Edition 20, Sept. 2, 2005
"For those Who Want to Sell, Need to Sell, or Should Sell--to Sell More" Aug. 2005
Toddism of the month:
"The paths of life are never straight. The choices we make determine the life we lead."
Live by your sales P-I-T-C-H
"A man who stands for nothing falls for anything." - John Cougar Mellencamp.
When people ask me why I love sales, I often say, "When you master the art of selling, you master the art of living."
Just the other day, a friend of mine, who is a physical therapist, said she couldn't go into sales because she can't "schmooze with people." She told me, for instance, how great her aunt is at selling. "You should see how she manipulates us at a family event," she told me.
"You own a sales training company, Todd," she went on. "Teach me some sales tricks."
"There are no tricks in sales," I told her. "If you view your aunt as manipulating you, she is a horrible salesperson. Great selling is the opposite. It's about being a quality individual. The best salespeople I know are the best people I know-- regardless if they have the customers. "
If you want to learn what people truly stand for, watch them sell. If you want to learn what you stand for, watch yourself sell.
Ask yourself, "What am I willing to sacrifice to sell the right way?" Better yet, "What am I willing to sacrifice to do the right thing?"
One thing is correct, though, when it comes to terrific selling, the best salespeople do indeed have the bet P-I-T-C-H. Only it's not the one you think of. The pitch I'm referring to is this:
Not too long ago, I was a sales director for a telecommunications company. I was put in a very difficult situation, where my values were tested in a way they had never been tested before. I was out an appointment with one of my sales reps, when out of the blue, the prospect made an anti- semitic comment. This account was a healthy size and I knew if I called the prospect on it, it could cost us the business.
But I'm proud to say I didn't hesitate. I called the prospect on his inappropriate comments. I defended my religion of Judaism and my people. I explained to the prospect how offended I was. "It's wrong, offensive, derogatory and prejudicial," I explained. I was stern, direct and stood my ground. I wasn't forceful, but I did stand up for what I believed in.
Without going into details, the prospect lashed back at me and even became more insulting. Had I been by myself, I absolutely would have walked out of the appointment. But I knew my actions would affect the income of the rep who worked for me. Whether he appreciated it or not, I held myself back.
I wasn't forceful, but I didn't relent. I realized doing what was right may have consequences. In the end, we got the account- but my explaining to the customer -- and to the sales rep -- how insulting the customer was, had grave repercussions for me. To this day I will never understand how my company not only didn't defend me, but punished me. I paid the ultimate price.
But no matter what it cost me-I know I did the right thing.
The old axiom that, "The customer is always right" has its limits. This certainly was one of them.
If you are ever put in a situation where - as a salesperson-you are asked to do something immoral, unethical, or your actions go against your character, stand by what you believe in: It will be the key to your success.
Whether you get the deal or you get the promotion, in the end, you will be all the better. At the end of the day, we all have to take a look at ourselves in the mirror and decide if we like what we see.
Here's an action exercise:
Put pen to paper and write down your P-I-T-C-H.
1. What Principals do you live your life by?
2. What is Integrity to you?
3. What does it mean to you to be True to yourself?
4. What defines your Character?
5. What is Honesty to you?
Sell as you would live your life-with purpose, value, morals and ethics, and good things will always come your way.
You may not always get the customer to sign on the dotted line, but you will always close the deal: I don't mean the deal in terms of dollars and cents. I mean the more important deal: Living a life of purpose, living a life of value, and living a life of honor.
Todd speaks at Motivation Show on Sept. 27
Come here Todd speak at The Motivation Show in Chicago later this month.
When? Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Where? McCormick Place, 2301 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
What? "Why Won't They Call Me Back?" How to Double Your Prospects in 1/2 the Time
(1 hour workshop)
Give to Hurricane Katrina victims