First let’s break down sales jobs. You have retail, meaning you are a clerk in a store and people come in and buy stuff. This is very easy, no real need for advice. Just know a lot about the products, be courteous to customers, determine what the customer needs and show them the product. If you have trouble with this, you’re not cut out for sales.
Next you have door-to-door. If you are a shut-in or self conscious, you’re gonna have a tough time in the beginning. But don’t lose heart, door-to-door has turned many anxious faggots into confident salesmen. Do not give up, trust the process. It is going to be very uncomfortable the first day, but it only gets easier. If you give it a few weeks, it is often a life changing experience. What I mean by this is that if you can master a door-to-door pitch than you can master really any kind of sales. The cold 30 – 60 second pitch is where champions are built.
This would be my advice, in order of importance. Don’t be fake, don’t be the outgoing, loud sales guy you think customers will like. Just be yourself, but a bit more outgoing and a bit more persistent than you typically are. Give them a nice polite pitch, listen for their response. If they say no, say thanks and walk away. Rinse and repeat 100x a day. If they say no right off, be sure to give them a final hard pitch as they are closing the door. I can’t tell you how many sales I made just giving that final hard pitch as the door was closing. Let me show you what I mean. In this example, let’s say I’m selling Christmas trees delivered to peoples homes for the price of $99:
Me: *knock knock*
Random Homeowner: Hello
Me: Hi I’m with XYZ Christmas Trees and we are selling Christmas trees delivered to your home, this is our 5th year working with this neighborhood
Random Homeowner: I’m not interested
Me: $99 and we’ll deliver a 7ft tree to your home and install it.
Random Homeonwer: *Either door slams or they actually consider the offer*
So at this point they are either gonna buy or shut the door. A general rule of sales pitches is that you are gonna get the following distribution of responses: 1/3 of people are gonna be nice and either buy or say no, 1/3 of people are gonna be indifferent and either buy or say no, and 1/3 of people are gonna get mad, treat you like shit and tell you to fuck off. They may even threaten you or the company. Fuck these people.
Most rookie salespeople let that bottom 1/3 get to them. Fuck them. They are scum who have probably never worked a real job. They don’t know the first thing about business. As a salesman you have the right to offer someone a product, and if they decline, no big deal, thank them for their time and walk away. A key rule of sales is immediately forget rejection, only think forward, only focus on the positive. Grow, build, shut out all negativity. This mentality is absolutely necessary.
Ultimately, even if you’re doing well, door-to-door is a shit job. You should do it for 1 year at the absolute most. The point of the job is to strengthen your confidence, your sales ability, and to give you an understanding of how selling works. NEETS please listen up, stick with sales for a while, it will make you the man you need to become. Do not give up after a few days. You don’t need to do it forever, just a few months to pick up the skills.
The final type of sales is office inside sales; this may or may not be B2B (business to business). This is the Cadillac of sales. This is where you want to be. This is a legitimate sales job and not shit like the other two. Examples of this include Real Estate, selling accounting services, selling IT services, selling insurance, etc. You’ll get a desk, you’ll wear at least a nice pair of slacks, if not a suit.
Let’s cover something from the start. If you encounter one of these jobs they are gonna want to know if you want salary + commission or just commission. Salary + commission means that you will get paid a weekly wage plus a portion of your sales (usually 10% to 20%), and commission only means that you will only be paid a portion of what you sell (Often 50%). There are proponents of both. A stellar sales person will often choose commission only. I believe a rookie salesmen should seek salary + commission. Why? Because you’ll be much more comfortable when you don’t desperately need sales to survive.
So where to start? First I’d say to know your product. Know your product extremely well. Know so much that a customer could ask just about any question and you’ll know the answer. Get to know your coworkers, find out what they do and how they do it. This will also help you sell the product. Usually your first 2 – 4 weeks should be getting to know the product and learning the basics of how your company wants you to sell. This should also be the time where hopefully a successful sales person at the office takes you under his wing and gives you some tips along the way. Having one of these people will help a lot.
You may encounter a sales job without training, a job where they say “there’s your desk, here’s your computer, now go sell”. This is not somewhere you wanna work. It’s a grindhouse and should usually just be used as a resume builder to get somewhere else.
As I mentioned above. Don’t be fake, be you. Rookie salesmen often get too excited or too anxious, and will try to say anything to get a sale. This is the opposite of what you want. Think of it like dating. You want to get to know them and see if you even want them, you might not even want to sell to them. Forget the money, just see if the person needs what you are offering. You’re not trying to lay everyone out there. Be polite, be nice, but also be a directive version of yourself. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me to be honest with people and tell them a particular product is shit, or that they don’t need it. Customers pick up on the honesty, the truth, and it builds trust right away, this is huge for sales. Or when you don’t know saying, “sorry I don’t know, let me Mr. Butt and ask, and I’ll get back to you”. Also don’t forget to relax, sales jobs often get completely fucked, and it’s not the salesman’s fault at all. I’ve done sales in offices where I couldn’t sell shit, and other offices where I was the top salesman every month. I was the same man, the environment and product was different. It’s up to the company to give you what you need to sell the product.
So generally in sales just ask questions and sympathize. Do enough discovery questions, until you know exactly what they need, then you go in for the kill. Do not sell someone until you know just what they need! It’s a deal killer when you just jump in with how great your product is and why the customer should buy it! You want to qualify them for the product, not the other way around! Let’s say you are selling life insurance. Let’s go through a dialogue:
You: Thanks for calling XYZ Life Insurance, how can I help you?
Customer: Hi my name’s Bill, I’m considering life insurance.
You: Sure, what would you like to know?
Customer: Well do I really need it? What will it cost me? Are there any stipulations where my family can be denied payment? What kind of payout plans do you have? Do you have some testimonials or stories from families that endorse your company?
You: All valid questions Bill, can you tell me a little about yourself?
So at this point you’ll find out all about Bill, don’t be too long winded, but get the critical details. Don’t waste time. Use a couple small points to relate, so for example if Bill says he has a textile company and your uncle worked in textiles you could mention it. Sports references, etc… Don’t do too much of this, but relating a little helps create the relationship, which makes the deal happen.
So, now it’s your turn to talk. Speak to Bill like a friend:
You: Bill, given your family size, age and income, I really think you should sign up for our premier life insurance package, it’s a fairly affordable monthly rate, the payout is good, and you cannot be denied for any reason if the unfortunate does occur.
Bill may ask a couple more questions. Don’t overtalk, you are in the closing phase. Bill either wants this shit or he can fuck off. Be short. Answer. Pause, wait for Bill to buy or walk. He either wants it or he does not. If he wants it, have him sign. If he doesn’t:
You: Thanks for your call Bill, I hope this helps. Here’s my info if you decide to purchase.
That’s it. Obviously, there’s more, the mentality of sales, specific situations, but this is enough to get a novice started.
The higher aspects of the sales game are referrals. Referrals are where you really build your income, and can become a solidified salesmen. A referral is when someone who bought from you tells a friend, and then that person also buys from you. If you are good enough, liked enough, and offer a good enough product, you’ll eventually start getting referral sales like crazy. Don’t be pushy, but it is okay to ask for them. If they say no, back off. Example:
You: Bill thanks for signing up with us, I think you’ll be really happy with our company. By the way do you have a friend or family member I can ask if they also need life insurance coverage?
I usually save these for a few weeks after closing someone. I’ll just call the customer and ask if they like their service, then ask for a referall. After a while you won’t have to ask for them.
It’s 2017 and social media works quite well. You can ask a customer to put a quick post on Facebook:
You: Hey Bill would you mind posting on Facebook that you had a good sales experience with me and my firm?
I’ll often even offer someone $50 off the sale if they agree to post something positive online. It’s worth it.
The last thing I’ll say is that if you’re good at sales (or lucky) eventually you’ll get to a point where you are making a lot of sales. People will call you and you may not even have time for them. This is a great feeling, you’ll also realize that when you start acting like time is short, when talking with with customers they want you like an addict wants his heroin. You can charge more, put in less effort, etc… It’s a great feeling.
One final note, don’t look at a successful salesman and try to copy them. You need to act how you act, and find out what methods work for you. Keep trying new things, even when you are selling well.
As far as books, meh, you learn sales by selling, not reading about it. Some decent ones that may help, that I like, are: Never Cold Call Again, Selling to VITO, and Jordan Belfort’s SLSP.