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How to be good at sales - book rec's, please.

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Onakosa

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Can anyone recommend a good 'learn to do sales' type book? Already read Jordan Belfort's. I'm pretty bad at sales and really need to work on this.

Thanks :)
 

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Johnny boy

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Being great at sales gives you decreasing marginal returns.

Just be not terrible at sales.

Be likeable.

Be charismatic.

Convince them why they should buy from you now.

1. Read any basic sales book. The above mentioned is a good start.

2. Go on a lot of dates. Anyone who's a good salesperson is good with the opposite sex.

3. The marketing and effort you put in will be a better salesperson that you. Meaning: A great salesperson closes 40% of leads. A average salesperson closes 30%. But if the average salesperson talks to 50% more people, they'll crush the "great" salesperson.

The secret is to be adequate at sales and be exceptional at getting in front of a lot of people.

Nowadays I make a whole lot more in sales but I put in much less effort than ever before. That's because I have facebook ads and a website and a customer service person doing 80% of the work for me. Now I just show up, explain our services and tell them the price. I "overcome objections" by saying "well if you change your mind give us a call we can sign you up over the phone" and leave. It's not rocket science. It's only an uphill battle if you are trying to differentiate yourself in a shitty industry, or you are selling crap. If you are creating a "productocracy" as @MJ DeMarco calls it, you won't even need a salesperson, just a "buy now" button on a website will do.
 

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A bit cart before the horse... first, what kind of sales do you see yourself doing?

Sales via website (copywriting / funneling) and sales in person (used car sales) are two different beasts.
 

Onakosa

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'Secrets of Closing the Sale' by Zig Ziglar

It's an entertaining read, and PACKED full of information. Best read multiple times.
I've heard that one mentioned before actually. Thanks - I will def check it out.
 

Onakosa

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Being great at sales gives you decreasing marginal returns.

Just be not terrible at sales.

Be likeable.

Be charismatic.

Convince them why they should buy from you now.

1. Read any basic sales book. The above mentioned is a good start.

2. Go on a lot of dates. Anyone who's a good salesperson is good with the opposite sex.

3. The marketing and effort you put in will be a better salesperson that you. Meaning: A great salesperson closes 40% of leads. A average salesperson closes 30%. But if the average salesperson talks to 50% more people, they'll crush the "great" salesperson.

The secret is to be adequate at sales and be exceptional at getting in front of a lot of people.

Nowadays I make a whole lot more in sales but I put in much less effort than ever before. That's because I have facebook ads and a website and a customer service person doing 80% of the work for me. Now I just show up, explain our services and tell them the price. I "overcome objections" by saying "well if you change your mind give us a call we can sign you up over the phone" and leave. It's not rocket science. It's only an uphill battle if you are trying to differentiate yourself in a shitty industry, or you are selling crap. If you are creating a "productocracy" as @MJ DeMarco calls it, you won't even need a salesperson, just a "buy now" button on a website will do.
"Go on a lot of dates. Anyone who's a good salesperson is good with the opposite sex." - I think my husband might raise an eyebrow if I did that! I take your point though.

"The secret is to be adequate at sales and be exceptional at getting in front of a lot of people." - hadn't thought of it that way before. Thanks.
 

Onakosa

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A bit cart before the horse... first, what kind of sales do you see yourself doing?

Sales via website (copywriting / funneling) and sales in person (used car sales) are two different beasts.
Basically negotiating the price I hope to be charging for the biz I want to go live with (digital marketing and web development) in a couple of months.

In my role at the moment (coaching/teaching) I charge by the hour. There's no negotiating as the client knows that they're going to have an hour with me and how much it's going to cost. I want to change this in the new business so I'm going to have to start discussing money - which I hate (very British, right!) and kinda justifying what I want to charge. It all feels really awkward. I suck at it and think I come across badly. I can see myself getting awkward and tongue-tied, and caving in when someone tries to knock me down on pricing. I've not done a lot of it in the past so I'm hoping that it's something you get better at with practise.
 

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I personally advocate for "SPIN Selling - Neil Rackham"

One of the best, practical books on selling with great examples of how you probe and counter and talk during actual conversations.

Keep in mind though that you can just as easily learn how to be an MMA fighter from a book as you can learn to become a sales person. The books can help, but you'll only actually get better by getting in the ring and getting punched in the face again and again and again and again.

Selling books are ONLY useful for someone who's actually selling. You take bits and pieces you learn on the page and incorporate them into your routine. You tweak them and play with them and practice. You can't just read a book cover to cover and be like "oh, I'm going to be better at sales now". That's just not how it works.
 

Onakosa

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I personally advocate for "SPIN Selling - Neil Rackham"

One of the best, practical books on selling with great examples of how you probe and counter and talk during actual conversations.

Keep in mind though that you can just as easily learn how to be an MMA fighter from a book as you can learn to become a sales person. The books can help, but you'll only actually get better by getting in the ring and getting punched in the face again and again and again and again.

Selling books are ONLY useful for someone who's actually selling. You take bits and pieces you learn on the page and incorporate them into your routine. You tweak them and play with them and practice. You can't just read a book cover to cover and be like "oh, I'm going to be better at sales now". That's just not how it works.
Thanks :)
 

Black_Dragon43

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It's only an uphill battle if you are trying to differentiate yourself in a shitty industry, or you are selling crap.
Most people are going to be in shitty industries though. Think about it... every new coach, every new web designer, every new digital agency, etc. etc. Most people here, by the looks of it are starting online businesses. Where the competition is as fierce as it can get.

The seas are bloody red. Competition is always at your throat.

It takes a lot of experience (doing work for the right type of clients + studying the right materials) to be able to gain the knowledge and expertise required to easily dominate 97% of competitors. I am in marketing. Today, I can pretty much close everyone whom I talk to if they have the budget and are a fit. It's obvious even from the most basic conversation that they have with me that I know what I'm talking about and I can get them results.

These clients I work with are pretty much off-limits to 97% of market participants. They simply don't have the skills, knowledge, infrastructure, accumulated assets, etc. to stand a chance. So for a newbie, it will be an uphill battle. The jobs he's going to get are to build a website for a mom n pop store, or to write some copy for a cashless startup, or to be hired by a slave owner for pennies on the dollar. The vast majority of online business owners out there BARELY make any money. This is who will be hiring most of these people. And the vast majority will not stick by for the YEARS of effort required to level up.

One sales book I read recently that actually fits my approach very well is Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. He's the only one I've found so far who understands power dynamics / status and how to use them in sales situations.
 

Kevin88660

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Can anyone recommend a good 'learn to do sales' type book? Already read Jordan Belfort's. I'm pretty bad at sales and really need to work on this.

Thanks :)
I cannot recommend a book but I would rather recommend a type of sales materials

Old school Sales Materials Focus
-The tonality, the words I use to handle objection, how do I position myself as a consultant

The old school theme was persuasion.


New school Sales Focus
-What product do I pitch to which group of customers? Why? What is the estimated conversion ratio? What do I pitch them next?

A typical example is a restaurant having a fish and chip promotion that is barely making any money, and hoping that the traffic that brings to the restaurant will help to sell the beverage that has a much higher margin.

How do you recycle, reuse, nurture warm and cold leads that do not have any short term potential for sales?

The new school of sales focus is to engineer solutions around the problem of increasing customer acquisition cost in today’s world.

My view is that of course you need sufficient reading and training to be good in communication and persuasion, but It is the new school of sales literature that is going to make a lot of impact on your profitability in sales.

Whenever you have a suite of products and the position to negotiate on prices you have the room to play these more advanced strategies. It requires a deep understanding of the specific industry.
 

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Johnny boy

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Most people are going to be in shitty industries though. Think about it... every new coach, every new web designer, every new digital agency, etc. etc. Most people here, by the looks of it are starting online businesses. Where the competition is as fierce as it can get.
Then don't be like most people.

I'm not like most people.

Are you?
 

sonny_1080

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'Secrets of Closing the Sale' by Zig Ziglar

It's an entertaining read, and PACKED full of information. Best read multiple times.
This book covers so much more than just sales.

One of the few books that literally changed my life.
 

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For what you are doing, you could check out
New Sales, Simplified by Mike Weinberg.

Excellent advice on acquiring new clients.
The audible version is actually quite good too.
 

sparechange

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Look into Grant Cardones stuff on Youtube, I loved the 10x rule (although its not about sales) still gotta pick up sell or be sold sometime... one of his actual sales books.
 

Onakosa

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Look into Grant Cardones stuff on Youtube, I loved the 10x rule (although its not about sales) still gotta pick up sell or be sold sometime... one of his actual sales books.
Oh wow, I could listen to his voice all day (love his accent!)! Not actually heard his specific sales training stuff though. I will have a look, thanks.
 

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Then don't be like most people.

I'm not like most people.

Are you?
When I started out, absolutely I was. If you're going to advise a beginner to blaze a new path, they will most likely fail. You've got to start by doing things that others are doing, and just doing them better. The Bill Gateses of this world are few - your chances are better to win the lottery than to create a new market with your startup and jump to billionaire status.

Some, like you, are happy to run physical service businesses (example, lawn care or landscaping). Depending on where you live, these expose you to much less competition, and it's much easier relatively to make money. The guys at sweatystartup are all over these businesses, precisely for the reason above.

I would not enjoy running such a business personally. Would involve too much moving around and physical activity for my tastes (at least in the beginning). I like being stationary, and working from the computer/phone. And that's not mentioning that in third world countries, those businesses struggle to make any serious money to begin with.

Back when I first started writing copy 9 or so years ago, I did it because it came easy to me. Then I grew from a copywriter, into a full-blown marketing agency gradually. And I specialized in the very top of the market, becoming a consultant. But there was no way to reach this position where I am today, without having started writing articles for $5. So it took YEARS of hard work for me to get to mid six figures. Looking back, there isn't a "shortcut" to get to here. I was also very LUCKY at points - lucky in stumbling over the right partners, lucky in stumbling over the right clients, and so on.

I am at the point where most businesses nowadays don't even make sense to me - it would never make sense for me to open a lawncare business for example. Would come over my head, too much to learn, much easier to open a business I'm already familiar with, etc. This is what happens with experience - you tend to stick around the areas that you know best, and where your strength is big. Not saying that you don't push beyond your comfort zone (for example, like me going from copywriting -> agency -> info-product -> productized service soon). But it's still developing around your core strengths.
 

Johnny boy

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When I started out, absolutely I was. If you're going to advise a beginner to blaze a new path, they will most likely fail. You've got to start by doing things that others are doing, and just doing them better. The Bill Gateses of this world are few - your chances are better to win the lottery than to create a new market with your startup and jump to billionaire status.

Some, like you, are happy to run physical service businesses (example, lawn care or landscaping). Depending on where you live, these expose you to much less competition, and it's much easier relatively to make money. The guys at sweatystartup are all over these businesses, precisely for the reason above.

I would not enjoy running such a business personally. Would involve too much moving around and physical activity for my tastes (at least in the beginning). I like being stationary, and working from the computer/phone. And that's not mentioning that in third world countries, those businesses struggle to make any serious money to begin with.

Back when I first started writing copy 9 or so years ago, I did it because it came easy to me. Then I grew from a copywriter, into a full-blown marketing agency gradually. And I specialized in the very top of the market, becoming a consultant. But there was no way to reach this position where I am today, without having started writing articles for $5. So it took YEARS of hard work for me to get to mid six figures. Looking back, there isn't a "shortcut" to get to here. I was also very LUCKY at points - lucky in stumbling over the right partners, lucky in stumbling over the right clients, and so on.

I am at the point where most businesses nowadays don't even make sense to me - it would never make sense for me to open a lawncare business for example. Would come over my head, too much to learn, much easier to open a business I'm already familiar with, etc. This is what happens with experience - you tend to stick around the areas that you know best, and where your strength is big. Not saying that you don't push beyond your comfort zone (for example, like me going from copywriting -> agency -> info-product -> productized service soon). But it's still developing around your core strengths.
Well I’m not in a shitty industry in my opinion. Customers come calling all day long and the profit margin is 35% and I’m 24.

You don’t need to be bill gates to start a productocracy.

Stop being negative, you’re projecting your own failures onto others. Go join a “moms against (harmless thing)” group if you wanna have that attitude.
 

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It is already mentioned but Spin Selling is a great technical book for certain parts/styles of selling.

Dating is mentioned above too. Another thing that is similar is just getting used to talking to a lot of people randomly. Talk to the people in the supermarket, at the gym, on a flight, in the park etc. Get used to opening conversation, making people feel good, asking good questions, and active listening. All of those skills pay off big time with selling.

A lot of people think they can read a book and "turn on" sales. It is more of a muscle you got to build up and having a lot of social interactions is a great place to get started.
 

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Another thing that is similar is just getting used to talking to a lot of people randomly. Talk to the people in the supermarket, at the gym, on a flight, in the park etc. Get used to opening conversation, making people feel good, asking good questions, and active listening. All of those skills pay off big time with selling.

This is good advice. Sales is just a conversation with a purpose.

You just want to practice:

1) Starting a conversation
2) Do a bit of fact finding - Why are you talking to me?
3) Check what you have honestly matches what they want
4) If so, make a proposal
5) Double check with them what you proposed covers what they wanted
6) Let them ask you for the price, give it to them and instantly sit back and start to think about what shopping you need to do (honestly, you wont look like you are desperately waiting for them to say yes)

That's it.

Grade yourself after each call on those 6 things and make adjustments.

Practice getting better at 1 then 2 then 3 etc and then you will confidently be able to control the conversation to a logical conclusion.

Then maybe buy a book or two.

Dan
 

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Onakosa

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It is already mentioned but Spin Selling is a great technical book for certain parts/styles of selling.

Dating is mentioned above too. Another thing that is similar is just getting used to talking to a lot of people randomly. Talk to the people in the supermarket, at the gym, on a flight, in the park etc. Get used to opening conversation, making people feel good, asking good questions, and active listening. All of those skills pay off big time with selling.

A lot of people think they can read a book and "turn on" sales. It is more of a muscle you got to build up and having a lot of social interactions is a great place to get started.
Definitely some truth in that. I have an acquaintance who’s a fantastic salesman and he’s a lot like that. The sort of person who walks into a pub and in 20 minutes is having conversations with everyone in there.
 

Onakosa

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This is good advice. Sales is just a conversation with a purpose.

You just want to practice:

1) Starting a conversation
2) Do a bit of fact finding - Why are you talking to me?
3) Check what you have honestly matches what they want
4) If so, make a proposal
5) Double check with them what you proposed covers what they wanted
6) Let them ask you for the price, give it to them and instantly sit back and start to think about what shopping you need to do (honestly, you wont look like you are desperately waiting for them to say yes)

That's it.

Grade yourself after each call on those 6 things and make adjustments.

Practice getting better at 1 then 2 then 3 etc and then you will confidently be able to control the conversation to a logical conclusion.

Then maybe buy a book or two.

Dan
Helpful. Thank you!
 

WJK

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Can anyone recommend a good 'learn to do sales' type book? Already read Jordan Belfort's. I'm pretty bad at sales and really need to work on this.
"
Thanks :)
I cut my teeth on the book, "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling" by Frank Bettger. It just the basics and the techniques work. I wore out one copy of that book when I started my RE career when I was a young pup.
 

sonny_1080

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Look into Grant Cardones stuff on Youtube, I loved the 10x rule (although its not about sales) still gotta pick up sell or be sold sometime... one of his actual sales books.
I like Grant's stuff too
 

Black_Dragon43

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Dating is mentioned above too. Another thing that is similar is just getting used to talking to a lot of people randomly. Talk to the people in the supermarket, at the gym, on a flight, in the park etc. Get used to opening conversation, making people feel good, asking good questions, and active listening. All of those skills pay off big time with selling.
May help, but it's not necessary imo. I would almost never talk to a stranger in-person, and yet, I'm quite an effective salesperson over the phone/video, or with people I've spoken to prior to meeting in-person. I personally feel icky about talking to a random stranger on the street for no reason whatsoever. It makes me anxious.

Selling used to do that too, but I've got over it with practice. I have no problem cold calling or connecting with people for BUSINESS, but if you tried to get me to do that with strangers on the street just to have a conversation... lol. I would struggle. Probably would also struggle if I had to do door-to-door 'cold' sales.

Which goes to show an important point, which I call square one. Figure out what you want to do FIRST, and then figure out what you need to do to get there. For example, the dating advice would make little sense for me since I'm already in a relationship, and even if I wasn't, I'm the type of guy who would NEVER see himself using Tinder and playing the dating game as most people would - partly for religious reasons.

I say that if you want to learn cold calling, then you have to cold call. If you want to learn connecting with people online, then you have to connect with people. And so on. While learning other tertiary things could help, skills aren't always transferable (take me selling vs me talking with strangers on the street - I'm good with one, the other freaks me out).
 

Matake007

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I personally advocate for "SPIN Selling - Neil Rackham"

One of the best, practical books on selling with great examples of how you probe and counter and talk during actual conversations.

Keep in mind though that you can just as easily learn how to be an MMA fighter from a book as you can learn to become a sales person. The books can help, but you'll only actually get better by getting in the ring and getting punched in the face again and again and again and again.

Selling books are ONLY useful for someone who's actually selling. You take bits and pieces you learn on the page and incorporate them into your routine. You tweak them and play with them and practice. You can't just read a book cover to cover and be like "oh, I'm going to be better at sales now". That's just not how it works.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Life experience is like the hyperbolic time chamber (for my DBZ fans) when compared to how-to books. It's like building muscle at the gym with heavy weights versus doing cubicle squats on the hour at work.
 

Zahida A. Khan

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Can anyone recommend a good 'learn to do sales' type book? Already read Jordan Belfort's. I'm pretty bad at sales and really need to work on this.

Thanks :)
Hi @Onakosa, first thing ... saying, "I'm pretty bad at sales..." conditions your subconscious mind which rules your life 95% of the time

Try reframing to, "I'm learning how to be the best at selling."

Books, there are soOoo many, here are a few:

1. Little Red Gook of Selling" Jeffry Gitomer
2. Triggers - Joseph Sugarman
3. I would advise reading 'mindset' books

Most every thing we do in life depends on our mindset

Best of luck my friend
 

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