I was trained primarily by my dad on how to do big ticket sales. You ought to know that after all these years, I still feel that he was probably the best sales person I’ve ever met and I’ve met a lot of great sales people in my life. And I say this not just because he was my dad either.
My yard stick for measuring how good my dad was at big ticket sales and sales was his close rate. He was a closer. He closed at a very high rate and for more money than most of his competition. What he knew so well was that people buy from people they trust. And they trusted him. I think he gave off the aura that he could be trusted because that’s how he conducted his life even when nobody was watching.
Of the many things my dad did well when it came to sales, he had three innate sales skills he had developed over the years:
1. He was persistent but not pushy.
2. He asked good questions and demonstrated that he was really listening.
3. And he loved people.
All this and more made him a great sales person.
You can’t inherit greatness
Unfortunately for me, my father’s talent didn’t mean I could inherit this from having sharing his DNA. When I first tried my hand at sales I naturally tried to emulate his soft voice and mild demeanor. It was a disaster!
Even though I flunked early in my life at sales I learned some invaluable lessons. First of all I had to be me and not try to be an imitation of him. If you know me, I’m passionate and I’m loud. The more excited I get the louder and faster I talk. Here’s the funny thing…it worked for me then and it’s still working for me today because what you see is the authentic me.
People buy from people they trust. And if you’re trying to be someone you aren’t they’ll sniff it out in a hurry.
The early failure at sales was also fortunate because it turned me into a student of sales. It inspired me to pay more attention to what I was and wasn’t doing and to learn the process of sales.
Sales is a process
Sales is as much a process as systematizing how you enter an invoice into your computer or how you make a specific repair for whatever type of contracting trade you’re in.
What I learned about myself was that I lacked good sales discipline. I had been looking for that big ticket sales opportunity. But I hadn’t been able to obtain it.
Then I realized I needed to get organized. I got a PDA. I don’t want to say it was a long time ago, but it was a Palm V. This tool [now ancient compared to the smart phone] allowed me to follow my dad’s example about being persistent and not pushy. It did that by allowing me to set up my phone calls for each day of the week, what follow-ups were needed. I never went to bed without addressing each item either by deleting or moving it because it still was in play and needed follow-up.
Two more tools that allowed me to make a quantum leap in having an organized sales approach were:
1. A brag book
2. A file box with hanging file folders inside
The Brag Book was organized to show my customer the visual proof that both my company and I were different from my competition in a positive way. I helped them “See It” because I made it visual.
Want to learn more about how to create a killer Brag Book? Look for Part 2 where I share more about this and other key sales tips you’re not going to want to miss!
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