I often ask an audience "how many people here sell things?". Some immediately put their hands up, others wait a little while longer, others longer again and one or two may never put their hand in the air.
However, I wait, and wait, and wait, repeating the question… until everyone in the room has their hand raised.
You see everybody is in the business of selling at some level, whether you have an internal customer whom you serve within the business, for example, payroll making sure that staff are paid in a timely and accurate fashion and that their boss, the financial controller/director, is made to look good and that he won't get lynched in the car park!
Obviously, you have your regular external customers, and selling to them and making them feel happy to return again and again, will help guarantee that yours and your colleagues wages and salaries will be paid.
Today, we know an enormous amount about how the brain works, and this I've learned about the process of sales and selling; we are in a "thinking-game", first and foremost. In other words, there is a deep psychology behind getting people to part with their money and to buy or rent, your product or service. The better you are at understanding this psychology, the more likely you are to be successful at it.
I have come across many sales people in my life; some are excellent, some average and quite a number are poor. Those who are excellent, and in the top percentile of earners, are not massively better than the below average counterparts.
What I have found is that the top performers are consistently better by only a few percentage points in the mix of critical success ingredients that they bake into their selling "pie".
We will look at these ingredients in more detail in the next article.
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