Home > Personal Selling > It's All The Same!

It's All The Same!

I'll make a simple and bold statement that only an amateur might make - I've only been in direct sales/network marketing and never in any other kind of sales as those who post here - so I don't know the distinctions you make. So I'm stuck with my statement: it's all the same.

By that I mean, I see people in my business attempting to sell someone into a product or business with our company and they spend sometimes endless hours doing what they call "exposing" people to the opporturnity.

I'm not against exposure BUT it has to come after the person has said he/she wants what I offer or wants to know more about it. "So what if you like what you see," is a good question to disquality what you believe is a positive intent but really is just passing the time away.

Time is passing away anyway and I don't need to help it along believing I'm making progress in my business working on delusional thinking. BUT I see it all the time in direct sales/network marketing.

From some of the sales posts I've read here and other places I believe what I've just posted is common which leads me to say: it's all the same.

Is there something small or large or additional I might be missing that's important to my understanding of direct marketing or sales in general?

MitchM - by MitchM
Sorry I didn't quite understand your post. What's all the same? - by Marcus
"By that I mean, I see people in my business attempting to sell someone into a product or business with our company and they spend sometimes endless hours doing what they call "exposing" people to the opporturnity.

I'm not against exposure BUT it has to come after the person has said he/she wants what I offer or wants to know more about it. "So what if you like what you see," is a good question to disqualify what you believe is a positive intent but really is just passing the time away." -- MitchM

There was more but I was vague - I mean it's all the same that so many people in sales attempt to sell something to someone who hasn't made a commitment to wanting it.

"Give me a tactic, give me a hook, give me something I can reel them in with - just give it to me," is what I read many times.

Nah, give me someone who wants what I got and I know it because I ask up front.

That's what I mean.

MitchM - by MitchM
There was more but I was vague - I mean it's all the same that so many people in sales attempt to sell something to someone who hasn't made a commitment to wanting it.

"Give me a tactic, give me a hook, give me something I can reel them in with - just give it to me," is what I read many times.

Nah, give me someone who wants what I got and I know it because I ask up front.

That's what I mean.

MitchM
I think a lot of salespeople attempt to 'push' or get others interested in what they're selling. I think even more try to sell a product/service to those who says they are or might be interested. I think very few find and sell to those who already know what they want. - by Marcus
When I pushed and pulled I made sales but today none of those sales continue and my business is based on repeat sales. Today I get a commitment up front - nothing is perfect and people still quit. BUT I'm not spinning my wheels all the time and I have more time for the other things in life I enjoy. Also, how I do what I do allows me to sleep soundly and live my life a happy man.

I attribute what I do and how I do it to many factors and one important one is having read "High Probability Selling" four times. I know the course would help me even more but I haven't taken it yet.

The principles in the book reflected what my mentor in my business was telling me which was: "make an offer then disengage from the outcome. Find out if the person wants what you have and don't try to get people to do anything."

MitchM - by MitchM
I think a lot of salespeople attempt to 'push' or get others interested in what they're selling. I think even more try to sell a product/service to those who says they are or might be interested. I think very few find and sell to those who already know what they want.
This is why I feel it's important to either work within a niche or know your target market VERY well. Both wouldent hurt either! ;) However, when you know your targetd the chance of people being disinterested in your product/service is greatly minimized!

Lance Best - by Lance_Best
My son-in-law works in sales with a major international company - he pushes sales growt, etc., and one of the departments he works with pulls more sales into his pipeline of sales by offering incentives and service to buyers who add new business to their existing business.

I don't have any experience in those kinds of deals, in negotians or in complex buying situations. Still, I believe it gets back to whether or not someone wants something immediately.
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Target market: my buyers believe nutritional supplementation can impact health and health issues OR they want to find out if it can or not. Also, my "buyers" believe or come to believe they can make money in direct sales so they become a distributor.

My challenge is not having a well defined niche - even running radio ads and buying leads I have to qualify/disqualify when the so called leads want what I offer.

If I sold truck transmissions I could at least locate manufactures who buy them and begin my work. But I can't locate such a clear cut market. The guy who sells residential furnaces for a living may be in the same situation and so has to do a lot of calls unless he/she can get a list of people who have old systems.

Regardless of clearly defined niche or not it still looks to me like success comes with direct offers to get an immediate yes or no with repeated calls weeks ahead.

MitchM - by MitchM
Is there something small or large or additional I might be missing that's important to my understanding of direct marketing or sales in general?
Yes.

Because of the fact you don't have a background in sales, I think you don't realize the vastness of diversified types of selling careers. The idea "Selling is selling" is not accurate.

This forum seems to have a lot of participation by those engaged in some form of direct sales model. I mean direct sales in the broader context---not MLM.

Account management selling, and consulting/partnering roles are two areas that are rarely discussed here. But they make up a significant portion of careers that come under the heading of selling---which is much too broad of a term. - by Joe Closer
I know you are right about that, Joe - I refer to myself as an amateur here with eleven years experience with a direct selling/network marketing company and twenty-five years as a public school teacher. That's it - okay, for a couple of months I sold drain and septic tank cleaner and I sold myself as a house painter for five years. Now that I recollect those times I realize I used HPS in it's basic premise which was looking for people who just right then wanted what I offered - I was ignorant of all selling systems and I sold.
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My son-in-law has given me insights into the world of more complicated negotiations and sales and some of the things done to get and expand sales. It's a study I'm in now as it's family and fascinating for me - but I have no hands on experience in it.
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Not to condescend to professionals from my amateur status though - but I will, the question still is: when all the dramatics or complex considerations and arrangements - the negotiations and connections and layers and incentives have been made - doesn't selling still begin with: Joe wants what I got and we both know it?

MitchM - by MitchM
...the question still is: when all the dramatics or complex considerations and arrangements - the negotiations and connections and layers and incentives have been made - doesn't selling still begin with: Joe wants what I got and we both know it?
No.

It begins with preparedness. - by Joe Closer
Agreed - I was a Boy Scout.

Assuming I am prepared - I know my company, products, business - everything about what I have to offer AND potential: objections, concerns, questions, complications, considerations, etc. STILL isn't what we do about: So Joe, do you want it? Do you seriously want to look into it?

When you JC says: Yes I do! the conversation answering questions, considerations - begins.

MitchM - by MitchM
The idea "Selling is selling" is not accurate.
I agree, J.C.

Some salespeople rely heavily on repeat business, others don't. Some salespeople prospect to find new business, others don't have to. Some are directly involved with each order, others manage the relationship but not the transactions. Some sales models are designed for short-cycle selling while others have a long sales cycle.

And on it goes. The sales industry is really quite diverse. - by Skip Anderson
I agree, J.C.

Some salespeople rely heavily on repeat business, others don't. Some salespeople prospect to find new business, others don't have to. Some are directly involved with each order, others manage the relationship but not the transactions. Some sales models are designed for short-cycle selling while others have a long sales cycle.

And on it goes. The sales industry is really quite diverse.
Your synopsis on this is as good as any that I have seen. - by Joe Closer
Your synopsis on this is as good as any that I have seen.
Thanks, Joe. - by Skip Anderson
Some salespeople rely heavily on repeat business, others don't. Some salespeople prospect to find new business, others don't have to. Some are directly involved with each order, others manage the relationship but not the transactions. Some sales models are designed for short-cycle selling while others have a long sales cycle.

And on it goes. The sales industry is really quite diverse.
Which is exactly why people butt heads in general sales forums. - by bluenote
Mitch, you need to get away from the "amateur" thing because it doesn't help you with your point. When this whole "amateur" vs "professional" thing is taken off the table, here's what I'm boiling your thread down to: "Not to condescend to professionals from my amateur status though - ... - doesn't selling still begin with: Joe wants what I got and we both know it?"

When you attempt to clarify selling with a simple statement like yours above, there is simply too much missed: not everyone knows that they need what you have neither do they know who you are. So, how can anything transpire if someone isn't incented to make the first step?

Sales happen because someone was "johnny on the spot", recognized an need, tailored a solution to that need and asked for the order (somewhat simplistic but nonetheless accurate).

For example, when I sold about $40K of Xerox hardware to Cara Foods, it had nothing to do with copiers. There had been an article in the Globe & Mail portraying Cara's current superb fiscal performance ... I sold the CEO on sheltering some of that money.

I'd been calling on them for a period of time and knew the office situation quite well but had never really gotten anywhere trying to "flog iron".

It's fair to say that the process begins with assuming the sale. Everything else follows a good SR with good selling skills especially in the area of probing and listening.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Assuming things have it's valuables and invaluables open for debate. I spoke in jest when I spoke of not wanting to condescend to professionals from my amateur status in sales - you messed that and perhaps assumed I meant something else.

Also, I don't posture professional vs amateur as you indicated - contrary, I posted a phrase about both amateurs and professionals capable of achieving the same success.

Many times here I've asked: have I missed anything. I am an amateur in sales as far as I'm concerned and that's that. I also recognize my experience is limited to one eleven year stint in what I presently do and I have no experience in complex negotiations or incentives or multi structured sales situations.

Nevertheless, in my small world of sales I let someone know what I have and they tell me if it's what they want. There's conversation, there's questions sometimes leading up to my offering. After the offering that person wants to know more or not and usually says YES or NO.

I've taken some of Mr. Werth's sales system to heart and in practice though I've never taken any of his sales training so I'm not a good example of what he promotes. And he says you do it all or nothing, I believe.

I approximate his system as well as I do presently and for the time it works - actually, when I quit the other sales techniques, tactics, and methods and made it as simple as I post here my business turned around.

ANF for whatever reason someone wants what I got, they get it. Often reasons vary and like your Xerox example, the reason may not be what I thought it would be - but because of a thought in their mind I heard, "Yes, tell me more."

So however everyone else sells, I stick to a simple application that assumes nothing but I'll get a YES or NO - most of the time. Actually we may not be talking on the same page about things here - or we are but the inability of language or our use of it in a relatively flat medium obscures that fact.

I don't know.

MitchM - by MitchM
Mitch, you need to get away from the "amateur" thing because it doesn't help you with your point. When this whole "amateur" vs "professional" thing is taken off the table, here's what I'm boiling your thread down to: "Not to condescend to professionals from my amateur status though - ... - doesn't selling still begin with: Joe wants what I got and we both know it?"

When you attempt to clarify selling with a simple statement like yours above, there is simply too much missed: not everyone knows that they need what you have neither do they know who you are. So, how can anything transpire if someone isn't incented to make the first step?

Sales happen because someone was "johnny on the spot", recognized an need, tailored a solution to that need and asked for the order (somewhat simplistic but nonetheless accurate).

For example, when I sold about $40K of Xerox hardware to Cara Foods, it had nothing to do with copiers. There had been an article in the Globe & Mail portraying Cara's current superb fiscal performance ... I sold the CEO on sheltering some of that money.

I'd been calling on them for a period of time and knew the office situation quite well but had never really gotten anywhere trying to "flog iron".

It's fair to say that the process begins with assuming the sale. Everything else follows a good SR with good selling skills especially in the area of probing and listening.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
Outsource, I couldn't have said it better myself. A great post in every way.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
I became a student of all the sales tips sellers and advisors with Frank Bettger being the first THEN a neighbor who does roofing telling me about pricking that nerve or uncovering needs and creating desire, enthusiasm - he used common acronyms the professinals all know.

Then I outlined books and tried this method and that - I've read them posted here - since I'm an amateur and have never taken a full sales course nor have I applied one single system though I see many over laps in the most conventional - and eventually wondered why I still wasn't having the success I wanted.

That's a trick question as we all often think one thing when it's at least partially another - that old self recognition fish in the water not questioning water thing analogy. Nevertheless as objectively as the subjective mind can analyze such things I undertood such a self examination.

Having found another system I began another self study reading this book four times trying to make sense out of it. The book's simplicity was met with my engrained ideas and habits - I was looking for tricks and mirrors, inspirational cliches and clever lines - with none of that in the book my previously ideas and habits were slow to respond in a rather confused state of wonder,

But in my feeble way I began using thus system called high probability selling [prospecting] and things began to change in my sales life. I'm still in the first grade of this class of selling skills but am improving I believe.

As far as assuming, I don't assume the sale - I know many use the power of that emotion and idea as a preset mental attitude - I don't. AND other than complex negotiations and incentives and complicated sales situations I have no experience in - I am truly an amateur - I retain a simplistic attitude that someone says YES or NO to what I offer and I stop there - for now. A return to a reworded offer can come in time.

YET if you say you want what I offer and after a few minutes commit if I meet your conditions of satisfaction and I feel I can trust you - then for the most part I assume the sale - the buyer has already agreed to it - it still may not happen but it likely will happen.

BUT if assuming the sale means assuming a sale with a prospect who has just agreed to look at what I offer with a little interest - I don't assume that at all and most of the time - I still have moments of weakness or lack of focus or doubt - I don't do the appointment in that situation.

MitchM - by MitchM
Mitch, you seem to be describing "someone buying" vs "you selling". If someone pays well for this and provides quality leads, my congratulations.

Your comments in the following are somewhat revealing though: "I retain a simplistic attitude that someone says YES or NO to what I offer and I stop there - for now. A return to a reworded offer can come in time." Having just stated that you don't assume the sale, you talk here about rewording an offer in time: You are assuming the sale.

In my experience, the answer isn't in a book. The issue with finding inspiration in a book is that it tends to be short-lived. I've worked with a number of people who have found information which has helped but, in the main, meaningful success has come from being serious about working a sales methodology or methodologies into their personal style.

Between your comments about "assuming the sale" and the whole "amateur-vs-professional" thing, I'm really not sure where you're heading with this thread.

In fact, this "amateur" thing really is tiresome. If you're making money at it you're NOT an amateur. You really should give it a rest.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
MitchM, I enjoy your posts, share some of your beliefs, and admire your style. But I think Pat makes a good point about that repetitive "amateur" reference. You impress me as the kind of guy who looks inward. Next time you do just that, see if you don't detect that the amateur reference might be a defensive shield you use, to fend off overly agressive responses to some of the views you express.

Then, if you do see that, and only if you do, decide whether that manipulation fits your style---which, again, is a style I personally admire. - by Joe Closer
In my experience, the answer isn't in a book. The issue with finding inspiration in a book is that it tends to be short-lived. I've worked with a number of people who have found information which has helped but, in the main, meaningful success has come from being serious about working a sales methodology or methodologies into their personal style.
Pat
Outstanding commentary, Pat. - by Joe Closer
JoeC - that I'm introspective should be apparent - one of my challenges is to ba as externally active as I am internally and it's very much a challenge at times.

Calling myself an amateur is a reference with purpose - it's more of a point for contention or comparison/contrast that someone may find useful for introspection - in that manipulation I'm fine.

BUT I use it more as an adjective or noun in describing myself - just as I self taught guitar, self taught house painting, and discovered what served me best outside text books on my specific subjects when I taught middle and high school was also self taught and more valuable that most of the professional resources in my case.

ALSO in a real sense, I've only been in a sales situation for eleven years, it's not a life long profession, and in direct selling/network or multi level marketing I believe most of us are amateurs which is one of the big challenges.

My personal definition of "amataur" is one who does something for the sheer love and discipline of doing it - those who call themselves amateurs or professionals in anything can achieve the same measure of success or not - so it goes.

MitchM - by MitchM
J
Calling myself an amateur is a reference with purpose - it's more of a point for contention or comparison/contrast that someone may find useful for introspection - in that manipulation I'm fine.

BUT I use it more as an adjective or noun in describing myself - just as I self taught guitar, self taught house painting, and discovered what served me best outside text books on my specific subjects when I taught middle and high school was also self taught and more valuable that most of the professional resources in my case.

ALSO in a real sense, I've only been in a sales situation for eleven years, it's not a life long profession, and in direct selling/network or multi level marketing I believe most of us are amateurs which is one of the big challenges.

My personal definition of "amataur" is one who does something for the sheer love and discipline of doing it - those who call themselves amateurs or professionals in anything can achieve the same measure of success or not - so it goes.

MitchM
The challenge for readers is that "amateur" doesn't mean "self-taught". And your personal definition of "amateur" doesn't match the dictionary definition which the rest of us use, so it makes it a challenge to understand your meaning without clarifications, sometimes several levels of clarifications. - by Skip Anderson
(BUT I use it more as an adjective or noun in describing myself - just as I self taught guitar, self taught house painting, and discovered what served me best outside text books on my specific subjects when I taught middle and high school was also self taught and more valuable than most of the professional resources in my case.

ALSO in a real sense, I've only been in a sales situation for eleven years, it's not a life long profession, and in direct selling/network or multi level marketing I believe most of us are amateurs which is one of the big challenges.

My personal definition of "amataur" is one who does something for the sheer love and discipline of doing it - those who call themselves amateurs or professionals in anything can achieve the same measure of success or not - so it goes.) MitchM

You left out some of the context, Skip - I've noticed that you do that a lot to make a point failing to take in the entire context. If you can only focus on a phrase here and there that might be one of the reasons you can't understand this or that - but I may be wrong. Ther may be other reasons.
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"Mitch, you seem to be describing "someone buying" vs "you selling". If someone pays well for this and provides quality leads, my congratulations.

Your comments in the following are somewhat revealing though: "I retain a simplistic attitude that someone says YES or NO to what I offer and I stop there - for now. A return to a reworded offer can come in time." Having just stated that you don't assume the sale, you talk here about rewording an offer in time: You are assuming the sale." - Pat

Rewording an offer isn't assuming a sale - it's knowing that time changes things and someone might want tomorrow that wasn't wanted last month - that's Sales 101, isn't it! Even an amateur knows that!

I generate my own leads - radio advertising, cold calling, people I meet - my business is direct selling/network or multi level marketing which is extremely challenging because success is also dependent on the success of the people you recruit. So I have to be a trainer also - a promoter, marketer, advertiser sometimes, retailer, recriiter and trainer which is a lot of hats to wear.

The reality of what I do is that it attracts mostly amateurs or no experience in sales and to even earn a middle to high five figure income is a great accomplishment. To get into the six figures is as rare as it is in many sales positions and seven figures even rarer. But so is that true in real estate, insurance, investments - a few things I know a little about.

I originally called myself in one context an amateur because unlike many here I'm not a life long sales professional - I only have eleven years with my company. But amateurs can earn great incomes into the six and seven figures in many professions when the professionals earn much less - that's also common knowledge. Why anyone has a hang up about what I call myself I don't know.
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So I call up a lead or meet someone at Panera bakery and find out if that person wants what I say I have - it might be a quick question on the phone or in a conversation at the bakery. The person either says YES or NO most of the time. If it's something else I find out what that means - like if it's maybe I ask why maybe. In the end I get a YES or NO - then take it from there.

The selling part is knowing how to disquality then knowing how to further find out if this is someone I want to sell to or work with and if we can agree on what that person and I both expect. That is the heart of the sales - after the commitment the conversation of attentive questions and answers while I listen for agreement, commitment, and mutual satisfaction.

In none of that do I use any of the closing techniques I once learned how to apply nor do I attempt to dissuade someone from changing his or her mind who at any point becomes difficult to understand or suddenly makes demands on what I'm not willing to go with and is unwilling to meet my expectations.

That's the sales part I'm in study with and have been for three or four years now and I like it and use it so - a sale is a sale is a sale and if you do it right it's all roses! and it's all the same.

MitchM - by MitchM
The selling part is knowing how to disquality then knowing how to further find out if this is someone I want to sell to or work with and if we can agree on what that person and I both expect.
MitchM in all fairness I would call that prospecting not selling. - by Houston
I get these things confused, Houston - remember, amateur! I prospect for people who want what I offer and sell it to them when they want it - otherwise I recruit people.

In my world the act of prospecting is distinct from the sale are both distince from the marketing or advertising. YET when I call a lead or talk with someone or cold call a prodpect, the nature of that activity brings prospecting and selling into one movement with a beginning, middle and end.

In martial arts - maybe someone here studies martial arts - there's what's called internal and external and though they have different components with work together and can't be separated. That's how prospecting and selling work for me - it fits together - there's also a presentation afterwhich comes the close, the decision,

BUT it initially begins with a YES I want to move forward with that otherwise it wouldn't begin.

MitchM



MitchM - by MitchM
In my world the act of prospecting is distinct from the sale are both distince from the marketing or advertising. YET when I call a lead or talk with someone or cold call a prodpect, the nature of that activity brings prospecting and selling into one movement with a beginning, middle and end.

In martial arts - maybe someone here studies martial arts - there's what's called internal and external and though they have different components with work together and can't be separated. That's how prospecting and selling work for me - it fits together - there's also a presentation afterwhich comes the close, the decision,

BUT it initially begins with a YES I want to move forward with that otherwise it wouldn't begin.
Makes sense. msnwnk; - by Houston
Help me out, Houston - you cut and pasted two paragraphs and a sentence with a few ideas and an analogy - what is it that makes sense to you and how does it work in your career?

I ask because too many times there's an agreement or statement - that makes sense; or I see - but is it so? What's being communicated anyway.

MitchM - by MitchM
MitchM, I think I see something in your posts that underlys the scarcity/abundance poles.

I'm not talking about dollars or material gains. I'm thinking that when you arrived at a point where "you got it", winning sales became just a natural culmination of who you became---who you are. - by Joe Closer
That's an astute observation, JoeC - extended to what each of us has become at least represented in our posts on this forum -scarcity/abundance poles and success not being necessarily material is likewise an observation we might extend into everyone/everything posted here.

Winning or making or getting or accomidating sales is where we should arrive with confidence and a security in being true to ourselves in comfortable and productive ways, isn't it?

Don't all our posts reflect who we are at the present time?

MitchM - by MitchM
That's an astute observation, JoeC - extended to what each of us has become at least represented in our posts on this forum -scarcity/abundance poles and success not being necessarily material is likewise an observation we might extend into everyone/everything posted here.

Winning or making or getting or accomidating sales is where we should arrive with confidence and a security in being true to ourselves in comfortable and productive ways, isn't it?

Don't all our posts reflect who we are at the present time?

MitchM
If we use the right mirror.

Trying to think of that Emerson quote. - by Joe Closer
I don't know it off hand - did a quick search and didn't come up with it - so many quotes about mirrors - human resources guy forty years ago told me I might go far in life if I had a good liberal arts education and could talk with people about a lot of things and take an interest in them. I believed him but it didn't take convincing as that was my natural bent anyway.

People toss cliches around here, you know everywhere - I point them out calling them cliches - Frost has a great essay you may know about paying attention to that breaking point when metaphors fall apart - language is metaphor.

So my cliche is: it's all the same.

MitchM - by MitchM
I don't know it off hand - did a quick search and didn't come up with it - so many quotes about mirrors - human resources guy forty years ago told me I might go far in life if I had a good liberal arts education and could talk with people about a lot of things and take an interest in them. I believed him but it didn't take convincing as that was my natural bent anyway.

People toss cliches around here, you know everywhere - I point them out calling them cliches - Frost has a great essay you may know about paying attention to that breaking point when metaphors fall apart - language is metaphor.

So my cliche is: it's all the same.

MitchM
I may be the only one, but I have no clue what the subject is here. I'm definitely not on the same wavelength as you and Joe. I'm interested in talking about selling, though, if anybody wants to talk about that. - by Skip Anderson
I'm bailing out of this one ... it's "more of the same" and I think someone has swallowed a thesaurus ... - by OUTSource Sales
Help me out, Houston - you cut and pasted two paragraphs and a sentence with a few ideas and an analogy - what is it that makes sense to you and how does it work in your career?

I ask because too many times there's an agreement or statement - that makes sense; or I see - but is it so? What's being communicated anyway.

MitchM
It makes sense that prospecting flows into selling. In my career I start out by locating a lead, then qualifying that lead and finally selling that lead (when applicable). There are no herky jerky movements. - by Houston
It should be smooth the one flowing into the other - one continuous movement. I've never worked in any sales environment comprised of complex or complicated negotiations or incentives - any push or pull situations my son-in-law's taught me in the supply/after market business he understands.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that in any context a simple want it or not has to begin with and preceed the close even when there are multiple steps or no one moves forward.

Thanks for the clarification, Houston.

MitchM - by MitchM
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