Upside Down Salesmanship

Upside down salesmanship was the title of a book that never got
written 30 years ago.

It's a long story and I won't bore you with the details.

I like the title because it accurately describes how I think
about the art of selling.

Selling seems to come naturally to lots of salespeople. This
isn't a bad thing and definitely isn't a good thing either.

The things you do instinctively and intuitively may not be the
best things to be doing as you weave your way through your daily
sales calls.

Here are some examples of what I'm referring to.

Talking versus listening. It's a sure bet, if you're in sales
you like to talk. I've been there and done that.

In fact, growing up, my mouth was the center of my universe. Now,
after I turned my approach to upside down salesmanship, my ears
have become the center of my universe.

Look, how much can you learn when you're talking? Not much! No
amount of talking makes your sales prospects think you really
care about them. Talking doesn't, but listening does.

There's multiple benefits to asking questions during a sales call.
The questions clearly demonstrate your interest and curiosity.
The response to your questions provides you with valuable insights
about your sales prospects and customers.

The more you talk the less you're able to tailor your sales
presentation based on what you've learned about your sales prospect,
because the more you talk the less you'll learn.

Asking good questions enables you to pay close attention to your
sales prospects and their problems which of course you want to

Here's something else that deserves being turned upside down.

Stop selling and start solving. Just because your products and
services offer solutions is no reason to start selling these
solutions too early, which unfortunately is what too many
salespeople end up doing.

Start with your prospects and customers not with your products
and services. You should avoid doing this until you have
identified and quantified the major problems your prospects and
customers are dealing with.

When you can tailorize (my invention) your product and service
solutions to specific and unique problems, it makes selling so
much easier. It also takes some of the heat and pressure off
your pricing.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite movies to watch during
the holiday season was "The March Of The Wooden Soldiers," which
was a Laurel and Hardy musical film released in November 1934.

The marching wooden soldiers were quite a sight. Perfectly
aligned and always in step with each other. Each soldier did
exactly what the other soldiers did in unison.

Follow along with me. Salespeople do exactly the same thing.
For example, a sales prospect asks you to quote on a piece of

So what do you do - you quote on a piece of business and so do
your competitors. Imagine your prospect solicits and gets five
quotations. Also imagine what he's looking for. You think he's
looking for value in a written quote, nah - he's looking for the
lowest and best price.

You can skip the wooden soldier routine. You can also skip doing
quotes and start doing sales proposals. In your sales proposal
you propose value, benefits, bundled products, and all the other
things you're not likely to include in a "Quote."

Another thing that ought to be turned upside down is "Closing
the sale." Closing the sale is actually a very hot topic. I offer
a special report titled, "The Art Of Closing The Sale." During
the last 4.5 years 26,874 salespeople have requested a copy.

It just reinforces my belief that closing the sale is extremely
important to salespeople. As I say, forget about closing and
concentrate on opening.

Yes opening! Opening the friendship. Opening the relationship.
Opening the doors to mutual benefits shared by you and your
prospects. Doesn't this make more sense?

If you want to parade in front of your sales prospects and customers
like wooden soldiers, then by all means A.B.C. - Always Be Closing.

When you think about it, closing usually means the end to something.
Whereas opening means the start of something and usually good things.

One more thing needs to be turned upside down. I believe it's time

First of all, you can't manage time. You can't speed it up or slow
it down. Everyday has 86,400 seconds which you have absolutely no
control over.

You see, you can't manage time but you can and should manage yourself.
Self management is an art and an acquired taste. I encourage all
entrepreneurs and professional salespeople to develop your interest
in self management.

I suspect Upside Down Salesmanship isn't for everyone. And neither
is belonging to the top 1% club in your industry.

Run for the hills if you see lots of wooden soldiers when you look
into your bathroom mirror.

Change your approach to upside down salesmanship and while you're
doing this be bold, be daring, and be first in everything you do.

According to Investment Guru Warren Buffet, who also happens to be
the world's second richest man, the five most dangerous words in
business may be, "Everybody else is doing it."

Avoid being a copycat - be the original!

Let me know what your reaction is to the concept of Upside Down
Salesmanship. You never can tell, I just may get serious about
writing the book I didn't write 30 years ago.

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