Everyone must learn how to Sell – Chris Meyers – Medium
Read it again. Why did that statement make you stick your nose up…. “How Dare You.” : )
The lost art; and why you should care.
If you are like most people, you raise your chin to the idea of being in sales. The classic image has just entered your conscience mind….. the row of pot-bellied used car salesman — lined up, tails wagging, and drooling over the next victim to approach the lot. I’ve always been baffled that anyone with half a brain would just wander onto a random car lot, nothing particular in mind, and not only ask for help, but actually rely! on one of these blockheads to escort them into their dream car. These people exist to get the keys to the one, maybe two, cars that I have printed out with accompanying car fax reports as I prepare to take the test drive. That’s it. But fellow millennial’s, that is not it when discussing Sales! You must refrain from the ferociously negative connotations orbiting, closely, around the idea of sales.
This identification with “sales” is very very deep seated. Daniel Pink, Author of To Sell Is Human, did, as part of the research, a survey….
and you ask people, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the sales or selling. And the words we got were so overwhelmingly negative– pushy, slimy, sleazy, cheesy, dishonest, manipulative.
Selling is essential to having a good life. Selling is essential to Success.
Selling successfully equates with having influence, and from there, your progression in the world we live in is damn near unlimited.
Whether it is convincing a girl to go out with you, or convincing a real estate agent to take your property to market, or convincing your son to attend summer school, or getting other drivers to allow you to change lanes in traffic, everyone needs to understand the skill of influencing others, the art of persuasion….. selling. In reality, the modern salesperson is a very powerful individual who can access all the riches of the world while controlling direction in life and work schedule.
The Wall Street Journal featured an interesting article titled “Bright Future in Sales? Millennials Are Hesitant.” The writer highlighted the difficulty employers were having persuading millennial’s to work in sales….One of the companies mentioned in this piece is Paycor Inc., which sells cloud based software and payroll management. The company equated to a $2million dollar loss in revenue due to the lack of a fresh sales force.
Most people, once beyond the negative connotations, are freaked out by the idea of selling. Many more believe they are beyond it. They tell themselves they are setting out to make an honest living, or a brilliant product, or provide value to a customer without the need to sell.
THIS IS FERRY LAND. SNAP OUT OF THAT LINE OF THINKING OR YOU WILL SOON BE LAPPED BY INDIVIDUALS WHO GAINED VALUABLE SKILLS, ENABLING THEM TO PERSUADE, INFLUENCE, SELL. WHILE YOU BECOME BITTER THAT NO-ONE SEES THE VALUE IN YOU OR YOUR WORK OR YOUR PRODUCT. THEY NEVER WILL. UNLESS YOU SELL.
We are all in sales.
Let’s look at any great businessman in the world. Name any individual who has found great success in business — Steve Jobs, Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Kennedy, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, etc. — they have something in common: they are master salesmen! Every business needs a great sales force. Every business needs a sales team that identifies a market for the product and develops a customer base which buys the product. A common misconception about successful businesses is that the product sold itself. Many people believe that a great product makes a great company. “If only I can perfect this
product, people would line up at the gate.” This is simply not true. The reality is, a great sales strategy, marketing message, or master salesman drives the company to the peak of success.
A product will never get introduced to and accepted by a customer base without the art of selling. The public consumer must be persuaded and influenced along the way.
If you still have doubts, let’s take a look at the most successful, widely accepted product of our life time: the iPhone. The iPhone completely dominated the mobile phone market. It’s influence was seen worldwide, as it lead to the invention of the term “smart phone”. In the early years, Apple’s competitors were essentially non-existent.
So, given the superiority of the product, the salesman was irrelevant? False.
Even though the product was unmatched — the success of the iPhone hinged on the ability of Steve Jobs to sell, to persuade, to influence. First, he had to influence the board members and decision makers of the company. Many of his colleagues begged him to “stick with the iPod!”…. They begged him to stay
focused on the products that had already showed success in the marketplace. However, he was a visionary. He saw the mobile phone market and the need for a revolutionary product. Jobs was eventually able to sell the idea of a smart phone to Apple board members and stockholders.
One of the most famous moments in corporate history took place at an apple launch event in 2007 Steve Jobs, wearing the usual jeans and turtleneck shirt, stood in front an anxious crowd awaiting the spectacular. People had become accustomed to Apple product launches bringing revolutionary products
to the market. This night was extraordinarily special. Steve Jobs brought the onlookers up a slow step by step ladder of anticipation, ultimately reaching a climax that will be remembered forever:
“Tonight, we are introducing three new products: 1) A widescreen iPod with touch screen controls, 2) A revolutionary mobile phone, and 3) A breakthrough internet communications device.”
As the crowd looked on with intrigue, Jobs says,
“Today Apple will reinvent the phone.”
The crowd, hanging on every word, erupted with cheers. This clever, near brilliant delivery which sparked worldwide interest in what would become the best selling product of our time, was not the act of a con man. It was a brilliant salesman connecting with an audience and guiding them through their imagination — arriving at a state of confusion, intrigue, and excitement. Steve Job’s revelation that evening wasn’t just a new phone. It was the introduction of three game changing technologies resulting in The iPhone. The rest of the industry is still playing catch up. Partly because the motivational momentum of a master salesman driving technology to the consumer in ways never before imagined.
Steve Jobs built a company, a brand, and a culture that dominated the market — thanks to his ability to sell. Steve Jobs was unmatched when it came to influencing, convincing, and persuading other individuals to align with his vision. Without these skills, Apple would not be Apple.
Are you on board?
Life success, meaning, and strengthened relatioships
Let me take a step back. Hopefully by this point, I have demonstrated the importance of selling and its essential function in the lives of everyone. In order to get what you want in this life, you must be able to sell.
With that said, lets look at something I found fascinating! Pyscologists at harvard business school condudcted a study that blew my mind. Although this article is more introductory in nature, I have coached sales men and women and introduced proven strategies to help them manifest success. One I will focus on here is the idea of mimicking.
One key attribute for being effective in persuasion (sales) is truly, truly being attuned to whoever you’re talking to. This is an art folks. How many times have you been in a conversation where clearly the opposite party is simply wiating for there turn to talk? Yea. On the other hand; the art of converation is so powerful and meaningful- We’ve all had those conversations that just flow and we actually feel better about life afterwords. Well, stay tuned for this hidden gem. (Back to the study)….
Researchers were truck by how big an impact it can have if you just mimic what the other person is doing. It’s unbelievable. This research is frightening.
One of the things about mimicry, the word mimicry, is that it sounds duplicitous on its face. And the more I’ve kind of reflected about this, is it’s what human beings and our ancestors have done for millions of years. Biologically speaking, we learn nearly everything from the act of mimicing. One of the major revolutions in human development spawned from the discovery of immitation. (See children for example. Ever wonder why they play “house”). Next time your in a crowded place…. step back: Behold the enormous amount of mimicry. People will mirror other’s gestures. They’ll mirror their postures. They’ll mirror the gaze of they’re eyers….and so forth.
Let’s look at a real life example. Daniel Pink, author of several books, refers to some research on mimiccing. (YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A WAITER TO ADD THIS TO YOUR TOOLKIT!)
I mean, one of my favorites is, let’s say that you are my server at a restaurant. And I make an order. So what do you want? Or, can I take your order– probably not, what do you want. Can I take your order? I say, I would like a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, mustard on the side, and salad, not fries. Now if you say to me, OK, so you want a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, mustard on the side, and salad, not fries, repeat back, exactly, you’re mimicking.
Tips are 70% higher than if you said, OK, got it, great, got it. And as we puzzle through that, we think, OK, why is that the case? Well, you’re heard. First of all, you have some assurance they’re going to get it right. They took your perspective. They understood what you were saying. They heard what you were going to say. And all these things are very effective. Very powerful skill.
Strategies, specific psychological pillars for success and exciting ways to grow as a salesman, is often overlooked. Feel free to reach out to me — I offer a quick guide packed with scripts and info. Become a better boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbor, boss, co worker, member of society, and gain personal respect within your reality by elevating your ability to sell and influence!
Do I have to be extroverted?
Adam Grant, at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania pioneered research in this arena. Surprising to most!
Extroverts are more likely to get hired at sales jobs. Extroverts are more likely to get promoted in sales jobs. So that’s pretty clear. The trouble is, in declaring that extroverts are the best, is that when social psychologists have looked at the link between extroversion and sales performance– not who gets hired, not who gets promoted, but who makes the cash register ring– the link between extra version sales performance is just about 0.
Armed with the ability to sell, your ceiling is unlimited. You can become whoever you want to be, wherever you want to be, whenever you want to capitalize.
I am in the business of selling solutions to people. I give actionable advise on how to become a better sales person. I focus on selling on the phone, cold calling, networking, psycological elements, organization of workflow and time management, sales cycle success, and I give a lot of scripts. I can literally lead you to the lake and push your head into the water. You just have to drink! Before I let you go, let’s have some fun with something almost always over looked. This practical advice applies most broadly.
Email subject line.
I think what we’ve forgotten is that every email is a pitch. It’s a plea — hey pay attention to me. Engage.
Engage is the key word here. A ton of research has been done here. And of all the type of headlines. Only 2 get opened. Utility headlines and curiosity headlines.
Utility Headlines: “Your bill is due.” “Meeting tomorrow — Let’s reschedule to after lunch.” Etc. To the point. Basic. Needs to be addressed. Not Murky!
Curiosity Headlines: Confusion and Chaos. That’s the key. You want engagement. You are not selling your product or service in the subject line! Never. You want to avoid no as long as possible. No = Delete. Easy.
- The most read/opened email (throughout a Carnege Mellon grad study); after painstaking hours and hours of research, the subject line that took the Gold was “hey. H-E-Y. From Barack Obama, hey.” LOL.
Learn the seemingly untapped, by our generation, art of selling. I truly believe it is a noble profession and expertise that can provide value to several parties at once and bring meaning dull situations, encounters, careers, and relationships. I am a mellenial, and I wish the stigma around my passion wasn’t so deep rooted!! Thanks for hanging out.