Square Mile Magazine

Salesman

Life is all about selling. People who are best at selling come from poor backgrounds. Middle class people cannot sell. If you are middle class and can sell, chances are you were adopted.

The best way to convince someone to buy a product is to say, "I've got one of those at home and I wear it/use it/sniff it all the time." This approach falters if you are selling non-tangible goods. For instance, if you say, "I've got a sponsorship for the 5th Annual Middle East Oil & Gas Summit at home and my wife loves it", no one will believe you, even if it's true.

If you want to be a good salesman, you must believe in your product. To do this you have to allow yourself to be brainwashed. This doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds and, like drowning, can feel quite pleasant. Religious zealots make excellent salesmen. Between June 1990 and April 1992 David Koresh sold 938 washer driers.

The key to face-to-face selling is to retain eye contact at all times, even if it means following the other person into the bathroom. To make a good impression, you must shake the other person's hand hard enough that they think twice about asking for a discount, but not so hard that they cannot hold a pen.

When the buyer wishes to negotiate, the salesman has an opportunity to show his mettle. In such instances, it is a good idea to remind the buyer of the product's quality, rather than focus on price. For example:

"I want 25% off this car."

"But it's really very good."

"Jeez, you're a tough nut to crack. Full price it is then."

Another technique salesmen use is known as 'throwing something else in'. This is when the salesman offers the buyer an extra item on top of what they are already purchasing. For instance:

"What is the best price you can offer me for this bath?"

"I can't come down on the list price, but I'll throw in a small, damaged orphan."

The secret weapon of telephone sales is the voice: 10% of telephone sales is what you say, the remaining 99% the way you say it. Study the following example:

"Mrs Smith, the new monkey drummer's midriff handles comfortably around the eighteenth century! Can I put you down for ten of these?"

Mrs Smith will say 'yes' to ten units if your tone is upbeat! (an exclamation mark means upbeat). The ability to sound upbeat regardless of the state of your kitchen is based on a technique called 'smiling while you're dialling.' You should try it!

Some salesmen cannot sell and this is the saddest thing in the world. It is made worse if the salesman is paid on a commission-only basis. During a lean period, the commission-only salesman may be dead within three weeks.

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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