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Is the rise of the Internet a blessing or a curse for today’s sales professionals? On the hand hand, it makes prospecting easier. On the other hand, customers are well informed. They use smartphones, google product features, compare prices. No matter where I am, salespeople keep telling me, “There’s no more low-hanging fruit, no more easy pickin’s. We’re not king of the road anymore.” You know what I tell them? Have some cheese with that w(h)ine.
As Dale Earnhardt said, “The winner isn’t the one with the fastest car, it’s the one who refuses to lose.” It’s a choice that we have. If we want to win, we must think and act like top sales professionals. We can’t blame the Internet, the economy or anything else. We must sell. That’s what we’re here for. Nobody else will do that for us.
In my sales seminars, people sometimes tell me, “I’m not a born salesperson.” However, I believe that selling is in our nature. Kids are the best salespeople in the world. They always want something. And they know exactly what to say in order to get what they want.
My son Chris is the perfect example. When he was just three years old, we were walking down the street, when he suddenly proclaimed, “Daddy, I think it’s time for an ice-cream.”
A little surprised, I said, “We’re having dinner soon, maybe next time.”
At the next street corner he asked again, this time in a kinder, softer voice, “Daddy, maybe just one scoop? We’re not having dinner that soon.”
“It will spoil your appetite and you won’t finish your dinner.” I realized he wasn’t going to give up, and I was curious to find out where this was leading.
“Daaaddy, maybe just a teeny-weeny little scoop? I think they have your favorite, too. It will be our secret.”
Now what do you think happened? We had ice cream together, he made a huge mess, and we were both happy. Talk about handling objections–my son was a natural, and he’s even better today.
Here’s another example: I made my first sales pitch when I decided that I wanted to go to America. In Germany, where I grew up, I was not a good student in school. I learned English as a foreign language, and my English was really bad. But my English teacher was very supportive and said, “Martin, your English needs serious help. If you want to be successful in this day and age, you need to go to America for a year.”
That sounded like a great idea and I was excited, because I had set my mind on going to America. I was on a mission. I went straight to my parents and my dad said, “Sure! … But who’s going to pay for that?”
At the time, I had nothing in my tool chest to help me deal with that objection. So I went straight to my grandmother and asked her for the money that I needed to go to high school in America for a year. It was a lot of money for her, about 8,000 US dollars at the time, but she agreed. That’s how I sealed my first deal. It was one of the most important ones in my life, because it paved the way for my career and shaped who I am today.
We must think and act as top sales professionals. We must sell. Everybody can sell. You have it within you. All you need is a few tips and techniques and, above all, the right attitude. Trust yourself and refuse to lose.
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