy work, and the highest paying difficult work you can do. If you don't give 110%, it's average income or worse.

    Productive sales persons earn more than cardiologists. To attain this income, you must work harder than anyone around you. Anything less than that isn't worth being in sales. However, you have to ask yourself if that's what you want to do day in and day out, year after year.

    Sales success should accumulate and mellow over time. When your phone is ringing because of referrals, you have made it. You are a Consultant. Live like one. You don't want to run around like a Madman over your entire career.

    You can achieve uncommon success sooner, and enjoy respect as a professional resource for any business lucky enough to have you, by studying and learning and practicing. It comes to you through books, journals, seminars, and the other media we discussed. It will return your investment of time and money exponentially.

    ~ atomAnt
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  • Profile picture of the author franergy
    Best sales advice I got when i worked for Fortune 50 sales org - follow the format. LOL. Stop tryna improvise. We have a successful selling format for a reason - it works. Find a successful formula, follow it, stick with it and you WILL close sales. They were right. :-)
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