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What’s the difference between failure and success in salespeople?


Anniversaries are a time for triple reflection: to observe where you’ve been. both in hard copy and in memory; to think about where you’d like to be and what you’d like to achieve; and to face the grim reality of where you are right now. The present is the only one of the three you can affect. If you affect the present the right way, the future becomes more predictable – but never completely.

In celebration of my 11th anniversary of writing this column, I would like to share some thoughts and concepts to help you affect your today. If you understand my two primary philosophies of sales – “People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy” and “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends; all things not being equal, people still want to do business with their friends” -you understand the guiding principles that will drive success in both your professional and private lives.  

1. Kick your own ass. Other people can inspire you, but you are responsible for your own motivation. The easiest way to do this is to develop a “yes” attitude. The different between “yes” and “positive” is that “yes” is more self-certain. If you think “yes” and you speak in terms of “yes,” then you will develop a “yes” aura and everyone around you will start to say “yes” to you.

2. Prepare to win, or be prepared to go down in defeat. “Be prepared,” the 100-year-old Boy Scouts of America motto, has never been more true than it is today. Heed the advice of my friend Scott Crawford’s grandfather, who lived by the creed “The workday starts the night before.”  

3. If you can’t get in front of the real decision-maker, you suck. How many times have you given a great presentation and the guy tells you he has to go ask his daddy if he can buy it? Answer: too many.  

4. It’s all about value, not about price. Give value first, don’t add it. Value is where you can jump ahead of 70 percent of the market. Price is where you make no money and create zero loyalty. “Value first” builds the law of attraction. Your prospect wants a sales lead, not a brochure. My personal marketing strategy for the last 12 years has been “Put yourself in front of people who can say yes to you, and deliver value first.”  

5. Engage me and you can make me convince myself. Ask the 10 questions your competition never thought to ask. Questions are the process through which a buying atmosphere is created. Most salespeople ask the wrong questions and, therefore, get the wrong answers.  

6. Use creativity to differentiate and dominate. At the core of the sale is the science of creativity – and your ability to use it. Study creativity.  

7. Reduce a prospect’s risk to convert selling to buying. Eliminating risk leads to a purchase. If the risk is low and the reward is high, the purchase becomes obvious.   

8. Who is better at selling your product, you or your customers? Testimonials are the missing ingredient to the “lost” sale or the “price” sale. They are also the deciding factor in the “everything else is equal” sale. If all things are equal, the prospect will look at the price or be convinced by your testimonial of the value of doing business with you.  

9. Be selfish. Selfish wins. Learn for yourself. Do it for yourself. In order to be the best you can be for others, you must be the best you can be for yourself first. To be the best mom or the best dad or the best salesperson, you must first be the best person you can be.  

9.5. Resign your position as general manager of the universe. Clean your own closet before butting into other people’s closets.   

Free GitBit: It starts with philosophy. If you’d like mine as a guideline, I’d love to share it with you. Just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time user and enter the word PHILOSOPHY in the GitBit box.

President of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer, Jeffrey Gitomer gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.  

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