Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! Many people are not succeeding in sales because they refused to learn the secret of selling. Anytime I see salespeople at the airport, I usually test their selling skills. I was at Kano airport one day and a lady who was well dressed came to sell something to me. She said good morning, and wanted to present her product immediately. I replied, don’t disturb me, I’m not interested. Guess what? She turned and left. What a poor salesperson.
Am sure you would like to know what she should have done when I refused to give her the opportunity to even introduce her product? Well, that’s why you must attend Inspire Africa Project Conference on the 30th of July, in Lagos. I will spend quality time in sharing the secrets of Marketing and Sales. Every business owner, professional in any field or even parents must learn the secret of selling. No matter how fantastic your ideas, products and services are, you will not succeed until they are sold. This story will teach us how to sell anything to anyone even if the person is angry.
An insurance salesman shared this story. “When I first got in the insurance business, the going was tough, believe me. At first it seemed there were about as many competing agents as there were prospects. And I soon learned what all insurance men know, that nine prospects out of ten firmly believe they don’t need any more insurance.
I’m doing well. But let me tell you, it’s not because I know a lot about the technical side of insurance. That’s important, don’t misunderstand me, but there are men trying to sell insurance who know policies and contracts better than I. In fact, I know one man who wrote a book about insurance, but he couldn’t sell a policy to a man who knew he had only five days to live.
My success is based on one thing. I like, really like the guy I’m selling to. Let me say again, I really like him. Some of my fellow salesmen try to pretend they like the other fellow, but this won’t work. You can’t even fool a dog. Your mannerisms, eyes, facial expressions, all spell phony when you pretend.
Now, when I’m gathering information about a prospect, I do what every other agents does. I get his age, where he works, how much he makes, how many kids he’s got, and so on. But I also get something else which most salesmen never search for- that is, some sound reasons why I can like the prospect.
Maybe the job he’s doing will supply the reason, or perhaps I can find it someplace in his past record. But I find good reasons to like him. Then, whenever my attention is focused on the prospect, I review the reasons why I like him. I build a likable image of the prospect before I say one word to him about insurance.
This little technique works. Because I like him, he sooner or later likes me. Pretty soon, instead of sitting across the table from him, I’m on the same side with him, and we are working out his insurance plan together. He trusts and believes in my judgment because I am a friend.
Now, people don’t always accept me right off the bat, but I’ve found that so long as I continue to like the fellow, he’ll come around, and we can get down to business.
Just last week, I was making the third call on a difficult prospect. He met me at the door, and before I could even say, ‘Good evening,’ he proceeded to give me hell. He went on and on, not even stopping for a breath until he had run down and finished with ‘And don’t ever come back here again.’
After he had said that, I just stood there looking into his eyes for about five seconds, and then said softly and with genuine sincerity, because I meant it, ‘But Mr. S, I’m calling tonight as your friend.’ Yesterday he bought a $250,000 endowment policy.”
Dear friend, that’s how to succeed in selling. I know that some of us won’t stand there listening to the man’s insult just because you want to sell your products or services to him, but if that salesman had left out of anger, he wouldn’t have sold that insurance policy to him. He persisted with love and dislodged the man’s resistance.
Every salesperson faces one major demon on daily basis. That demon is rejection. If you don’t know how to handle rejections, you can never succeed in the selling business. One of the secrets I will be sharing on Sunday (30th July) at the conference, is how to break down the wall of resistance that potential customers usually erect, and sell your products or services to them. Don’t miss this conference for anything. Bring everyone you know.
I want you to understand that if you don’t like your potential customers they can never patronize you. Don’t just see those who buy your products and services as mere customers. Build professional relationships with them. The moment you have a relationship with a person, he or she won’t see you as a salesperson or business owner any longer, he or she will see you as a friend.
Patricia Fripp said, “To Build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.” Omar Periu opined, “Sales success comes after you stretch yourself past your limits on a daily basis.” Winston Churchill puts it this way, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Dear friend, nothing good will ever come easy. If you want to succeed in anything, you must be ready to pay the required price. You can sell anything to anybody if only you can persevere and refuse to be discouraged. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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