Why You Have to Know How to Sell to Succeed in Business
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Everyone should have at least one sales job in their lifetime.
The sad thing, though, is we’ve all probably heard this about sales people too:
- “Sales guys are scam artists.”
- “Salesman are unethical.”
- “I hate sales people.”
- “I’m definitely not good at sales.”
Have you been guilty of saying something like this?
The truth is, you’re probably right; some sales guys are scam artists, some sales tactics are unethical. And even I, who love everything about sales,
hate strongly dislike some sales people (like those vacuum cleaner sales peeps I met at a recent expo who kept trying to commit my wife and I to “buy, buy, buy today or the deal will be gone…”)
When I meet sales people like that, I feel just like you – “AHHHHH! Leave me alone!”
Not All Sales Are Bad
But, then I’m reminded that there are good sales people too. Like the car dealer I dealt with recently who went out of his way to give me lots of info, to follow up, and, even after the sale, to see how things were going. Even though he was over an hour a way from where I live, the next time I’m in the car market, I’ll look him up for sure.
The simple phrase, “How can I help?” is a perfect sales intro, especially if it’s sincere. The relationship I have with some of my best clients started with that simple question – “How can I help you?”
We all sell ideas, opinions, or products every day. If you say you suck at sales, you are basically “selling” the reason why you hate salesmen or sales.
Think about it, if you’re a parent to “sell” dinner (and why your kids should try new things) every night.
You sell your kids on why they need to shut out the lights and go to bed.
You sell them on why doing their homework before they play outside is the best option (and only option) they have.
In addition to the parent/sales role, have you ever interviewed for a job? Wasn’t that one big self-proclaiming sales pitch to your potential employer?
And what I’ve learned about hiring is that it isn’t really what your resume says that’s most important, it’s about how well you sell yourself to the interviewer. Do they like you? Could they see themselves working with you? If you aren’t good at selling your likeability and skill set, good luck getting the job you really want.
The Sales Experience
Honestly, many sales guys get such a bad rap, possibly because of the “used car salesman” approach or the “door-to-door vacuum sales person”. However, to understand sales, you have to realize that every sales job is different:
Right after graduation from college I took a job with a copier & printer company doing “cold calling” and door-to-door sales. I was given no leads, no referrals, nothing – just thrown out there cold turkey. As I look back at that experience I can easily say that I learned so much; it’s not exactly what I’d want to do for a life-long career, but it was a huge step in the right direction.
I also learned how important creating business relationships can be in generating new business. Just before I left that job for a better, more life-long option, I made a sale to a client for over $50,000. Why? It wasn’t because I knew all there was to know about the product; it wasn’t because I lied to them about what they were getting; it definitely wasn’t because we had the “best price in town.” It was primarily because of the friendship we had developed.
It’s amazing what a round of golf can do for a business relationship – it’s almost like taking surprise flowers to your wife! Clients like to be “wined & dined” and be taken care of. Everyone likes to have friends. And everyone likes to feel like you have their best interest in mind.
So, my point is this: If you really want to succeed as an entrepreneur, learn how to sell.
If you really want to understand what motivation is, what commitment is, what hard work is, what creating win/win situations is – get a sales job.
If you want to learn about the power of confidence and belief, the importance of setting and reviewing goals frequently, the influence being nice to people has on your success, and the psychology of why people do (or don’t do) what they do – get a sales job!
What has been your experience in the world of sales?
VIDEO MARKETING: Why Jimmy Fallon is Here to Stay
I woke up this morning to an alert on my phone: it was Jimmy Fallon and Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go” from the kids hit “Frozen” with classroom instruments.
I didn’t think too much of it except that it brought my entire family together to watch this funny video on my phone.
Then my wife made a comment that was revolutionary:
Jimmy Fallon is gonna be ok cuz he knows how to go viral…
Look at that, all my years of talking about online marketing, about video marketing, and about going “viral” and my wife had been taking mental notes the whole time.
It’s true – Jimmy Fallon gets social media; he gets how to use topics that are already “in the news” in order to capture a varied audience.
To illustrate this point, here are a few examples of how Jimmy Fallon uses trending topics to go viral and indirectly self-promote:
The Top 6 Viral Videos from Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show
Video #1: Jimmy & Idina Menzel Sing “Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Not only is “Let It Go” one of the most popular songs of all time, but “Frozen” is on it’s way to the top of all Disney charts.
When it was posted:
13 hours ago 14 hours ago
How many views:
How many likes:
Video #2: The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dance with Will Smith
This is a spin-off of the epically viral “Evolution of Dance” Youtube video that is at the top of all charts. Not only did he do a parody of that video, but he threw in Will Smith for added flavor.
When it was posted: Februrary 17th, 2014
How many views: 11,942,753
How many likes: 76,510
Video #3: The “Full House” Get Together
Here Danny Tanner, Uncle Joey, and Uncle Jesse stop by Jimmy’s bedroom to teach him a life lesson about leaving “Late Night.” This is a classic example of how to market to varied audiences. Most kids don’t even know what Full House is; but they like Jimmy Fallon, it’s funny, and, yep, it went viral!
When it was posted: January 29th, 2014
How many views: 8,717,726
How many likes: 48,287
Video #4: Jimmy and Paul Rudd Lip Sync Battle Part 2
Jimmy and Paul Rudd compete in a lip sync battle, and Paul raises the bar in the second round. This, too, was a spin off of another viral video Jimmy did before taking over the Tonight Show.
When it was posted: February 25th, 2014
How many views: 7,830,750
How many likes: 40,123
Video #5: Brian Williams Raps “Rapper’s Delight”
What a mix! Not only does this show dedication, but it ties in a marketing segment that actually knows who Brian Williams is (the older peeps) and then associates that with a hip-hop tune all the younger people can sing by heart.
When it was posted: February 19th, 2014
How many views: 7,059,167
How many likes: 80,495
Video #6: The History of Rap Part 5 with Justin Timberlake
Jimmy and Justin are at it again. This is The History of Rap Part 5 of an ongoing viral campaign Jimmy and Justin have put together. It’s funny, it’s catchy, and it’s got Justin Timberlake – how couldn’t this go viral?
When it was posted: February 21st, 2014
How many views: 6,610,904
How many likes: 62,063
The Takeaway’s for Your Business
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking to yourself…”Yeah, but this is Jimmy Fallon…” or “Yeah, but he already had a ton of visitors…” or maybe “Yeah, but he has all this technical equipment and time…”
ENOUGH with the “Yeah, but’s”.
Takeaway #1: You have to start somewhere.
Jimmy Fallon’s first video was only a year ago, it was with Charlie Sheen, and it only has 251,149 views. Sure, that’s quite a few views, but compared to the views he gets now, that’s nothing. Even back then Jimmy was watching what was trending (Charlie Sheen at the time) and was implementing a strategy to get viewers, shares, and in turn, LINKS to help with rankings in search.
Takeaway #2: Video marketing is something EVERY local business can be doing.
I don’t care if you’re a plumber, an electrician, an attorney, a dermatologist, or an author – you can create videos that will help people “SEE” who you are, what you do, share helpful information, etc.
The rumor is that “Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine next to Google” (not 100% true), and whether it is or not, people are using Youtube and other video platforms to find answers to questions, reviews on products and services, and maybe even just a good laugh. You can help them find what they’re looking for with simple videos about what you do.
Takeaway #3: Watch the news, stay in tune, and create something similar related to your industry.
A high proportion of viral marketing campaigns are based off of other trending topics in the news. Jimmy Fallon gets this: he uses popular songs, trending entertainers, and past viral campaigns to create new and updated content or parodies on past content.
You can do this too.
Takeaway #4: Create your first Youtube video today by setting up your phone and interviewing yourself.
It doesn’t have to be break-through. It doesn’t have to be super-professional. Ask yourself some questions and then answer those questions. Make a list of frequently asked questions you get from clients then answer those with a video.
Not only are you providing helpful content, but you’re “putting a name with a face” and creating content on another website that gets TONS of natural traffic.
Takeaway #5: Don’t expect to have the type of instant Jimmy Fallon success.
And honestly, you don’t need it. Jimmy Fallon’s audience is global. Your audience is most likely within 50 miles of your brick and mortar company. If you can get one new lead or sale per day because of a simple one minute Q & A you’ve created, that’s worth it, isn’t it?
Video marketing is here to stay. Jimmy Fallon gets it. Famous musicians get it. Let’s hope your competitors haven’t got it yet.
Once you’ve created your first video, post the link in the comments below and we’ll share it with our readers, fans, followers, etc.