The New 4 Letter Word in Sales = DEAL

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of noise around the word “Deal”. I have no idea why some sales experts are designating this word as bad-dealsomething to avoid, but i whole heartily disagree. I am happy to look someone in the eyes and ask them if we have a Deal. I’m happy to let someone know that this is a great Deal. As long as I am genuine and I really believe that I’ve put together a great Deal then I’m 100% good with this word.

The problem arises because some sales reps will talk about getting or giving “Deals” that aren’t really a good value. The customer can feel when something doesn’t feel right and that “Deal” suddenly turns into a Lemon. Customer’s still want a Deal, but the Deal has to mean Value. Every customer I’ve ever worked with wants to feel like they got the better end of the bargain. They want to feel like they negotiated and received a better Value because of their interaction and ability. The passive people believe they will get a good Deal because they are good people or because they are easier to work with. The friendly, outgoing people believe that only friends give friends the good Deals, so they want to make friends with you. The super busy executives want to get a great Deal from you because they are quick and to the point and save you time. My friends with the excel spread sheets that analyze the numbers from every aspect want to believe that their acute attention to the numbers has garnered them some magical leverage that enables them to get a better Deal.

Everyone wants a Deal, they just don’t want to feel slimy about it. They don’t want to be told that it’s a Deal, they want to judge it to be a good Value themselves. Go ahead and use the word, just back it up with Value, however the customer defines that Value. Some people value expediency, other want you to take your time. Some customers want you to be very personable, others want you to respect their privacy. The word isn’t the problem, it’s that sometimes the Deal isn’t really a Value. It’s up to sales people to find out what the customer finds valuable and then to tailor the program, purchase or service in the best way possible. Let’s put away the pitch forks and put the halo over Deal.

10 Commandments of SalesFu – How to be a #Sales Ninja

Do you have all the information and knowledge about your product but still can’t close the deal? Do you have a fear of selling because you aren’t sure what to do? Do you not want to be “That Guy” or “That Girl” that’s always trying to sell and is annoying as heck? Are you constantly being told “No”, or worse yet, “Maybe”? If you or anyone you know needs to grow into a better salesperson share, like, re-post or whatever you need to do to get this info into their hands. Kicktras

You MUST learn the 10 Commandments of SalesFu.

You need to be a Sales Ninja in today’s world to not only compete, but to dominate.

I’ll go into detail on each. Here they are-

The Sales Ninja

10 Commandments of SalesFu

  1. Be Agreeable
  2. Power of One   (More, Step, Goal)
  3. P.O.P – Power of Please
  4. Don’t Bite the Hand
  5. Be Honest
  6. Over Communicate
  7. No Excuses
  8. Put it in Writing
  9. Treat Others the Way THEY Want to be Treated.
  10. Ask for the Business

 

#1 Always Agree.  Just do it. Record your conversations and see how often you disagree with a customer. SalesFu is all about taking that negative energy and redirecting to service a positive purpose, like closing the deal. If the customer throws you a verbal right hook, you don’t take a verbal swing back and start an argument. You simply step out of the way or duck, then give a gentle nudge to the customer and use their own momentum to keep them moving in the direction they wanted. Never argue with a customer, in a worse case scenario at least agree to disagree.

#2 Power of One. One More, One Step, One Goal. I’m a huge fan of the Number One. I want to be #1. The Number One also means Unity. It means all forces moving in the same direction. People ask how I’m doing all the time. I always tell them, “I’m doing great! I’m saving the world 1 Sale at a time.” and I believe it. People who are extraordinary did very ordinary things, they just did them more often and in a specific order under circumstances when most people would have quit. Make a phone call isn’t hard or extraordinary, but making that phone call after you’ve already made 199 that day takes commitment. After you throw in the towel, always do one more. Define the small steps you need to take in order to achieve a large goal. Focus on the step needed, but never forget about your long term Goal.

#3 P.O.P. – Power of Please. People a little POP in your Sales. People forget to be polite these days, I’m not sure why. Being polite has never killed a deal for me, but I’ve seen plenty of deals crushed because of someone being rude, or being misinterpreted as being rude. Be Self Aware. We don’t about this a lot in Sales, but being Self Aware of how you are viewed and interpreted is crucial to success. It makes absolutely no difference if you meant to say something in jest, but it was taken as a biting comment. I once saw an Old Girlfriend after about 4 years and it was a very hot day. She was wearing an all black outfit and probably wasn’t keen on being seen trudging on a college campus with a heavy backpack in the hot Hawaiian humidity. I’m not sure why, but I told her she looked hot. I meant it, she looked like she needed a cold glass of water or a dip in the ocean. I don’t think she took it that way. On a side note though because of the power of reciprocity she struggled but eventually said a few nice things about me. I was polite and unintentionally said something nice about her and so she was nice and said some nice things back. This goes for sales too, try to anticipate how the words you are saying will be interpreted and always be polite. People want to buy from people they like.

#4 Don’t Bite the Hand. I hate it when I hears sales people complaining about customers. It’s a sign of personal weakness. It’s a sign that you aren’t a true sales professional and a sign that you want to place blame instead of accepting responsibility. I’ve fired salespeople for speaking poorly of the people that pay the bills. Never ever bite the hand that feeds you. Whether or not a customer buys from you is irrelevant, that person may buy the product or service in the future and it’s entirely your fault that you didn’t get the deal. Getting a Win isn’t that difficult. Even if a customer CAN NOT take advantage of your product or service, you are selling hair cuts and you find out the customer is wearing a wig due to Cancer. Can they buy your product? After that customer leaves your store you can complain about why the hell a bald lady was in a hair salon on a busy Saturday, buy you should look inside and find an answer. Why was that customer in your store? Was she looking for a friend? Can she be a referral source? Was she looking to find partners to help support a program to make new wigs and get donated hair? Was she looking for a job? Was she just missing her hair and wanted to see the different styles? There was still a way to leave on good terms and there was a opportunity there that you missed. Success is your fault.

#5 Be Honest. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Even though that customer got on board with you if it’s a bad experience it will hurt your business in the long run. Be Honest with yourself about your product and your service. You have to believe in whatever you do 100% and you can’t do that unless you are authentic and honest.

#6 Over Communicate. People love status updates in today’s world. We all have short attention spans heck, I have a pizza tracker. It tells me when my pizza is in the oven, when it’s being boxed and when it’s on the car for delivery. Thank you Dominoes. Did I need that info? Nope,  for years I’ve waited patiently for the 35 minutes to pass in order to get my pizza and it’s always gotten there. Update you customers more than you think you need to, it breeds confidence and familiarity. If someone doesn’t want that much communication they can delete the email or send you to voicemail. It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. Over Communication will save your deals.

#7 No Excuses. When you do something wrong, fess up and make it right. You must take responsibility for every single facet of the experience, nothing is excluded. A 3rd party provider drops the ball and the service is interrupted or late. Is that your fault? What if the 3rd party service was selected by your customer because they had a previous business relationship? Is it still your fault? The short answer is YES. You picked the 3rd party vendor and by affiliating yourself you MUST take responsibility for their actions, get another provider if you need to. Even if the customer chose their own provider, let’s say they wanted their own mechanic to install your product, or you are a mortgage broker and your customer chose their own title agent, it is still your responsibility to make sure that the product is installed or the money is there.

#8 Put it in Writing. My mother once told me to “Trust, but Verify.” and still holds true today. People want to trust what you say, but they get peace of mind when you put it in writing. I also can’t tell you how often something got lost in translation or a trick of the brain and what was agreed to meant something completely different to each party. I once agreed to start a project within 5 days, the customer thought I’d be done in 5 days. Put it in writing and save yourself the trouble. You have testimonials or a great rating in some magazine? Get it in writing and send it to your customer, have it framed and put on the wall. Seeing it in black and white means something completely different than talking about it to most people.

#9 Treat Others the Way THEY Want to be Treated.   I take a lot of heat for this from some sales professionals. I’m a huge advocate of communication and being self aware of how that communication is interpreted. I think that the majority of Sales Skills come from proper communication skills. I’m talking about how your message is perceived. I encourage you to mirror your clients, slow down your pace or change the vocabulary you use to talk about a feature. A business man may want to talk about the ROI of a product while the lay person might just need you to say that the product pays for itself. I want to be guided through the process and I pay extra for convenience, that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the buyer who does all their own research and wants me to be hands off. I sell and communicate in a way that is comfortable for our buyer, and doesn’t impact the authenticity or the facts about my product or service. It just makes it more palatable.

#10 Ask for the Business.  Come on, you’ve gone through all the trouble already to get someone interested. Too often sales people just keep selling until the customer says something like, “So what do we do next?” until they close. They consider that a buying sign and so they will talk about the contract and then put the contract on the table eventually. That isn’t selling though. That’s like asking a girl out after she says that if you ask her she will say yes. It’s not the same thing. You have to be willing to put the customer in a position to tell you No. You want to get a Yes or a No so you can move on to the next prospect and make a living for yourself. You have invested the energy to learn your craft and get the customer to agree with you and buy into who you are. Use all that sales capital that you’ve been building up, and Ask for the Business in a very direct and clear cut manner. “Listen Friend, we could probably spend a few more hours swapping stories and me telling you how great our product is, but you probably want to find out for yourself and I’d like to have a reason to come out and visit more often. Let’s place an order, (seal the deal, lock in the terms, put down a credit card, sign the contract), so that you can see first hand what I’ve been talking about. Are we in Business?”

 

There you go. Use these to be great. If you or anyone you know needs to grow into a better salesperson share, like, re-post or whatever you need to do to get this info into their hands.  www.salesfumaster.com    @salesfumaster

 

 

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh

I’m a sucker for anything involving the San Francisco 49ers. I have several coffee mugs, too many t-shirts to count, my favorite sweatshirt, old game memorabilia and now I’m adding to the list with a copy of this book. Never before has my personal fandom for the 49ers crossed paths with my professional aspirations, luckily it is a happy collision of worlds.

BillWalsh
52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh

 

I grew up a fan of the NFL. I remember watching the games from a very early age, the late 70’s and the early 80’s were full of Cowboys, Raiders and 49ers doing battle weekly on the gridiron. I grew up in the bay area of Northern California and it was a great time to be a 49er fan. We would meet weekly on Sunday for BBQ and NFL. More often than not in those days, the 49ers would come away with a victory. I would see Coach Bill Walsh on TV interacting with Joe Montana and the rest of the team along with the press conferences after the game with his minimal commentary. i was always impressed with his focus and demeanor during the game. He rarely lost his cool in front of the camera, he was a rock solid fixture on the sidelines. When I realized he had a book published on leadership I grabbed at the chance to read it.

The book itself was completed from interviews, various writings and lectures given over  long span of time, but it’s woven together to reflect primarily the time that Bill Walsh was in the NFL. He wasn’t always right, but the book is written with a 20/20 hindsight so Bill gets to correct his mistakes for the readers benefit. Bill gets to tell us the story of how he rose to fame, it’s true that every overnight success had a long road to walk before anyone realized he was even there. This was true for Bill so we got to see the story of how he rose to be the leader of the 49ers against all odds and despite several significant road blocks. Bill had great will power and the ability to carry out his plan before anyone with the ability to stop him realized  that they should or could. Bill was allowed time to bring his vision to fruition, and his leadership was allowed to take hold.

Bill Walsh broke the normal pattern of Iron Fist leaders and Tough Guy approaches to discipline in order to lead with a balance of respect and unwavering commitment to the goals. It’s Bill’s commitment to the end zone that is uncanny, it’s his will power to create his system and to stick with it until the end and the few times he has deviated from his system he’s regretted it. Bill had a great system in mind, it was complex and simple and grand and minute all at the same time. At least half of the books I’ve read this year have a code, a set of rules or guidelines that were adhered to strictly in a quest for success. Bill is no different, his system was well defined, clear and concise. He wrote down everything and followed through to make sure that it was explained and completed to his specifications. Follow Bill’s path, read this book and then write down your goals, but then take it a step further and really go into depth with a plan to achieve them. Once you write down your goals, share them and come up with a plan to implement and execute on them. Success doesn’t come overnight and it doesn’t come easy, it comes with a lot of hard work. The book I read introduced me to a Bill Walsh I didn’t get to see on television, it introduced me to a mad scientist who was full of fear, who had self confidence issues and dealt with constant doubting but who ultimately overcame all of that to lead with passion one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. Take a look and let me know what you think. If you do the right things, day after day, will the score really take care of itself?

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 12 – Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg

Do not go quietly into that good night, do not silently accept anything that isn’t right. SalesManagementI promise that if you do have the items listed in this book, you wouldn’t be worse at your job.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 12 – Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg

 

I’m not sure if Mike Weinberg ever talks about silent acceptance in this book specifically but it is definitely a thread throughout the entire work. All it takes for a good sales team to turn into a disaster is for one good sales manager to silently accept something that shouldn’t be allowed. Most of us know what we should be doing, we just don’t do it all the time, we get by without being consistent or expecting more. If I’m right, you need this book to refresh on what you should be doing, and then take action. If I’m wrong and you have no idea what you are doing, then shame on the person that put you in that position but kudos’ to you for trying to research and find some help, you need this book yesterday.

One thing I really appreciate is Mike’s respect for the bottom line. His takeaways are strong. He gives very specific advice on how to structure sales meetings for teams or 1:1’s for example and I found myself pulling over on the road (I listened to this on Audible.com) and I hit the rewind button and took notes on his specific structure or requirements. I may listen to the book again in the future, there are several chapters that are great reminders for any manager once per year, but I’d recommend buying a hard copy of the book in order to takes notes in the margins. Every chapter has a very specific end game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the author didn’t have twice as much material and really parred down the subject material to the bare necessities. The book feels very refined, not a lot of what I’d consider to be fluff pieces. There were some solid examples and case studies which were entertaining and very illustrative of particular points. There is nothing self serving or distracting from the advice in the book, we know Mike’s a coach but he’s not pitching his service and trying to sell something with his fame. I think he genuinely cares about the condition of industry and the livelihood of every single road warrior, pavement pounder,  door knocker, call center agent and all of their customer’s. All of those Sales Professionals in the industry deserve to have a strong leader, mentor and coach to lead them to success.

If you are a leader, want to become a leader you should take a look at this book. It’s straight forward in it’s content and will give you cause to question where you want to go and make you put together a plan to get there.

 

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 11 – Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill (Author), Arthur R. Pell (Contributor)

This is the grand-daddy of all the self-help, think positive, motivate and just do it books! It’s hard to imagine that this was originally written in 1937. ThinkandGrowRichI’ve read the updated version for he 21st century so the examples are a little more up to date, but the message is unchanged from almost 80 years ago and still entirely relevant.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 11 – Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill (Author), Arthur R. Pell (Contributor)
It’s a testament to the book that as soon as I finished it I had to research Napoleon Hill. As a salesman I appreciate anything that compels me to take action. I searched the website and I actually ordered the $350 complete set of Napoleon Hill’s “Your Right to be Rich” bundle set with 10 CD’s, 4 DVD’s and the hardcover book. Seriously, I just did it!
I’ve read “The Secret”, and I’ve watched Tony Robbins along with about 100 other great motivators on youtube talking about goal setting, leadership and mindset but I’ve never been really ALL-IN on their hype. This is something different. This is well laid out, methodical and less touchy-feely in a way that makes sense. The steps are laid out in logical order, there are specific actions to take and they all have sound reasons for taking them.
I don’t believe that the Law of Attraction, Positive Vibes, Mental Vibrations or Believe it to See it type stuff works via some unseen Jedi Force. I believe that if you feel a certain way your body gives hidden tells via your tone, posture, movements and possibly even smell and that all of those things are picked up on by our subconscious to help impact our first impression or to pick up on a mood. Have you ever just had a feeling about someone or or situation? Good or bad? I don’t believe that we send messages telepathically through the ether to one another, but that doesn’t mean that swagger can’t be weighed, measured and picked up on by others. Napoleon Hill does take some time to talk about the messages that your mind and body send out, and maybe he really believed that he could send ESP messages to other people, maybe he really could. The mind is a crazy and powerful thing.
I do know that his system will work.I do know that he tapped into something and he tried his best to explain it. I do know that my explanation is just as valid as his and that it doesn’t really matter because as long as the end result is the same we’ve both gotten messages out to the world based on confidence and discipline of the mind. You probably aren’t where you want to be in the world right now. Your career, relationships and passions probably aren’t all in harmony with each other working at peak efficiency right now. You probably want to create, grow and bond in ways you don’t know how to accomplish. There are life coach systems out there for everyone and I bet that they all work if you use them in a disciplined style. The problem is that 99% of us give up. Our New Years resolutions end after 5 days and we never finished reading that 1 book we started. We meant to do that thing, or make that call or to get up earlier and start that good habit. Most of us gave up before we even started, we just thought about not giving up and thought about how awesome that would be and how happy it would make us. Then we slept in for 30 more minutes because that extra sleep made us happier via instant gratification. We exerted control and talked back to ourselves. We thought that we could sleep in if we darn well want to… but then we felt bad about it later, but only for a minute, we’ve trained ourselves to skip over that pain. We probably did that 360 days last year so we’ve had a lot of practice.
Do something today that you wont feel bad about later.  It’s not too late.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 10 – The Unfair Advantage: Sell with NLP! by Duane Lakin

The world of NLP is a little hazy. I’ve met people who swear by it, and others who write it off as wishful thinking. I believe that there is somethSellwithNLPing to the NLP method, although I’m not sold on the mass appeal and train-ability of this. It’s a tough topic to teach in a book. Let’s take a quick dive into this.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 10 – The Unfair Advantage: Sell with NLP! by Duane Lakin

I was looking to read up on NLP in a professional setting. I had been given the recommendation to read “The Game”  by Neil Strauss which is a book about a pickup artist but his pick up scheme is dominated by the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I can best describe it as part subliminal messaging, part hypnosis and part mentalism. I could see the parallels between really selling yourself in the dating scene to selling yourself and your products/services in a business setting, but I wanted to find a book that really made it simple and had practical demonstrations. I downloaded the audio version of this book after a quick online search of what was available.

I’ve read a lot of self-help and motivational books as well as a lot of sales skills and leadership books, I’m not 100% sure where this book should be categorized. It has some great sales skills advice that can be implemented in person with a lot of practice and some advice about phone sales and scripts. I can see the validity in the sales scripts right away. I’m familiar with word tracks, power words and mirroring your client to make them feel more at ease. NLP can be used to encourage a particular response, in this case a YES response to whatever we are selling.

Some ethics come into play here though, at what point do we cross the line where we are “tricking” a customer into becoming a buyer? Does the NLP speech pattern make someone do what they otherwise wouldn’t want to do? Will there be massive buyer’s remorse a few days after every sale? Is this sales skill, or is this manipulation? I describe Sales as having the ability to persuade and influence a purchase decision, and I think using the right words in conversation has a role to play in that.

I believe that words have power. I believe that a better phone sales script or a better presentation for any pitch will lead to better results. Furthermore, I believe that if you take those same exact words and change your pace and tone to match the situation your conversion numbers will improve dynamically. I believe your body language can influence how likable you are. I also believe that if you are a slime-ball and purposely sell Widgets that are over priced to people that don’t need them you probably shouldn’t learn these skills. I prefer my snail-oil salesmen to rely on old school tactics, but this is America and capitalism requires supply and demand. There are thousands of products available that are destructive to your home, life or the environment and people still buy them.  I’ve seen an Act by Darren Brown, (if you don’t know who this is go do your google search now http://derrenbrown.co.uk/the-core/ ),  and he’s also a mixture of persuasion and influence using some of these appear to be NLP techniques or very similar. He’s upfront about what he’s doing and it still works! He’s entertaining and I’d hate to see him as a salesman. I don’t think that NLP is a bad business practice but it can be used for evil instead of good. Don’t cross that line.

If you research NLP and decide to try some techniques, do it for the right reason. Do it because your client wants to make the right decision but is a little hesitant to do so for fear of making the wrong decision. Use NLP so that you get more thank you cards and verbal gratuities. Use NLP in a scenario where customers are appreciative that you helped them to make a great decision. Tell them what you are doing, tell them that you are going to help them make the right decision. That’s a good thing, Right?

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 9 – Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. This book is a nice spin for the classic Hard Work Beats Talent when Talent doesn’t Work Hard. There is a giant fear of failure in most sales repsGoForNO and it limits the amount of risk that they will take. This is a classic mind flip that creates the scenario where NO is Good.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 9 – Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

 

I’m a strong believer in the SweatAbility factor (Effort X Skill = Success) and typically in my own experience the hustlers are the ones that put in the strong effort. They work harder, longer and have strong visions of what they are working towards. Those guys are the ones that often get the trophy’s at the end of the month, but sometimes it’s someone who just has to struggle to stay at par. I try to take those guys and increase their skill level, I work on their closing skills, listening skills, mirroring skills and general sales I.Q. I stand by that assessment, if someone’s work ethic is already a 9 out 10 and I double their sales skill, they will double their income.

This book focuses more on the Effort piece of the puzzle, which is something the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone does as well, but I think this book might be more dangerous in some industries than in others. There is a message in the book that encourages massive prospecting, which I am on board with, but the book initially also seems to reward a low conversion ratio or at least it could be interpreted that way. The surface message would seem to just take massive leads and get through them and you’ll probably find a few “lay down” deals and out perform your competition by just sifting through your leads faster.

The hidden message is in the last chapter. The No’s that you get don’t all get thrown away. The same leads can and should be reused and in fact most customers will say No 5 times before saying Yes. That means that by prospecting more often and calling on your own sales leads multiple times you’ll increase the number of times you are told No, but eventually your conversion ratio of sales calls to confirmed clients will actually improve. Let’s face it, everyone you talk to buys from someone right? If you are persistent enough that person can be you.

Talk to more prospects. Get to the point. Don’t burn bridges. Follow up relentlessly. Ask for the business so you always know where you stand. You will both outwork AND out smart your competition by following these rules. The Author’s might disagree, but I think a salesman’s favorite word is still Yes, but I’ll concede that the second favorite word is No. Look for the No in every sales call and you won’t be running away from prospects with fear of rejection, you’ll wear it like a badge of honor on your way to the bank.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 8 – Bulletproof Business: Protect Yourself Against The Competition by Ryan Stewman

 

There Bulletproofare only a few times while reading this that I remembered that this was a business book.  For the most part Ryan is just telling a story about how some interesting stuff happen in his life. It’s kind of like a train wreck in the sense that I just couldn’t help myself from looking at it but it made me squirm a few times and I felt bad for anyone caught in the wreck.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 8 – Bulletproof Business: Protect Yourself Against The Competition by Ryan Stewman

 

Just because I forgot it was a business book a few times doesn’t mean that there weren’t valuable lessons to be learned. Ryan’s approach in this book is to help the reader learn from his mistakes. He’s taken the long way around and still ended up ahead of most people in the race for the biggest bank account balance. He’s taken some risks and enough have worked in his favor that he’s in a position today to continue to gain respect and offer advice. He’ll willingly tell you that his time and advice are worth a lot of money these days.

It’s hard to believe how many crooks are in this world and unfortunately salesmen make up more than their fair share of those white collar criminals. Salesmen are likable and they have the ability to craft a story that makes sense of any scenario, it’s no surprise that a lot of great salesmen have been caught in unfortunate circumstances. Grant Cardone openly talks about a partnership he once had where the partner and he split and he calls that partner a crook. We all know about the Wolf of Wall Street, AKA Jordan Belfort, and the things he did while in the midst of some great “sales”. It’s no surprise then that in the world of sales even great salespeople get sold on someone from time to time, we all want to believe. Ryan was sold on some business partners, he’s been sold on a few women, he was sold on the trappings of the white picket fence and the required role he was “supposed” to fill. He was sold on who he should be and then he tried to sell other people that dream too.

The worst part of being a salesman is trying to sell something you don’t believe in. Ryan talks about selling and training something in the insurance industry but he really wasn’t into it. He wasn’t sold on it. For the first 3 quarters of this book Ryan wasn’t sold on who he was and it manifested itself in insecurities and bad decisions. He couldn’t rise above the fray because he didn’t know who he was and had no idea how to get out. If you aren’t authentic to yourself  it’s hard for anyone else to buy into you.

From a technical standpoint Ryan isn’t exactly a wordsmith but he crafts a story that keeps you interested. He keenly advertises his services and asks for the business in the pages before, during and after the story. He ends his chapters with a quick teaser about the next chapter to keep you motivated to get through the whole thing.The paragraphs, pages and chapters are short and in the sales world we work with a ton of people with shorter attention spans. It’s not our fault, we just crave the action and we’d rather be talking to people and learning on the go than actually sitting down and doing the work. Ryan references this behavior in the book, but he knows his audience too. Ryan is 100% himself and that’s often in expressed in language that might be considered crude. I don’t speak the way he does, but I don’t judge him for it just like I don’t judge a New Jersey accent vs an English accent. The message is important and maybe his message will actually come across to more people in his terms than someone prim and proper who doesn’t have the ability to connect with most sales people.

As human’s we are all sculpted by our past. His has brought him to the point where he has firmly taken the bull by the horns and refuses to let the bull win. I admire his tenacity and effort. He talks about doing the work and I put Ryan in the category of DOER. He does stuff. Period. Most of us just talk about it, but it’s too much risk to put ourselves out there. Ryan put in the effort and now he’s got the skills, to have both is a sure fire way to gain success. Effort X Skill = Success.

If you walk a mile in another man’s shoes maybe you can take the short-cut that Ryan is offering. You can get a glimpse into his history and perhaps you can come to the same conclusions that he did. You are accountable for your own success and failure. If you fail and it was someone else’s fault, think again because it’s your fault that your fate was in someone else’s hands. Take control and raise the minimum expectations of your life.

You can start buy buying his book and checking out his website. Go ahead and and check him out at www.clyxo.com/closer.

(FULL DISCLOSURE- Ryan sent me a copy of his book for Free, but I’ve paid to see his video’s, listen to his podcasts and read his sales strategies. He didn’t ask me to review his book, I just happen to be a member of his Facebook group and I’m on his email mailing list.)

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 4 – Selling to anyone over the phone – Renee P. Walkup

This one is a bit of a cheat because I read the original edition almost 10 years ago and didn’t even realize that there was now an updated 2nd edition. I must say that the team improved and updated the content for us and it makes a SellingToAnyonedifference. I’m in a Call Center environment and on a daily basis I’m trying to adapt former face to face sales people into over the phone professionals. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks but this book makes a difference and helps the transition without a doubt.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 4Selling to anyone over the phone – Renee P. Walkup

 

 

This book is money. Many people in the world sell face to face.I get it, those professionals learned a skill and can read a customer’s body language to determine what the best course of action is. Imagine if you are selling cars though, and you were suddenly blind. Imagine if you were suddenly limited to only the pictures you could see in your mind. Would you still be able to sell to anyone?

I’ve heard stories of people going blind or deaf and being able to enhance their other senses to compensate. The same thing goes for sales skills. Selling over the phone is considered a disadvantage to most, but this book will help you turn it into an advantage. “Selling to Anyone over the Phone” is worth the price over and over again. If you work in a world where you close deals over the phone you need this book yesterday. I’m not a natural sales person, I’m not an extrovert and I can’t stand touching people and I certainly don’t want to look at you for half an hour. I can talk on the phone though.

I can create an image and I can paint a picture with words now. I can determine if the words you say are genuine and I can tell what motivates you to buy. I can hear pitch, tone, pace and still have time to listen to the actual words you are saying, which say so much more between the lines. I do a large part of what I do because of this book. I used to sell face to face which was a total disaster, but the original version of this book helped me close 1000’s of deals over the phone and this 2nd Edition is even better.

It takes time to implement the ideas in the book and it takes lots of practice. You’ll need to record your calls and take the time to really focus on your speech patterns but it can be done. You’ll be able to mirror your clients in a way that will allow you to get your true meaning across. I hear conversations every day where Party A says something with a particular meaning, but Party B interprets the meaning of the exact same words in a completely different way. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever said, ” No, I didn’t mean it that way.” The words you said were heard in the exact way that you said them, but the meaning taken from those words was completely different from what you intended. Does the intention of the word matter or does the interpretation? Even when there is clarification, the emotional residue from the 1st false interpretation is still there. If you put the practices of this book to good use you will limit the number of false interpretations, your meaning will be clear.

I’m a fan of this book. I’ve never read anything else by Renee Walkup or Sandra McKee, I’ve never even read their bios. I imagine in my minds eye that one is in sales and the other is in psychology because that is what the book feels like. It feels like smarter sales skills. If feels like an elegant dance when most sales people just trudge through the dance hall. After you read this book you’ll have a smirk on your face because you will know things that will make you seem like a super sales hero. Try it. I recommend it.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 3 – 3 Sales Tips from “THE ART of WAR” – Sun Tzu

There are very few books that are so sparse but have inspired so much commentary. The book itself was written more or lessThe Art of War about 2500 years ago and the first English Language versions didn’t show up until the early 1900’s. For roughly 2400 years this book was known in China but in very few other locations, now it’s virtually a household name in America.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #3 “THE ART of WAR” – Sun Tzu

 

First things first, I’m a Sales guy. I’m not a business mogul or Wall Street type. I know the book has been read and recently, (the last couple of decades are recent for a book that’s 2500 years old), The Art of War has been associated with ruthless business practices and the cold hearts of the corporate takeover world. I would like to think that today’s world has a lot more empathy than Sun Tzu’s time, but I grant you that the world is allowed to have a lot more empathy today due to progress and quality of life. Sun Tzu lived in a world where the End Justified the Means, we wouldn’t stand for that now. I’ll try to pull out some relevant bits for the Sales professional though, and there are some golden nuggets to be had.

When I say that the book is sparse, I mean it. It’s pretty much written in bullet point format. It’s more like an outline to a book, maybe that’s what makes this book so adaptable to other industries and situations. There is so much to fill in between the lines. I have to imagine that in 500 B.C. there wasn’t a lot of paper floating around. I would bet that writing material from something like bamboo would have been used and that the actual writing would have been painstaking to complete. The efficient use of words was likely essential to keeping the work accessible, transportable and replicate-able.  No matter the reason, the book is a quick read and that alone probably helps. That leads me to tip #1 today-

TIP #1 from the ART of WAR.  DON’T INFO DUMP.

It’s easy to consume some ideas which could easily have been made over complicated. The bullet point presentation reminds me that we don’t need to use flowery language or long drawn out scenarios to get our point across. If the point is valid, people will get it. Don’t tell a 30 minute story when a 3 minute bullet point presentation would have done the trick. People have been sold on Sun Tzu for centuries, follow his lead and give clear concise messages with functional examples.

TIP #2 from the ART of WAR. PLAN AHEAD RELENTLESSLY.

Sun Tzu basically lays out a contingency plan for every scenario. Based on his teachings, there were no tough decisions to make in the heat of the battle. There was a simple plan with slot closed options. Were the enemy troops garrisoned heavily or lightly? The answer didn’t matter so much because there was a solution to both options. The only thing that really mattered was accurate information and timeliness. Sales calls and presentations should be this well thought out. Whether or not you anticipated the objection or avoided it all together doesn’t really matter because you have a solution to every scenario. What matters is that you listen, observe and accurately assess the prospect, their problems and their ability/willingness to buy. Have a plan and selling anything to anyone is easy, unless it’s time to pack up and run to see another day. It’s OK to do that too if it’s the right choice. The trick is to plan ahead, so that you KNOW when it’s the right choice.

TIP #3 from the ART of WAR. CONSISTENCY IS BETTER THAN CHAOS.

It seems like a good portion of the book is dedicated to breaking the consistency of the enemy troops, while maintaining the consistency of his. He wants to create the right habits and practice like they battle. He wants a routine so that in times of War, his people are cool headed and able to follow commands. At the same time he wants to create chaos in his enemies troops to break their habits and force them to make a mistake. As long as Sun Tzu doesn’t make a mistake, he wins. If I’m in a sales environment I need to practice my sales techniques under all conditions to avoid getting flustered by a question at a crucial time. Consumer’s have skills too and they will use them to try and find out if your product or service is faulty.

There you have it, 3 sales tips from the ART of WAR. Now go read the book yourself! Click here to check it out.