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Andy Black

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I used to have a friend who sold drugs.

The police were extremely worried when a large batch of drugs were stolen from his car.

... until he told them he was selling laxatives that week.

They found that *highly* amusing.


Anyway, my friend was a very good salesman (selling to busy doctors in understaffed hospitals is quite a feat.)

Over a few pints every weekend he'd tell me stories and sales tips he'd learned.

I wish I'd paid more attention, but back then I didn't realise that selling was a key skill for all of us, even if our job title didn't include the word "Sales".

I can't remember a single nugget of gold, except for this one, and only because it came with a story to remind me.

When you're selling anything to anyone (products, services, even just your point of view), they're normally going to come back at you with some reasoned objection - some reason why what you just said is wrong, isn't going to work, or doesn't apply to them.

You can listen politely, hear them out, and then reply:

Yes, but (your response).


The problem with Yes, but is that it sounds an awful lot like you weren't actually listening to them, but that you were just waiting for your turn to talk again.

BUT is a powerful negative word.

It creates a big BUTTRESS between you and the result you want.

The conversation stops immediately you say Yes, but and you might as well both continue talking with your arms crossed.



Instead of saying:

Yes, BUT

Try saying:

Yes, AND



It's hard work doing this right.

You have to listen to what they said, work out why they said it, make your point by acknowledging what they said, and then ADD to the conversation POSITIVELY.




The way I always remember this tip?

My friend told me they were doing a role-play to practice Yes, AND.

They sat in a circle and took it in turns to say something inflammatory and hard to agree with.

The next person had to stand up and say "Yes, and" then try to put a positive spin on what was said whilst getting their point across.

A fantastic example of how NOT to do this was when someone said:

"Margaret Thatcher was the best thing to happen to Britain".

The next guy stood up and said:


Yes, and ...



BOLLOCKS
 

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That is some amazing advice.

I read in a couple of sales books that provided this piece of advice:

"Find their objections and break them down."

So I did that. I had a list of great responses to every single objection: price, time, decision maker, need, etc..probably la ist to 20 objections.

I memorized every single objections and response then went in cold to places. The objections started flowing like a river, just like the book said. I calmly and nicely response to each rejection, telling them why my product is better and works.

The result:

When I answered objections I would basically spin my wheels for 10-20 minutes going in circles. I would breakdown an objection then they would have a new objection. 3-4 objections later we somehow cycled back to the last one, each objection creating some more tension for the prospect.

Dale Carnegie says that conversation is like a dance. And if that's the case then every dance that I had wasn't so great. I was stepping on their toes.

Then one day I came across the same advice that you just said. The advice was really simple.

"Instead of breaking objections simply agree. Say yes and (then state some benefit that relates)."

"Price is too high."

"Yes, it is high and it's worth it. Imagine smiling from ear to ear as you pullup to your house in your brand new car."

This advice changed everything for me.
 
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"Instead of breaking objections simply agree. Say yes and (then state some benefit that relates)."

"Price is too high."

"Yes, it is high and it's worth it. Imagine smiling from ear to ear as you pullup to your house in your brand new car."

Exactly!

This advice changed everything for me.

Me too.

It's changed lots of other things as well, from being a better coach, to being a better action taker.

I'll drop some more stories in here later.
 

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I just started listening to one of Dale Carnegie's book the other day. Nice thread! :)
 
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Andy Black

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Your Step's Too Short


Back when I was 19, I was on the first day of a course to become an Assistant Club Coach for Track and Field Athletics.

We were welcomed and our first instructor was introduced - some old chap ... who just happened to be one of the top freaking coaches in England!

Wow, one of the top coaches in the country turned up to teach us newbies? I was impressed, and dumb-struck.

He commented on this too, asking whether we thought the best coaches should coach the Olympic athletes, or coach the kids who've just turned up to their first training session.

We figured the best coaches should coach the best athletes, but he just smiled and shook his head.

He reasoned that the Olympic athletes can pretty much coach themselves. That they're so passionate about the sport they'd overcome whatever problems they had... even if it meant asking for help.

Whereas... the young child who's just started in athletics needs the best coach they can get. So they get started on the right foot. So they don't get injured. So they pick up the right skills in a way they understand. And most importantly, so they enjoy themselves and don't drop out of the sport, or even worse, drop out of sports altogether.

We were going to become assistant club coaches in grass roots clubs. We were going to be the first coaches the youngest kids would interact with. This guy's mission, in the two hours he had us, was to make us good enough coaches to keep those kids coming back.


To this day, I still remember that introduction, and I remember the story he then told us to make us better coaches.

That story had a profound affect on me and is on my mind constantly.


We were told to imagine a young lad in school who shows some talent at the triple jump.

The P.E. teacher tries hard to convince the boy to go along to the local athletics club for a try out. She's sure the lad will do well and, with a bit of training, he might be able to make it to county level at least.

The boy lacks confidence though.

Eventually, after a lot of persuading, he heads down to the local athletics stadium with an introduction from the P.E. teacher.

The athletics coach asks him to warm up and "show us what you can do".

After warming up and stretching, the lad measures out his steps on the runway, readies himself, then charges towards the sandpit.

Hop. Step. Jump.

He lands in the sandpit, scrambles out and shakes the sand off.

The coach says: "Your step's too short."

The lad is crest-fallen.

He packs up, goes home, and never returns.

Four words uttered, and that talent is never fulfilled.


Instead of saying: "Your step's too short.", the coach could have said "You've a great hop, and you've a great jump. If we could get your step as good as your hop and your jump, then you'd get an extra metre into the pit."

You've said the same thing, but in a different way.

It's only a small difference, but it can make the world of difference.



"Yes, and" isn't just for selling to others.

It's also for selling people on themselves.
 
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Whereas... the young child who's just started in athletics needs the best coach they can get. So they get started off on the right foot. So they don't get injured. So they pick up the right skills in a way they understand. And most importantly, so they enjoy themselves and don't drop out of the sport, or even worse, drop out of sports altogether.

Great story Andy. So will you coach me, so I can get started on the right foot? :)
 

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Words are infinitely powerful. It's hard to imagine the impact a single sentence can have on a life.

A single sentence - changing the course of history.

Great story Andy. So will you coach me, so I can get started on the right foot? :)

If he says no, I hope he uses: NO, BUT to demonstrate the proper way to use BUT to delete the NO and take the edge off. ;)

BUT's more than just a negative word. Negative is a meaning we give, and it has other uses too.

"Will you marry me?"

"No, but that girl over there might."
"No, but I will have coffee with you."
"No, but not because I don't love you, but because I love the relationship we have.

BUT can have negative meaning:

"No, but it's because I've been divorced 12 times already."

It's also a deletion word that negates everything that came directly before it. I consider this a positive because it can make delivering bad news less painful. However, negation is also why it sucks in sales. It negates everything the customer said directly before it and suggests you only care about your own position (as Andy noted above) .

For sales purposes it's often best to stick with AND.

The reason I bring up the points above is because on the Copywriting side of the house the other uses for BUT come into play a lot more frequently and some people here lose the forest for the trees. ;)

"BUT Andy said..."
 

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I've taken a lot of various sales training courses over the years, most were nonsense but one in particular I remember taking away a good piece of advice. It was a small business card with a few "never say" negative words on it - "But" and "However" being the big two no-nos.

This trainer said "instead of saying but or however, use a period".

Example:

"That's right, however what I'd also suggest is..."
becomes
"That's right. What I'd also suggest is..."

It took a while to get used to. My sales did increase markedly though :)
 

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I've taken a lot of various sales training courses over the years, most were nonsense but one in particular I remember taking away a good piece of advice. It was a small business card with a few "never say" negative words on it - "But" and "However" being the big two no-nos.

This trainer said "instead of saying but or however, use a period".

Example:

"That's right, however what I'd also suggest is..."
becomes
"That's right. What I'd also suggest is..."

It took a while to get used to. My sales did increase markedly though :)

"Just do it and stop bein' a pussy!"
"Who wears the pants in your house?"
"OMG gotta ask mommy first?"

Pressure Sales :D

#toolsforthetoolbox

Caution: May be interpreted as PURE EVIL. haha
 
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Andy Black

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Great story Andy. So will you coach me, so I can get started on the right foot? :)
Ha... I'm even examining how I reply now that Mr Lex has weighed in from Copywriter's Corner.


@Five Star

I'd love to coach you and anyone in anything I can help with. (That's the "Yes".)

And when I've managed to free up more of my time by getting my butt out of the slow-lane and into a fast-lane business, I intend to help way more than I currently do. (That's the "And").

In the meantime, I suggest you follow MJ's advice in this thread and get coached by all the members who you respect and who's messages resonate with you.

... and we have a quick call to see if I can help you get started on the right foot.

(PM sent.)
 
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Ha... I'm even examining how I reply now that Mr Lex has weighed in from Copywriter's Corner.

Ha, no pressure right, lol!

Well for what it's worth, I think you answered the question very well! Very diplomatic, yet encouraging while letting me know the reality that you're very busy at the moment.

I honestly wasn't expecting you to PM me, so I really appreciate it. Thanks. I will however read MJ's post that you linked to (looks like I missed that one) before I reply to your PM....

:)
 

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Tip Toe

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Aha, please keep these coming Andy. They're very insightful (having never done sales before myself and manning a till doesn't really count. :woot:)

Is there a recommended book to start with that you feel applies the correct theory to sales? (I realize that it's impossible to learn sales unless you just do it. Even so, I want to get a good grounding. Communication is one of my weaknesses.)
 
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Andy Black

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Aha, please keep these coming Andy. They're very insightful (having never done sales before myself and manning a till doesn't really count. :woot:)

Is there a recommended book to start with that you feel applies the correct theory to sales? (I realize that it's impossible to learn sales unless you just do it. Even so, I want to get a good grounding. Communication is one of my weaknesses.)
I'd suggest reading @SinisterLex 's post about making money with no portfolio etc. Sorry I can't link as I am on my phone. Mr Lex? Could you link to it?

As for face-to-face selling, I don't do so much of that really and haven't read any books. There's probably good threads on the forum as I know others here excel at it.
 

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Is there a recommended book to start with that you feel applies the correct theory to sales?

You could start with Dale Carnegie - How to win friends and influence people http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0091906814/?tag=

Don't worry about the title so much (it doesn't mean you don't have any friends!).

It's an easy read, with some straight forward techniques in how to deal with people and situations in a positive manor. Many sales training courses recommend it and it's become a classic.
 

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Aha, please keep these coming Andy. They're very insightful (having never done sales before myself and manning a till doesn't really count. :woot:)

Is there a recommended book to start with that you feel applies the correct theory to sales? (I realize that it's impossible to learn sales unless you just do it. Even so, I want to get a good grounding. Communication is one of my weaknesses.)

https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/co...ith-no-degree-no-feedback-no-portfolio.58837/

As far as sales - Here's an awesome audio series on influence by Tony Robbins.

Covers sales, influence, persuasion, NLP and more all in one.

 
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Tip Toe

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Thank you for the lightning speed replies. Will have to slowly digest everything.

As for face-to-face selling, I don't do so much of that really and haven't read any books. There's probably good threads on the forum as I know others here excel at it.

Yes I've read quite a number of good threads/posts dotted around. Actually now that I think of it I'm kicking myself a bit for not compiling them into a list... :headbanger:

Don't worry about the title so much (it doesn't mean you don't have any friends!).

Aha, I had a sample of this on my kindle from when it was suggested to me during my "dating" phase a number of moons back and the title did put me off a bit in that context (personally.) Luckily I have reason to look at it with a renewed mindset and purpose.

As far as sales - Here's an awesome audio series on influence by Tony Robbins.

Covers sales, influence, persuasion, NLP and more all in one.

Thank you for the link to your thread and the video Lex. Listened to 10 minutes so far and it's already eye-opening.
 

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I love this... its interesting how I do this naturally in some parts of my life, but not in others. For example, in parenting, I'm very intent on building on what my kids already know, and adding more to it.

My 7 year old came to me a few months ago and said, 'hey dad, listen to how well I can sing.' She sang a song from the movie Frozen using only a couple different notes. It sounded awful overall because of the pitch problem. (a complete lack of anything even remotely related to proper pitch :) But, her tone was actually pretty good.

So, I said, "You have really good sound to your voice. We need to work on your pitch." She got excited about this and we've been working on improving her ability to recognize pitch.

Now...if I could just apply this to sales...
 
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Andy Black

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I love this... its interesting how I do this naturally in some parts of my life, but not in others. For example, in parenting, I'm very intent on building on what my kids already know, and adding more to it.

My 7 year old came to me a few months ago and said, 'hey dad, listen to how well I can sing.' She sang a song from the movie Frozen using only a couple different notes. It sounded awful overall because of the pitch problem. (a complete lack of anything even remotely related to proper pitch :) But, her tone was actually pretty good.

So, I said, "You have really good sound to your voice. We need to work on your pitch." She got excited about this and we've been working on improving her ability to recognize pitch.

Now...if I could just apply this to sales...
Great example!
 

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"But" can actually be a pretty powerful word, but (see what I did there?) only when you know how to use it right.

Negative "buts" will turn your life into a life of a victim.

I want to be a successful entrepreneur, BUT I don't have money.

I want to talk with this girl, BUT I'm too ugly.

I want to learn Spanish, BUT I don't have time.

I wish I could do it, BUT it's too difficult.

I'm too fat, BUT I simply can't live without stuffing my face with hot dogs.

Each of these "buts" is victimizing yourself.

Now compare it to...

I know the odds are against me, BUT I'm going for it anyway.

This girl is super hot, BUT it doesn't mean she'll reject me.

My business failed, BUT I won't stop trying until I achieve success.

It's too difficult, BUT I'll find a way to persevere and achieve success.

I'm too fat, BUT it's not a permanent condition and I'll change it.

Victim or victor? The choice is yours.

This video explains it perfectly (the part about "but" ends at 3:13 mark):

 
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Andy Black

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"But" can actually be a pretty powerful word, but (see what I did there?) only when you know how to use it right.

Negative "buts" will turn your life into a life of a victim.

I want to be a successful entrepreneur, BUT I don't have money.

I want to talk with this girl, BUT I'm too ugly.

I want to learn Spanish, BUT I don't have time.

I wish I could do it, BUT it's too difficult.

I'm too fat, BUT I simply can't live without stuffing my face with hot dogs.

Each of these "buts" is victimizing yourself.

Now compare it to...

I know the odds are against me, BUT I'm going for it anyway.

This girl is super hot, BUT it doesn't mean she'll reject me.

My business failed, BUT I won't stop trying until I achieve success.

It's too difficult, BUT I'll find a way to persevere and achieve success.

I'm too fat, BUT it's not a permanent condition and I'll change it.

Victim or victor? The choice is yours.

This video explains it perfectly (the part about "but" ends at 3:13 mark):

Very nice! The video explains it well too.

It always boils down to choices.
 
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Andy Black

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Bump.

Lots of "buts" recently.

Also, some posts that took effort to create *and* would get further into the sandpit if they were delivered differently...
 

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"Price is too high."

"Yes, it is high and it's worth it. Imagine smiling from ear to ear as you pullup to your house in your brand new car."

This advice changed everything for me.
As many other things, it should be printed as a reminder.
I'll print mine right now.
 

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I love this... its interesting how I do this naturally in some parts of my life, but not in others. For example, in parenting, I'm very intent on building on what my kids already know, and adding more to it.

My 7 year old came to me a few months ago and said, 'hey dad, listen to how well I can sing.' She sang a song from the movie Frozen using only a couple different notes. It sounded awful overall because of the pitch problem. (a complete lack of anything even remotely related to proper pitch :) But, her tone was actually pretty good.

So, I said, "You have really good sound to your voice. We need to work on your pitch." She got excited about this and we've been working on improving her ability to recognize pitch.

Now...if I could just apply this to sales...
I realize that you have posted it a good year ago, you gave me an idea about how to use it:
"You have A, B, C which is good. Now we can add X, Y, Z and make it even better".
"Your X works great, can you imagine if we only could add Z here!"
"You have great content on your website - with our hosting and customer support we can help you make it load 5x faster."

What do you think?
 
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Jon L

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I realize that you have posted it a good year ago, you gave me an idea about how to use it:
"You have A, B, C which is good. Now we can add X, Y, Z and make it even better".
"Your X works great, can you imagine if we only could add Z here!"
"You have great content on your website - with our hosting and customer support we can help you make it load 5x faster."

What do you think?

Hey thanks for all the rep!

Yeah, I love that way of thinking...it compliments the prospect on what they already have and shows what you could add to it. The only thing I might add is the benefit the prospect the customer will get by having you do 'x y and z.' For example, 'Google favors websites that load faster by bumping them higher in the search results. 5x faster load will likely help increase the profit you're seeing from your website.'
 

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Ryan Lochte and several other olympic athletes claim they were held at gunpoint in Brazil. Authorities say their stories have inconsistencies. Now they're trying to seize their passports. Ryan Lochte is already back in the U.S. and the others weren't able to be found. The official Olympic Committee response to police?

"As part of our standard security protocol, we do not make athlete travel plans public, and we will continue to cooperate with Brazilian authorities."

Note: This is the quote as it came across on my local news.

If this is accurate, then the Olympic Committee effectively told Brazilian police to f*ck off and told the rest of the world they'll cooperate.

---

The US team spokesman, Patrick Sandusky, confirmed police wanted more information from the alleged mugging victims.

“There was no effort to detain anyone, but police did have further questions," he said.

This sentence tells the public that Brazilian police f*cked up and didn't do their job. It connects the idea with the fact police did have additional questions using "but." It's appropriate here because they first tell the world that Brazilian police suck, then negate it by saying they had additional questions. What they really did was say Brazilian police intents & questions are irrelevant because they don't know how to do their job.

"It is a matter for our consulate and US citizen services and we will continue to cooperate with all involved,” he said.


This sentence uses "and" appropriately. They say multiple times it's a matter for "our" services, meaning American services (implied: so Brazilian authorities should piss off). They connect it with and we will continue to cooperate with all involved. So it seems like they're cooperative, but not really. ;)

Lots of examples of this stuff in the news.
 
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Andy Black

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The final and most important installment of “Yes, but”.

Part 1 was when you’re selling something to someone.

Part 2 was when you’re selling someone on themselves.

Part 3 is simple - Selling yourself on yourself.

“I want to create an eCommerce business, but I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Shoulders slump. The end.)

vs

“I want to create an eCommerce business, and I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Hmm... now how can I get the cash to buy products? I wonder if I even need cash to get products? I wonder if I even need to have products to get started?)
 

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The final and most important installment of “Yes, but”.

Part 1 was when you’re selling something to someone.

Part 2 was when you’re selling someone on themselves.

Part 3 is simple - Selling yourself on yourself.

“I want to create an eCommerce business, but I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Shoulders slump. The end.)

vs

“I want to create an eCommerce business, and I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Hmm... now how can I get the cash to buy products? I wonder if I even need cash to get products? I wonder if I even need to have products to get started?)
I totally agree. The word "but" cancels out all that goes before it. It's a verbal stop sign. The word "and" continues the thought and the conversation.

That said, the important part about your thread is the fact that it highlights the vital skill set of selling -- others and yourself. Salesmen have gotten a bum rap a lot of times, but they are highest paid professionals in our society -- although many of them don't know that their real job is selling. (Steve Jobs, standing on his stage, pitching his new Apple product, comes to mind.)

The bottom line is -- No product or service has any economic value until it is sold to someone who is willing to pay for it. That selling step is pretty powerful stuff!
 

B. Cole

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Funny running into this. Graduated a 3 month training course at my day job called Innovation Academy, and a good portion of the curriculum for a day was exactly this. The proctor would engage us with an opening sentence objecting to something that we were working on, and the conversation had to continue through the room one person and sentence at a time for as long as it could. Of course the conversation would track way off into silliness just to keep it going, Nobody wanted to be the person that broke the conversation with a but . Great stuff as usual, thanks guys,
 
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Andy Black

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“I want to create an eCommerce business, but I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Shoulders slump. The end.)

vs

“I want to create an eCommerce business, and I don’t have the cash to buy products.” (Hmm... now how can I get the cash to buy products? I wonder if I even need cash to get products? I wonder if I even need to have products to get started?)
Lots of people still BUTting their head against brick walls of their own making.
 

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