“Well done, you’ve passed the certification. Get on the phone and get yourself some appointments.”
That was the advice from my Area Manager in my first sales job. I was a commission only Financial Consultant working for a Life company at the tender age of 21.
“There’s the phone, there’s a pad, call some Trades. You’ll work it out!” (Yellow Pages lands on desk for good measure.)
After a morning of stumbled attempts to get through to various Plumbers I needed a break. Some of my colleagues gave me some useful tips but I was finding it hard to keep the sales conversation going. While getting some lunch I found myself near the library. There had to be an easier way to make these appointments.
I accidentally discovered the key for anyone to sell more.
The first sales/ personal development book I ever read was “Selling to Win” by Richard Denny. Developing conversations came courtesy of the iconic “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I remember thinking why isn’t this on the national curriculum?
Next was: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
I’d try to apply some of the nuggets of advice, they’d keep me positive:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” (Napoleon Hill.) This quote helps me deal with rejection and look for ways to adjust my approach.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” Richard Denny. A reminder that sales effectiveness is achieved through focussed, targeted effort.
“Seek first to understand before being understood.” Stephen Covey. It’s not about us it’s about the customer/ Prospect & ask good questions sincerely.
Back then I had to borrow and buy books, these days we are spoilt for choice. We have so many resources- Google, YouTube, Audio Books, we can download materials on to a reader, Tablet or phone. We can subscribe to Webinars, Blogs and share recommendations for material among our colleagues, peers and friends.
Some titles haven’t hit the mark for me though. Unless a book grabs me and I can relate it will be discarded quickly. The essence of it is that it has to help me get results and serve my customers.
In 2013 I discovered an outstanding book packed with straight talking business advice and real world thoughts and ideas. The innocently titled “Get Off Your Arse!” by Brad Burton, founder of 4Networking. www.4networking.biz Here are some of the quotes that inspired me:
“Create the conditions for people to buy”
“Ask yourself, would your approach work on you?”
And “Never see £ signs above people’s heads!”
So what books/ quotes inspire you and what do you do for self –development? I’d love to hear your recommendations.