Is selling hard?
When I was selling corporate life insurance in the early 90’s, I thought selling was extremely challenging. It’s safe to say that having had great results in the fashion business, where I was fearless, innovative and successful, by my mid twenties, after three months of cold calling I had learnt fear and tasted failure. It wasn’t pleasant.
Selling commercial life insurance in 1993 was no easy task. The good old days of no regulation, high returns and trusting customers had been replaced by red tape, questionable practices, lower returns and doubting customers.
Having gone from the comfort of working in a family run business to the harsh world of cold calling, door to door selling on industrial estates and commission only selling, I was having some difficulties.
With no sales training, I was dropped in the proverbial deep end.
I remember Tuesdays was the worst day of the week. Tuesday was make appointments day. Tuesday was where we filled our diary up for the week. All the salesmen (it was 1993, remember) would go to the office where we would go and sit in the telephone calling suite, where we were faced with lines of cubicles lined up side by side like police holding cells. In each cell, I mean cubicle, was a telephone, a pad, a pen and your database. You were assigned a cubicle and a letter for your yellow database.
By yellow database I am referring to that ubiquitous contact book know as the Yellow Pages.
As I was the youngest in the office (by some ten years, I might add), I was always given the letter A. This meant that these customers had been called the most, and were always being pestered.
Every Tuesday, all day, hitting the phones.
My manager gave me some script advice; “Tell them that you’re calling to talk about their commercial life insurance. Just make enough calls and you’ll find customers.”
In case you were wondering, that meant four hundred calls a day.
Now, after three months of this, I was starting to doubt that this was the right approach. I had managed to generate business through other sales methods such as face to face appointment making, yet the cold calling on the telephone was a struggle.
Actually it was worse than that. It was torture. Plain and simple. After three months, I couldn’t sleep on a Monday night. By Tuesday morning I had the shakes. My hand was literally shaking as it tried to pick up the receiver. I was a gibbering wreck, scared, depressed, lacking confidence and lacking ability.
The very idea of telephone selling made my blood run cold.
If you had told me then that in 2012 I would be making my living from teaching people who have trouble with telephone sales how to conquer their fear and become selling superstars, I would have said you were stark, staring, mad.
If you had told me that I would have hundreds of delegates who’d grown their sales results by in excess of 300% as a direct result of my sales training programme, I would not have believed you. To be honest, it’s still pretty unreal at times, but the results don’t lie. Our psychology based training eliminates fear, reveals the secret of easy selling and make it easy for the customer to buy from you.
Yet, it was directly because I, as a young man had so much trouble with my ‘sales fear’ that I am writing this sales training article today.
Going back to that pivotal moment in 1993, I remember not being able to dial the number because my hands were shaking so badly. I got up and left the office. I rang a friend who hypnotised me to not be scared of the telephone anymore.
The next day I went to the office, it was a Wednesday, and made twelve appointments that morning. I continued making appointments and ended up the top salesman in the company in January 1994.
You see I had become so petrified of failure and so affected by the negativity that I had no chance of being successful. The sales fear was completely stopping me.
A while later, I realised that whilst the fear of failure was a major problem for all salespeople, hypnosis was not the long term answer to this problem. Surely there was another way to deal with the fear and to confront all that negativity when you were making telephone calls?
Surely there was another way of selling that didn’t involve a constant battle with the customer?
Many salespeople think that selling is all about convincing the customer, changing their minds, persuading them, manipulating them, getting them to your way of thinking, making them buy, getting them to do what you want the to do, hard selling techniques to force people and get the sale in.
This is HARD to do.
After all, how many of us like being convinced or being manipulated? How many of us like to be forced into doing something we wouldn’t ordinarily do? Who likes other making us do things?
Not many of us, that’s for sure.
Now, if this is what selling is, no wonder salespeople get paid huge bonuses! This is difficult.
Except selling is not difficult. It’s not difficult at all.
Selling is the easiest, most enjoyable, best paid and most secure job in the world, if you know how to do it properly.
Doing it the easy way has to be better than doing it the hard way.
Selling is hard because we have been programmed not to be sold to in the traditional manner. Selling is hard because most selling involves a large amount of rejection for the salesperson. Selling is hard because you need guts, courage and stamina to be a success.
You need to take that rejection, you need to push through the negatives to find the interested people and you need to do this all the time otherwise you will fail.
That’s the definition of sales success.
Except that it isn’t.
It isn’t that at all. It’s only that if you sell the traditional telling style of selling.
Selling does not have to be like this at all. Selling can be easy. Selling can be fun. Customers can enjoy the process and everyone can be happy and positive about it.
Over the next few weeks, you will have the opportunity to read all about how my sales training programme can help you change the way you sell and make you much happier and, wealthier.
All you have to lose is your fear…….…
Telling isn’t selling when you use Cellular Selling techniques. If you want to find out how you can get your salespeople to lose their fear and get more sales in very quickly, then call us on 0845 5195619