Messages from the Masters
101.5 Rules for Selling Success - How Do You Rate? (Part 1) by Jeffrey Gitomer

In sales it's not knowing what you should do -- it's doing what you should do. Salespeople know everything, the problem is they just don't do it. We are each responsible for our own success or failure. Winning at sales is no exception. To ensure yourself a win, you must take a proactive approach to learning and following the success rules. These rules are designed to make you aware of knowledge gaps in your sales skills, and reinforce what you know you should be doing -- but might not be. You can gain maximum benefit if you follow the ABC's...

Evaluate yourself on each rule - Be honest -- this is a self-evaluation, not a place to brag -- it's an opportunity to get real with the most important person on earth -- you! Put a number in the box that represents your present skill level in each rule. 1=poor, 2=average, 3=good, 4=very good, 5=the greatest.

If you're between good and poor (sometimes or rarely) in any rule, make an action plan to get excellent. Do it

1. Develop and maintain a positive attitude...The first rule of life. The way you dedicate yourself to the way you think. Your sales (and life's) success depends on it.

2. Believe in yourself first...If you don't think you can do it, who will?

3. Set and achieve goals. Make a plan...A goal is a dream with a plan.

4. Learn and execute the fundamentals of sales...Never stop learning how to sell. Read, listen to tapes, attend seminars. Concentrate on the fundamentals. Adapt these sales techniques to your own style and personality.

5. Learn one new technique a day...Practice the new technique as soon as you learn it.

6. Use your car as a learning center...A sales tape is better for your success than radio drivel.

7. Visualize the sale taking place before it actually happens...You'll become assumptive, confident, and double your sales. WOW.

8. Sell on your home court as often as possible...75% of professional sports teams win their home games. That's a great winning percentage. Try it.

9. Shake hands firmly...No one wants to shake hands with a dead fish. You can learn a lot from someone's handshake -- and they from yours.

10. Be conversational in your presentation...Give it as though you were talking to friends. Be original in the way you present.

11. Develop great telephone skills...The most deadly weapon in sales.

12. Don't prejudge prospects...They are often customers in disguise.

13. Understand the customer and meet his or her needs...Question and listen to the prospect and uncover true needs. 

14. Qualify the buyer...Don't waste time with someone who can't decide.

15. Develop a test to see if you can help (hook) the prospect...Ten questions that will qualify and interest the prospect.

16. Take notes as the prospect or customer is talking...It makes them feel important. And captures their information to help make the sale.

17. Listen with the intent to understand...When you feel you understand, then respond.  Listening is more important than talking.

18. Communicate to be understood...Clear, concise, brief.

19. Sell to help...Sell to help customers; don't sell for commissions.

20. Establish long term relationships with everyone...If you get to know your customer and concentrate on his best interests, you'll earn much more than a commission. 

21. Believe in your company and product...Believe your product or service is the best and it will show. If you don't believe in your product, your prospect won't either. Be loyal to your company and product or quit.

22. Be prepared...Your self-motivation and preparation are the lifeblood of your outreach. Be ready to make the sale with sales kit, sales tools, openers, questions, statements, and answers. 

23. Know the prospect's industry...Before you make the call.

24. Know the prospect's business...Before you make the call.

25. Know the prospect...Before you make the call.

26. Understand how your prospect serves his customer...You must understand how your prospect's business or customer uses your product.

27. Read the trade journals of your best customers...Know what's going on in their world.This is the end of part one. How are you doing so far? Are you being truthful about your skills? The rule/test is designed to help you -- but only if you're willing to get real with yourself. More pain next week.


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to www.yoursuccessstore.com.  (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.

Provided courtesy of  Jim Rohn International