I am a salesman because I had to be, not because I wanted to be.
Truth be told I hated sales when I got into it.
I hear people say, “you are a natural salesman.”
I am the most unnatural salesperson you would ever meet and hated sales for the first 8 years I was in it. At the age of 17 on my first sales job in a clothing store, my card said, “sales associate” and I hated it.
I hated talking to strangers, “is there something I can help you with?”
I was awkward, often tongue-tied, scared to approach people, hated rejection and my results relied purely on luck.
My results relied on whether I met the right customer or not — or so I thought.
I got in sales because my survival depended on it not because I wanted to.
The career that had been set for me didn’t pay any money.
Sales was the only job offered to me and I hated it. I told my uncle, “I didn’t go to college to become a salesman.” And he said, “You didn’t go to college to be out of work either.”
So, I took the sales job and for the next two years I hated it. I hated building rapport with a customer, asking probing questions, and hated asking for the sale.
Hate is not too strong of a word.
I hated the ups and downs, the commission only, the rejection, appointments not showing, customers lying to me…and the begging and follow up it seemed I was expected to do.
Fast forward 35+ years. I was doing an interview with NFL Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Fran Tarkenton who said, “You own the sales niche man. How did you do that?”
Good question, how does an average sales guy go from hating sales to being the leading authority in the industry writing a dozen bestselling sales programs and five business sales books?
When I realized my life depended on sales and decided to quit moaning and groaning and made a commitment to being great at sales, well, everything changed.
A guy named Ray told me one day, “You hate sales because you don’t know anything about it. Listen to this tape.”
He gave me a cassette by an old sales trainer who talked about sales like it was a formula for selling step by step from the moment you met the customer to the close.
It was amazing, so I called the company to ask about what else they had and invested $3000 in a 12-tape training program in 1983.
Every day I invested 30 minutes to one hour watching video footage of this guy explaining sales step by step. Within 30 days my production had doubled and, interestingly enough, what I had been hating on for 8 years I now started to enjoy.
Within nine months I was in the top 1% in my industry and had fallen in love.
Within five years I started a business where I would teach salespeople and sales organizations a new way to sell.
Over the years I have talked to tens of millions of professional salespeople from every industry.
I was speaking to a thousand insurance agents in Scottsdale, where the average earner in the room makes $970,000 a year. I asked them, “How many of you got into sales because you wanted to be in sales?”
Almost no one raised their hands.
I was speaking to three thousand network marketers in Vegas and asked, “Who likes sales?”
Almost no one raised their hands.
The point is you don’t need to like sales — you need to understand your entire future depends on it and quit fighting it.
Very few people inherently like sales.
Everyone I know who loves sales love it because they are successful at it.
In 25 years I have never met a person in sales who loves it that is failing at it.
I have met a lot of salespeople that do love their profession and they all have two things in common — they make money and they KNOW what they are doing.
I’ve met thousands of greats:
…all the varying different personality types, I’ve seen them. From the very competitive, direct, and results-driven to those much more reserved, modest, low-key and cautious.
I have helped thousands of salespeople over the years learn to fall in love with their career and it is my experience that to really love sales and make a lot of money doing it, two things must happen.
#1 Commit to it as your survival
You don’t need to want to do it, love to do it, or even like to do it — that will come when you get results. You must commit to it with no other options.
#2 Learn how to do sales
If you were not born a salesperson, whatever that means, then you will have to learn it step by step. By the way, I know lots of people I grew up with who felt like they were born salespeople and I sold circles around them once I learned the game.
Once committed, there is so much to learn.
- Right Attitude
- Meeting a customer
- Putting them at ease
- Differentiating yourself
- Making a lasting impression
- Building Rapport
- Effectively qualifying
- Determining motivation to purchase
- Identifying reasons to create urgency
- Presenting your solution
- When to talk and when to listen
- How to build value
- How to Create excitement
- How to present your offer
- How to negotiate
- How to Close
- How to Press for the Close
- When to Back off from the Close
- When to Lock a deal down
- How to handle influencers
- How to Determine Decision maker
- How to Handle Long Sales Cycles
- How to Handle Multiple Decision Makers
And that is just the sales cycle, that doesn’t include prospecting, follow-up, cold calls or how to stay motivated.
So, are you ready to get in sales yet?
Before I committed to sales I was broke. Once I committed and started learning everything I could about sales, I began making real money for the first time in my life.
I’ve mastered sales and now I’m a hecta-millionaire. You can have anything you want in life if you learn how to sell.
People go to school to get a “good job” paying 60–80K a year. In sales, you can start doing 60–80K a month, but you have to learn sales.