The 4 Keys To The Profession of Sales

1) Know The True Meaning of Professional Selling

Many years ago my sales mentor, Steve Clark, taught me the true meaning of selling in four parts.

  1. Selling is a calling.

  2. Serving is its purpose.

  3. Questioning is the process.

  4. A sale may be the solution.

The word “sales” is derived from the Norwegian word seji, which means “to serve.” Once you understand the true meaning and purpose and process of professional selling, you’ll not only no longer fear or loathe selling, but you’ll spring out of bed like an 8-year old on Christmas morning, excited to see what the day will bring.

[Tweet “Selling is something you do WITH the prospect and FOR the prospect, not TO the prospect.”]

If the value of your product or service is as overwhelming as it should be, your customer will benefit from what you offer for years—if not decades—which is far longer than you’ll keep any commission you earn from that transaction.

2) Understand That Selling Is a Zero-Sum Game

I can hear you now, “But, Wes, you just said selling is serving and now you’re saying that it’s ‘slash-and-burn,’ ‘winner-take-all,’ ‘rip off the customer.’”

That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is in sales, unlike in golf or any other professional sport, whoever wins the sale wins 100% of the commission.

In the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament, Jordan Spieth was the winner by 1.48% and earned 204.5% more money than the two guys that came in second place. (But those second place guys still took home $880,000 each.)

If your competitor is 1.48% better than you, you don’t even get a “participation certificate.” YOU GET NOTHING!

Heck, you get worse than nothing, because you spent your time and marketing dollars to try to win the sale, so you are out time AND money.

So commit to winning it all. Commit to taking 100% of the marketshare. Commit to getting your “unfair” share and then you can choose which of your competitors you’d like to hire to help you grow even faster.

Twitter- The 4 Keys To The Profession of Sales (1)

3) Listen to Eminem & Lose Yourself

After having back surgery, Larry Bird would prop himself up on crutches and shoot 500 free throws at 6 AM to stay sharp. Phil Michelson hits over 1,500 golf shots during practice with the goal of landing them within a yard of the target. My friend in the Navy SEALs says they’ll shoot 1,500 to 2,000 rounds a day during what they call Immediate Action Drills as they prepare for a deployment

[Tweet “Winners prepare to win. Professionals plan to win. The committed expect to win.”]

When’s the last time you cranked up some Eminem and lost yourself in the moment?

What do you do to ensure you own the moment—every moment—in which you are in contact with your prospects and clients?

This includes email correspondence, networking events, trade shows, on the phone, in person at your place of business, in person at their place of business, and even in the storied elevator.

If you only get one shot to make that first impression, to out-maneuver your competition, to win the sale and 100% of the commission, are you ready? Are you willing to do what you need to do to stay ready?

4) Do. Become. Have.

After first hearing him in 1994, to this day I still listen to Zig Ziglar on a regular basis in both audio book format and his podcast replays.

I credit his message with setting me on the right path towards personal achievement, success in sales, positive thinking, loving my wife, caring for my family, and more.

And while I follow most of his advice to the letter, I think one of his recommendations is a little out of order.

Zig was always telling us to “Be. Do. Have.”

What he was saying is that first you must become yourself, then act accordingly, and then you could have everything you wanted in life. But I think the doing leads to the becoming.

What I mean by that is you will not feel like a sales professional until you do what professional sales people do, whether it’s bang out cold calls, attend networking functions and get 5 or 10 or 50 business cards of qualified prospects, set firm appointments with key decision makers then show up with a mutually-agreed upon agenda, stick to that agenda and close the sale.

When you face your fears and take the required action to grow despite those fears, you will become.

When you create a plan for success and follow that plan, you are DOing.

With enough DOing what professional sales people do, you will soon realize you have BECOME a professional salesperson.

It’s at that point you will realize you HAVE all that you want and need.

If you are willing do and become in order to have, copy and paste the following on your Twitter account: [Tweet “Hey @SalesWhisperer, “Do. Become. Have.” is my #sales motto via @Nimble”]

Good Selling,

Wes Schaeffer, The Sales Whisperer®