In life there are only two types of persuasion, force and seduction. Force is masculine, seduction is feminine. Force is persuasion through involuntary agreement, seduction is persuasion through voluntary agreement. Force is more powerful in the short term but seduction is more powerful in the long term. Stalin’s power died with him but 2000 years later Jesus’ power is still 1 billion strong.
Sales, at its core is nothing more than seduction. Since you’re not legally allowed to use force, sales is the most powerful skill you can can learn in business and life. All behavior is selling. Every time you communicate with someone you’re selling something whether you want to or not. Since sales is a feminine art it means adapting to the needs of your client and servicing them. In return you get what you want. To get what you want in business or in life you need to follow these principles:
Keys To The Game
Before you get on the phone or talk to that girl you need to have a gameplan of exactly what your objective is in that particular situation. For example, you might know that most clients won’t buy on the first call so your gameplan for every first contact is to book an in person meeting. With that said a good gameplan should be flexible, if your potential client sounds hot you can push for the close right there.
Never Break Rapport
Thou shalt never break rapport is the first commandment of sales. Rapport breaking is the salesman’s greatest sin. My client could tell me the sky is black and you won’t hear a word from me. Everyone in the world hates when you disagree with them. If you want clients and people to like you then never contradict them, always keep things friendly.
Ask The Right Questions
The key to opening a guy up is to get him talking about his business. Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Once you get him to open up about his business you not only get better rapport but you’ve got ammunition to prove your value on solving his pain points.
Solve A Problem
As we covered in part 1, all sales is problem solving. A businessman worries about his business, you have the solution in the form of insurance. Every time you talk to that potential client you should be thinking about how you can best solve their problem, this is a crucial mindset.
Forget About Being Right
Focus on results. There is no place for hubris in sales because sales is seduction. Sales is adapting yourself to what that person wants so that you can get what you want. Being right, being indignant, being offended are all irrelevant, all that matters is accomplishing your objectives. Admit your wrong when it’s the best move for the situation even if you’re not. Do what it takes to win.
Product Is 80% Of Success
I once had a debate with a slave-minded colleague who couldn’t understand why his sales numbers dropped. I told him it was because management put him on a garbage product. He told me a great salesman can sell anything, standard sales brainwashing. I asked him how his numbers would be if he had to sell dogsh*t. That was the end of that conversation. Your product accounts for 80% of your success, if you’re selling the new iPhone you’re going to do very well, if you’re selling the 97 palm pilot you’re going to starve.
The best way to increase your income is to work for the best company with the best product. I interviewed with Salesforce at one point, they’re the largest CRM company in the world and offer the best sales CRM. As a salesman I’d used the product and loved it. The top guys there were making $400,000 a year for what was the same job as a call center monkey who makes $60,000 selling aluminum siding.
Understand What You’re Selling
What you’re selling is a state. All products and services are designed to make you feel good, that’s all. From the clothes you buy, to the food you eat, everything you buy is designed to produce a good feeling. Once you understand that you realize that all sales is state transference. You need to make the guy on the other end of the phone feel good about the product now and feel good about the product in the future, that’s it.
Use These Key Transition Phrases
Transition phrases are amazing sales tools, you can say anything with a transition phrase without breaking rapport. The best transition phrases are “with that said” and “at the end of the day”. They mean nothing but you can use them to segue from any objection to a feature or benefit. I know I just ran over your dog but at the end of the day I still think you’re a terrific fit for this product.
Don’t Believe The Hype
The sales training industry is very much like the pickup industry, lots of snake oil strategies when the reality is 80% of sales is product in the same way that 80% of pickup is product (your sexual market value). Seven nos to a yes and all that is bullsh*t, if a guy has to tell you no seven times on the phone its going to be a miracle if he’s still talking to you. More than likely he’ll have told you to f*ck off and hung up.
You Can’t Compete With Sociopaths
No one is that much better at sales they just lie more. Imagine you felt no guilt and no shame. You could start a pyramid scheme and sweet talk a bunch of intellectually challenged people into joining. Or you could start a firm specializing in selling fraudulent stocks like Jordan Belfort and whip your guys into making 500 high pressure calls a day.
I could start a real estate scheme today and be a millionaire within 3 years with the skills I have now. The best salesmen in the world are sociopaths, how can you possibly compete deal for deal with a guy who is willing to tell his clients anything. To be excellent you have to be unethical, you can’t compete with the top salesman in your firm because he’s willing to do more than you are. That extra 20 percent they get from jamming damaged homes down people’s throats is what will seperate them from you and make them a top producer.
Sales Is A Numbers Game
Of the 20% of the success you have control over, 80% of it is playing the numbers game. Playing the numbers game means you have more of a chance of finding the guy who is ready to buy. The guy that’s unhappy with his current provider or has a problem that needs to be solved. It’s just like with girls, the more girls you hit on, the more likely you are to find the DTF girl who just broke up with her boyfriend.
Most salesman like most players think it was their skill that closed the deal but in reality it was just finding a buyer that was ready to buy. That girl would have gone home with any guy as long as long as he was decent looking. That buyer would have bought any product that looked half decent.
Skills Are Overrated
On a large scale the close rate between a good salesman and a great salesman is probably only about 2%. Similar to a decent player and a good player in daygame. I worked with a Croatian guy who barely spoke English, once used a triple negative in a sentence and his close rate wasn’t much worse then the average guy in the office. Skills are important for high value transactions with limited competition like Aerospace but chances are you’ll be in volume sales where work ethic trumps all.
Sell only as much as you need to, when the guy wants to buy you let him buy. The more you carry on the more likely he is to question the deal. When he signs on that line, you shut the f*ck up.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
You’ll never be fully comfortable selling to some random guy, you’re always the pest, always coming from a position of weakness but you just do it anyway. There is no trick and no way to always feel good, just man up and get in there. To control the fear pretend you’re an actor and just watch yourself talk. Also don’t overprepare especially if you’re meeting a big client, just let your hands go, trust your instincts and let the words come out of your mouth.
Don’t Sell Through Email Or Voicemail
Real sales is over the phone or in person. An email is too easy to ignore, a lot of millennial kids coming up are trying to close by email but that’s no good. You can use email to set up a call or a meeting but never try and close over email, nut up and get him on the phone.
That includes voicemails, a guy who pitches voicemails is not a salesman. There might be exceptions in some industries or for mass emails on small products but in general any time you’re talking about a high value deal it’s gotta be phone or in person.
Sales is seduction and seduction is a female skill. That means to excel you need to have sensitivity. You have to be sensitive to every beat, every pause in the conversation, to know what the guy is trying to communicate at all times.
Shame And Fear Are Your Two Biggest Obstacles
Selling someone past their comfort point is unnatural unless you’re a sociopath. What holds most guys back in closing a deal is discomfort. That discomfort comes in two forms. Shame, the feeling of doing the wrong thing and fear of provoking a negative emotion in your potential client.
Sales pays well because it’s uncomfortable and no one wants to do it. If you have less shame and less fear then the next man you’ll be a better salesman. Sociopaths are so good at sales because they feel no guilt and have no fear, a human being is just a tool to be manipulated to get what they want.
Your Mood Is Crucial
You can’t sell in a bad mood, it seeps into your conversation no matter how hard you try to control it. Your mood needs to be protected like a fort, it’s your greatest asset. You can’t sell when you’re unhappy. That means you need to get proper sleep, exercise, diet and use the right supplements like caffeine.
You Don’t Matter
Your potential clients don’t give care about you, they only care about the value that you can bring to the table. That means don’t bother talking about yourself, focus on them and add value to the conversation by making them feel good about themselves. Oh your kid won his hockey game, that’s terrific, etc.
This is easier said then done when you have your sales manager breathing down your neck to hit targets but at the end of the day you have to look yourself in the mirror. Jamming someone into the wrong product is sh*tty and unethical, you won’t feel good about yourself. Don’t be a scumbag, you can’t enjoy life as a scumbag, no matter how much money you have.
How To Sell A Client
Prospecting is what you do to find your leads, this means scouring the internet in your vertical and adding key information about your leads to the CRM. This generally means company name, decision makers, key info etc. A good company will have leads provided or will have cold callers for you.
The majority of your results in sales are going to be from the output you put in. That means finding the right candidates for your products and as many candidates as possible. You need to know down to the letter which types of companies will be in the market for your product otherwise you end up wasting a lot of time. You also need to focus on companies that are higher probability closes. There is nothing wrong with trying to get blue chip companies to buy but it might take you months just to get a hold of the right person. So make sure you put a lot of focus on those consistent companies to hold you down until that big deal comes through.
Find The Decision Maker
This is where a lot of salesman f*ck up, If you’re pitching the secretary you’re doing it wrong, you need to know the exact decision maker in your industry. It might take months for you just to find who the decision maker is and then another few months just to get the guy on the phone. A lot of guys think they have a decision maker when in reality they just have an order taker. For example, when selling advertising a lot of the time the 22 year old marketing coordinator will act like a decision maker when in reality she just works for the decision maker. The guy who signs the cheques is the vp of marketing.
The only time you should pitch an order taker is if the decision maker is impossible to get a hold of. What you don’t want to do is pitch an order taker first and then try and pitch a decision maker, the wage slave will get pissed off when you go over her head and talk to her boss.
Greeting And Pitch
The key to the pitch is to get the key information out in as little time as possible. I’ve seen sales managers write 2 minute introductory scripts which is absolute retardation. You need to get the key information on your company down to a 30 second sound bite, anything more and you’ll lose his interest. Keep in mind most people are already annoyed once they’ve realized they just answered a sales call.
In 30 seconds you should be able to introduce yourself, your company, give the reason for your call and convey your value proposition. Use a conversational tone so you don’t sound like a call center phone monkey. You want to convey energy, enthusiasm, friendliness, and competence. You want this guy to like you and know that if he does business with you that you’ll be able to manage his account competently, quickly and efficiently.
Once you’ve got the pitch out of the way you want to see if the potential client is a fit for your product as soon as possible, if they don’t have a need for your services no amount of selling is going to change that. A quick question is the best way to find fit. Ie. do you use x in the course of your business?
Features And Angle
Once you’ve figured out if the candidate is a good fit it’s time to hit them with exactly what your product does, your unique selling proposition and what you can do that your competitors can’t, again this should be done quickly, you still probably don’t have the guy hooked at this point.
The angle is what you use to tailor your pitch to your clients need. You want to combine that with an urgency scenario. A common angle for a penny stock broker would be to tell the client that there is hot news on the stock. You tell them you have an inside line on a stock that will be worth x by end of day as long as they buy now. I don’t recommend dishonest angles like that but the perfect sales call always has an angle tailored to your potential client’s pain point and a sense of urgency.
The key to getting a guy past the hook point is to ask informed questions about his business. Remember there is nothing more people like then talking about themselves. You want to see how your product fits in to his plan. The point of your questions is to find what his primary pain point is, it could be he’s getting bad service from his current provider or they’re too expensive or any number of things but you need to know what his main problem is so you can tailor your solution to it.
Benefits, as opposed to features are what your potential client would get from the features of your product. The way you break down the benefits for him is in response to his answers to your questions. For example, lets say he volunteers some of his revenue, now you can give him an on the spot quote of how much your product will save him. This is where the salesmanship comes in, you start tailoring your solutions to his problems.
No deal closes without objections, the skill of your salesmanship is in how you handle them. You should have a list of standard objection management sound bites that you can drop on a dime to get him back on the line towards the close.
This is what it all comes down to: closing, with that said the close might not necessarily mean a deal but the completion of an objective. More sales literature has been written on closing techniques than anything else. The close however is only a natural extension of an interested client who trusts you, likes you and likes your product.
Once you have those three factors its just a matter of asking for the sale. Interest can’t be created, it can only be amplified. It’s just the same as with picking up women, if she’s unnatracted to you all the techniques in the world won’t work.