Art of selling
One minute Salesperson
The book one-minute salesperson is another book by Spencer Johnson where he enlists the idea that every person is born a salesperson. Everyone can do it and has most likely done it all their life. Concrete examples of this are when children convince their parents for them to stay up later past their bedtime or get an ice-cream. Selling is a concrete part of everyone’s life and the art of selling is in everyone according to the book.
A lesson that the book teaches the reader is that when completing a task or job, if you can see yourself succeeding in it, it most likely will happen. Envisioning success if a key part of achieving success. Having the mentality of “Yes I will succeed, and this will work” will help anyone in any task not only in just selling. I have personally not done a lot of sales, but this mentality has always been apparent when I have done any job. One task I had to complete was to cold call companies in order to sell an event. This was one of our projects that we had to do. After several calls not going anywhere, I started thinking to myself “this is pointless, and this is not going anywhere.” The next day I had to do the same task again which was to get as many CEOs to come to this event as possible. Only this time I had a positive attitude. I kept telling myself “this WILL work, and I WILL get a sale”. After a couple of calls sure enough I had reached my target and my slogan that I had repeated to myself every time I started a call.
The book goes onto explain that every person who is selling something or wishes to bring an idea across has the subtle fear of rejection. The fear is described as the quiet fear of rejection as it is a fear that is in the back of our minds whenever we pitch an idea across to someone. I have personally felt this as whenever I have tried to make a sell, there is a small voice in the back of my mind saying what if they say “no”. The fear of failure is in all of us and every sales person, entrepreneur or student has the same fear.
The book tells a story of a salesperson who has lost the will to sell as he is not seeing the results he is hoping for in his current job. He finds out that there is a company where the salespersons are effective and get more sales done in less time, which seems impossible to the young man. After consulting and finding out what the secrets of selling are the young man immediately sees results in his sales figures.
He goes to talk to three different people about their selling techniques and what their secrets are in order to get such good results. The divulge that selling has 3 secrets that one needs to follow in order to get more results in less time and this build a happier and more fulfilling career for ones self.
The book is based on the earlier book made by Spence Johnson called “the one minute manager” but the secrets are adapted to a selling person.
The first secret that is found out is setting personal goals, which is the same as in the “one-minute manager” book. The idea is to set you goals to strive towards every month. An example of this would be to increase sales by 3% every month. At first it may not seem a lot but when looking at the bigger picture, in a year one would have increased their numbers by 36%, which is huge.
A crucial learning that the young man finds out is whenever you are making a sale, you are adding value to the other person. You are making their life easier and helping them by selling this product and thus you are adding value to their life.
There are core players in any deal or sale that is being made. There is a seller and then there is the buyer. When selling to someone you need to be able to picture yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think about how you would personally act when presented with the current sales technique that you are using. This personally changed my view on selling, as before, for me it was a target that needed to be met. I needed to sell tickets to an event or to sell our companies’ 12h innovation package. When thinking about the buyer and would I buy from myself if I was presented with my current sales technique I would honestly say no. After realising this, I could change my sales technique to a more caring and purpose based selling where my job was to solve the customer’s problem or help them. This changed the game for me as I could adopt a more humane approach allowing me to secure more sales.
In the book it is explained that 80% of results are produced by the 20% that is being done towards them. Like wise 20% of sellers in most companies make up of 80% of the sales of the company. It is important to remember though that while making money is important, it is not the main goal. The purpose of selling should be the customer and how they are feeling after their purchase. Therefore after sales are equally as important as the action of making the sale itself, if not more so.
Making sure that the after sales process is good and following up on the customer is the next secret to selling. Having a customer that the salesperson cares about and makes sure that their purchase is worthwhile makes sure that the customer relationship with the salesperson is good. As a result the customer will recommend the salesperson to another potential customer. This makes sure that the sales keep on continuing and the salesperson does not necessarily have to do so much work towards it as new customers will call them, asking for the product that their friends received.
The purpose of selling is helping people get what they want to get. A trick to remember the purpose of selling is writing it down and making sure you make it personal. The book recommends that one should write down what is their purpose in selling and why do they keep on doing it. In general, the selling purpose is helping people get the good feelings they want about what they bought and the good feeling about themselves.
Therefore caring about the customer is the most important thing that any salesperson needs to realise when starting their career.
In the book there are a number of different selling methods that explained which allow the salesperson to get a better idea of the customer and therefore maximise their chances of completing a sale. One of these methods is researching the company or customer and find out who the person is to whom you are trying to sell something. After doing this, painting a picture of how things are going to go positively will help as you are already in the mind-set of success and how you are going to make the sale possible. An example of this would be when I made a sale over the weekend, before, I had just looked at the name of the person I was trying to sell our Innovation products to, but this time I researched the company and made sure I knew who I was talking to and what market they operated in etc. This helped me relate with the customer and talk to the about the current problem of the corona virus and how it has affected many businesses including those that are working in her market. In this case the customer made jewellery and had just created an online store. The discussion with the customer was thorough and we talked for a long time how staring a web store is challenging and what Avanteam could do to help the customer in their social media marketing. The sale was successful and it was all thanks to some research that I had personally made about the company to understand their situation more.
The three secret selling methods or points of interetest that every salesperson should take into account are:
- Seeing things from the customers point of view, why would they be interested in the product? How does it help them? Is there a benefit?
- The next one is how my product can solve the customers problem. Having a discussion about the issue that the customer is facing allows the salesperson to map out if the product they are actually selling can help the customer.
- The final point to think about is the happiness of the customer after using the product that they have bought from you. Following up on the happiness of the customer is extremely important as is allows for the salesperson to create a relationship with the customer and so build a level of trust so that the customer is more likely to buy from the salesperson again.
It is important to take any feedback in and react to it immediately. For example if the feedback is negative, find out why and how you can compensate the customer for their purchase with a free addition to the product for example.
In conclusion the book, One minute salesperson has allowed me to become more confident in my sales ability and understand why we actually sell. The main learning for me was that selling is not about the objective or the target of selling a certain amount of products but the main point of selling is to help people with their needs and provide a product or service that can fulfil that need or want. I believe that knowing how to sell is hugely important especially to an entrepreneur as when you know how to effectively research and sell to your customers you can start building a reputation and get some revenue. I was once told by an entrepreneur in North Macedonia that if you are an entrepreneur and you cannot sell then there is no point in you being an entrepreneur.I think this perfectly summarises the importance of selling especially in the start-up and entrepreneurial fields.