My whole world changed once I realised that selling was really not hard to do. You don't need any fancy scripts. Neither do you need any clever closing phrases such as "which color would you prefer blue or green?" Every sales training school I ever attended failed to make me into a salesman. All those clever closing techniques probably work for some, but they just did not click with me.
Most newcomers to selling are actually scared rigid at the thought of face-to-face selling. They just cannot survive the constant rejection. You can never expect everyone to say "yes" and the emphatic word "no" just destroys many good souls who might otherwise have made their fortune from a career in selling. The same thing happened to me, and this is why I desperately want to tell you about it so that you too might become a real whiz at selling.
Here's What Happened To Me:
I had made some progress as a salesman in the retail trade. It is much easier when prospects actually walk through the front door of a store as they expect to be sold a product otherwise they would have kept walking. My feelings of success in retail where grossly overrated, because I truly believed that I could sell anything to anyone - I was in for a big shock. The world of selling on a commission-only basis is far removed from selling in a store. It's the toughest place to break ground, and usually only the truly hard-nuts crack it.
My initial success in retail came from selling fridges powered from an internal heated element and not a motor. Therefore, it seemed natural to stay in that product field to progress my sales career as a commission-only sales person. What that means is that you do not get paid a salary, you only get a predetermined commission on the actual sales you make yourself. It's a tough field for most.
However, I took such a job selling upright food freezers on credit terms door-to-door. I worked solidly for a two whole days and sold . . . nothing.
Every door that opened when I rang the bell, was slammed in my face once the prospect knew I had called to sell them something. I was just simply demoralised and had to admit defeat to myself. I took my sales kit back to the company sales office to quit the job, but was called into the Sales Manger's office.
"Okay, so you want to quit?" He asked
"Yes. I'm sorry but this job is heart-breaking for me. No one wants to listen to the pitch, and every door is shut in my face". I explained.
"How many calls did you make today then?" He enquired
About thirty in all. I covered four blocks but not a single taker.
"Okay". He continued. "So you got 35 people who said "NO" is that right?"
"Yes that about the size of it. I responded".
"Will you do me a favour? Go out tomorrow morning and find 95 people who say "NO". That's all I am asking you to do. You will not be trying to make a sale, I just want you to mark down in your call sheet, 95 people who say no to the deal. That's all. Will you just do that for me tomorrow, before you finally quit and before I can return your kit deposit?" He suggested
"Well I don't quite understand why, but I need the sales kit deposit desperately now so I suppose there's no choice". I replied.
The following day I trudged around the streets knocking on doors as he had suggested, and marking off every "NO" on my call sheet. Late into the afternoon I had made about 70 calls and just about had enough of it all. I went into a small cafe for a hamburger and coffee feeling completely dejected, but I still had 30 calls to make, and I needed to get my kit deposit back, so there was no real choice unless I chose to be dishonest and mark the sheet as completed.
However, for some reason I decided to be honest and complete the remaining calls. That was at just past 4pm and found myself still on the patch at 8.20pm having made eight sales.
I just could not believe that I had cracked it.
With a spring in my step I walked into the Sales Office the following day with eight signed orders complete with initial payment checks.
"You made it then?" Asked the Sales Manager knowingly.
"If you did as I asked you should have five orders". He continued.
"No, not five, but eight orders signed and paid". I said with pride and not without a little arrogance.
"You've done well" He said. "The average is five percent of calls made and that's what selling is all about. For every 95 No's there will be five Yes's. That's how it works." He continued.
My commission amounted to $125 per deal. So with eight orders I had earned a thousand dollars for a day's work. From that point forward I never looked back, my career in sales was only just beginning.
There is a certain way to sell door-to-door which I had also learned and which requires no actual "selling" as such. The method is ideal for non-sales people and those who were like myself - scared stiff of being constantly rejected. I call it "The Drop-Card and Search Method
I would also love to hear from other sales people who have a story to tell, or a technique they have used. Selling can be a lonely job, but immensely rewarding. Sales people are the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with. Good pitching and good luck.
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