Selling is easy if you can offer the lowest price or a top brand that everyone wants. But what if you don't? What if the client says no?
In sales, rejection comes with the territory. You will hear no, and you will hear it frequently. It's normal. What's important is what you do with that no . . .
The right attitude toward selling is your key to success. Passion, pride, and perseverance are your most important assets. NO Is Short for Next Opportunity will inspire you to develop the proper mindset for selling and to seal more deals.
"This book is not an option for anyone who has ever heard the word 'no'-buy it and read it today and start getting 'yes' tomorrow."
-Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Selling
"This book will keep you going and growing throughout your career. I recommend it."
-Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor and You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader
"This book is bigger than sales. It's a book about lifelong success. Your success."
-Randy Gage, author of the New York Times bestseller Risky Is the New Safe
"Read Martin Limbeck's book and you will learn how to get past the no and realize your true potential."
-Ron Karr, author of Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way
"Compelling, complete, and courageous, this book will show you how to sell successfully to others and how to overcome the objections of even your most important client-you. I got new ideas and a new sense of hope from the very first page!"
-Monica Wofford, CSP, CEO, Contagious Companies Inc. and author ofMake Difficult People Disappear
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|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Mindset: What Makes a Sale a Good Sale
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Silence. Now take three deep breaths and answer the following question: When you've finished this book and agree with most of what you've read and believe that I have told te truth and nothing but the truth, will you go to your next sales pitch a proud, confident, and wholeheartedly committed salesperson?
Now I would like you to answer another question: If I have convinced you that selling is a noble activity, will you stop selling yourself short to your client? Will you stop convincing yourself that selling to people is something immoral, sordid, or shady?
Will you stop claiming that you cannot sell yourself well?
If your answers are yes, then please read on.
Not to worry, nothing bad is going to happen to you. In reading this book, you've got everything to gain: Either you're not convinced by my case, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that your sales method up until now has been more than adequate after all. Or I have convinced you to do things differently, and you will thereby benefit from an improved mindset in your profession and reap greater success in the future. Granted, reading will cost you time, but it will not cost you business, and it may make your business that much better.
This book is a proposal. You can do what Henry Ford or even my grandma used to do: Always consider each proposal carefully, because it just might be the proposal of a lifetime. I invite you to consider my proposal right now.
The Most Important Principle of Selling
Imagine a newly insured policyholder who shows the insurance salesperson to the door, closes it after him, and then scratches his head and suddenly doubts whether he should have put up more resistance when it came to including glass coverage in the home insurance policy and whether he may be a little over-insured now. In a case like this, an unwritten law has been broken.
As a salesperson, there is one thing you should understand: You are not there to deprive the client of her money, nor are you there to look after her. You are not ripping her off, nor are you holding her hand. You're not a con man, but you're not on a customer support mission either. You are neither the IRS nor Mother Teresa.
So what is your job? You are there to offer a deal, a mutual agreement. As it is expressed in Latin, do ut des: I give so that you will give. The salesperson gives and takes; the client in turn takes and gives. Both parties must contribute to the deal; both are getting something out of it. It is an open, transparent, fair, and equitable activity, aimed at building a long-term, consolidated relationship. This ancient principle of mutuality not only is the legal basis for mutual agreements but also serves as the foundation for every social community that is intended to last more than half a day. It is known as the principle of reciprocity. You and I are shaking hands; we are striking a deal. And we are striking it in such a way that on our next meeting, we will be able to look each other in the eye. Anyone who does not understand this concept is a savage and is more thief than salesperson.
This is a serious matter. We're talking about the basis of our culture. From our earliest years, most of us are taught to return every gesture of kindness, to conclude every deal with decency. "Did you say thank you? Come on, say it again — a little louder this time!" Outstanding obligations are a burden to most of us. To owe someone, to have shortchanged somebody, leaves us with a cold, unpleasant feeling, even if at times we get something out of it. It's a matter of moral conscience. That's how it is for me anyway. And probably for you too.
Today, politicians, managers, bankers, insurance salespeople, and other groups have to fight for their reputations. Why? Bad salesmanship! Social unrest is nearly always triggered between the privileged on one hand and those discriminated against on the other — or rather between those who in a transaction have come away with more than they deserve and those who get shortchanged. According to a recent poll, equality is the value most dear to Germans. Not "unity and justice and freedom," as they sing in their national anthem, but equality. That's rather incongruous for an individualist like me. In my view, however, this apparent imbalance is a result of poor transactions that are devoid of the principle of reciprocity.
Cheating is divisive. Selling unites. What brought families together as tribes and clans? Among other things, trade through the distribution of labor. I'll go hunting while you tend the fire and collect berries. Fair transactions. What brought tribes together into communities? The traveling salesperson who sold flint and hides, and the market, in which supply and demand struck a balance. And what binds the nations of today's world? The paid ads known as Google AdWords, which draw people from all over the world to my website, and all the other worldwide business deals that we make on a daily basis. Anyone who sells is uniting the world. Communicating. Bringing people together.
This guy Limbeck is nuts, you're probably thinking. Isn't he the one dubbed "The Porsche of Sales" by the press? Of course. And no, I am not nuts in the least — because whoever sells well not only is doing good but is also securing his success in the long run. Genuine success. Whoever does good will receive his just due. You can count on that.
I would rather visit a customer ten times and come back home at night able to look at myself in the mirror than visit that same customer once, rake in the cash, and not be able to look at him or myself with integrity.
So, my friends, if selling is really all that — giving, doing good, uniting the world, fairness, sustainability — if it is a noble deed and our sacred duty, then how do you dare go out there and claim that all you're doing is consulting? Does your business card say key account manager? Consultant? Regional manager? Representative? Do you pretend that you're coming for a cup of coffee and some small talk, because you are afraid of admitting what you really are? You are sales professionals. You should be proud of it.
A Question of Attitude
When a top salesperson makes a sale, she is forthright about it. Those things that contribute to the attitude of the best salespeople are focus, goal orientation, and resolve.
When you visit a client, what do you take on board? Your specialized knowledge; that goes without saying, since that is the foundation on which to build your case. Next, your sales documents and the information you've gathered about your client, from A for area to Z for Zinfandel, her favorite wine. A suit that represents you as a sales professional, to be taken seriously. We'll come back to that later in more detail. What else? A positive outlook, naturally, and the justified hope of a sealed deal.
Wait a second.
What was that? The hope of a deal? It seems that Limbeck has just pulled a fast one. Hope? No, you don't hope. You are determined. Hope is disappointment deferred. Let me be very clear about this: Hope is disappointment deferred.
The kind of optimism that you take with you to the client is a joyful resolve. A focus on selling, on results, and on closing the deal. If you are convinced that it is a good thing for the client to purchase from you, then you will do everything in your power to joyfully close that deal.
Joy is precisely what you need to exude.
When I see the typical sales team before my training session has been conducted, what I see is a drove of walking corpses. A funereal mood. Blank stares. Diffident body language. Hushed voices. Seldom do I see fun.
Unbelievable as it may sound, a customer once said that I was the St. Paul of salespeople, meaning that my joy springs from my earnestness. From me you will never hear those dour and whiny mutterings that we hear from too many others these days. Nor will you hear the feeble stammering heard too often in sales presentations. I'm dead serious about salesmanship. Selling is not a playground to me; it is the solid foundation of my existence. Selling is my life, and I have dedicated my life to it. That is why I am as hard as granite when it comes to selling. Everyone takes me seriously. From this earnestness I derive endless joy. This joy simply means that I have a lot of fun doing it. Selling is not cool, calculated, and mechanical but highly charged and passionate.
I ask you to compare this with your own attitude. Go ahead and be honest with yourself.
I can assure you that I was not born a sales professional. A born salesperson? There's no such thing! Just as there are no born street sweepers, tax collectors, or professional athletes. All nonsense. Just like everyone else, I sought out this meaning and purpose and made it my own. Anybody who wants a passionate attitude toward their vocation must simply decide to adopt one.
Unfortunately, most sales presentations perpetuate the notion of selling as personal injury. Dull technical mumbo-jumbo, reeling off memorized catch phrases, a craven kowtowing to the client as king — none of that has any place in salesmanship, and it is neither successful nor sincere.
You have to sell with enthusiasm; the client has to have fun with you. And you have to have plenty of fun yourself! Once the client has had a good laugh, he's more likely to buy.
Selling is an emotionally charged activity. After the sale is made, reason always finds a suitable justification for the decision our emotions have led us to. Emotion usually trumps reason. You can forget all of your meticulous arguments if you are not having fun in the process.
Once you have decided to have fun selling, then you'll win either way, regardless of the outcome. In fact, you'll be able to step into the ring as the winner. And therein lies a real mystery: Clients Only Buy from Winners — a powerful title, a powerful book, and a powerful premise. I fully subscribe to it. The author's name is H.C. Altmann. As I always say, this is the third-best book ever to have been published in Germany.
What that means in practice is something you can learn too. An example of that is when I travel by plane. The flight from Frankfurt to Munich takes fifty-five minutes. I always take an aisle seat, which gives me a chance to have a little fun. On the half-empty flight during the week, there is usually someone in the window seat. Having the aisle seat means that nobody can get past me. They can't get away from me! For fifty-five minutes. Beautiful. I've made five big business contacts on an airplane. How about you?
A Heartfelt Sale Goes a Long Way
You don't have to have a college degree to bring the right kind of focus, optimism, and fun into selling. I don't have one. My education was brief. School and I didn't have much in common. An early separation was inevitable. Instead, I traveled to America to capture what my school had failed to teach me and I had failed to learn: English. And that was a wonderful time, for besides learning English I learned, above all, what selling is.
So here I was, at a high school somewhere in New Jersey — this red-haired, slightly chubby kid with a heavy German accent determined not to only learn proper English but also to adjust to the American lifestyle. In high school I always had a part-time job. During the summer I would mow rich people's lawns; in winter I would shovel snow. I learned that this is how snow shoveling works in America: It snows. You pick out a house. You shovel the driveway. Then you're done. The door opens, and a total stranger comes out beaming, pats you on the back, and offers you some money. Wow! I love America.
That's when I knew I wanted to be a sales professional: I give, you take; you give, I take. Four short steps forge a bond between people. Wonderful. And I immediately understood that you give first, then you take. In that order.
Armed with this fervor I returned to Germany to sell photocopiers and fax machines. And you know what? Although Germans are wired a little differently than Americans, the element of fun in selling is the same. A thousand cold visits, a thousand companies: I walk in the door a thousand times without an appointment, approach the reception desk, get past reception, reach the decision-maker — and sell eighty- one photocopiers. That's where you learn the basics. Each of those eighty-one clients acquired a copier that was better than the one they owned or was the first that they'd ever owned. Each one actually went on to use the photocopier, and each one benefited from it. This made me proud. It was wonderful, and I loved it.
Did I want to see what it feels like to be rejected 919 times? With pleasure! I was having fun one way or the other!
A quiet approach is not my style, I'll admit that. I prefer some thunder and lightning. I am pretty loud by nature. It's my testosterone levels; I can't help it. That's also why I drive a loud car. But don't let that scare you. Heartfelt enthusiasm doesn't have to be loud to impress someone.
I was impressed by a hotel in Hamburg that a client had booked for me. I entered my room, and the first thing I saw was a basket on the bed with a note. What do you know? The note indicated that if I put my shoes in the basket and left the basket in front of the door in the evening, they would be freshly polished by morning. Just like that, a service of the house. Now, I am a salesperson; finely polished shoes are important to me. So I decided to try it out. I was impressed; this was a good sales move on their part. I may be coming back to Hamburg more often. Even before I got my shoes back the next morning, perfectly polished, the hotel had already won me over:
In addition to setting my cell phone alarm clock, I had requested a wake-up call from the hotel's reception. Oversleeping is not an option when you have an appointment. That next morning, the phone on the nightstand rang. I picked up, and a gentle but firm male voice said: "Good morning, Mr. Limbeck. It's 7:30, and this is your wake-up call." So far, so good. But here it comes. The voice continued: "Would you like me to call again in ten minutes?" Bingo. That did it. Suddenly I was wide awake. A true salesman in the hotel reception! Someone with focus, fun, and warmth. Someone who can close the deal, who knows what his clients are after. He sold me and in the process earned himself X number of future reservations at the hotel.
I later asked a friend, a hotel manager, why this doesn't happen in every hotel. His answer: "Do you know how hard it is to get employees to grasp this concept?"
No, I don't. But I believe it is hard. Therefore, let me get you to grasp it too.
Stand Up Straight
Do not sell just anything that comes your way. Sell what you feel you can stand behind. I have to feel at ease with the product, with the client, and with myself. Product, client, self. In that order.
I ask the same of you. First, as to the product: Do not sell any products that are overpriced, of poor quality, or simply scams to rip the client off. The moral high ground in this case lies in knowing what not to sell. You're not horse-trading. You don't need that. Second, as to the client: If you've got a malicious, dimwitted, or run-of-the-mill psychopathic buyer sitting across from you who is trying to exhibit his supposed power as a customer, just leave. And third, as to you: If you are not at peace with yourself, then read this book first and go back out and sell!
The notion that a good salesperson will sell anything is not one that I subscribe to. A good salesman is not a swindler and therefore does not, for example, propose a real estate financing scheme that the buyer can pay only if he's lucky and if real estate prices move well above average.
The measure of a good salesman lies in the results — not in short-term sales but in long-term profitability. You can identify a good salesperson when you're speaking to a longstanding client of hers at a hotel bar and he talks about her with respect. It goes without saying that she has made a great many sales to this client over the years.
Selling doesn't mean making an easy buck. Easy bucks are usually made through shady deals. Business transactions are concluded in broad daylight. The thing about an easy buck is that it's too good to be true and will not last. Selling, however, can be done over and over; the better you get at selling, the more you will sell in the future. Selling aims at sustainability: long-term collaboration with the client on an even playing field, a constant give-and-take, and a balanced relationship.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "No Is Short For Next Opportunity"
Copyright © 2013 Redline Verlag, Münchner Verlagsgruppe GmbH, Munich, Germany.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsForeword: The Essence of Selling
A Word Before We Start
Mindset: What Makes a Sale a Good Sale
Formula: What All Salespeople Should Know About Their Customers
Reflection: Who Do You Think You Are?
Customers: You Have to Like People
Flash of Inspiration: Psychology for the Top Sales Professional
One-Track Mind: The Art of Focusing
Targeting: What Is It You Want?
Mental Preparation: Think Before You Meet
Tall Tales: The Proper Frame of Mind for Customer Acquisition
Valuable(s): Standing Behind Your Price and Performance
N.O.: NO Is Short for Next Opportunity
Out of Left Field: Techniques for When the Going Gets Tough
In Closing: Stay True
About the Author