I get asked many of times if I am a motivational speaker and I usually smile when I hear the question because I know why they are asking. I am extremely curious so when I’m engaged in a conversation, I ask a lot of questions that usually get people thinking differently about what they have come to accept as normal. Let’s take sales training for example, did you know that just about every company and everyone on the planet that exchange goods or services for dollars are involved in selling? Every teacher, minister, parent, politician, doctor, lawyer and so on is actively selling their ideas and or services on a daily basis. But did you know that as important as selling is to just about all professions it is not taught as a degree or credential program in most, if not all institutions of higher learning? The fact is that a great majority of the individuals involved in professional selling are struggling to make a living because they are making it up as they go and unfortunately the businesses and their families that they represent are struggling as well.
Selling is near and dear to me as it is responsible for transforming my life from a struggling manager at a fast food restaurant where I was told I was not worth $26,500.00 to making well over a $100K less than two years later. The fact is that regardless of your current economic status or where you live, selling something, an idea, a product or even a service, changes everything. Selling is the great equalizer because anyone can do it and what most people are not aware of is that the highest paid professionals on the planet are not doctors, lawyers or any of the so called educated professionals, they are salespeople! Furthermore, what’s even more encouraging is that if you look at the demographics of the majority of the millionaires and billionaires on our planet, what you will find is that a great majority of them are…you guessed it, salespeople!
So how do you learn to become excellent at selling? Where do you start? What books should you read and which speakers do you listen to and so on and so on? That was me and that does not have to be you anymore. Please allow me to cut through the clutter as I have spent a great deal of time and money asking and answering those questions to the point that, according to some, I actually know what I am talking about. You see, success leaves clues and if you do not use the clues like a road map, what usually happens is that you end up reinventing the wheel.
Selling is not complicated, but becoming good at it to the point of generating a meaningful income requires systems. Systems that will teach you how to build- generate your own leads; maintain – interact and communicate effectively to secure the relationships; and finally manage – leverage the use of technology to coordinate all the activities that secure your book of business! In addition to the aforementioned systems, there are two skills that must also be developed. The first is people skills – also known as Human Relationship or Interaction Skills that focuses on the specific activities involved in effective communication between two or more people. The second is technical skills that focuses on the specific activities or tasks involved in being productive as a professional salesperson such as using the phone, writing letters, negotiating correctly and leveraging the use of a computer and its pertinent software. Acquiring these two skills are necessary to execute the activities involved in the three systems.
With that being said, these three systems and the two skills will form the foundation, also known as the core competencies and is the first layer of knowledge of a professional sales person. These core competencies are non-negotiable and must come first before all other type of training can be truly effective. The biggest mistake that most people make is that they start engaging prospects before they have correctly built their foundation, and like an athlete who does not warm up before a race, they will get injured.
Technique based training programs like power negotiating or 1000 closes that are guaranteed to work are ineffective without the correct foundation. Just as learning how to negotiate before you understand people skills and telling a new salesperson they need to get referrals without them understanding what that really means or how it’s actually done is in most cases a complete waste of time.