There is a book that is called The Wealth Elite. Its author, Rainer Zitelmann, brought 45 people together. They were all millionaires and billionaires whose net worth was from 11 million to 3 billion dollars. When the author interviewed them, a very interesting observation came up. He noticed that 2 out of 3 of all the super-rich interviewees accepted that the secret to their success was one particular skill.
What was that skill? That skill was their selling ability. The skill of sales. This observation is not that shocking. You must have also noticed that all self-made millionaires and billionaires have a relationship with sales.
You may have seen many CEOs who used to have sales jobs earlier. For example, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Mark Cuban from Shark Tank, Richard Branson, and Mary Kay Ash, a successful billionaire woman. Even Warren Buffet was involved in sales.
Suppose you have read Steve Jobs’s biography. You will observe that Steve Jobs possessed great selling and marketing skills.
Steve Jobs knew how to market and sell new products very well. That is why Apple became the world’s number-one company. I am not saying this without any evidence. In recent research, psychologist, and historian, Rainer Zitelmann, the historian and author of The Wealth Elite, says that most self-made rich people owe their success to having the skill of selling.
This skill plays a very important role in their success. In the same research, millionaires also claimed that they had achieved 70 percent of their success due to their talent for sales. How?
Some Important Teachings From Sale
Zitelmann’s research has brought 3 points to the surface that show why sales are essential. It explains why the best salespeople go on to become successful CEOs.
That is so because when you work in sales, you get an idea of the business operations, which helps you to find the most critical junctions of your business, the customer experience of using that product, and customer complaints.
1. Helps in Understanding Business- When you work in sales, you start understanding business well, which is very important if you want to do your own business. It allows you to understand business.
A millionaire has said that, that no matter how good a product you make, how much funds you raise, and how good a team you create, in the end, sales are what help your business grow. You will have to lock up and go home. You can understand sales deeply if you work in the department.
2. Makes you Influential- When someone works in sales, they become influential and persuasive. You have to be such a person if you want to achieve anything in life. Not for just selling products to the customers. For example, if you are a CEO and need investors’ funds, you must be influential in persuading them for funding. A good CEO also has to convince his employees to work well. He will also have to influence his business partner, partners, and many others to improve their success probability.
3. Improves Communication- When involved in sales, you develop people skills. As you may already know, humans are social creatures. We might say that we like being alone, but the truth is that we need to communicate with other people, form good relationships and friendships, and set up businesses. When you work in sales, you meet many people and learn about their experiences. This helps develop people and communication skills, which help in every aspect of life. Thus, it is my advice to learn the skill of selling.
What are Some Best Techniques For Sales
I want to share some sales techniques with you. I will do so with the help of two books, Spin Selling and Sell or Be Sold.
Now I am going to start with a story. If you know of any sales techniques, notice which ones the salesman used in the following story. So, let’s start with the story.
Imagine that there is a man named Stephen. He was sitting at his home and relaxing when the doorbell rang. Stephen opens the door and sees a well-dressed man standing on his doorstep.
He greets Stephen politely and says, “Hello sir, this is my name, and I work for XYZ company.” He hands his business card to Stephen with a smile and asks him if he can have a glass of water. Stephen is a good person, so he invites the man inside and says he will give him water.
The man and Stephen begin speaking. The man looks at the paintings in Stephen’s house and starts complimenting them.
He has some knowledge of the images and tells Stephen about them. After some time, the man comes to the actual agenda. He asks Stephen and his wife if they use vacuum cleaners and if they could show him their vacuum cleaner.
Stephen’s wife brings him their vacuum cleaner, and the salesman asks them about it.
He asks how often they use the vacuum cleaner and how important it is for them to use it. Stephen’s wife tells him that she uses the vacuum almost every day, and it is very important to them to keep the house clean as they have a baby, who plays on the floor occasionally, and it is essential to keep their home clean.
The salesman asks them what problems they face with their current vacuum cleaner.
Stephen’s wife tells him that the first thing irritates her is that the vacuum cleaner makes a lot of noise. It does not clean the corners of the house very well, and its handle does not reach the ceiling.
When she tells him about her problems, the salesman tells her that the cleaner makes noise because it uses old technology, which also utilizes a lot of electricity.
When the salesman asks the couple about their electricity bill, Stephen dejectedly tells him their electricity bill is very high, and he is concerned about it.
The salesman tells the couple that the vacuum cleaner may cause the electricity bill to be so high. After this, the salesman takes out the vacuum cleaner he has brought to sell from his box and asks Stephen’s wife to use it.
At first, the couple refuses to use it, but the salesman asks them to try it. The wife starts utilizing the vacuum cleaner. As soon as she switches it on, she notices it does not make any noise.
Then, Stephen takes the machine himself and tries to clean the corners of the house with it. He uses the vacuum cleaner in all the spots his wife had found difficult to clean. The vacuum cleaner manages to clean everything very well.
This impresses Stephen’s wife immensely. After this, the salesman tells them how the vacuum cleaner uses new technology, which emits less noise and consumes less electricity.
In the beginning, the couple had refused to buy the vacuum cleaner, but now they seemed more interested and inquired about its price. The salesman tells them it is priced higher than their old vacuum cleaner.
This caused the couple to appear a bit hesitant since they did not want an expensive vacuum cleaner. The salesman then tells them that the couple faces a loss by using their old vacuum cleaner because it uses a lot of electricity, whereas the new vacuum cleaner will also help them clean their house better.
The couple still finds the price of the vacuum cleaner to be very high, and they start refusing the salesman.
The salesman tries to explain to them that using their old vacuum cleaner regularly will cause the couple to face high expenses, they are spending more, and they will also not clean their house properly.
It can also lead to the spreading of diseases in their house, especially among children.
Investing money now and buying a new vacuum cleaner will cause them to pay half their electricity bill and clean their house better.
It’ll lower the electricity bill. If this is not done, their house will be dirty and make the children ill. the salesman tells them about all the problems they might face if they do not buy a new vacuum cleaner. Even after all these explanations, the couple was still refusing.
Then the man told them that 3 of the couple’s neighbors had also bought and used it. He offers the couple to use the vacuum cleaner for free for 2 to 3 days.
He told them they could return the machine after two days if they did not like it, and if they liked it, they could keep it.
The couple could not refuse this deal. The man also asks them to consider all the benefits of buying the cleaner. Then he says goodbye to them and leaves. When he returned to their house after two days, he asked them if they enjoyed using the cleaner.
He also tells them that he had managed to sell all his stock, and the one that Stephen had was his last piece. They could return it if they wanted to.
However, surprisingly, the couple liked the vacuum cleaner and bought it. This story has various sales techniques hidden in it.
Sales Techniques From the Story
Before the salesman’s arrival, the couple had not even thought about buying a new vacuum cleaner, but they still bought it.
Why? It happened because this salesman was brilliant and used several valuable techniques in the real world. Now I will tell you about the methods he used. And will tell you what techniques he used. Let me tell you.
In the beginning, the couple had not even thought about buying the new vacuum cleaner, but they still bought it because the salesman was very good at his job. He used several techniques that are also essential when you make sales in the real world. There is a method of Spin Selling about which I will tell you shortly.
1. Make Small Requests: When the salesman arrived, he did not start selling immediately. He began with a small request. It has been told in the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which is commitment and consistency. It says that when you make a small request to which a person agrees, it is more probable that they will also decide when you make a more significant request. The salesman initially made small requests to the couple, like asking for a glass of water, and began talking to them like friends.
2. Have a Good Relationship: The salesman looked around and noticed that the couple liked paintings and talked about them from his knowledge. This helped him to connect with the couple.
3. Use SPIN Method: After this, he used the SPIN method.
S stands for Situational Question, P stands for Problem Question, I stands for Implication Question, and N stands for Need Pay of Question.
The Spin Selling or SPIN method by Neil Rackham is the most powerful.
He published his book in 1988, before which he studied 35000 sales calls and conducted research for 12 years. He came up with the SPIN method, which consists of 4 questions. This powerful method can sell small and big, high-end products. This method is very powerful.
4. Know the Financial Situation of Your Customer: The salesman began with situational questions that helped him understand the house’s current situation. These questions helped him know if the couple had a vacuum cleaner and if they were interested in using a vacuum cleaner.
This also helped the salesman know that the house also had a baby, making it essential to clean the house frequently.
5. Identify their Problem: He asked problem questions. He wanted to know the couple’s problems with their current vacuum cleaner. This helped him understand that their old vacuum cleaner makes a lot of noise and caused the electricity bill to be very high. It also did not clean the house very well.
6. Ask Questions: After the salesman knew about the situation and problems, he asked a couple implications. Implication questions help in amplifying the issues. The problems are amplified. Through questioning, the prospect is told that if they continue to live in the same style, they will face several issues like high electric bills and children falling ill.
Amplifying the problems in this method makes the prospect worry.
7. Show The Value: The last stage is the Need to pay for questions. Here, it would help if you showed the prospect what benefits the candidate can avail by using your product.
Implication questions usually focus on the negatives, while the need question focuses on the positives and shows solutions to the problems. This solution is the product or service being sold. He made very good use of the SPIN method.
8. Give Them Proof: He told them the couple’s neighbors had already bought the product.
9. Produce Scarcity: In the end, he produced scarcity. He told them all his stock had been sold except the last piece. This created a scarcity that made the couple think it was necessary to buy it. It happens many times with humans. You must have noticed that some products have a limited-time offer.
Many times, on Amazon, they might have a lot of stock, but they say they have only two pieces left. These are sales techniques.