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It All Begins with Want

In his book titled, "How to sell anything to anybody" Joe Girard wrote:
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
How do you interpret that suggestion and do believe it to be true? - by Community Mailbox
In his book titled, "How to sell anything to anybody" Joe Girard wrote:
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
How do you interpret that suggestion and do believe it to be true?
I confront these vacuous statements often in our research.

This is classic false logic.

Major Premise

If you want

Minor Premise

"...and know what you want."

Conclusion

Then, "...you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
____________________________

In theory, if you have a desire, that desire is motivated by innate ability or you would not have wanted it in the first place.

That is certainly false given that traditional sales training statistically generates over 90% failure: teaching people who want and know what they want.

Just because you can imagine having something means nothing more than you have a great imagination.

For example, it has been statistically calculated that for every 100 high school students who dream of being a basketball star, only one makes it to the professional level.

Are we to believe that 99 of those students had "...most of what you need to be a successful...'basketball player?'"

Have fun and look at the statistics for law school graduation, obtaining a real estate brokers license, and many other professions.

Desire is not competence.

Also, how often has an opportunity, that you never wanted nor felt qualified for, fallen in your lap and you have experienced phenomenal success? - by John Voris
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
I have Joe's book and in that same chapter he continues with...
"Nobody can be a great salesman without wanting. Wanting something very much. And the more you want, the more you drive yourself to do what it takes to sell."
Given my perception of the principles of success and the message Joe is trying to get across I believe that Joe's suggestion is on the mark.
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SalesPractice.com - The Definitive Source for Sales Education on the Internet. - by Jeff Blackwell

Major Premise

If you want

Minor Premise

"...and know what you want."

Conclusion

Then, "...you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
I don't view that as classic false logic because it's not presented in classic syllogistic form. The conclusion is not supported by the premises, however.

Lets present it in a classic logical sequence drawing from Girard's thoughts:
A. All successful sales people know what they want.
B. X is a successful salesperson.

Therefore X knows what he wants.
That is a valid logical conclusion drawn from the premises offered However the conclusion though valid may not be truthful because the premises might not be truthful. But basically it represents what Girard is saying.

NOW..that said I detect a questionable premise offered by John. It has to do with the 90 percent failure rate of sales trainees. There is no reason to believe that we KNOW what any of them want. Experientially, I have formed a strong belief that the majority of people who enter sales are not driven by a specific WANT. Two authors I respect have written material that concurs with my belief: Susser and Lytle.

I tend to lean towards Jeff's opinion on this. I believe a strong WANT is a major factor for success in selling.

I can't comment on basketball as it pertains to the subject. I don't believe Girard did either. Certainly physical attributes must play a part in that. - by Gary A Boye
Hi John. Thank you for participating in this thread. thmbp2;

In theory, if you have a desire, that desire is motivated by innate ability or you would not have wanted it in the first place.
I am not sure I share the same viewpoint. Please elaborate.

That is certainly false given that traditional sales training statistically generates over 90% failure: teaching people who want and know what they want.
In my experience relatively few people have the "Want" (e.g.; drive) and/or "know what they want" (e.g.; definiteness of purpose) that I believe Joe is referring to and relatively few achieve success in their chosen pursuits without both.
___________________________________
SalesPractice.com - The Definitive Source for Sales Education on the Internet.
(*) Words to ponder: Focused, Driven, Decided, Relentless - by Jeff Blackwell
I have Joe's book and in that same chapter he continues with... Given my perception of the principles of success and the message Joe is trying to get across I believe that Joe's suggestion is on the mark.
____________________________
SalesPractice.com - The Definitive Source for Sales Education on the Internet.
Hey Jeff,

I agree with this but it also sets up an excuse for poor sales.

I have often heard new sales trainees complain about their poor performance when the sales manager says, "you don't want it bad enough." There is no objective marker available to measure the word "want." So, the manager may be wrong as much as right.

That sales manager is not going to suggest the trainee is selling the wrong product given his or her personality.

Well, you got to want it but we all know there's much more than wanting--that was my point.

If you want a career as a professional singer, you need to be able to sing at the very least. But that does not mean you can make a living at it.

;bg - by John Voris
I agree with this but it also sets up an excuse for poor sales.

I have often heard new sales trainees complain about their poor performance when the sales manager says, "you don't want it bad enough." There is no objective marker available to measure the word "want." So, the manager may be wrong as much as right.
As an outsider we cannot ever "know" another persons level of "Want" for something, we can only observe that person's behavior and come to conclusions about what we think is going on. To say "you don't want it bad enough" can be very one-dimensional and/or inaccurate.

That sales manager is not going to suggest the trainee is selling the wrong product given his or her personality.
This is very possible given the manager's agenda and/or ingorance of the situation.

Well, you got to want it but we all know there's much more than wanting--that was my point.
We agree there is more than "Want". My point is that most of the "more" finds its roots in the "Want" (e.g.; drive) and/or "know what they want" (e.g.; definiteness of purpose).

If you want a career as a professional singer, you need to be able to sing at the very least. But that does not mean you can make a living at it.
Absolutely. Not everybody can achieve everything they "Want"... there can be real limitations. However, I would suggestion that most people's limitations are self-imposed.

To illustrate consider...
  • A high school student who dreams of being a baskeball star and making it to the professional level yet allows his self-imposed limitation regarding his limited "height" to get in the way.
  • Tyrone Bogues "the shortest man to ever play in the NBA. Despite being only 5’3”... played for the Hornets for 10 years and became one of the team’s most popular players."
For your viewing pleasure here is an inspiring basketball video:

H5wBI98NXEE (YouTube)

"Anthony "Spud" Webb - 5'7" - stands as the third shortest player to be part of the NBA. He played 814 games total and scored 8072 points throughout his entire career."

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"I had learned, from years of experience with men, that when a man really DESIRES a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win." - Thomas Edison - by Jeff Blackwell
As an outsider we cannot ever "know" another persons level of "Want" for something, we can only observe that person's behavior and come to conclusions about what we think is going on. To say "you don't want it bad enough" can be very one-dimensional and/or inaccurate.
We're on the same page.

And thanks for the NBA examples. ;bg

Yes, desire does play a huge role regardless of what you do in life and certainly would not want to diminish its importance. - by John Voris
I don't view that as classic false logic because it's not presented in classic syllogistic form. The conclusion is not supported by the premises, however.



Lets present it in a classic logical sequence drawing from Girard's thoughts:
A. All successful sales people know what they want.
B. X is a successful salesperson.
Therefore X knows what he wants.
That is a valid logical conclusion drawn from the premises offered However the conclusion though valid may not be truthful because the premises might not be truthful. But basically it represents what Girard is saying.

NOW..that said I detect a questionable premise offered by John. It has to do with the 90 percent failure rate of sales trainees. There is no reason to believe that we KNOW what any of them want. Experientially, I have formed a strong belief that the majority of people who enter sales are not driven by a specific WANT. Two authors I respect have written material that concurs with my belief: Susser and Lytle.

I tend to lean towards Jeff's opinion on this. I believe a strong WANT is a major factor for success in selling.

I can't comment on basketball as it pertains to the subject. I don't believe Girard did either. Certainly physical attributes must play a part in that.
Ah—

My cavalier approach has been detected by the punctilious saber of semantic exactitude held by none other than Ockham himself. There is no escape…! He keeps us on our toes.

I used the word “classic” to equate, informally, with what is a “common type” of argument structure.

I was also responding to what is called a Hypothetical Syllogism whereby “If—then” is involved resulting in “therefore.”

However, the academic and formal Classic Syllogism is the “Categorical Syllogism” you cited involving terms such as “all’ in the major premise.

Also, there are over 200 syllogistic structures.

NOW..that said I detect a questionable premise offered by John. It has to do with the 90 percent failure rate of sales trainees. There is no reason to believe that we KNOW what any of them want.

Experientially, I have formed a strong belief that the majority of people who enter sales are not driven by a specific WANT.
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
There is no reason to believe that we KNOW what any of them want.

His approach was ‘wanting” is most of what you need to be successful. My point was sales training for those new to sales, generates over 90% failure. This statistic has been consistent since 1940. While we don’t know what any of them wanted, we do know that many had the desire and motivation to succeed yet still failed.

I tend to lean towards Jeff's opinion on this. I believe a strong WANT is a major factor for success in selling.
I agree that wanting has a huge impact on selling success. But sales managers also use “want” and “desire” as a tool to shift the blame from them and onto the sales trainee. - by John Voris
His approach was "wanting" is most of what you need to be successful. My point was sales training for those new to sales, generates over 90% failure. This statistic has been consistent since 1940. While we don’t know what any of them wanted, we do know that many had the desire and motivation to succeed yet still failed.
Hi John. ;sm

As I mentioned earlier...
We agree there is more than "Want". My point is that most of the "more" finds its roots in the "Want" (e.g.; drive) and/or "know what they want" (e.g.; definiteness of purpose).
With that being said, have you ever noticed how some people are more likely to remember and apply solicited information (e.g.; answer to a question) compared to unsolicited information?

__________________
(*)"Arouse in the other person an eager want; He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way." - Dale Carnegie

(*)"If you know how to develop needs - to get your customers to want the capabilities you offer - then you'll have no problem showing Benefits or Obtaining Commitments." - Neil Rackham - by Jeff Blackwell
Ah—

My cavalier approach has been detected by the punctilious saber of semantic exactitude held by none other than Ockham (sic) himself. There is no escape…! He keeps us on our toes.
Actually, John, I played the Logic 101 card just for fun because it was the first time I felt you and I were not on the same page. I will say this however. There are reasons so many sales trainees fail so early. Perhaps the biggest reason is the training itself.

The people I've seen who WANTED IT, and wanted it bad--and who made it--DID have excellent training. And they paid attention. - by Gary A Boye
Actually, John, I played the Logic 101 card just for fun because it was the first time I felt you and I were not on the same page. I will say this however. There are reasons so many sales trainees fail so early. Perhaps the biggest reason is the training itself.

The people I've seen who WANTED IT, and wanted it bad--and who made it--DID have excellent training. And they paid attention.
Well, I feel confident that if we are not on the same page most likely, I just haven't caught up.

;bg - by John Voris
Well, I feel confident that if we are not on the same page most likely, I just haven't caught up.

;bg
Actually you took me to task and I deserved it, my friend. Punctiliousness is part of that nineteen year old that lives inside me that I should lose. The other parts I'll keep. - by Gary A Boye
As a new member I may be jumping in a pool deeper than I should be swimming in but here goes...

Lets look at the original quote-
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of what you need to be a successful salesman."
And the Title of this thread-

"It all begins with want"

Ok, I know that as I have grown in sales I have on many occassion over complicated an issue. I think this is one of those that can be overcomplicated quite easily.
Of corse it begins with want other wise you wouldn't be selling.
And yes you will have most of what you need if you know what you want. Most, not all, but most. If you have no drive, no passion, no desire then you will certainly not be successful.

I believe this is a simple statement meant to remind us that we have to want it. Of course we have to have skills, and of course we need to train new reps well, and have tools available. I completely understand that managers give nothing to a new rep when they say "you gotta want it"... but they really do have to want it.


- by tw5270
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