Upside Down Salesmanship
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
The things you do instinctively
and intuitively may not be the
best things to be doing as you weave your
way through your daily
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
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
There's multiple benefits
to asking questions during a sales call.
The questions clearly demonstrate your interest
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
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
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
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
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
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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