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Perservering in the Sales Profession

Hi Guys

I've been in the sales line for awhile now and there are times when i just wana throw in the towel and give up.

There would be this head in my voice telling me that i'm not cut out to be a sales person.

How many of you ever felt this way?

What made you perservere and stay on to reap the rewards? - by coldshot
For my first college degree, in 1955, I majored in Industrial Sales. They taught "Needs Selling" which is almost the same as the Consultative Selling, Solution Selling, etc., which (unfortunately) are being taught today. I aced every sales course.

Then, I got a job selling forklift trucks and I found out I could not sell. I could not make any of the techniques, that I learned in school, work. After four months of working 60 hours a week, I was no closer to making a sale than I was on my first day. I was totally discouraged and ready to quit and join my father's union and drive a truck.

Luckily, I had a chance to go out on sales calls with the top salesperson (out of 120) in our company. I watched him work and took careful notes. That top salesperson was not doing anything that I learned in school. He had intuitively, experientially developed his own sales methods. I just copied what he did and suddenly I became a better than average sales guy.

Next, I sought out other top salespeople in different industries and watched them work, took notes and copied what they did. Every time I did that, my sales volume and my income increased.

Eventually, I went out with 312 of the top 1% of salespeople in 23 industries. My book, "High Probability Selling," describes the sales process that I learned from all that research. It is probably very different from the way you are trying to sell. - by JacquesWerth
"I've been in the sales line for awhile now and there are times when i just wana throw in the towel and give up.

There would be this head in my voice telling me that i'm not cut out to be a sales person.

1. How many of you ever felt this way?

2. What made you perservere and stay on to reap the rewards?" -- coldshot

1. Me

2. What made me perservere in the beginning was absolute belief in our products. Then came absolute belief in our company. At the same time I'm not a quitter of things quickly - I'm often a slow start BUT I hang in long years of learning because I believe that's the key to most success.

At the same time I had determined that what I do would be my income and future - I had specific goals and objectives which are important when the going gets rough.

Many resources helped me along the way - Jacques Werths' book still helps me and I continue to make it a disciplined study. "How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling" by Frank Bettger helped me. I could list other resources - many in sport training from both physical and mental discipline.

I've never studied martial arts with a teacher but I've studied many forms of Asian martial arts physical and mental - internal and external - systems and in a disciplined way that's helped me.

Those are some of the things that have helped me. Looking in the mirror every day reminding myself that life is going to end and I want to live it long and fully alive and that I can learn and achieve and do better - call them affirmations, they're really the truth people can grab a hold of or not - taking full responsibility for my own success making no excuses has kept me from quitting.

I refuse to quit myself - or those who depend on me.

MitchM - by MitchM
I haven't met a salesperson yet who didn't experience what you experienced.

What can you do? For starters you can remind yourself why you chose to work with this specific... industry, company, product/service, and clientele. ;) - by SalesGuy
Coldshot is it possible that you aren't confident in your current sales system? Have you checked into SPIN Selling yet? - by Agent Smith
As noone has mentioned it, I'll say money and personal satisfaction. I believe in the basics. You can take all the advanced classes you want, but if you learn the fundamentals, and get good at them, you're on the way to success.

Susan - by susana
As no one has mentioned it, I'll say money and personal satisfaction. I believe in the basics. You can take all the advanced classes you want, but if you learn the fundamentals, and get good at them, you're on the way to success. Susan
The problem with "learning the fundamentals" is there are many different sets of fundamentals based on different beliefs about what works best in selling. All the various sets of fundamentals make "logical sense" to advocates that have dedicated themselves to using a particular selling system.

Unfortunately, most salespeople utilize only the fundamentals that they are most comfortable doing. And unfortunately, most salespeople either fail, or they fail to become very successful.

There is only one selling system (that I know of), which has statistically validated every step of the sales process to determine which combination of steps consistently provides the best sales results. - by JacquesWerth
[quote=JacquesWerth]The problem with "learning the fundamentals" is there are many different sets of fundamentals based on different beliefs about what works best in selling. All the various sets of fundamentals make "logical sense" to advocates that have dedicated themselves to using a particular selling system.


I'm referring to the fundamentals of the sales process itself. I don't advocate any particular system. You can take all the classes, read a lot of books, but if you can't ask good questions, listen to a prospects replies and develop needs all that training is useless. I've been a top performer in several industries (copiers to fractional ownership of jets) and I know there were very few classes which ever changed the way I approached the sales process.

Susan - by susana
I'm referring to the fundamentals of the sales process itself. I don't advocate any particular system. You can take all the classes, read a lot of books, but if you can't ask good questions, listen to a prospects replies and develop needs all that training is useless. I've been a top performer in several industries (copiers to fractional ownership of jets) and I know there were very few classes which ever changed the way I approached the sales process. Susan
I have no doubt of your competence as a salesperson; nor do I doubt that you got very little out of the sales courses you have taken. However, if you are like most experienced salespeople, you only take courses that indicate they can improve on what you already know how to do.

Do you ever question whether your sales process can really be improved very much? Do you ever questions whether a different sales process would work better for you?

As you posted above, you do a lot of skilled work to "develop needs?" Only then, are you ready to get into what we call the "sales process."

If you utilized the HPS process, you would only be meeting with prospects that already know they need the benefits of your products and/or services.

You would also know why, and you would have a conditional commitment to do business going in. Thus, you would start with the Trust and Respect Inquiry process. Those are a few of the HPS fundamentals. - by JacquesWerth
I believe in the basics. You can take all the advanced classes you want, but if you learn the fundamentals, and get good at them, you're on the way to success.

Susan
Do you think a person who only knew the basics would do good in sales? - by Marcus
Do you think a person who only knew the basics would do good in sales?
I do. In the majority of cases show me a failure in sales and I'll show you someone who failed to apply the basics. ;wi - by Agent Smith
I do. In the majority of cases show me a failure in sales and I'll show you someone who failed to apply the basics. ;wi
Precisely, what is your version of "the basics," Agent Smith? - by JacquesWerth
Precisely, what is your version of "the basics," Agent Smith?
My version of the basics comes down to:
  1. Questioning
  2. Presentation
  3. Commitment
What are your basics? - by Agent Smith
I mentioned 'the basics' in a post in this thread. I'm a big believer in 'staying with who brought you to the dance'. I have an article I'll post that speaks to the importance of the sales process. It's about what I believe has helped to make me succesful.

Susan - by susana
I have been in this situation before myself many times. What kept me going was watching other people in the same profession succeeding and making a great living for themselves and their families. I would reinforce to myself that if I keep improving and keep pushing on, someday I will be in those shoes as well. - by wlctrent
The basics of almost every sport have changed to adapt new technologies and research directed improvements. As an example, no major league team in any sport operates without computer generated statistics.

The basics of virtually every business function change over time in order to meet changing conditions. Most professions have official "standards." Those standards, which list the basics, usually lag reality. Nevertheless, eventually they change, but slowly. Example: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

A few sales associations have attempted to set the basics as standards for all salespeople. However, those associations are owned and/or controlled by sales training companies. Their standards are the same basics that those sales training companies are teaching. Their basics have been around since the early 1950s. And, most salespeople that learn those basics today, either fail or fail to earn a good living.

Top salespeople have a new, unofficial set of standards, which they have adapted to modern market conditions, such as Information Overload, increased competition, and better educated markets.

The Challenge.
What specific changes have you made in your sales basics to take advantage of the effects of Information Overload? - by JacquesWerth
A few sales associations have attempted to set the basics as standards for all salespeople. However, those associations are owned and/or controlled by sales training companies. Their standards are the same basics that those sales training companies are teaching. Their basics have been around since the early 1950s. And, most salespeople that learn those basics today, either fail or fail to earn a good living.
What are these basics or standards that you're referring to? - by SalesGuy
Every sales person needs a foundation from which they advance their skills. I don't work for any training company nor do I advocate any particular system. I only know what made me succesful.
My last job was just as much about customer service as it was sales. There were many things on a daily basis which took me away from selling. It never affected my performance. You prioritize every task and deal with crisis situations as they come up. - by susana
What are these basics or standards that you're referring to?
That is a good question for the other people who have posted their strong advocacy of "the basics" here. Have you never seen the standards that sales associations have developed for Certification of sales professionals?

Do you know what Information Overload is?
Do you know what great effects information overload can have on your sales performance? - by JacquesWerth
A few sales associations have attempted to set the basics as standards for all salespeople. However, those associations are owned and/or controlled by sales training companies. Their standards are the same basics that those sales training companies are teaching. Their basics have been around since the early 1950s. And, most salespeople that learn those basics today, either fail or fail to earn a good living.
Are you attributing the failures you mention to salespeople learning and following those "basics"?

Have you never seen the standards that sales associations have developed for Certification of sales professionals?
No, I have never seen the standards that sales associates have developed for certification of sales professionals.

Do you know what Information Overload is?
I'll have to look that one up. :rolleyes: - by SalesGuy
Are you attributing the failures you mention to salespeople learning and following those "basics"?
Yes.
Have a good weekend. I'm leaving now to enjoy it with some of my grandchildren. - by JacquesWerth
I simply look at the others on my team or in my business and see how incredibly large they built their businesses to be. Some are making 6 figure incomes now because of their perserverance. If they can do it, so can I! - by wlctrent
I simply look at the others on my team or in my business and see how incredibly large they built their businesses to be. Some are making 6 figure incomes now because of their perserverance. If they can do it, so can I!
You are right. But, it may not be as easy as simply looking.
You might want to learn how they did it, how long it took them, what they were doing when they first started, and how they have changed what they have been doing since they started. - by JacquesWerth
I get to be sixty years old learning sales like I was twenty-five or thirty-five again and that's exciting - I mean it's very exciting and I've never been more excited in anything I've ever done, truly.

I've never been a student in one of Jacques courses though I've studied his book and have been applying it to what I do and I'm far from perfect - I have to review and remember every day - maybe I'm a slow learner or not urgently engaged enough or shackled by lots of baggage.

Nevertheless what I've applied has transformed two things - how I do what I do and the success I have AND how I feel about myself.

How I do what I do has to do with wasting no time with low probability prospects and how I feel about myself has to do with no struggle, no resistance and no pressure AND a sense of confidence and direction all the time.

YET still falling into two negative conditions: 1. old ways of communicating and 2. lazy behavior I continue to work at my success the way I work at staying healthy with a daily schedule and consistent activity.

I'm not a professional as many who post here and my background is in public education but getting into what I do which is multi level marketing I first read twenty or thirty conventional sales books and resourced some CD/video training. I didn't take any training courses. Also, I went to a neighbor in roofing and siding sales and asked him for some mentoring.

For a couple of years I applied the things I was learning and I had some success and lots of stress and internal conflict. Eventually the success improved and the internal conflict went away because of what I've already posted.

My testimony may mean nothing to seasoned sales or new sales people - I don't know if I use the HPS principles well or what Jacques would say about what I do, but that's my story.

MitchM - by MitchM
... but that's my story.
A good story at that. ;co - by AZBroker
Great post, Mike. - by Gary Boye
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