Someone a few weeks back mentioned I was good at sales. I don’t know about you but I almost take that as an insult. I still picture sales people as being insincere, slimy and well-dressed. I hope I don’t do any of those well.
I personally don’t care for people who give advice without some street cred so let me drop my short sales history:
- Transtec, Bay Area based computer consulting company. Taught me the that niche markets make selling much easier.
- Macy’s bed sheets and linens department. Commission based sales against old ladies. Taught me about how waiters are really sales people with aprons.
- OfficeMax, Learned upsells by going for the insurance (where I got a commission). Leading MaxInsurance sales person while I was there. BigTime
- IBM job interview, learned about who comes first which is the customer.
- CommunityNext, grew community conference to over 100K in profit in 1 year. Taught me about loving your customer.
- Gambit, virtual currency monetization. Personally grew the sales revenue to 8 figures. Learned about affiliates, tracking and ROI based sales.
Here are my 3 starter rules to be a sales badass.
Rule #1: Sales is not selling, it’s understanding.
I know that sounds weird. The best sales people are educators and love what they are offering. If you don’t like what you are selling or aren’t interested, quit and go find it. It’s a bit SHOCKING to find out the best sales people in companies get paid WAY MORE than the TOP engineer.
Commission has its moments when times are good. Sales to me is not about convincing someone to buy something, it’s about helping them make the best decision for their needs. If it’s your product, then so be it but if not then help them find the right one. That will always win out long-term. One of my KEY indicators of any sales success is repeat buying or loyalty. More on this later.
Rule #2: You can’t be a pussy.
I have noticed most startup sales people are weak in Silicon Valley. You spend countless nights, weekends and hours building an amazing thing only to be timid of telling people about it. One of my favorite sales people interview strategies is to not respond to their first email. Then I see how long and who actually follows up. How far will you go to make it succeed?
Rule #3: You must track it or it didn’t happen.
I’ll show you the forms to use that Nicholas Holland created that increased my sales conversions. Two of the key things of sales are accountability and metrics. Just knowing someone is checking your #s, even when you’re the boss, makes you so much better of a sales person.
Do you want me to write more about sales?