I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most important, your sales thought process right now.
I’ve been reading and learning from you since I started my sales career in 1991. I’m writing an article on the definition of sales. I’d love to include your definition. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. –Phyllis
I define sales as “creating a value-based atmosphere where the customer wants to buy.”
It’s simple but not easy. My trademarks phrase — “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy” — is the essence of that definition.
Salespeople must beware: The customer does not buy your product or service. They buy you. The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If the customer does not buy you, they’re not buying anything.
Which social media platform is the most effective for a salesperson and why? –Alexandra
I don’t believe there is one platform that is more effective than the others. I do believe that all of them must be interconnected in order to create real success in business social media. Each of the platforms has a specific use. If you had to pick just one, I would suggest LinkedIn because of its business nature.
You focus on the corporate world in a lot of your information and I was wondering what advice you could offer me on how I can approach my customers on their turf (in their homes) as I work with them to improve their doors and windows? -Joe
If they offer you something, like a drink, take it. Pick a setting that is comfortable for everybody. Begin your conversation in terms of them.
Do you think they want to know about your doors and windows? Or do you think they want to keep their home warm in the winter, cool in the summer and safe all year around? Start there.
What are the biggest fears of a salesperson and what’s the most difficult lesson to teach to a salesperson? If they ask, would you advise your grandchildren to become salespeople? Why or why not? –Milton
The biggest fear of salespeople will always be rejection, and not just being turned down for a sale, but also being turned down for a meeting and being turned down for a proposal.
Usually the turndown is also a putdown. Salespeople are insulted, hung up on, have their emails deleted and their calls go unreturned. It’s been the same for more than 150 years, and it will not change for the next 150 years.
The only thing that will change (and change these outcomes) is the salesperson. The more prepared they are, and the more resilient they are, and the more positive they are, and the more believable they are, and the more compelling they are, and the more valuable they are perceived to be, and the more trustworthy they are, the more they will sell (or, better stated, the less they will be rejected).
I would hope that my grandchildren become salespeople. I would want them to carry on the tradition when Eve sold Adam the apple (all my grandchildren are women). I am beginning their training right now by reinforcing their “yes” attitude and making certain they believe in themselves.
These two elements are the most important and the most overlooked aspects of a salesperson’s success.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.