40 Rules for Selling
If you ask any executive about the major challenge he would face in his business, you will hear a consistent compliant: Sales!
Regardless of what you’re selling, it’s easier than most people think. Just keep the following tips in mind…
1. Call more and call now. Prospect by default, but have in mind that every time you'll try to start prospecting your brain will make up a thousand excuses to convince you it's not the best moment to do it.
2. It's easier to sell to those who already have your product or a similar one.
3. Use a script. Your key message must be delivered in your first intervention and be contained in no more than 3 sentences.
4. Desensitize yourself to rejection. Every 'no' gets you closer to the next "yes".
5. If the receptionist doesn't like you, you'll never reach the decision-maker.
6. The quickest way to be liked is to ask for help.
7. Don't talk to non-decision makers. Be nice to them, they can become referrers, but don't talk to them about your product or company. A non-decisionmaker can't say "yes" but can say "no".
8. There will be objections. If it doesn't let you to move forward smoothly, It is objection. It's trivial whether the objection is based on a truth or not. "Send me more information by email" is also an objection.
9. Don't believe anything. (Almost) everybody lies, about almost everything, almost all the time; and the reason why that happens is irrelevant.
10. Don't send presentations. No one reads them, and even if they did, you'd first need to figure out what your potential customer wants to know, and to figure out what your potential customer wants to know you need to have a conversation, and once you've had a conversation a presentation is no longer needed. Potential customers only use presentations to discard candidates, never to hire them.
11. Work your eloquence. Be brief, be concise, don't digress, stay firm, don't doubt, be interesting.
12. Don't be generous when it comes to availability. If it's scarce it must be good.
13. Don't plan your meetings. No matter how many scenarios you think of, and how many questions you get ready for, every meeting will develop in a different way from what you imagined.
14. Become friends. Under same conditions people choose their friends, and under unequal circumstances… also. It doesn't matter how good your product is if the customer doesn't like you.
15. Shut up. Don't interrupt. Don't even nod. Just shut up and pay attention. If you talk more than 20 % of the time, you are doing it wrong. If you listen before pitching, by the time is your turn the customer would have already told you everything he wants to hear.
16. Don't move. Don't nod, don't smile, don't force your laughter. Just look and listen.
17. Don't try to convince. Great salespeople don't try to turn "no’s" into "yes’s" -that's impossible-, what they do is to quickly detect -and reject- those who won't buy.
18. Don't say you are good, show it. Give hints and let the customer reach the conclusions, it's way more believable.
19. Don't talk about yourself. Your product, your company, and your life are boring. Like everyone's else. Like mine. Don't tell your client what you do, tell him how his life will be after buying whatever is you offer.
20. Safety and ego are heavier than features and benefits. When someone buys from you, he puts his job in the line, or that's what he thinks. Once the customer is not afraid of losing his job, admiration from peers becomes sexier than the pricest treasure.
21. Kill presentations. If you are a great speaker, a presentation will diminish your value; if you are a bad speaker, it will be even worse.
22. Don’t sell. Contradict your client, deny some of his requests, show disinterest.
23. Learn to say "no".
24. Don't be a butler. Avoid those "please", "thank you", and "excuse me" that you wouldn't genuinely say to a friend. While you are at it, kill the "are you busy?" and, above all, murder once and for all the denigrating "thank you for your time".
25. Brag about your flaws. Start by mentioning the drawbacks of your product. Most drawbacks become advantages once you brag about them, and when not, you'll be transmitting honesty and they'll remember you for being unique.
26. Interested customers are the least interesting. A customer showing too much interest, in hurry, or who brags about how well one is doing, doesn't want to buy anything. Think of it, when you are about to buy something expensive, do you want the seller to know you are willing to do anything to get it?
27. Best way of solving objections is silence. Second best, whatever that starts with "That's exactly why".
28. Do not solve objections. What the customer asks is not what he wants to be answered to. Behind every objection hides laziness or lack of trust. To overcome the former there's nothing to do but insisting; to overcome the latter, the customer must like you. If you answer to what you are asked, you'll lose your chance to do either and the conversation will end.
29. Ask "why" times fives. Soon, you'll find that what your potential customer wants is not exactly what he first said.
30. After every interaction you say what the next step is.
31. Keep emails below 100 words and containing no more than one goal or question.
32. Always-fucking-deliver. Be punctual, and if you agree on something, do your part exactly when and how you agreed.
33. Don't customize your proposals. And keep them under 3 pages. Whenever you deliver a proposal you are delivering free work. The more free work a client feels you have given him, the less he'll value you.
34. Be Persistent.
35. If in doubt, phone. I also prefer the email, but email is for cowards, and cowards can't sell.
36. Ask for the close.
37. Network everywhere, with everyone, all the time. Go to events and introduce yourself to others, but leave twitter and those events in which everyone already know everyone. This is about making money, not about being popular among peers and competitors.
38. Get your contacts to introduce you to their contacts. This will help your sales more than everything I said before.
39. Almost-sales don't generate revenue. That's why you'll never say again that a client is hot or that a deal is almost closed.
40. There's no sale until you get paid. The deal is not closed when a client says he wants to work with you. Not even when he signs the contract. Only a deal is closed when someone else's money gets into your company's bank account.