Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles



Sales

The classified ad screamed: “$600/Month Guaranteed!”

This was a lot of money back in the day.

I was a new high school graduate and had only a vague notion of the saying in business that “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” I would learn soon enough.

It was my first big sales job. I would be selling vacuum cleaners, cold-calling door-to-door. But the company managers weren’t demanding sales numbers, just behaviors.

The sales training was not what I expected. The sales trainer was not Alec Baldwin in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” pounding the ABC’s of AIDA (sales-speak for “Always Be Closing” and “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action”).

Sales was more than FAB. Selling was not just:





  • Features — describing what product is.
  • Advantages — what it does.
  • Benefits — the value to the customer.

Instead, George, my trainer and mentor, taught two basics:

  1. Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and
  2. Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’

Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows.

The sales funnel statistics were simple. At the top, at the widest part of the funnel, was the action that I had to perform as a condition of employment for that 600 bucks.  The job was easy; knock on 100 doors a day, six days a week.

It didn’t matter what happened. No one home or not interested? I just had to bang on doors.

This behavior, I was assured, would lead to three invitations to return that evening to present the machine. For every three presentations, one sale would result.





The company numbers worked for me. As I got better, I needed fewer numbers at the sales funnel’s wide top to get a sale at the narrow bottom.

The second skill George, my mentor, taught, was to influence, to persuade.  Good sales training programs remind us the first step in the sales process is to establish rapport. The prospect must respond and then trust you.

Earning the confidence of the prospect begins with the other person making a move in the salesman’s direction. In door-to-door sales, that microscopic move was getting the homeowner to respond and to open the door.



If you’re not knocking on doors, what might that look like? That first response could be getting an email reply.



If the prospect will not open the door, or answer the phone, or return an email, there is no relationship. And there will be no sale.

Please understand, I am not minimizing the skills and the teachable science of salesmanship. Rather, I learned in cold calling that sales also includes the art and craft of personal interaction.



Always try to get your prospective customer to make a move in your direction.

Here’s what it looks like when selling is life and death: in hostage negotiations. Have you ever wondered how those guys from the FBI talk their way in and get live bodies out?



It might go something like this. The hostage negotiator (sales guy) will spend considerable time establishing a personal connection with the criminals.



Our negotiator will suggest bag lunches be brought in to feed the hostages and delivered on plastic trays.

At the end of the lunch, the negotiator will ask for the trays to be returned.

If the hostage-taker complies and returns the trays, then the negotiator knows that within 72 hours the hostages will be released.





Hostage negotiators, like sales professionals, understand that the start of persuasion is to get the ‘prospect’ to begin to respect the power of the negotiator-salesman. The micro-obedience begins with the returning of a worthless plastic tray.

The negotiator will then suggest ever-increasing incremental exchanges until the hostages are set free. The power comes from persuading the other person to make moves.

Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.

Classifieds Photo via Shutterstock



316 Comments ▼

Jack Yoest


Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

316 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    It’s hard to master. This is the reason why there are a lot of similar ads that have the same title. I guess it has something to do with getting attention rather than real customers who are authentically interested in the product or service.

    • Jack Yoest

      Aira, you are right — there are lot of the same ads and ad content because this verbiage seems to work — at least for me (but the easiest guys to sell are other sales guys…).

      Cheers,
      Jack

      • I found the article to be extremely interesting. I did not know that in order to effectively sell something, you have to build a rapport with the customer first. This makes a lot of sense because once you earn someone’s trust and build credibility, you can then persuade them to make purchases. I was especially intrigued by the FBI example, as I had always wondered how hostage negotiations worked. I now know that it’s built on a system of trust and then persuading the target to do something. I was wondering, however, if there are different ways of building rapports with customers that are more valuable than others. I would think that it would be more difficult to meet someone in person rather than make a cold call, but you would build a stronger relationship with a customer and it may pay off in the long run.

  2. Let me guess, you were selling Kirby vacuums? Just had them knock on my door recently.

    • Jack Yoest

      Robert, you are right. Door-to-door, door knocking sales could be the image of shoe-leather, cold-calling.

      Please tell me you were kind to the intrusion.

      And more important: did you buy?

      Cheers,
      Jack

  3. I did door to door sales this past summer- one of those switching your energy provider campaigns. As the summer wore on, I developed serious ethical concerns and ended up leaving after about two months.

    Sure, I learned the basics of pitching and controlling conversations, but I couldn’t get past the feeling that I was forcing people to make decisions they didn’t have enough information to make, and using shady conversational skills to exploit the more amicable here folks.

    I was very hesitant to ‘influence’ the potential subscribers… Who was I to influence their household decisions? Obviously, most homeowners were not thrilled to find me on their porches, and (wisely, but brutally) took my pitch with a grain of salt.

    • Jack Yoest

      Christiana, remember: Sales is the transference of emotion. The sales-guy should love his product and believe that the world would be a better place if everyone owned it.

      It is also helpful to over-qualify the customer–by simply asking, “Are you happy with your service?” If the prospect is happy (he should be delighted) then there may not be a problem to solve or a sale to make.

      Best,
      Jack

    • Great article! Reminds me of a past work experience in retail sales. I can relate much to Christiana’s struggles making sales. Too often I felt that I was becoming to forceful in making sales. (I worked a commission payed job and wanted a good paycheck).

      I received great advice from my employer that related to the lessons of George the mentor. The store emphasized how important our behavior was to the customer and that the customer is influenced to come back based on a happy experience shopping with us. This method is way is more effective than having the mindset of just making sales for profit. It maintains a better customer relationship which keeps them coming back!

  4. I completely agree with the whole idea of establishing a friendly relationship with the prospective buyer. As a musician who is actively trying to find gigs and actively trying to “make it”, there are two people I need to sell to. 1) the booking manager/bar owner/etc.; and 2) the fans. I have to establish a relationship with that booking manager cause and if my behavior is self-centered and focused on getting myself a gig, then I will not get an email or phone call back. Booking managers want to know what you can do for them, how many people I will bring, and will those people buy drinks and food. The other tough sell is the fan. I need to sell them on my music and the experience of going to one of my shows. I’ve found the best way to do this is to establish a friendly relationship with the potential fan and just tell them how cool it would be if they came to the show. Once they ask for more details about it is when I know they’re interested. That’s the “move” the article was talking about. In response to Robert– They still go door to door to sell vacuums?!?!?!

    • This article reminds me most of my ministerial experience. Last year, as I prepared the Freshman Retreat at CUA, I realized how much work went into actually persuading participants to sign up, and how different interactions during the sign-up period actually affected the experience some freshmen had on the retreat. Many who were persuaded in a quiet, polite manner, mainly after hearing about an upperclassmen’s experience and witness to the retreat, enjoyed themselves. Yet others were forced to sign up, whether that be by their parents, or different student leaders, and I watched as they consistently found different aspects of the retreat to complain about throughout the weekend. Therefore, I really appreciate the line “Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.” Many prospective retreatants were turned off by those of us who were too pushy, or tried to make the decision for them, without even introducing ourselves first. A big part of my ministry, whether that be trying to get my residents to come to Mass with me, or a different program that I put together, is leaving the asking part until the end. Establishing a relationship with the people we are serving is first and foremost, as stated in the article, because once the trust is formed, the persuasion is much easier.

      Brendan, your example of your relationship with your fans and concert-goers is very relevant, as it hits on the different aspects of forming that relationship, and then making “the move”. With this strategy, you should be very successful in keeping up numbers for bar owners and booking managers!!

      • Jack Yoest

        Angela, excellent observation in that high pressure sales are not effective these days, if the heavy-handed tactics ever were.

        It might be possible to get the first sale, but unless the customer trusts the salesman and is delighted by the product or service, it is not likely that the customer will re-order.

        Well reasoned,
        Jack

      • Angela, I absolutely agree with bonding a real relationship before asking about something. This way your residents and the students you are reaching out to know that you are honest in your endeavour and you believe in what you are asking them to join, etc. It’s very true that relationships are key, and I wish you the best for this year reaching out through ministry.

      • Angela,
        I really enjoyed your example of persuading people in ministry. Though I am not in campus ministry, in my experiences trying to convince friends to attend Mass with me I have found similar success in that it is most important to stay friendly and polite, let them know what Mass has to offer, and in the end leave the decision up to them. Because having a willing participant is more rewarding in the end (both in this personal example and in business), for they are most likely to attend – or buy – again!

    • Brendan, your point of establishing relationships with fans is very interesting. Relying on more of a word of mouth marketing style is a very cool way to do it. I hope I can get to one of your gigs one day!

      • Chris,
        I agree with your believe in “word of mouth” being a cool way to market especially within the mellenial generation. I think In the world we live in social media is the most effective form of “word of mouth” so to speak.

    • Brendan you definitely present yourself well and show that even the most difficult of businesses can be achieved through having a positive work ethic

  5. Jack Yoest

    Brendan, Well said, the entertainment industry is a terrific model for measurable performance. Can the talent fill an auditorium? What counts is the number of seats sold and the box office.

    But to get there, others have to be ‘sold’ and persuaded and every business has gatekeepers. You have detailed the challenges of dealing with them in show business.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  6. I thought the article was really interesting, and felt the comparison between sales and a hostage situation was effective. Brendan, have you found that strategy to work most of the the time in the music industry?

    • I thought that comparison was highly effective and agree it was an interesting choice. It never occurred to me how similar the methodology used in hostage negotiations and sales actually were. The bit about the plastic trays amazed me because the difference between success and failure could hinge on that small trust.

    • What did you like most about the sales and hostage situation??

  7. I think that there is nothing more important than a personal connection. I would agree with Aira that advertisements are important but I think that people rely too much on targeted ads on social media. Of course I believe and support social media as a positive way to connect, but it does not fulfill the advantages of a personal connection. Face-to-face interactions or a handwritten note are examples of timeless and classic techniques to build personal relationships. I value when someone takes time to connect with me and I will certainly return the favor.

    • Jack Yoest

      Luke, you are on to a great point. When the sale is important, as in, say, a job interview, it is best done face-to-face.

      The highest close rate is done in person.

      Well Done,
      Jack

    • Luke,

      I agree with your comments about social media and how they don’t do enough to grab the attention of customers. I see their posts and things like that but often I don’t really look at them because I don’t feel a connection. I am much more inclined to do business with someone who cares about me as their customer.

  8. I found this to be a very interesting article. It was a great read, as it related directly to my summer job of selling cars at a Toyota-Scion dealership. I thought some great points were made, particularly about how so much of sales is in the response of the prospect. People want to buy from someone they trust. This is why building report is crucial. Once the report as been established, the prospect is more inclined to buy, and often times it is easier for us as salespeople to ask for the sale. People could buy a Toyota anywhere, this is why selling myself became just as important as selling the car. By building up a relationship, as well as product presentation, we have now earned the right to ask for that sale. I would have been interested, Professor Yoest,to hear about your closing style.

    I think Christiana made an excellent point. It seemed as though your ethical concern lead to a moral dilemma that affected your sales. This just goes to show that sales is a lot more fun and a lot easier when you’re selling a product you like, trust, and believe in. I found that selling Toyota’s was difficult, because I was not passionate about the line. Customers feed off of our body language, both positive and negative. Enthusiasm is contagious, so when you get excited about your product, often times so will the customer.

  9. Brilliant article! When the average person thinks of sales cold calling and door to door are probably what comes to mind immediately. In many ways those basic sales jobs are really the core fundamentals of any kind of sales or marketing position. As outlined in the article those fundamentals are building trust between you and the client/customer and selling yourself (getting them to like you). Marketing is an art and one that can be perfected like anything else with time and practice. Looking forward to reading more articles from you in the future.

    • Jack Yoest

      Hans, you are right — sales is an art that is perfected by practice — indeed sales is a practice, like medicine or law or management.

      I can teach the science of sales. But the art (insight) and craft (experience) of selling is best learned on the job.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  10. I really found this article to be interesting, it gives a view into why a lot of entrepreneurs or start-ups just can’t get off the ground. While your product or idea may be fantastic, products don’t sell themselves. If you don’t have the right people getting it in front of consumers, connecting with them and gaining a sense of trust, it may never sell. Meanwhile, the right salespeople can use their connection with customers to sell not just your original idea but other products in your brand for years to come

    • Jack Yoest

      Caileigh, true — this is one of the great big Business Myths, “that this widget will sell itself…”

      Not quite — even canned beer and the Monopoly board game and night baseball* each had to be “sold.”

      Well done,

      Jack

      *All invented in 1935

    • That was a really great point Caileigh! When someone comes up to your door to sell you something, you never think about the thought that goes into the sale. The sales person has to think of different strategies on how to sell not only the product but also sell themselves. Connecting with the customers definitely has an impact on whether or not you get the sale.

  11. I thought this article did a good job explaining the psychological aspects of business and salesmanship. Business is often thought of as a practice that is devoid of emotions, yet it is critical that a salesperson knows how to connect to his/her customer on a human level. The customer will want to buy from someone who has their best interest in mind rather than their money.

    I thought Matt’s perspective with his car-selling job was very on-point. He’s right–people are not going to buy cars unless they are comfortable with the information and recommendation presented by the salesman. Salesmanship is a two-way street and if the customer is not convinced from your enthusiasm or knowledge, then it will not work.

    • I agree with your point about how important it is to connect with customers on a personal level.

    • 100% agree with you that having the customers best interest in mind really helps create a great connection between the two. The seller should believe in the product they are selling.

  12. Jack Yoest

    Jared, an excellent analysis–Business is often portrayed as emotionless evil. But commerce is a source of joy and (com)passion.

    And, as we say at The Catholic University, Business is a Force for Good.

    Well stated,
    Jack

  13. After reading this article, I became aware of how important the concept of human behavior is in all different sorts of situations. In this article in particular, I found that the comparison between sales and a hostage situation was very interesting. At first, I did not understand what the author meant by, “Hostage negotiators, like sales professionals, understand that the start of persuasion is to get the ‘prospect’ to begin to respect the power of the negotiator-salesman.,” but after thinking fully through this situation it has changed my perspective. I now understand that the hostage negotiator, like the salesman is searching for clues from the criminal (that the criminal may not even know he is giving) that imply a sort of respect. In this scenario, it is the act of returning the hoagie tray, whereas in a sales scenario, it would be the buyer asking questions about the product, or responding to an email. When the salesman receives any sort of feedback, he uses that to further build a relationship on trust that may later turn into a sale. I see this in my life as I am a campus representative for Trend-Tribe, a jewelry company based out of New York. In order to meet out month’s quota in sales, my partners and I host trunk shows in the Pryz. When hosting these shows our first objective is to get people to come look at our jewelry, which would be considered the first “move.” After they are at the table, we try to build a relationship with them by striking conversation such as asking them what type of jewelry they typically wear, or suggesting that a certain piece would look great with the outfit that they already have on. As sometimes it is uncomfortable striking these conversations, we know that it is important to build this relationship with these buyers in order to first make them make a purchase, and second to have them be repeat customers in the future.

    In response to Christiana, I also would find it hard to go door-to-door with a product that I may not feel strongly positive about. However, assuming you were paid on commission, did you think that had any influence on helping you sell the product?

    • Morgan:

      Yes, I was entirely commission- no base pay whatsoever. I didn’t even get reimbursed for my Metro expenses.

      It did (I am not proud to admit) motivate me to sell a product I was unsure about. I came in with serious hesitations, then I was reassured by my managers– only to lose my trust later on. I think they just had a slew of barefaced lies for more hesitant workers like me.

      If I weren’t entirely on commission, I would never have made any sales at all. I would not have had the courage to knock on more than a few doors per day. HOWEVER, I should have followed my instinctive hesitation more.

      I was disgusted that I was motivated by MONEY to try and sell a product I wasn’t unconvinced was harmful to homeowners.

  14. Jack Yoest

    Morgan, a well-reasoned comment and observation — managing the relationship and getting information is important — in our hostage scenario the FBI salesman could ask how many Happy Meals to bring. Here the criminals would count up the hostages. The goal is not really to feed the crew and passengers and terrorists — but to count how many hostage-takers are on the plane.

    Best,
    Jack

  15. Selling becoming more personal by behavior I think seems more humane, even though it could be interpreted as tricky. Although door to door sales aren’t as popular today, due to people who have abused the selling relationships, noticing behavior seems very practical. Honestly I’m very suspicious of salespeople going about this more personal tactic and won’t buy from them again because I feel as though they were using me. I think sales can be delicate since there is a certain vulnerability there.

  16. This article brought to my attention the importance of having ‘people skills’ in the business world – specifically in sales – where it is extremely important to consider the perspective of the prospect. I realize that if someone is trying to sell something to me I am much more likely to show interest if I feel that the seller is trying to help me specifically or influence me in a positive way rather than simply trying to make money.

    This past summer, I interned for a recruiting firm where my role consisted of mostly cold calling and reaching out to candidates via email. I found that I was most successful with the candidates that I had more time to build trustworthy relationships with before convincing them to be interested in the available jobs. In order to develop this relationship with my candidates it was important for me to convince them that I had their best interest at heart.

    • Jack Yoest

      Michelle, an outstanding observation. As the sales guru, the late Zig Ziglar said, “You can get whatever you want in life, if you help others get what they want.”

      Well Done,
      Jack

    • Michelle, very interesting point of view. My cousin works for a recruiting firm also and I always wondered what she did and how she drew connections with her prospects. It is very important to understand that to get consumers you need to grab their attention by trying to make connections with them. I was very pleased after reading your comment about drawling connections with your prospects.

      Great Job,
      Tony Fisher

  17. Great Article. This article reminded me of when I was younger, and I would go door to door, during the winter, asking if one of my neighbors needed their drive-way shoveled. As stated in the article: “Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows.” Now, not every house needed their driveway shoveled, but for the few that did, it was rewarding receiving the money after the countless doors that I knocked on asking if they wanted their drive-way shoveled. I remember vividly knocking on one persons door asking if they wanted their driveway shoveled, and they said no; however, because I was so polite, the lady then referred me to one of her friends that needed their drive way shoveled.

    I can also relate to both Emily Del Valle and Christiana in feeling like I was trying to “force” sales. I mean, the whole reason why I was out there was because I wanted to make money. For the first few houses I went too, I remember almost begging to shovel someones drive-way, even after they said no. But, the more I learned that just using good behaviors as the key to actually getting the opportunity to earn the money, the more success I found.

    • Jack Yoest

      Zack, an excellent example — referrals and introductions are the best methods to sell — “I just was over Mrs. Jones…” or better, “I just shoveled Mr. Smith’s driveway…”

      In more advanced sales or appropiate settings, you might ask Mrs. Jones to call Mrs. Thatcher down the street and recommend your service.

      Well Said,
      Jack

  18. After reading this article, I realized how important personal connections are in the business world. When you are trying to sell something to a future client, it is important to establish a relationship that involves trust. I think that this is a big challenge that we face today, because of the social media and technology that we have. Because we rely too much on social media, we are not making face to face interactions that are very important in the business world.
    I agree with Michelle in a similar work experience I had. When trying to get in touch with customers via email, instead of just telling them why I thought they should buy the product or service, I had to create a relationship with them that would assure them that i’m putting their best needs first.

    • Jack Yoest

      Claire, Well stated — the best personal connections are made in IRL (in real life) in person.

      You are right — social media has made in person conversations more of a challenge to practice and learn.

      Best,
      Jack

    • I agree with Claire that we rely to much on social media and this is leading to a lack of trust. From experience I have learned that it is the face to face interactions that mean so much more then receiving an email or seeing a post. Especially in business and sales. Having the trust of a client is most likely going to lead to a personal connection and more sales in the future.

  19. “The prospect must respond and then trust you.” This sentence stuck with me the most out of the article because when a salesmen approaches me looking to by something, I need to feel a connection with him and trust what he’s selling. I am going to respond to a seller only if I trust what they are saying. Once you establish that trust, I agree your chances of selling something greatly increase.

    • Ryan,

      I completely agree. When selling, having your customers trust is a very important key to making the sale. By creating this trust you first need to create the personal connection therefore the customer has something to trust you with.

    • Jack Yoest

      Ryan, true — rapport is the first step in the sales process — and in all positive human interactions, like, well, dating.

      Cheers,
      Jack

    • Ryan, I agree that trusting the seller is important. You need to feel comfortable in buying the product and if you feel hesitant in the seller or product then it is not going to something worth spending my money or investing my time in.

  20. After reading this article, I tried to think of the behaviors of sales people. I personally worked in retail for 6 years so I know a lot about the selling aspect, but have never really thought about the acting and behavioral aspect. This article opened my eyes to this somewhat “behind the scenes” aspect of sales that has always been there but was well hidden and not thought about.

    • Jack Yoest

      Byrna, your training in retail sales probably included some part of making a personal connect and perhaps a number of customers to be approached during a shift?

      Good comment,
      Jack

    • I think, Bryna, the reason we never thought about it is because it always felt natural. It was an unscripted and hopefully genuine attempt to put the customer at ease and therefore we never noticed it, both as customers or as reps. I think it would be interesting to see how unsuccessful we would be if we completely left behavior and natural social manners behind and solely focused on selling a product. I would think some people, especially in the door to door market, would not even be able to approach the subject, none the less sell something.

      • Jack Yoest

        Brie, good observation — the sales process has an outline and can be ‘scripted’ — but —

        As you imply, the first step in any sales presentation is establishing rapport with the prospect. Making a friend and earning trust is a bit more of a challenge to script.

        Jack

  21. In my experience with the Business world, you always appreciate the personal connections you make with people. If I needed to buy a new vacuum and made a personal connection with a sales person, I would continue to buy from them because I would trust them with my purchase. I am a member of Program Board at CUA and we use many different companies for our events. We usually use the same companies for rides or food because we have formed personal connections with the companies and the people who work there. We know they are guaranteed to do a great job every time.

    • Jack Yoest

      Lauren, a great point — we are all creatures of habit and shortcuts — once we have found a vendor who we trust we are all slow to make a change.

      This is called a switching costs and this is a friction in doing business with a new untested supplier.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  22. I agree with the article, that selling a product is not only about the product itself. Of course, it cannot be a faulty or bad good because then it will not sell, but establishing a relationship with the customer is equally as important. As a customer, if I do not feel a connection or trust the seller of the product then I will not buy it.

    Also, some jobs are really just working within a system and figuring out how to capitalize in the market given to you. I like the use of the word ‘influence’ because I think that is a good word to describe marketing. Obviously the customer does not want to feel ‘persuaded’ into buying something because then it won’t feel like their decision.

    Samantha Hawkins

  23. Emmelyn Chapilliquen

    This article was very interesting to me because it made me think of what salesman go through door-to-door trying to sell their product. I never did one of those jobs but I was always the customer to open the door and the first thing you think is “Oh no, here we go again” b/c some salesmen I have encountered go right from the start on giving you the prices of products and don’t really connect with the customer. Their was only one time when I actually almost bought a door-to-door product when a female saleswomen showed up at my door at around 3pm (Which is way better than 8am on a Saturday like other people do) and she first asked me how my day was going and really connected with me and then she tried to sale the product. I agree completely with the article that you must first learn the behaviors before trying to sell a product one on one with the public.

    Victoria, I agree also with your comment regarding that it is hard to trust salesmen when they come door-to-door to your home since some of them are just selling cheap products for a lot of money or maybe they might take your money and never give you the product like money fraud. It is hard now a days to trust many people trying to sell things to you since their is so much technology on credit card and check theft. I think you are right, their is always vulnerability.

    • Jack Yoest

      Emmelyn, good point on the timing of the salesman’s approach — the best marketers package a product or service to conform to the buying preferences of the prospective customer — including the best time of day to approach a client.

  24. This article is a perfect example of how the times have changed. Years ago, business people were only conducting face to face meetings and sales people were only going to doors. Today everything is done over the internet or some type of new technology. Without the access of the internet, the variety of ways that people form relationships would not be the same but in-person is still by far the most memorable for both parties. I completely agree that strong relationships are the key to forging a bond between businesses and consumers. It is the job of the sales person to give off a positive attitude. In turn, the consumer will feel a connection with the product, which will hopefully lead to a long lasting connection.
    I completely agree with Lauren about how lasting relationships are appreciated and will be remembered. Connections are the reason students find jobs and internships that lead to great things. If you market yourself people will realize your potential and they will want to hire you.

    • Jack Yoest

      Devon, you are right — the web has enable the sales representative to fulfill the mantra,

      “Know your product
      Know your market
      See a lot a people
      Ask them all to buy…”

      Where we can “see a lot of people” attempting to market and sell on the web.

      And when this is done wrong, we get spam.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  25. This is a very interesting article. Firstly, the article provides a look at how different the world of sales have become. Physically knocking on doors is almost non existent these days. To me, sales people today must be trusted advisors for their customers. With the age of the internet upon us, consumers have access to a plethora of information about the actual product that is being sold. What becomes very important is the rapport between seller and consumer. I see interpersonal relationships between customer and seller more important than ever. If your customer can trust you I think you are in good shape to make a sale.

    • Jack Yoest

      Daniel, you are right — and it is more of a challenge to establish rapport on-line as compared to being in person with another person.

      Best,
      Jack

    • Well, I like how you bring up that “door to door” way of sales has almost become nonexistent in todays world. To give a different perspective, summer coming into sophomore year I was approached by a roofing company who needed some “canvassers” to talk to people about free roof inspections after a massive hailstorm in my area where many roofs were damaged. It was a very difficult job and many people were just truly not interested in seeing or talking to you even though you were just trying to help them out. It is a great learning experience however.

  26. I also wanted to make a comment to Devon O’toole. Devon, I agree with you that a seller must have a positive attitude but I do not think a positive attitude is of the utmost importance. As I alluded to in my comment above, I believe the rapport between seller and buyer is what is truly important. So, while a positive attititude is always important, being realistic is just as important. If you know that a consumer does not necessarily need the product or service you are selling than it might be better to be upfront with the customer. This will lead the customer to trust you and see that you are looking out for their best interest and if and when the time comes that consumer ever needs your product they will come to you to buy it.

    • Jack Yoest

      Daniel, good observation — we should be looking to solve the customer’s pains and problems as he defines them. Usually, if there is no real pain then there is no real solution that might require our product.

      Best,
      Jack

  27. This article was very interesting to me, especially the negotiator part because it is true in so many parts(based on what I have read in books and movies that I have seen), it is key for someone with that power to talk someone down from hurting someone. I liked that it connected to a salesman because that job can take a lot of time and patience. To be a salesman I believe it is important to understand that you cannot win them all. Not every door or phone call you will get a response. When it was stated, “Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’” I believe that this is key for everyone to understand. After reading this I called my dad. My dad worked in sales at one point of his life and he said, ” When I first started it was frustrating because it was hard to make connections, but latter I got the hang of it, I was not thinking of the money by the end.” When my dad said this I was shocked at first but after thinking of what he said for a while it makes sense. I believe you need honesty and patience to be successful in the business world. People need to understand that we live in a world were people still need goods and help but at the same time there people out there that do not have the patience or time to understand it.

    • Jack Yoest

      Anthony, excellent application — selling requires patience. Some products with long sales cycle that are influenced by multiple committees can be frustrating — and you are right: not everyone will solve their problems using your product.

      And this is why sales professionals work a large number of opportunities at one time, to play the odds in the law of large numbers that at least one sale will be generated.

      Cheers,
      Jack

    • Anthony,
      I also found the negotiator part to be quite interesting. I thought the article did a nice job connecting selling vacuums to negotiating hostage situations. I also like what you said about the “think behaviors, not dollars”. If you are only thinking about making money, it is going to be harder to make a connection with the customers. You might push the product to much, instead of building the connection which could scare of any potential customer .

  28. I found this article to be very interesting especially when they related a hostage situation to trying to make a sale. When trying to get what you want (the sales) you need to primarily focus on giving the buyer what they want first, a personal connection. You can’t just walk up to someones doors step and simply try to sell something that may not meaning anything to them, however if you have a personal connection with them you will learn what the buyer’s wants and needs are, giving you an idea of how to sale your item to them. After working in retail for the past two years I have learned that it is much easier to make sales when you have an idea of the styles your customer is looking for. You find this out by simply asking, “Is their anything I can help you look for today?” That question immediately shows that you are happy to help your costumers needs. Usually customers will then state what they are looking for and for what occasion. Having this personal connection with your customer will lead to you making a sale and your customer walking out happy. Because you have willingly made a personal connection, this will hopefully lead to the customer coming back at a later date. Making personal connections is important not only for the time being but also for making sales later on with that customer and others.

    • Jack Yoest

      Julie, Your experience is helpful in this example. It is always best to make some kind of connection with the prospective customer before looking for the customer’s need.

      But think of retail sales as, well, a singles bar. Or a career fair. We know “why” everyone is at those venues: to find satisfy a need by finding a person.

      And the is the art and craft of salesmanship — to move the ball (let’s not say, “get to first base”) by a face-to-face meeting that establishes a common connection, enabling rapport to learn if there is a fit.

      A fit between the offering and the need. It should be a “win-win.”

      Best,
      Jack

  29. I most definitely agree with the emphasis on personal connection in sales for, though I have no experience as a door-to-door salesman, I have experienced this as a bartender. As a bartender I am not just serving a drink, I am serving an experience. If my customer just wanted a drink, he would have saved his money, grabbed a six pack, and stayed home. One large component of the experience he is looking for is the service he will be receiving. In my experiences, I have found that even beyond fast and quality service (which are of the utmost importance in that industry), a personal connection with the customer makes the difference. I can make the customer feel like any other person in the bar, or I can make the drink feel like an experience made just for him or her. Customers that I have a personal connection with – whether it is a healthy banter, good conversation, or even just eye contact that shows him or her that they are my priority, this personal connection is what more times than not results in a better tip and, more importantly, a returning customer. It all comes down to the personal connection.

    • Jack Yoest

      Bernadette, Your experience bartending is a timely example confirming that we are social beings needing human interaction. We do our best (or worst) behavior in the company of others. And well need other people.

      It was thought that when movies were widely available on VCR tapes that the public movie theaters would go out of business. But no. We still need the physical presence of other people — even if they are strangers.

      Many faith traditions even command the observants to, “Forsake not the fellowship of the believers…”

      The best influence is seen in the company of other people.

      Outstanding point,
      Jack

    • Bernadette, I really enjoyed your comment about bartending. I have had an experience like this not face to face but with phone calls. For my internship I had to make many phone calls for clients. What I noticed is how important speech and tone is. Phone calls or emails for that matter have the same kind of an idea, selling an experience. Often we might speak to someone on the phone and they sound upset or just not happy and we will remember that bad phone call, not wanting to do business with that person again. When you talk on the phone with someone who is kind and you can make good conversation with, it is very important and brings you one step closer to building a better relationship with them.

    • Bernadette,

      I really enjoyed you sharing your experience on bartending and how connecting with your customers was important. You did a great job incorporating it back with the lesson from the article. I agree with your statement that it is up to the employee to make the customer’s experience one that he/she will never forget, no matter where they might be. This truly goes to show how you are as an employee/person, and what values your company has because they are the ones that hired you. I also agree that when you are working at any job, it is always about the customer. Great job!

  30. I found this article very interesting. Several members of my family are stock brokers or have formerly worked in brokerage so I have heard many stories about forming relationships built on trust with clients. Every client starts out as a fresh face that will soon become attracted or discouraged by the behaviors of the seller. Once the buyer is locked in by the way the buyer is presenting him or herself, the focus is then shifted to the product. However, I believe any good sales person must be a master of the art of forming relationships. I read a book last year entitled “It’s Not Just Who You Know” by Tommy Spaulding that discussed greatly the idea of return on relationship (RoR). The idea that establishing deep, meaningful, and powerful relationships with many people can effect your current life, but also pay dividends later down the road. Maybe this goes beyond a door to door salesman to more of a prolonged business relationship but I believe there are many similarities. When people buy something from someone they want to be able to trust that person. For a sales person, it’s all about proving how trustworthy you can be while convincing the client that this product is right for them.

    • I thought this article had a great emphasis on the importance of a personal relationship in sales. This summer I had a similar experience to what Chris is saying. My internship at BlackRock this summer I asked the Portfolio Managers what makes them good at their job and they said that the best of the best have close relationships with the FAs and clients. Also, I had the opportunity to talk to a woman in the marketing department and she said the most important thing in making a sale is reaching people on a closer level. People are more likely to buy your product and if they feel like they are being understood and can trust you.

  31. I very much enjoyed this article. For my internship this past summer at the American Land Title Association I spent much of my time speaking with potential customers on the phone and it really is true that building a relationship is crucial to making sales. Also, I believe that in order to build effective relationships with your customers you must be very knowledgeable about what your product or service provides in order to portray a sense of reliability and honesty to those you are trying to sell and answer any product specific questions they may have. I also very much enjoyed Chris’s comment above and how he eluded to the point of building relationships through sales can be a great way to network for future business opportunities. Also I again agree with Chris in regards to the importance of being able to relate how beneficial a product can be to a specific customers needs.

    • Matt,

      I also agree that in order to build a solid relationship with the customer you need to know the product like the back of your hand. Customers will have questions left and right once you make your sales pitch, and you need to be ready to answer truthfully and quickly. I liked how you made a personal connection to this article as well, so you have first-hand experience in making sales and building relationships.

  32. Jack Yoest

    Chris, true we need to each develop and nurture relationships with others. We all need a fat rolodex as the contact data base wheel for business cards was called back in the day.

    Everyone should begin to collect friends and names, enter them into a personal data base and keep in touch at least once a year.

    The best way to do this is to maintain a Season’s Greeting list and mail out a hard copy card each December.

    Well said,
    Jack

  33. It is interesting to hear stories about door to door salesman because you do not hear about them much anymore. These days if a stranger knocks on your door trying to sell you something it is weird, scary almost. Even when you walk into a store, I have had experiences where the sales person starts asking a million questions when you first walk in that I have just turned around and left because of how uncomfortable they make you feel. This article sheds light on an often overlooked aspect of sales. To step away from the idea of just trying to make money and focus on what is more important, the customer. The first thing you have to do in sales is to not talk about your product but to make sure your customer feels comfortable. The only way your customer is going to feel that way is if you are behaving correctly. This makes it obvious that sales is not for everyone. You can try to teach people how to sell but you cannot teach them behavior or attitude.

    • Jack Yoest

      Dakota, you are so right — it is the job of the sales representative to put the prospective customer at ease.

      And this is why salesmen and small business owners can earn comfortable incomes — putting people at ease takes talent and has value in the marketplace.

      Good observation,
      Jack

    • Dakota, I agree with your point about allowing the customer to be comfortable with you. If the salesperson can avoid the “weird” feeling and instead be building a relationship into a potential customer. Sales are not going to happen at the first knock or first call sometime, so to be comfortable with someone and to have connections with people who are “on the fence” about your product, can turn into sales down the road.

  34. I thought this article was very interesting. I agree with the article that building a connection with potential buyers is crucial in giving a sales pitch. I would much rather buy something from someone who is going to be friendly and make a connection with me. By making a connection it makes it seem like the person selling the product is concerned with selling me something that will actually benefit me, it makes it seem like they care.
    I also thought the part of the article that talked about being patient was interesting. I never really realized how much of a role being patient plays in selling products. It has to be frustrating having people just walk by and not listen to what you have to say. Not everyone is going to buy your product and its going to get frustrating but you have to be patient. If you are not patient, the potential customer will be able to tell that you are frustrated and it will be harder to build a connection with them. It will just make it seem like you are only trying to sell the product.

    • Jonathan,

      I agree with what you said about patience. Sales do not happen instantly. Building a relationship will create repeat sales for life. Taking the time to build a relationship with a client is one of the most important aspects of sales. It takes failure and patience to build a client base of loyal customers.

      -Dan Brown

    • John, very insightful takeaway on your behalf. I agree with you on all levels, but mostly your last point. “If you are not patient, the potential customer will be able to tell that you are frustrated and it will be harder to build a connection with them.” When I am placed in a situation like so, I too become frustrated with the salesman, and tend to just walk away. So in the end, he doesn’t make a sale, and I don’t have a new good, and last time I checked, thats a lose-lose.

      -Sam Richardson

    • Jack Yoest

      John, yes, patience is a virtue, especially in selling. The sales rep does not have to sell every possible prospect.

      But the sales professional knows how many accounts he must be working in order to open an account and close a deal and create a customer.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  35. I thought the aspect which Mr. Yoest brings up that it isn’t truly about selling the item but being more personable with the customer in order to influence them to decide themselves that they want the product was great. Because in the end of a sale, it isn’t the salesman who makes the decision, its the consumer deciding they want/need the product in order to better their lives.

    • Jack Yoest

      Daniel, the best sales close is where the sales professional can simply ask, “What do you want me to do…?”

      Best,
      Jack

    • Dan,
      I agree. Making personal connects will also make fulfilling certain wants and needs much easier during a sale. As proposed by the hostage example, its much easier to find common ground with people that feeling invested in you or the situation. Also information seems to always flow easier when situations are diluted of the formality of talking with a stranger.

      • Jack Yoest

        Dan, good point — we speak in a more formal tone in more formal situations. Establishing rapport provides a more informal atmosphere where trust can flourish.

        Best,
        Jack

  36. Great article on salesmanship. I agree with your statement that sales is not just ‘how to get the person to buy your product’, but rather establishing a relationship with your customer. By establishing this relationship with that person, you and your company can even benefit from their connections. Having a relationship with the customers allows them to build this trust with you and since you cannot sell to everyone, they will love the idea of being valued and ‘pampered’. Although I do not have any experience as a saleswoman, I do have some experience at the other end. I can assure you from a customer’s side, it is very appreciated when the company that is trying to tell to you makes it a point to make you feel important and keeps you updated on everything. I also enjoyed when you related sales to real life selling and explained the ideas with examples from the FBI and Hostage Negotiations. Great reading!

    • Jack Yoest

      Kayla, no one wants to face a high-pressure sales representative–and this highlights the genius of the successful sales professional.

      And this is to encourage the prospect to action to make a decision without alienating the relationship. This is hard work.

      Well reasoned comment,
      Jack

    • Kayla, I agree that establishing a relationship is key to making sales. Trust is a big factor for people because nobody wants to feel pressured or forced into buying a product!

  37. I found this article to be insightful in many ways. The first few paragraphs present sales as an art form. It is something that takes many hours of trial and error before seeing any real success. A good salesman has spent years learning the nuances of his craft. The author states that in the beginning of his career he would knock on 600 doors a week.

    “Practice influence, don’t ‘sell” are words that I have heard from salesmen in my own family. They have told me that the sales pitch comes last. They know their clients’ families, birthdays, hobbies and favorite restaurants. Establishing a personal relationship with a client builds the foundation for future sales. A relationship with one client creates brand loyalty and referrals to other potential clients. The author mentions this when he says “I needed fewer numbers at the sales funnel’s wide top to get a sale at the narrow bottom”.
    My main takeaway from this article is that sales are not made through manipulation. Sales are made through building relationships.

    • Jack Yoest

      Dan, outstanding observation–and the most efficient sales are completed on the recommendation of a third party — from a trusted referral.

      The best sales reps work to get that referral to reduce the time to agree to a deal.

      Cheers,
      Jack

    • Dan, great insight. The notion that sales pitches come last is very important. Trust is needed in order to make a sale, which is why your point about manipulation is so relevant. No person is going to respond well to a salesperson pitching his or her product or service without having any regard for the client they are attempting to sell to. This is why it is so important to show an interest in the person you are selling to. Clients are going to flock to the salesperson that shows enthusiasm not only for their product, but also for their client. Establishing a relationship with the client that proves you are looking out for their best interest will create sales and repeat sales. Really enjoyed the comment, Dan.

  38. I agree with the idea of connecting with the consumer on a personal level to some degree. If you’re selling something like a vacuum and you connect with a customer on a personal level, they are more likely to make a spontaneous decision and purchase a vacuum, rather than them just seeing an advertisement. If you’re selling something more expensive, such as a car, connecting on a personal level is with out a doubt significant, but will not play as big of a deciding factor.

    • Jack Yoest

      Sam, you are right — the more expensive the product the greater the need for a face to face presentation.

      The vacuum cleaner Your Business Professor was selling was (is) frightfully expensive — high end and not an impulse purchase item which would not need a detailed sales pitch to sell.

      Best,
      Jack

  39. This article written by Mr. Yoest is an essential read for anyone looking to go into sales or doing a door-to-door sales job. The major point that got across to me was establishing a relationship with the customer. Before you even start talking about the product you need to establish a connection with who you are dealing with and build a foundation. My father did the same thing back in the day, although he was selling HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) parts and contracts to industrial customers like school districts, hospitals, and office buildings. When I asked him about it, he could not stress enough the same points that were mentioned by Mr. Yoest in the article. Nobody wants to buy from a stranger, or someone that is unfriendly or someone that is clearly just there to collect a paycheck at the end of the week. People like the focus of the conversation to be on them and not the salesman. They need to trust you before they even thinking about buying your product. I really liked the hostage/FBI comparison, waiting for them to make the move. Rushing into the sale will definitely not get you anywhere.

    • Jack Yoest

      Jack, you are right — people want problems solved. And they will make a decision to buy to eliminate pain — the prospect really need not care about the salesman — only that the salesman cares.

      Well Said,
      Jack

  40. I firmly agree with what has been said in this article. Although the products and means of selling have changed, sales are still made between people. This article hits on that point of how selling is the art of exchange. Although it is more than important to have to necessary knowledge in order to perform it well for case by case. I cannot help to agree that the process starts with how you interact with your client on a human level. In my personal experience, I have seen my most successful sale pitches result in a form of friendship afterwards. In the end, this article shoes how important it is to be well versed in the both the context and the method of communication when selling.

    • Jack Yoest

      Shay, you bring up an important point — your clients will become friends. When one of my companies was sold, my customers, who were nurses, called me and would begin to cry about my “losing” my job.

      They were my friends.

      (Although, they each were friends, I didn’t have the guts to tell them that I had an equity position and was quite comfortable to cash out…)

      Cheers,
      Jack

  41. Sales reps often get a “bad rep” because of the stereotypes that most salesman will say or do anything disregarding what is morally right. After reading this article, it’s refreshing to see some salesman focusing on what helps with not just closing one sale, but maintaining a relationship with a customer, that can lead to a connection, and many future sales. I have many sales people in my family and it is usually true that they can be good talkers; However, they focus on building and maintaining a relationship, one that focuses on displaying the value that the customer would receive from a sale. Even if a sale is not made, things often change, and if there is a stable relationship with a potential customer, you will be their first call.

    • Jack Yoest

      Billy, yep, potential customers have no problem in telling little lies to salesmen — but it is the salesman who suffers the stereotype of misleading — as in,

      Question “How can you tell a salesman is lying?”

      Answer “His lips are moving…”

      Good comment,
      Jack

  42. I thought this article did a great job explaining selling and marketing as a personal experience between a seller and customer. I also believe that when a seller makes a connection to their customer on a more personal level they gain trust and are more likely to become a reoccurring loyal customer. The article quotes, “The second skill George, my mentor, taught, was to influence, to persuade. Good sales training programs remind us the first step in the sales process is to establish rapport. The prospect must respond and then trust you.” I think the door-to-door selling situation was a great example of how selling and marketing is partly personal.
    “These days if a stranger knocks on your door trying to sell you something it is weird, scary almost. Even when you walk into a store, I have had experiences where the sales person starts asking a million questions when you first walk in that I have just turned around and left because of how uncomfortable they make you feel.” I agree with you Dakota that it is rather uncomfortable opening the door to a random salesperson and not knowing how to react. I that door-to-door selling is know more as an annoyance now a days because you are being bothered at your home which could make you feel like they are invading your privacy.

    • I think that this article did a superb job of explaining to audiences and not so experienced salesman that the basics of making a sale and convincing consumers to buy your product doesn’t just have to do with price and quality. One of the main things marketers and salesmen need to realize is that in order to sell a product you need to develop a relationship with the customer on a personal level. When making door-to-door sales, consumers don’t necessarily have all the details, thus they may be hesitant when agreeing to purchase the product. Personal relationships and sharing personal experiences with consumers may ease some of their concerns and eliminate their hesitation.

      Emily, I completely agree with you that the door-to-door selling situation is in fact a perfect way to show how marketing is partly personal. Like I said before, when selling something to a customer right at their door, where they may not have all the information, it is extremely important to develop a personal relationship to ensure that they trust you and that they are willing to purchase the product.

    • Jack Yoest

      Emily, I think you picked up on an important inference — I had an active trainer who worked with me (and was compensated when I succeeded– a pretty good deal…).

      Each of us needs to find and nurture a mentor — the small business owner must buy a friend (called consultants) if he cannot find a senior advisor for his team.

      A well written analysis,
      Jack

  43. This article is very interesting. My dad was in sales for 30 years, and I bet he would absolutely agree, especially to the part outlining how import persuasion via trust is to making a sale or gaining a customer. People are more apt to make a purchase if they feel like the salesman is coming from a place of genuine concern, or if they appear to be an average and relatable person.

  44. This article is very important to learning the impression a salesman must put on his customer by having a positive attitude through the process of forming a relationship. Customers want to like the salesperson of the product that is being sold to them because that also makes them feel like they made the right choice if they decide to buy. If a customer likes you enough they could even refer to another friend or coworker.

  45. I agree with Georges approach while teaching you to become a salesman. When you first start off as a salesman, it does not help to get scared into it. School is where you learn the background of the business world, but you will not know how to be a businessman until you are actually a businessman. The second point I agree with, is that relationships matter. If you go up to a door and the customer does not buy your product you have still planted a seed inside their brain. When that customer then needs that product, you have already pitched it to them. I also think that the comparison between the negotiator and the salesman, was spot on.

    • Jack Yoest

      Douglas, you are right — an advisor can guide the mentee on what is important in a situation and what is not — this takes wisdom and judgment to know what can be ignored.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  46. The quote, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something,” is true; however, I believe it can prove troublesome for young salespeople. The quote emphasizes the importance of the sale to a degree that the salesman could forget about the work that is necessary prior to the sale. As the author would learn from his mentor, it is extremely difficult to make an immediate sale without first creating a connection or relationship with the prospective buyer. It is impossible to make a sale without sparking interest. The best way to do this is to first show interest for the person you are selling to by creating a relationship. Something does happen before someone sells something in most cases as the author would learn.

    It is also very interesting how prevalent adaptation is in sales. The author talks about how his mentor instructed him to think behavior and not dollars. How can you sell to someone effectively if you do not know their tendencies? You will never be successful if you do not take this into consideration. There is a lot of trial and error involved in the sales process. After collecting the data through trial, it is imperative that you adapt to the behavior of the buyers or prospective buyers. This will result in the salesperson realizing the most efficient way to attack the sale. The process of selling is strategic and must be planned out. Success will evade you if you show up to someone’s front door and say, “Hey, you should buy this vacuum.”

    • Jack Yoest

      Jimmy, you are right in that sales must be practiced and learned on the job — like riding a bike.

      As the late Dave Sandler, founder of Sandler Sales Institute, once said, “You can’t learn to ride a bike in a seminar…”

      Best,
      Jack

  47. Coming from a father who has spent his whole life in sales, I found this article to be very accurate and personally relatable. In my opinion, the relationship within the sales transaction is the most vital part to any sale, which involves a great amount of what the article mentioned as “persuasion”. The only way to obtain the potential customer’s trust is through this skill of persuasion; understanding what the prospective consumer interests/desires are, and being able to satisfy their desires through proper communication and negotiation. I thought the application of sales to a hostage situation was very interesting as well because the negotiation and persuasion are used in similar ways.

    In response to John Blee,
    I forgot how important patience is in the field of sales. John makes a great point about staying persistent with patience, otherwise your frustration of denial may lead to less focus on the customer, potentially resulting in a larger focus on just trying to “sell the product”. Sales can be extremely frustrating since most people are not interested in your product from the beginning of the sales conversation.

    • Jack Yoest

      Brad, your comment is helpful — all salesmen suffer continuous rejection with an occasional sale.

      Most of the sales rep’s life consists of closed doors and getting some dozen “no’s” for each “yes.”

      Well Done,
      Jack

  48. My step-father works in sales for a car dealership but he calls himself an artist. For years I have always wondered what he meant by it and then I got to see him in action. Much like the article talks about, sales is an art, an art that requires one to be completely be in-tune with the costumer. The artistic(salesperson) needs to identify the problem the costumer is having and show them the perfect remedy(product or service). Once this occurs, the salesperson can paint the perfect picture for the costumer.
    Another thing that the article discusses is knowing your costumer, not just their name or line of work but their family, friends,etc. My step-father has told me any of times it all comes down to return on relationship. That because he spends the extra time and energy to make to really get to know the costumer, when the costumer leaves, their friend and/or family member is in the dealership the next week looking specifically for him. One must always remember, that we(humans) are relational creatures, we can use that to are advantages in all stages of life.

    • Jack Yoest

      Michael, this is an outstanding observation about the work of your step-dad — his speaking of sales as an “art.”

      (The) Donald Trump would agree — he named a book “The Art of the Deal…”

      Well Done,
      Jack

  49. This Article was very interesting and I believe that developing a relationship with the buyer is great. Media and Technology have defiantly come into play more than the personal connection when it comes to selling a product. I believe when the seller makes a connection with the buyer, it creates a loyal customer that not only wants to do business with you but also would recommend you to their family and friends because of the trust and personal connection the seller has made.

    • Jack Yoest

      Carmisha, you are right — some things are only done in person.

      The three life events that command our presence are:

      Births
      Deaths
      Marriages

      We cannot “phone it in” using technology — we must show up and make that human connection.

      And important sales also command a personal visit.

      Well said,
      Jack

  50. I agree that establishing rapport is fundamental to marketing, but at some point you have to move in the direction of whatever product or service you are selling. I think the key is to determine when you cross the threshold from building rapport to selling a product. If you only focus on building rapport you’ll end up with a lot of friends, but also a lot of unsold products.

    Lauren, I agree with your analysis that it takes time and patience to make a sale. The only thing I would stress is that at some point in the time frame of your pitch you need to move into product details. For instance, if you only have a 10 minute window to talk to someone, at some point before minute 10 you need to begin talking about the product. If you don’t, you’ll never end up actually selling your product. The point I’m trying to make is that building rapport is extremely important, but attention to the product is equally as important!

    • Jack Yoest

      Joe, you are going in the right direction — the sales rep must know if the time invested will pay off or not.

      The salesman is not a professional visitor — he is there to do business.

      It is often best to “Go for the No…” To (dis)qualify the prospect so the sales professional can more fast to the next prospect.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  51. What influenced me most about this article was: “Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and
    Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’
    Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows.”
    I never considered this. I always thought the money as a first thing priority.

    • I agree with this. I think that in order to create a future with the potential client you have to win them over with your behavior. The goal is to make the customer happy not to make a profit while burning bridges and having a bad attitude.

    • Jack Yoest

      Lauren, what I have learned as a sales rep and as a sales manager is that women are always among the top performers — females do a better job, in my limited experience, than men.

      Women work relationships and will nurture a connection. Women are perceived to be open and honest in business dealings. Most con-men are, well, men.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  52. Very interesting article. I think this idea of getting the customer to make a move towards you is in direct relation to confidence in yourself and your selling abilities. This confidence comes from previous success in sales. As a result it is a snowball effect of success and will result in a long term ability to sell to even the most hesitant of potential buyers.

    • Jack Yoest

      Joe, good point — success makes the next sales call easier.

      Best,
      Jack

    • I agree with your point that a successful sales pitch should include more than just grabbing attention from the customer. Instead, the customer should want to learn more about your product. That being said, I think it’s essential that the salesperson build a rapport with the customer and provides empathy for the customer’s wants and needs.

  53. I found this article very interesting especially when it made the connection between the salesperson and the hostage negotiator. Not something I would have compared on my own. Yet after reading this article I see how important it is in both situations to first establish a personal connection with the customer/criminal. I have had experience with sales being an on campus representative for a jewelry company called Trend Tribe. The best way to get customers and have them return is when you build a connection. We have only had three trunk shows yet I already have people asking me this year when our next one will be. I realize that our company now has a relationship with its customers. I don’t think of them as just a transaction anymore. It can be hard to get the interest of people who don’t know who you are or what you’re selling. That’s why I liked in the article when it said “Always try to get your prospective customer to make a move in your direction.” When someone comes over to our table and is already interested, that’s when we are most likely to make a sale. This article has further shown me the importance of first establishing a personal connection with your customers.

  54. The article highlights the importance of connecting personally with a consumer. There is nothing more important than connecting with the audience that you are selling to. This article demonstrates how a few years ago a lot of sales were done face-to-face, and now most interaction are done over the internet. Doing things over the internet is easy and efficient; however, does not create a personal relationship with the consumer. Forming long lasting, personal connections is one of the most important things in business, especially in sales. Consumers are most loyal to companies with good customer relations; they will come year after year. Social media is a wonderful tool; however, it is not quite the same as a personal, face-to-face encounter. It is easier to connect with someone who is talking to you directly. I really value someone who takes the time to talk to me personally. I think it is the most affective means in sales.

  55. This article made me think. I think that it is so important to have a good relationship with your potential clients and that the first impression will make or break the future that you have with your potential client.

    • I agree with your comment! Having a solid/good relationship with anyone in business can make or break your company or sales process. Always dress to impress and put yourself out there.

    • Jack Yoest

      Ali, this is true — and why the best sales professionals command terrific incomes — they are able to make a good first impression and do it fast.

      Best,
      Jack

  56. I really enjoyed reading this article, as I interned in sales this past summer. I can relate a lot to this article; the author’s idea “influence first, the money will follow” is true in sales. You have to create relationships with the customers before you think of doing anything else. I would much rather be in business with a person who cares about building relationships and not just making money.

  57. I enjoyed the article. It is interesting to see the process of a sale and how even though only selling 1/3 of the product still ends up giving the seller a sense of pride. In the sales world you are responsible for you own success. Making relationships, putting yourself out there, and working extra hours all can lead to heightened success. Sales is an art and I agree that you cannot push your client too far.

  58. Jack Yoest

    Analisa, yes, you are responsible for your own success in sales. Although there are team sales, most sales presentations are solo events where the salesman would have only himself to blame if the deal is not done.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  59. I, myself, have a bit of experience in sales, and I agree whole heartedly that sales is based a lot more on behavior than anything else. I was trained to always match my potential customer. If they were quiet, I quietly went through my presentation, if they were loud, I was loud. It made for a more comfortable environment.

    Another thing was acknowledging that whatever is being sold, people need. People need a vacuum, life is filthy. The trick is to fully believe that statement yourself and convince the customer of that certainty as well. Sales is no longer a pushy and rushed affair, in fact if anyone tries to complete a sale rushed, they are more likely to lose the sale. Sales is about trust, and establishing that trust is a major percentage of making a sale or business deal.

  60. Jack Yoest

    Brie, your experience and behaviors match up with the sales philosophy of Saint Paul who said we should be all things to all people in order to demonstrate an empathic, compelling presentation.

    Well said,
    Jack

  61. This reminds me of Tom Black’s advice in his book “Boxcar Millionaire”. The key to Black was making as many presentations as possible, even if you had already met your goal or if it was a competitor’s client. Simply put, practice makes perfect. Even if the prospect says no, Black treats every no as a necessary step to the next sale. Furthermore, every pitch opens up the seller’s network, expanding their sphere of influence. Just like in the world of entertainment, exposure makes all the difference.

    • Jack Yoest

      Joe, an outstanding observation. The best sales guys always “go for the no.”

      They play the law of large numbers — where the odds eventually come in favor.

      Well Done,
      Jack

  62. The development of rapport might be great for getting exchanges of greater value and commitment between potential buyer and seller, but what should not be forgotten is the necessity of the seller ultimately offering something of value. The exchanges between the police and those holding the hostages is not only of value to the hostages, their freedom, but also to the safety of the hostage keepers, their safety behind bars instead of fugitives with a bounty. The police (salesmen) shouldn’t be trying to trick the hostage holders (potential buyers) into doing something that is good only for the hostages and the police, but good for everyone.

    • Jack Yoest

      Patrick, you raise a terrific point — that at the POS (point of sale) it is not possible to easily discern the difference between a man you have confidence in, and con-man; a con-artist — the actions are the same to motivate the other person.

      It is the intent that is different. For the sales representative the prospect is a customer to be nurtured. For the grifter the prospect is a ‘mark’ to be exploited.

      And that’s why sales is a suspect-skill. The most dangerous skill is the ability to persuade.

      Use your power for good,

      Cheers,
      Jack

  63. This article discussed one of the most difficult things for people to understand and respect. Sales is not just putting a product or service out there and waiting for people to buy it. A sale is the notion of connecting with a consumer and telling them why they should buy into what is being offered. The hardest part is getting the attention of the consumer. Once the attention is given that is when the salesperson has to be on point and ready to establish the relationship. As a salesperson you have a limited amount of time and that is why it is important to make the connection to the product/service to the individual. Basically tell the individual why and how they will benefit from the purchase.

    • Jack Yoest

      Alissa, you are right — sales is the management of a relationship. But we must have the attention of the prospect before the relationship can begin.

      Well written,
      Jack

  64. I couldn’t agree more. It’s not simply about the numbers (even though those do matter), its about building rapport with your leads. Not everyone needs what you’re selling, but they may know someone who does. If you build a good relationship with someone, then they may refer you to someone who does need your product. Plus, you are building your network, and not alienating people. So just be nice and get to know your customer!

  65. Establishing a quick and personal connection with prospects is an important skill for salesman.
    As a door-to-door salesman, I learned to collect as much information as possible before knocking on someone’s door. In order to do that, I observed a lot. I also asked myself lots of questions: what product they’re using, how much they are potential paying for their service, is the decision-maker home. These information helped me lead the conversation and establish a personal connection with the customer. And even if I did not make the sale, the connection I made would leave a good impression about the company I represent.

    • Jack Yoest

      Kien, good point — even if the prospect does not purchase immediately, our goal shifts from sales to marketing where we want the potential customer to have a positive impression of our company.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  66. This article brings up a very important point of sales: the salesperson must have a good sales attitude and be able to make personal connections with potential clients. If the salesperson has a good or great product, it’s only half the battle. He or she must establish working relationships with clients, or else the product will never see a sale. “Influence,” therefore, is more important than just “selling” because the client must alter his or her behavior in order to purchase the product. If the salesperson goes about the task along the lines of “here is a valued product that will allow you to better your lifestyle and behavior” rather than “here’s a thing I give to you once you pay me,” both the salesperson and client should have a more successful experience.

  67. This article makes me think of my waitress days. After a couple of months on the ground, the restaurant I worked at developed a cute little dessert menu. This was to be “dropped” on the table after customers have finished their meals. “Don’t ask, just drop it,” my manager would say. This was the behavior aspect of the two basic skills mentioned in the article. For example, for every five tables I dropped the dessert menu at, at least one would order dessert. Obviously, this made for a bigger bill and increased sales. Then, came the influence part. “Have we decided?” I would ask. Sometimes, only the kids picked out dessert and not the parents or just one person out of a couple would get something. When this happened, or when they were on the fence, I would offer what my favorite selections and ensure to put extra whipped cream/ice cream/chocolate syrup on the dessert. I said all this with an earnest smile, trying to win the customers’ trust. Usually, they caved. I mean, who can say no to a Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie?! All in all, I am in agreement that practicing behaviors and influence will help tremendously in sales.

    • Jack Yoest

      Clare, an outstanding example of behaviors. Your manager did not merely say, “Sell more desserts.” You had an action which you executed.

      Now this would have a perfect, let us not say delicious — ending — to top off the story — if you knew how much the behavior generated in sales.

      Did the check total go up?
      Did your tips go up?

      I would predict that they did —

      Well Done,
      Jack

  68. When I worked in retail, much of my customer interaction was based on developing connections with our customers. They were more likely to purchase, and in particular, purchase multiple articles of clothing, if we spoke with them, offered them advice about styles and sizing, and suggested other pieces that could complement what they were interested in. In a way, we were using the Features, Advantages, and Benefits approach to sell clothes to the customers, but it went far beyond just this. Even a simple smile could go such a long way when dealing with a customer, and compliments, style tips, and color choices went a long way in developing that connection with them. Bringing more options to the dressing room almost always guaranteed a purchase of some sort, whether it was the entire thing, or just a few pieces.

    • Jack Yoest

      Christina, very perceptive. You were able to build rapport and confidence in the customer and persuade the customer to move in your direction. This is the rarest of skills and is often mis-used.

      Please, always use your power for good.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  69. Elizabeth Masarik

    The phrase, “You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink,” reminds me of the lesson of this article. In sales one must be particularly careful to not be forceful or fake; one must allow each customer to evaluate the worth of the good or service on their own. When someone feels like they are not being pushed into something they are much more likely to buy whatever is being sold. That way the item or service is seen to be fulfilling a gap in the lifestyle of the customer, and is therefore much more valuable.

  70. This article is interesting and informative as it reveals a useful method in accomplish difficult tasks. The method refers to a transformation of quantitative into qualitative changes.
    If one does something enough times, he will always got some positive feedback. And as he becomes better in doing that, he would need fewer times to get one positive response. This actually reminds me of a specific job hunting technic. When the job seeker sends out many resumes, there is very good chance that he would receive an interview invitation. And as he sends out more and more resumes, he becomes better in composing a persuasive resume, which reduces the attempts needed to get one interview.

  71. This particular article reminded me of my time in my undergraduate career. Receiving a degree in Sociology taught me a lot about human behavior and interaction, and how to respond to these various human behaviors. I think that is very similar in a sales approach. A sales representative/manager has to respond to his or her customer’s behaviors, and use that to their advantage to make a sale. This was similar in my seminar style classes where I have to convince someone of my argument, and I would do this by knowing what their typical behaviors and thoughts were, and use it to my advantage. I think these skills I learned in Sociology and my graduate career, will help me if I ever want to go in to sales.

    • Jack Yoest

      Victoria, you are right — In business we used to call these “soft skills” (with people) as opposed to the ‘hard skills’ (with spreadsheets).

      But, these days, the hards skills can be outsourced. The soft skills are usually a core competence.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  72. This article illuminates the importance of what I think is a key factor in any business transaction, trust. As a former sales associate at a bridal salon, I learned that establishing a personal connection with a client is the most critical part of making a sale. When a client trusts you, they are going to be more interested in your pitch and your product. Feeling confident in you as a salesperson will help them to feel more confident in their purchase and increase your chance of making that sale. With experience in this field, I understand how tempting it is to get right to pushing the product and talking about all its great values and features, but it is important to recognize that selling is a process which must be carefully followed for a greater chance of success.

  73. Personally, the door to door selling never appealed to me. I have always been the stand behind a counter selling kind of girl. However, in some sense I can relate. I am an undergraduate business student with only one year left before I am out into the big bad world or work. I am putting myself out there essentially “selling myself” (my work, my knowledge, my experiences), I just want an employer to notice and employ me. It isn’t always easy. Because of that, I completely understand the concept of establishing a friendly relationship with the prospective buyer. I am grateful though for reading “remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect”, I need to work on “persuading” and “influencing” potential employers.

  74. Being a good salesperson can be difficult, and it definitely involves more than just FAB. This is because most people will be able to easily identify what a product is, its advantages, and potential value to them. The key to good selling is actually showing a person that what he or she is buying is worth the investment, because most people have most trouble deciphering whether or not the product is actually something that he or she wants to spend money on. This will require sellers to truly persuade others and convince them that they should buy a product or service. This includes establishing a degree of personal interaction because consumers generally like and appreciate when sellers establish some type of personal connection, instead of making it seem like all they are trying to do is get them to spend their money. Consumers are more likely to trust what sellers have to say when they establish a personal connection, which will require sellers to focus on behavior and persuade.

  75. Personal interaction is something that clearly drives sales. When reading this article I recalled a number of times a salesperson in my life made a sale because he or she was personable. When people connect on a personal level they become more comfortable with one another, and this is essential in sales. If you feel uncomfortable with someone selling you something, you will never buy. I have seen this in clothing stores when you say you are “just looking” and the aggressive salesperson stays near you still asking you questions. This is a turn off to many customers. In this article I also thought of the difference between being persuasive and being manipulative. Sales are persuasion; you have to let the person decide for him or herself what they want. You cannot manipulate of force them.

  76. Everything I thought it meant to be a good salesperson completely scared me. I never considered a career in sales because I never thought it was a talent I possessed. But this article truly opened my eyes to the different ways I could potentially excel in this profession if the opportunity arises. I appreciate the concept of making relationships with the customer instead of creating a superficial bond by only trying to sell. There is much more to it than stating a pitch and I realize now connecting yourself with someone can go much further than anything else. Establishing a bond immediate leverages you to success in the sale and that’s something anyone can do!

  77. I agree that sales are more than simply reiterating the product, features, and benefits. Instead, sales involves rapport between the seller and buyer. With this connection, I think it’s important that the salesperson be accustomed to ethics. It’s important to sell the product only if it is a mutual beneficial trade. Ethically, the salesperson should want to sell the product because they believe in the product itself, instead of selling only for commission. This way, buyers will buy products that are actually useful and beneficial to their well-being (hopefully). I believe there is a negative connotation for salesmen and cold-calls because customers do not believe that their interest are considered or valued. Instead, most customers often feel pressured or attack to buy a product they have no use for. Thus, knowing the importance of sales code is just as important as understanding the basics of ethics.

  78. With some experience with door to door selling I am personally not much of a phenomena. In High School we had to participate in fundraisers for the football team. I personally never liked going to people’s door and asking them to buy my material. I would much rather put the product information in their mailbox with a number to email and contact me if they were interested. I absolutely agree that behavior really determines if someone wants to buy your material. If you approach the door with a good, kind behavior, you can at least get the consumers interested in your product.

  79. Breaking the sales code is something you have to do in every aspect of your life. When you wake up in the morning, “what you are selling” could lead to how successful your day will be. If you are selling a good/ hard working attitude then you will be productive and have a successful day. That kind of goes with the first point of getting the behavior right and the money will follow. Believing in a product will show the customer that there is real value to the product and the customer will place value on the product and will be more likely to buy. I liked the article and thought it was informational.

  80. I think that the most interesting part of this article was the comparison between the relationship of a criminal and the police to the relationship of the seller and the consumer of products. It is really accurate because like the criminal has to learn to trust the police in hostage crisis’ the consumer of the product needs to first trust the sales person selling the product and also trust the brand that the sales person is selling. For example people buy Girl Scout cookies because psychologically they trust the brand name. The likelihood of someone buying cookies from a brand that they don’t know and trust is low. Therefore I think that this statement is extremely relevant in the world of business.

  81. I think it is very interesting that you bring up the point of getting to know the personality of the customer in order to get the sale complete. I think this is a key concept that many managers and bosses forget in the business world today, if only they stepped back and rethought their actions. I think too many times the idea of being successful takes over the thought of the customer. As this article say the seller or the company should think of the customer and if they need this product that they are selling and how to advertise the customer to convince them they need the product.

  82. While profit is always in the back of a sales person’s mind as they are selling a product, they should always remember that it is not just about the money. It is also about a prospect trusting them to improve their life with this certain item. Persuasion makes or breaks a sale. It is all about the power of words. Are you able to hit the heart of your prospect? Being able to speak with passion about a product, makes the prospect believe in your product. It will also make them see your product as a penny well spent because it is a solution to an issue.

  83. This is definitely an interesting article but times have changed and cold calling and knocking on doors is not how sales are landed today. With the minor experience that I have with Sales, cold calling and knocking on doors just gets you a bad response. Sales happen from leads and warm introductions. Selling is in fact life or death for those whose income depends on it, and sometimes people are that desperate that they cold call and it sometimes works but most of the time it doesn’t. I feel that sales are landed when the buyer feels comfortable doing business with the seller. This happens by the seller creating a relationship with the buyer and truly wanting that person/business to be better off because of the product that they will have.

  84. From my sales internship experience with The University of Maryland, I found this article accurately describes the nature of making a sale off a cold call. At my internship, I had to connect with prospective clients on the phone, and I found it worked best when a mutual connection was established quickly. Sales is a business based off creating an interest and taking action on that desire. The transference of emotion is key to creating that personal relationship and building off that cold call situation. Once the connection is established, I found it best to persuade the client into a sale by using my knowledge of the product. This base of knowledge was key in discussing any rebuttals raised by the client, and confirming the clients features, advantages, and benefits of their purchase. With the rebuttals conquered and the FAB’s explained, the next step was making the ask and closing the sale.

  85. This was a very interesting and relevant read. I spent last summer working for The American Diabetes Association as a corporate development and marketing intern. This job meant making a lot of cold calls to Fortune 500 companies to convince them to donate to the ADA. At first this job was not easy, there was a good amount of rejection. Once figured out that I would get more donations if I focused on talking about their company rather than the ADA, I started to get much more corporate sponsorship. I would talk about all the great things that the person on the other end of the phone’s company did for the community in Philadelphia. After I connected with them I would talk about the influence their company would make by pairing with the ADA. This strategy, like the strategy in this article, was very successful. Sales definitely takes a lot of practice, and along with that a lot of trial and error.

  86. I think this article is interesting because how the related hostage negotiator with the person who sales, its a excellent relationship. Although i think knocking on door to door can be frustrating most of the times. Because sometime the response of a person your knocking the door on could have a negative attitude. However, when the person is confidence and can grab attention by telling a joke can. This can ultimately persuade them to buy. Also keep in mind that the location can be important too. Find a location that most people you talk to have positive energy, so it makes it easier to persuade them into buying. Therefore I think that the method in approach someone can change the way they think.

  87. I thought this was a great article and I agree whole heartedly. Now many people may choose to abandon this way of thinking for the traditional ABC method. And in some cases they would be right. Some people only care about the bottom line. However that may not always be the case. And in most cases I think a person must be trusted to sell.

    In the television series “The Office” James Spader’s character Robert California speaks to this thought. In the episode where California is being interviewed to be a branch manager, he is asked how he thinks his past experience in sales will translate to the selling of paper. He then goes on to say it doesn’t matter whether he is selling $100 of paper or $100 million of deep sea diving equipment, the buyer wants to be respected. Now this was of course a comedy and the character goes on in the quote. But this beginning portion is entirely accurate.

    Sales has as much to do with the human nature of buyer as it does with the pitch and methods of the seller. People do want to be respected. Had the author gone door to door and said something negative about the house and how much it could use a new vacuum, it would likely have resulted in much fewer sales. And human nature will draw people to the seller they trust more than the disingenuous one who’s trying to shove a product down their throats.

    But how about a practical example. Whenever my dad has to purchase a car (though it’s not that often) he likes to work with the same seller as before. My dad not only builds a loyalty to the brand, but the seller as well. He trusts the seller. On the flip side. If the seller treated my dad poorly, he very easily could have chosen to 1. Go to a different person or 2. Never go back to him for another purchase. People who can build that kind of trust can rely on a loyal client base.

    A person can be only concerned with selling a product, but in a world where there are so many options, it seems like a poor business model to rely on the one time buyer more than the repeat customer. In a later episode of “The Office” Robert California addresses a demoralized staff who feels like they cannot compete with online sellers. He gives them a pep talk.

    “Let me tell you how I buy something these days.
    I know what I want, I go on the Internet and I get the best price.
    Or, I don’t know what I want, and I go to a small store that can help me.
    The era of personal service is back. You are back.
    You’ll find that customers will pay our higher prices and then they will thank us. And we will say to them, you are welcome.”

    Trust of the salesman matters. And in a world of online sales and multiple competitors, people do not have to, nor will they, put up who does not value them as a customer and with whom they cannot trust.

  88. Knowledge of your product shows you’re confident that the product you’re selling will better the life of your potential client. However understanding where the consumer is coming from and showing compassion towards them will create an emotional attraction to not only your product but also yourself. With sales, your are asking for the opposite party’s money in return for your service or product, and money is dealing with their livelihood. Many are hesitant to say yes to a sale because money is a huge priority. However if you control your behavior and mannerisms in a way that persuades the consumer to trust you, then making the sale will be less difficult.

  89. I am taking a Sales class this semester, and a lot of the things that are touched upon in this article have been our topic of discussion lately in class. Sales are made when a relationship is built on trust between the seller and the buyer. In order for the seller to gain that trust, he or she needs to not only ask questions about what the buyer is looking for in a new product, but also use those questions as a tool to infer about what kind of personality that buyer has. If you are able to make assumptions about the personality of the person you are selling too, you can figure out how to approach them about your product in order to establish a relationship and make a sale.

    For example, yesterday in class we were doing some role play for sales calls. I found that one of my classmates, as the seller, was completely in control of the conversation even though the ultimate decision was up to the buyer. Her open-ended questions and calm, confident nature allowed the buyer to open up about their current problems and implications. The statement made in the article that, “The power comes from persuading the other person to make moves,” is the perfect way to describe what my classmate, as the seller, did to solidify the sale in the role play.

  90. In the business world, personal skills go a long way. In the sales world, personal skills are one of the most important things to being successful. There is nothing worse than having a salesman who is clearly only concerned about the money. If I am going to put my trust into what a salesman is saying, I want to work with someone who I am going to get a long with. If you are a personable salesman, people are going to want to work with you and recommend other people to you.

  91. Being a good salesman starts with being focused and how you present yourself. In the article it said, “get your behaviors right and the money will follow.” I believe this to be completely true, being focused on what your selling and how your going to make that sale starts with getting your mind right. If you are not totally focused on what your selling you may not be convincing enough or make that connection with your customer. Making a connection with your costumer is a very key aspect and I believe that how you present yourself will make it that much easier to make that connection. Showing this person you actually care about the product and that you’re not just selling them some garbage will help the customer become more comfortable and willing to buy. As the article stated half the battle is getting the customer to actually listen to you and I believe that presenting yourself in the correct manner and showing them you are truly focused on what your trying to sell will help you gain that persons attention, and ultimately land that deal.

  92. When reading this article I couldn’t help but to think about how many times I have bought items from people who really connected with me. When buying from a sales person it’s must easier to be convinced to buy when you can tell the employee truly enjoys what they are doing and how much heart and soul they put into it. If the salesman is bland and doesn’t seem interested in the product, you will not be interested in the product. The ideas of “think behavior, not dollars” and “practice influence, don’t sell” are great phrases to remember if one goes into the sales industry.

  93. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments you expressed in this article. I thought your point about making a personal connection with the person you are trying to sell something to is so important. Too often people go in with the mind set of, “I need to make this sale so I can get my commission for this month.” I think that the most successful salespeople have the attitude of, “how can I help this person and make their life/job a little bit easier.” By starting with the notion of helping the customer, not selling the product, sales are bound to increase as a result. I also think that you need a solid belief in your product in order to have this confidence. If you are trying to sell a shoddy product/service than your sales will be shoddy as well. Consumers want you to show them why this product/service will improve their lives, and if you can’t tell them that, then you will not be successful in sales. We must start with a belief in the product and a want to help the customer….sales will follow as a result.

  94. Like it is explained in the article, I think it is very important that the sales- person keeps in mind ”to influence, to persuade.” I think that this is one of the hardest things to do and honestly it is what most people miss. I feel like so many people focus so much on the product itself and do not make a relationship with the customer that allows them to influence and persuade them. This not only affects the sale but the impression that the customer has on the company. Even though it may just seem that the sales-person is just knocking on doors, they really do have the opportunity to create a life- long relationship with the customers they are interacting with.

  95. To get the customer, you have to believe in what you are selling will benefit them. The salesperson may show this belief by influencing and persuasion. Going into sale only thinking about the money will rub off on the customer. A good way to be a good salesperson is to say what you would want to hear. How would this product benefit my life? Once you have figured out what you would want to hear from a random salesperson knocking at your door, you perform the task. Good persuasion will benefit you and the customer for the outcome.

  96. I agree with the points that you have made throughout the article. the first point of “think behaviors; not ‘dollars'” is something that I had learned in my sales job over the summer. I would ask for feedback each time and in the beginning I realized I had talked to them as I would my friends. Realizing that is not professional, I quickly realized the importance of presenting yourself as a professional because people will take you more seriously. Which to your point once you get your behavior right the money will flow. The second point you made about influence and building rapport is the more important of the two to me. One thing I always made sure of was that when I would be walking out of their door that I was leaving a house that would want to invite me back. Rather than walking out having the feeling that I just burned a bridge and that I would not be allowed back. Because at the end of the day you never know who your next boss or co-worker will be.

  97. I find the Negotiator-Salesman example relates very well up until the time aspect. The negotiator may have over 72 hours to make his “sale” but when actually selling a product to someone, your time ranges from seconds to minutes. A salesman must form a relationship with the customer quickly, or the door will be shut in his face.

    I’m currently working as an HR Intern at Aflac, Not quite a sales job, but it has some similar aspects. My responsibilities mostly cover recruiting. My job is to call people looking for a job (preferably in sales) and try to get them to come in to one of our group interviews. When training us, our supervisors seemed to just be teaching us subtle tricks and automatic responses to common questions. While these have been helpful, it did not go as deep as talking to us about changing our behavior.

    The “Thinking in behavior, not dollars” statement stood out to me. No one likes a salesman right away. They see a guy trying to get them to spend their money on something they’re happy without right now. It would not cross their mind that this stranger is looking out for anything besides their paycheck, surely not other people or their longterm happiness. Quickly turning that notion into something friendly and trusting takes a lot more than a few tricks, and it is impressive that this company was taking the time to teach some of these skills to a few high school grads they got through a newspaper ad.

  98. Person to person business is the best way to sell any product and there is no better way to master it than going door to door, or cold calling. A sales persons behavior can make or break the transaction, if you come across too strong the person will be think you are desperate for a sale and hurry away. On the contrary if the sales person is too passive than they will not make a sale and lose all the customers. If you can connect with the customer, don’t focus on your product and selling it since people don’t want things thrown in their face. Products invite customers and behavior makes the sale.

  99. This article is very interesting. My family never answered when door-to-door salesmen came to our house, so it is engaging to know their strategy. The negotiator needs to have power of the situation. He or she needs to influence the buyer to respond and have that mutual interaction in order to have a possible sale. If the buyer does not respond or leaves, the sale is lost. This is why customers at the mall sometimes avoid kiosk sellers, as they will call to you and try to persuade you for that mutual interaction. Changing behavior is also important. The salesperson must be a go-getter and confident with what he or she is selling. These factors play a very important role with making sales.

  100. Victoria Principato

    My only experience with door-to-door sales was when I was eight years old and selling Girl Scout Cookies. Even then, I only would sell to neighbors who I was familiar with, and who would purchase my wares out of politeness. This article shows a completely different, strategic side to sales. I find it interesting (and true) that selling a product is is an art. As Rachel commented above, to get a customer, you, as the seller, have to believe in what you are selling to get the consumer to buy it.This, I believe, is the key to success in sales. If you, yourself, don’t believe in your product, then why would a customer?

  101. This article was a bit insightful, but I also felt as if I’ve heard all this before. George, the trainer/mentor, taught the two basics: behavior and influence. The article went into such detail explaining what he meant by behavior and influence and all it came down to was simply acting a certain way and persuading a certain way. Say I wanted someone to do a favor for me, without thinking, I’m most likely going to act all happy, joyful, and well mannered because obviously acting rude will get you nowhere. I’m also going to be as persuasive as I need to be to get the favor done. I did not need this article to tell me all of this, but what I did find intriguing was how George set up the behavior analogy with the funnel. It made it that much easier to grasp the concept of what that sales person needed to do to get his job done through out the week.

  102. This article really intrigued me because of the different techniques that are incorporated in the sales department for a business. Sales is all about knowing the potential buyers that you are contacting and know exactly what they want and why they want it. This is essential because the then the seller will know how to pitch the buyer on their product and know what exactly they are using it for. The article touches on how sales has a lot to do with behavior and how the seller is approaching and communicating with the customers. If you can build trust with the buyer and they are sold on your behavior while communicating then you have a better chance to not only make a sale but to create a bond that makes the buyer a long time loyal customer.

  103. I thought this article was a good read because it represents what marketing is and the different skills it takes to sell a product. Although I have never sold vacuum cleaners, I have sold candy bars and other fundraisers items for my sports team back when I was younger. If you believe in the product that you are selling and can be influential, then chances are you will be successful at selling a product. As the article stated that once the door opens, the buyer has already showed interest, but it’s all up to the seller to close the deal. If you have a good sales pitch, and use good manners, then the greater the chance the consumer will buy the product.

  104. I think two big takeaways from this article are the two basic points George the trainer and mentor said “Think behaviors, not dollars” and “Practice influence, don’t sell”. By analyzing the behavior of the customer it would make it easier for the salesperson to connect to the customer and not only influence but better pitch the product to them. If the salesman quickly learns the behavior of the person they are trying to sell to and knows the product well, he/she would have a better chance in selling the product. From personal experience there have been many times where I’ve bought something from a sales person because of how well they related to me in some way or another and how well they knew the product and explained really well that product would benefit me. Just by creating a bond with the customer it helps the salesperson not only make the sale but create a loyal customer.

  105. Mary Margaret Sheridan

    I have had similar experience as a sales associate in retail. The more meaningful customer interactions you have each day; the more chances of a sale you will have. I see the sales funnel on a daily basis. We greet each customer and try to interact with them in the hopes that they might open up to us. Our goal is to get them into the fitting rooms to try different things on and then eventually buy a few of those things. If you can get someone to try things on in the fitting room, they are more likely to buy. Whether or not a customer buys something that day, it is important to make them feel special so that they come back into the store. The repeat customers are the ones who spend the most and they keep coming back because of the personal connections that we make when they first come in.

  106. As having a parent that used to work in sales, I can relate to the strategies and techniques they use in order to persuade and influence the customer. In this case my mom would trick me into doing something I had no intention in doing then wound up loving it. The part of the article that intrigued me the most was the comparison of a salesmen and customer to the police and a criminal. As you said in the article above and what my mother used to tell me, get the customer to love you and trust you then they will buy anything from you. I agree that in sales there is a great need of trust and a positive, fruitful, friendly relationship.

  107. I loved this article. I think there is something very important to be learned here, aside from the fact that you need influence and effective behavior in order to sell something. The important thing in this is, you have to sell something. It doesn’t matter how great a product is and how brilliant the people were who made an advanced product. At the end of the today, the only way you are going to get money is if you sell it. It’s that simple. I think some people take this for granted, when its actually the most essential thing for a business. I go to so many places where the behavior and influence of the employees is exceedingly ineffective, and therefore makes me not at ease. However, multiple times, I have been inclined to buy things from sales people who influenced me to buy their product, though it was not a vacuum.

  108. Sales, or any relations for that matter, are built on trust. When a seller establishes a strong mutual connection and interest with their buyer, then the sale will be made. Your trainer, George, said it best: think behaviors, not dollars. As humans, we have no control over the outcome of a situation. What we do have control over is our actions and behaviors. If you don’t make the sale the first time around, it’s okay because you’ve now built a relationship with a potential client and a good reputation for yourself and your business. By doing this, you’re able to familiarize yourself with the customer, level with them, and convince them that they need what you’re selling.

  109. Many don’t give it enough credit but sales is a very tough profession. People are tough to crack, especially when it comes to their money and where they should spend it. As people we respond better to building relationships and the behavior of people. If the salesman is able to build a trust between himself and his prospective buyer the likelihood of that person following through with a purchase is much higher. We live in a time where social media and internet are the main means for advertising. However, although old fashioned, one-on-one sales and marketing seem to be the most worthwhile.

  110. There seems to be a lot involved with door to door sales. I think a very important aspect of sales is to sell something that you honestly believe is a good product that can be beneficial for the consumer. You need to be able to converse casually but firmly with the person you are trying to sell something too. Pitch your idea or product, and hand people necessary information for them to make an informed decision on whether or not they could use what you are selling. The main thing I took away from this article was when you are selling something control your behavior and persuading your customer to buy your product.

  111. Establishing a relationship with the person a salesperson is selling to is fundamental in closing the sale. The buyer has to feel that confidence and trust with the salesperson before handing over the cash/credit card. Just how a person is reluctant to give a stranger money (unless it’s for a good cause), a person at home is not going to immediately feel comfortable giving a door-to-door salesman money. The effort of establishing rapport is key to then being able to have influence on the person’s buying decision. Like mentioned in the article, if there is no relationship, there is no sale.

  112. I see the value towards behavior, but it must be paired, as you said with other factors. I am currently woking on an outside project where a company wants my group to increase their cold call success rates. They know, behaviorally speaking that if they call 100 people, they will get a client, but if a more strategic approach like filtering common traits among previous clients could be created, the behavioral patterns could be significantly more effective. This is my goal in my current project, and while it is not always wholly applicable to all situations, there is certainly value in identifying successful drivers to push future revenues.

  113. In sales it is most important to make a connection with the consumers so that they become a customer of yours. The way that a salesperson conduct themselves can make or break the deal. If you conduct yourself in such a way that the consumer isn’t persuaded or swayed then you probably won’t be able to make the sale. First thing to worry about is the way you’re acting and conducting yourself then the next thing to worry about is trying to persuade the consumers to buy your product.

  114. The way you act and conduct yourself during the sales pitch is the most important thing. You cannot be thinking about sales or all of your motivation will be directed towards money and not the customer. You must create a relationship with the person you are selling to in order to make the sale, if they don’t like you they most likely will not buy your product. But if they do like you on a personal level there is a good chance that you can make the sale.

  115. It is hard to sell anything in life without developing a relationship and rapport. Once a relationship is established the FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits) approach is one way to induce potential customers. Something that salesmen need to understand is that people are not robots. When hearing a sales pitch we are not immediately thinking of the + – effects on our bank statement. Developing rapport and providing the FAB approach is a way to illustrate value to the customer, which often supersedes the end price of the product.

  116. I think sales is all about how well you can connect to the potential buyer. If they don’t feel like you are forcing them to do something, it might be easier for them to make a decision in your favor. People want to believe that you are actually trying to help them rather than just trying to get their money. Patience is definitely a key quality of a good salesperson. Letting a potential buyer express their concerns and questions about the product may make them more comfortable in talking with you and gives you a chance to show how it can benefit them.

  117. I really found this article to be interesting, as i worked for a small startup company this past summer. It gives a view into why a lot of entrepreneurs or start-ups are not successful. While an idea or product may be great, that does not mean that people are willing to buy into it. In order for the product or idea to be successful, you need to have the right people communicating with the customers. I worked at a healthy fast food joint, selling smoothies, wraps, salads,etc. I worked in the front of the house meaning I was interacting with the customers recommending things for them to get in their smoothie, or my favorite things to eat. It was interesting that all of the people placed in the front of the house were talkative bubbly people, and that was because we could sell the product. This was just proof to me that the right salespeople can use their connection with customers to sell not just your original idea but other products in your brand.

  118. This is a very interesting article to me. The two basics your trainer taught you” think behavior and practice influence” is very important to teach to any seller. In my opinion, creating a relationship between the seller and the customer is more important than focusing in the product. This will build a trust between the customer and the seller. Nowadays, the social media is media the most effective way to build the trust.

  119. Abdulaziz Almuhanna

    I really like this article, also the comparison between sales and a hostage situation was great.

  120. It’s interesting you are highlighting the differences between “always be closing” and to “influence.” On a certain level are they not similar, if not the exact same. For example, trying to influence someone during the whole conversation is a form of closing. Though, agreeably, it is not as strong as asking how many of a product they want. Your boss understood how to close on a more cerebral level. It was a more friendly, trustworthy close than Alec Baldwin may have proposed.

  121. Adriana Del Castillo

    This article stresses the importance of establishing rapport and building connections. Selling isn’t just about making numbers or presenting your pitch. While these are important, focusing solely on sales does not actually get the sales; it means you are focusing on yourself as opposed to focusing on the customer.
    Building relationships and having the customer trust you are the way to understanding their need and seeing if there is a fit. Repeating behaviors is also a way to increase success.

  122. I completely agree with this, while selling well is a skill few people have, there are ways to be effective without being Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. One way, as you said is numbers. Knocking on X amount of doors will typically get Y responses. As my Business Professor always says it’s important to “go for the no.” If you can get the “no” that’s good because it means you can move onto the next guy. The other way to gauge a sale, is like the hostage situation. If you don’t get a no, you may still have a sale, if they do something, you are 10 times closer to a sale. An uninterested person won’t return a phone call about a vacuum if they don’t want a vacuum. But if he does return that call, you know that there is a little part of him that does want that vacuum!

  123. An old teacher of mine once told me, and I think I might have mentioned this in a pervious comment, that not everybody is going to be a customer of yours. Not everybody is interested in what you’re selling and that’s okay. Much like people who would ignore you at the door and hide in their kitchens and pretend they weren’t home, people today will just walk away from you, will ignore your email, and ignore your phone calls, like you also mentioned. To make a sale, you need not focus on changing the mind of people who aren’t interested at all, however, appeal to those who are even just a little bit interested. And the “super fans”. This reminded me of kiosks- most people just walk by them. However, sometimes they have something that people want, and they just sell, sell, sell! However, understanding that most people find them annoying and will just walk by IS NOT personal. It’s in the job. But paying attention to how people are responding to you and your product is KEY! Sell your confidence and then sell the product. Make the customer comfortable! Great article, very inspiring.

    • Jack Yoest

      Zoe, an excellent comment — you are right: we do not have to sell to everyone (but we can ask everyone…).

      As the editor of Parade Magazine once said,

      “Know your product
      Know your market
      See a lot of people
      Ask them all to buy…”

      Well said,
      Jack

  124. I think that the sales training is quite interesting. The stereotypical salesman is just there to sell you some random piece of junk and move on. Sure you will get to know the ‘all new features’ and the advantages that the competitor does not have and the the benefits of having this device, but at the end of the day the salesman just wants another dollar in their pocket. This process is not intimate, not personal at all. What George taught, is the exact opposite, it is intimate and it is personal. If you are able to build a relationship with a customer, then to them, and even to you, does not feel like you are selling them some random item. It feels as if you want them to make the decision that best suits them without pressuring them or making them feel obligated to buy the item. Through this relationship, more opportunities can arise from both sides. For instance, the customer will talk positively of the salesman, which will then spread through the community; and if the salesman returns and sells a different product to the community, the people will be more receptive to the offer since they feel they have a more personal connection.

  125. Jack Yoest

    Tim, your analysis is right — most people think most salesmen are only in it for themselves; only for the money. And this is true for some sales hustlers.

    But the industry has changed since Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman — These days sales professionals develop relationships, as you noted, to get a win-win for all parties.

    Some sales trainers will call this ‘consultative selling’ acting as an advisor on solving a problem.

    Well done,
    Jack

  126. The article this week was really interesting and it was a type of article that I have really never read before. Being a salesman can be a very tough job. I believe that being a good salesman takes a lot of skills and in order to be successful with being a good salesman, you have very good people skills. It is also tough because, as a salesman, you are not always going to sell everything you are trying to sell, but you can only ask the customers to take it into consideration. Having good people skills is important, because if you have good people skills and you can talk to customers easily and get along with them, you then start to build a relationship with them. I look at a show like “The Office” where they are paper salesmen who you see in some episodes has strong relationships with their customers and know about each other’s family and by having that strong relationship with them, they will continue to stick with you and stick with the product you are trying to sell. By building these relationship with these customers, you might not know what good opportunity will come out of it, for example like a new job or maybe something that will help you and your family out. So by building a good relationship and keep able to communicate the right way with your customers, you will be a very successful salesmen.

  127. In the reading Cracking the Sales Code with These Two Basic Principles, it talks about a different approach when it comes to the operations of a salesperson. Sales is categorized with features, advantages, and benefits, but in this reading George took a different angle by thinking behavior not dollars, and by practicing influence. George went on to talk about how sales are like a funnel you go to several houses, you get allowed into six, and at the end of the day you only make on sale. The main message was to explain that Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.

  128. Jack Yoest

    Julio, a very good summary of Cracking the Sales Code.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  129. In my opinion, it speaks volumes that George told you to focus on behaviors not dollars, and to influence not sell. If your behaviors are right and not focused on the dollar, it helps present yourself in a more genuine and ethical manner to the customer. This in turn leads to trust, which is one of the most important things to customers, and then can lead to a sale. If you focus on influencing the customer and not just selling, it forces you to be more in-tuned to their needs, wants, and desires. It shifts the focus from yourself to the customer, which can make all the difference. While these strategies can help you get the sale, they can also help the salesman/woman grow. It teaches the salesman/woman how to respect, listen, and treat others. It teaches them to put the customer’s feelings and needs before their own. It emphasizes the importance of being ethical and to have sensitivity towards others, while also being the best strategy to make a sale. As most people know, customer satisfaction leads to profit, there’s no need to have profit be the main goal, it can often encourage unethical behavior. Having the customer being the focus of the sale, not the dollars or sale that the salesman/woman gets, benefits both parties in the end.

  130. Jack Yoest

    Michelle, an outstanding analysis of the sales process — you also describe the best way to make a winsome argument to ‘sell’ the boss or peers an idea.

    Well said,
    Jack

  131. I agree with what you’re saying here. Without a personal connection or trust there will be no sale. If a consumer feels like he or she is just the means for a salesperson to meet a quota or make money, the consumer most likely won’t listen to a word you have to say. If that consumer feels more or less like they are talking to a friend then you’ve already won half the battle as a salesperson.

    Going along with the consumer should see you as a friend, it is important to not be too pushy. Rather than trying to back someone into making a decision you should just be trying to influence their decision making slightly.

    George really gave some quality advice by saying focus on behaviors not dollars and to influence not sell. If the consumer can tell that money isn’t your top priority they will be inclined that much more to trust you. By following George’s advice you will be able to make far more connections with people and in the long run, you’ll make more money by making money not a first priority.

    • Jack Yoest

      Daniel, an excellent observation. A salesman is a company representative whose interest is offering the customer a solution.

      And the relationship should be understood as being for the long term.

      Very good,
      Jack

  132. I absolutely agree that personal connection is immensely important to a successful sale. I liked the hostage negotiator parallel, highlighting the aspect of sales that is really nothing more than influencing a prospect’s decisions. When George gave the advice “focus on behaviors, not dollars and to influence, not sell,” what he is saying is to focus on the process and not the outcome. Focusing only on the outcome – the sale – will not yield the results, as you will come across as pushy and not in the customer’s best interest. Instead, focusing on the process of the sale, and doing all the right things in terms of building rapport and subtle persuasion, will give the salesperson the best shot at a close.

  133. I find it interesting that you compared sales to a hostage negotiator incident. In both situations the customer (hostage holder) knows what your end goal is: either selling them the product or letting innocent people go. I also believe that creating a relationship between the customers is the best way to go. When you focus on the conversation rather than trying to sell the product, it creates a more natural flow that customers appreciate. I myself would prefer a salesman/saleswoman to not attack me with “why you should buy our product”. If you focus on the process of the sale, like a conversation, then the sale could potentially follow. It is most important to keep the customer (hostage holder) satisfied because they ultimately determine the final outcome. Although it seems like a tedious task for low results (knocking on 100 doors, then having 3 people interested, resulting in 1 sale) it is a far better way to gain a better reputation, and the fact is, it probably has a higher success rate of closing the deal than focusing on the outcome. By establishing a personal connection, it creates happy customers, which in turn, produces profits in one-way or another.

    • Jack Yoest

      Renee, you are exactly right — our position should be to always see an opportunity or problem through the client’s eyes — from his perspective.

      This is where the company representative and customer are both looking at the issue and not necessarily at each other.

      Well Said,
      Jack

  134. I have noticed the same thing this summer in my internship selling insurance. This summer I have learned that sales is a numbers game just as much as it is an interpersonal experience. I have learned to read the way that people answer the phone the tone of the voice, the words that are said, and the structure of the conversation. Going off of this I will adjust the way that I speak to the people that I am trying to set up a potential meeting with. If the person is happy and sounds kind, I tend to ask them how their day was. If the answerer is abrupt I cut right to the case, then tell them exactly why they need my product for the betterment of their employees.

    I am just starting this aspect of my professional career. I have noticed that on cold calls I have about a one percent acceptance rate. Regardless of what I do within 100 calls I will have about one person want to meet. All that this tell me is that persistency is the key therefore I make my daily goal to be over 200 calls. I keep calling the same business even after they say no the first time because persistency is key. Hopefully at some point I will be able to read the customers as well as the hostage negotiators do. Then I could be really successful in the business world.

  135. Jack Yoest

    Bill, an outstanding example of the sales funnel — did your sales double as you increased calls from 100 to 200?

    I would forecast that your sales more than doubled — 2.5 or 3? The harder we work, the luckier we get and all that.

    Well done,
    Jack

  136. I had to actually do this younger for school. One good way that I found to get the person to first open their door is to look like you are there to talk, not to sell. It also helped I was 6 years old and not looking like a door-to-door salesman.

  137. I think the one of the most important aspects of sales is persuasion. In sales, you’re basically persuading a potential customer to buy a product. You’re persuading them that yours is the best product out there and that they should trust you because you seem like a nice guy with honest intentions. I think that my generation has moved past cold calls and door to door salesmen. Personally, whenever I’m home and some comes knocking on my door, I pretend I’m not home and wait till they leave. You know, I’m young, I don’t like people telling me what to do. I especially don’t like the idea of someone coming into my house and telling me to trust them and give them my money. In 2016 I believe everything has become digital. Kids and young adults see things online and they want to buy it. I personally would rather research a product by reading reviews and performance testing than listen to some guy who works for the company try and persuade me to buy “the best vacuum on the market.” No offense to you Professor Yoest. I just like to form my own opinions about a product or at least see what the majority of people have to say about it.

  138. Focusing on behaviors to attain results is an ingenious way to focus on getting stuff done without letting the anxiety of failure stop you from playing the game at all. When I was a campaign volunteer we were not discouraged from the people who didn’t answer the door, we succeeded in accomplishing the first task; on to the next one. Our end goal was ultimately to ascertain their voting stance but there were several obstacles on that road. First knocking on the door, then gaining their trust to talk to us instead of slamming the door, then actually getting them to commit to releasing their voting intentions. If we were lucky they would engage us and we had a chance for dialogue and even conversion: a sale! In this form of sales I saw all the same steps. First knock. When they opened we immediately formed a good repertoire to make sure they trusted that these strangers on the doorstep were not here to harm them, we were someone they could trust. Once they trusted us the door was open, literally, to advance and move towards the sale. I learned to never underestimate the power of personal connection, trust, mutual satisfaction and focus on behavior not results. Keep trying, focus on the method and the results are sure to follow.

  139. I agree that establishing a personal connection is essential to becoming a good salesman. They are knowing about behaviors of people instead of dollars and practice influencing those behaviors instead of just trying to sell. One person that comes to mind that is a good salesman is Donald Trump. I believe this because he has great influence over people and he stays true to himself, which all in all people respect. He utilizes his ridiculousness to work for him. Trump understood the behaviors of a lot of US citizens and so he was able to easily influence masses of people to become the Republican Party candidate. It is very important to understand that to get consumers you need to grab their attention by trying to make connections with them.

  140. Earlier this summer, I sold Verizon Fios door-to-door. During training, developing a personal connection with the customer was emphasized more than anything else, even more so than actually knowing all of the details about the product. At first, I thought it was so strange. I remember thinking, “I’m not an expert on the services, how am I supposed to make any sales.” However, after a few weeks, there I was selling Verizon packages. Through conversing with the customers and listening to what they liked or didn’t like about their current services, I was able to focus our conversation on the specific features of Verizon that catered to them, thus maintaining their interest. Honestly, the customers just wanted to know that I loved the product I was selling. They wanted me to make eye contact, and smile.

  141. Caroline Eldridge

    Analyzing the sales approach as a conversation is a good way of looking at a sale. For example, in order for humans to interact and form relationships, there must be give and take from both parties. The same is true for product sales. In order to foster a connection and make a sale, both parties have to play roles in the communication. Without customer response, marketing seems like a person lecturing endlessly to a crowd of disinterested people. When customers begin to respond by buying products however, the marketing is a success and a conversation between company and consumer can occur. It is important to note however the dramatic increase in sales when customers are forced into responding. That creates an automatic connection for companies and consumers and facilitates a conversation platform for the company to market products. With the introduction of social media, this technique has grown in a new way. Marketing campaigns no longer have to rely on television commercials to a disinterested crowd to make sales, they can watch consumers communicating with them via “likes” on social media posts and see what is effective. With the introduction of social media, companies now have the opportunity to knock on doors when the consumer is ready to answer the door (i.e. when the consumer is online) and can make a much more effective sale.

  142. Growing up with my father in the insurance business, I got a good taste of many different perspectives of sales. Without a doubt, as the article makes clear, a good relationship is pivotal. I’ve learned from observing how he works that there are several benefits from establishing a good relationship, especially in a small or local business. His clients are comfortable paying more for a reliable service, and are highly likely to recommend the business to friends who are in need of the service as well. It’s interesting to see how close his relationships are. He is always out to dinner or on the golf course “doing business”, which i found very interesting as a business tactic. Sales definitely relies on trust, and to establish trust, you need to have great interpersonal skills, which can be used in many aspects of marketing especially the 4 P’s, in addition to sales. It’s a great skill to have, and can make or break a business.

  143. Madalaina D'Angelo

    Fully support the importance of sales, and that knowing a product and being a strong salesperson will lead to the money– it’s true in most fields where customer service is one of the forefronts. I know from experience that even in a field as simple as waitressing that product knowledge, behavior, and establishment of customer rapport certainly lead to increase tips for the server and a higher bill for the establishment they’re working for.

  144. Jack Yoest

    Madalaina, you are right–the best sales and marketing professionals know the behaviors that will generate customer satisfaction and produce revenue.

    This works in most any business.

    Well done,
    Jack

  145. When i think of “sales” the first thing that comes to my mind is money. What is presented here is interesting because not everything in life is money and money is not the only thing that will help us be successful. In this case we can see that business starts from a relationship with the costumer cause in the end if the costumer doesn’t like the product he is not going to buy it but odds are that if you and the costumer have good interaction he will end up buying the product. I agree with the fact that when selling a product it is not only (although important) Features, Advantages, Benefits but the customer has to relate to you and the product.

  146. Elizabeth Gittings

    This article is intriguing and puts sales into a nice two step process. Behave as you should, and persuade as you would want to be persuaded. In my eyes I see it as grab their attention without them realizing it, and start to talk about what you want. These two steps are new to me but make a lot of sense. The example of a hostage situation puts into a better perspective of how casually the negotiator implants his plan into the criminals mind. This tactic is used daily both on small and large scales and can be used without even realizing it.

  147. This article brought to my attention the whole idea of making the consumer feel comfortable. In some situations people don’t always like the idea of a random person knocking on their door. The salesman has to be able to initiate that connection that makes the buyer comfortable. In the article the example of the criminal “returning the trays” shows that he can be persuaded. I can see the huge importance in the consumer making that move back to the seller. Not only does it show that he has the possibility of being persuaded, but it also shows that he is comfortable with the salesman. Once the buyer is comfortable, it raises the chance of the sale going through.

  148. I found this article to be very true but yet intimidating. I find that persuasion is an art that can be mastered with time, practice, attentiveness and willingness to constantly learn. Persuading someone to do something can sometimes feel manipulative if it is out of your own best interest and not at all for the others. That is why is it important to really believe in what you’re selling/ or influencing and how it can be a mutual benefit. I agree that behavior and social queues are everything in the initial stages of forming a business relationship to later gain a benefit from it. It is therefore important to have the respect of the person you are trying to influence, because I do not find it possible to influence someone that does not have your respect.

    Overall a great article!

  149. I never would have thought to compare a salesman going from door to door to a hostage negotiator in the FBI. It seems that the roles are extremely different and the negotiator is attempting to save lives while a salesperson is simply trying to sell a product. I understand the comparison in the sense that in both situations a relationship or sense of trust must be established. This is sensible and true to more things than just hostage negotiations. When a Professor teaches students, they must attempt to develop a sense of trust in their students and develop a type of “relationship” with their students. If the students don’t trust the Professor, why will they listen to a word he/she says? It’s the same for the door to door salesman. If the homeowner cannot develop a relationship or sense of trust to the salesperson, why will they want to buy the product? Relationships are the fundamental foundation for all sorts of transactions and events throughout life. Without this basic foundation, how can one expect to grow up?

  150. I have great respect for salesmen because more often than not, they are rejected or ignored. Despite having doors slammed in their faces or people walk by without acknowleding that they exist, they remain motivated and continue to work hard and never give up. I agree with the article when it states that “sales… includes the art and craft of personal interaction” and that it is important to first focus on “behaving a certain way… then on persuading and influencing [a] prospect.” Many times I have encountered salesmen who go straight to trying to sell a product without making an attempt to connect to the potential customer. I take the time to listen to the salesmen who ask about my day or life and who explain to me why a product might benefit me personally as opposed to the salesmen who go straight into talking about their product and all of its features. Both sides, salesmen and prospects, have a thing or two to learn. Salesmen need to learn to interact personally with the prospect and build trust and a connection before diving into the actual sale. Prospects need to learn to respect salesmen and remember that they are people too who, just like all of us, are working trying to make a living to take care of themselves and their family.

  151. It is interesting to separate a sale from the product, but the sale is really about the two people in the transaction: the salesman and the customer. The rapport that is built between the two parties is what truly drives the transaction. Of course the product has to be respectable enough for the consumer to be interested at all, but the man behind the product is what really sells. I particularly liked the allusion to hostage negotiation, as I feel that it brought the argument to an entirely new level. Ultimately, behavior and influence are behind all successful sales. Despite the need for a product, a salesman must be able to communicate to the customer why he or she needs not only the product, but also the salesman-consumer relationship.

  152. Anthony Spadaccini

    Business is often a big mind game. By going door to door you needed an action plan for each door knocked on. You did not know the level of interest, how the persons day was going, or if they were even home. Before you even knocked on the door, there were 3 things unknown about the situation. Once you got to the door you needed immediate action to grab the attention of the potential buyer, the sales hook. I did this over the summer for my internship working for a new start up in Colorado. I handed out samples on the outdoor mall in Denver, people out for a walk, or even going out for a long lunch. My friend and I did not know what to expect, but the people around us allowed it to be successful. It isn’t the same but is quite similar, with someone not hating our product even though it was free.

  153. I agree with this article 100 percent, in order to make a sale you have to make your customer feel comfortable around you. Being a door to door salesman is very hard because no one wants to be interrupted from what they are doing to listen to a sales pitch, so I think that your opening line is the most important and easiest way for the customer to feel comfortable around you. I wish this article talked about relationship more because I believe if you have a relationship with the person is would be easier to persuade and will most likely buy the product you are selling.

  154. I agree with this article. There is more to making a sale then just presenting a good product. The product cannot sell itself, the seller has to make the potential buyer want it, but why would a random sales person showing up at their door convince a buyer? A connection must be made between the seller and potential buyer. The buyer needs to feel like they can trust the sales person and that they are looking out for the buyer’s best interest. Also the skill of making a connection with people you want to work with can be translated into many other avenues beyond door-to-door sales.

  155. This article brought out the most important part of marketing, which is establishing a relationship with the customer. When establishing a relationship with a person, the interaction becomes two-way conversation, not just one sided. When the person you are attempting to make a sale to is not interacting back with you, then the sell is nearly impossible. A major way to establish a relationship with the customer is to gain trust. Establishing a relationship with the customer to gain a personal interaction with them is the most important part in marketing and the sales process.

  156. I agree with this article. Salespeople have to separate knowing the product and knowing the customer. Behaving a certain way helps the salesperson connect with the customer and build trust. After the customer feels comfortable with you, they respect you and will listen to what you have to say about the product you want to sell them. You can better persuade and influence their opinion on buying your product because they believe in you and now in your product. Behaving a certain way is the first step in selling a product. Without the connect and trust of the customer, the sale would never happen.

  157. I agree with this article. Sellers and buyers have a unique relationship that requires a certain level of trust. Without trust the buyer will not commit to the purchase and the seller will be left without a completed transaction. During the actual selling process the seller must convince the buyer to have faith in not only the product but the seller himself. If the buyer does not trust the seller and the product or service being offered then once again the transaction will not occur.

  158. Aubrey Gierlatowicz

    It is important to remember, that forcefully pushing and exasperating your customer will not influence them to buy. There is an importance in getting to know the individual you are selling to. It is true that by creating a relationship with a person, they gain more respect for the company and trust for the sales person. From that, it is easier to sell the product as you now know them in a personal way. On the other hand, if you walk into a store and you are forced to buy something you do not want, it can be aggravating. That individual is also left with a bad impression of the company, potentially leading to negative word of mouth. Again, in order to give service, you must know the customer before selling the product. This means you must add something which cannot be bought, like earning the respect and trust of those who potentially could buy.

  159. I think that this article is extremely helpful in learning about sales. It shows how important dedication is and how one should never give up. Although it may be difficult knocking on doors day by day and being shut down by some it shows persistence and how one can become the best by trying their hardest. Not everyone is going to want to buy what you are selling but there will be people interested and you need to give your full effort each time. I find it very important how you have to act a certain way when starting to sell something, you need to be composed and willing to put your full effort towards selling. After behaving a certain way towards the person you are trying to sell to you must then focus on persuading them. I like this because if you do not compose yourself and act a certain way you wont be able to persuade them most likely. I thought his article was extremely informative!

  160. I completely agree that developing a relationship or personal connection with whom you are trying to sell something to is very important. I always find when I am about to buy something from someone and I trust them I am more willing and comfortable buying it. It is always important that the salesperson makes the person they are trying to sell something to comfortable and really know what they are about it put their money towards. Finally, I believe that if you are doing your best to make your customers comfortable about what you are going to be selling them you must be knowledgable about the product or service, able to answer pretty much any question about it and confident in that answer.

  161. There is much more to sales than cold calling and knocking on doors, but these are the basics that will create a foundation to a sales career. I found the comparison between hostage negotiators and salesmen amusing because of how true the comparison is. It all leads back to the art of persuasion. This is what makes my study of psychology so relevant. Studying human behavior and predicting human behavior is key in sales and any business venture. Understanding people will untimely lead you to success.

  162. Andrew Christman

    This article provided great insight into the job of a door-to-door salesman, truly stressing the relationship and connection between the salesman and the customer. No one wants to buy a random product from a stranger at their doorstep, however if you begin a conversation with that person, you can build off of a foundation based on the consumers wants and needs. Rushing right into the sale will lose the customers interest and be seen as nothing but a nuisance. Exercising correct behavior and acting personable may win the customer over rather than statistics about the product.

  163. In today’s day and age, door-to-door sales and marketing is extremely outdated when compared to all of the forms of mass marketing and advertising we currently experience. Thanks to modern technology and a little help from social media, the salesmen who would be going door-to-door in the past no longer have to get up from their couch to spread the word. However, this prevents the formation of a strong relationship between buyer and seller. Interactions and impressions are the most important aspects in marketing when it comes to selling a product, a service, or in some cases yourself i.e. when you’re interviewing for a job or speaking to employers at career fairs. If a strong connection exists between the buyer and the seller, then most important aspect of marketing has been established. I would put more trust into someone who I can relate to and connect with than someone who is paid to read que cards about a product they know nothing about in an infomercial. The most important part within the marketing process is establishing relationships with customers. This will eventually lead to product sales.

  164. After reading this article, I am now aware of how to sell a product while using specific behavior that needs to be involved. Usually when people see a door-to-doors salesman, they are not interested in the product because they do not have a good relationship with the salesman. In order for someone to feel comfortable about buying a specific product from you, you need to create an honest relationship with the customer. This is why Professor Yoest explains how behavior is crucial when selling a product. A great salesman focuses on the customers’ needs first and not about how much money the salesman is going to make from the sale. Customers can tell when a salesman is genuine about selling a product to them. Selling a product is a two way street and you want to be sure at the end of the sale, the result is a good outcome for both participants. It obviously is important to inform the customers details about the product. However, if you want a sale to be successful and honest, all salesmen should focus on their behavior and make that the priority.

  165. I enjoyed reading this article because I can completely relate to the struggles of door to door sales. Throughout high school I participated in numerous organizations that required me to sell items for fundraisers, and it was definitely a challenge persuading people I didn’t know to buy something from me. After knocking on countless doors, I began to realize that there are some people you just can not persuade. I made sure to keep a positive attitude, and never gave up until I reached my quota. While I spoke to the buyers, I made sure to explain to them why I was apart of the organization and what it meant to me, so that they knew that not only did I want to sell to them, but I believed in the products as well. It is crucial to focus on your behavior when selling a product or service, otherwise people won’t even second guess declining the offer right away.

  166. One major aspect I have learned in nearly all my business classes is the art of forming a relationship. A major sell cannot be made if some form of a relationship is not established. You put emphasis on behaving a certain way in order to sell. I think that extends far beyond selling just a product. An individual must sell himself or herself when going in for a job interview, for example. Another major factor is that a salesperson must be excited about the product or service they are promoting!

  167. I really like how you included the example of the hostage negotiator because that helped me understand the importance of creating a relationship. The more the salesperson is removed from face to face interactions the harder I feel it is to make a sale. For example, a sales person who meets face to face with a potential buyer has a better chance of making the sale than someone who is meeting via a phone call. Likewise, someone selling via the phone has a better chance of making a sale than someone selling via email because the farther you get away from face to face interactions, the less personal the relationship will be between the buyer and the seller. This is an important concept for anyone to grasp, not just salespeople because everyone who wants to apply for a job and get hired essentially has to market themselves as a superior candidate for the position over everyone else applying. This requires the skills of being able to establish a good relationship with others and be personable.

  168. This article made me realize how important it is to have people skills and build a relationship with people in the business world. Not everyone is going to be your customer but like the article said, if you can get a few people out of 100 or so the first couple times, then you will begin to recognize the behaviors that the customers will typically reflect. This will then help you in the future when you have a better gage of how to draw their attention and interest. I believe that if someone is trying to sell something to me I am much more likely to show interest if I feel that the seller is trying to help me specifically or influence me in a positive way rather than simply selling the product for themselves. This past summer, my internship consisted of emailing clients about a particular service they subscribed for and asking them to renew it. I found that I was most successful with the clients that I had spoken to via phone more often than email because I was able to build a relationship with them on a more personal level. Talking to them, especially on the phone, helped to reassure them that I had their best interest at heart because of our personal relationship.

  169. Vincent Rocco Mandes

    I completely agree that business comes down to behavior. I think it’s important for any businessman to make sure that his or her behaviors are seen as genuine in the eyes of the customer. A customer won’t buy a product if they feel the business person selling it is only being nice to them for the sake of making a sale. I also think that personality goes a long way in the business world because personality impacts relationships. A bright personality will garner lots of sales and long-term business relationships, whereas a disingenuous personality can’t maintain working relationships over a long period of time, which in turn negatively affects sales performance.

  170. I thought comparing sales to a hostage situation worked very well; it emphasized the importance of developing a relationship with one’s clients. If a salesperson seems distant and uninterested the chances of the sale going through is very low. People in sales should be able to build a relationship with their clients in order to make the sale. Most sales today are done over the phone or online, door to door selling is outdated, many people most likely will not even answer the door anymore.

  171. This article was very interesting, I made a personal connection to the article with a previous job that I had in retail. Similar to going from door to door and knocking with the goal of getting a certain amount of people to answer the door, I would have to make countless phone calls to previous customers with the goal of them answering the phone. And similarly to the number of those who answered the door and allowed you to present your product and make the sale, I would hope that a certain amount of customers would answer allowing me to tell them about our upcoming sales event with the hope of the customer coming to the store or ordering something online. Also you must be persuasive when talking to a possible customer and as mentioned in the article behavior is very important, watch for the behavior of the customer in order to guide you in closing a sale. This is how I related to the article and what I took away from it.

  172. This article basically addresses the fact that art of sales involves much more than just talking about products and what they do. In order to be successful at sales, personal connections and psychological persuasion and influence are key when getting consumers to feel the need for the product being sold. I felt that the hostage situation example was very interesting and really put what sales is like into a different perspective by showing the relation in tactics. Obviously the two situations are completely different in magnitude and significance, but it again emphasizes the establishment of personal connection to then spark influence that can make all the difference in sales.

  173. I feel the analogy to a hostage situation is very interesting. Just like a hostage situation, a salesman must make continuous exchanges with a customer, no matter how small. By doing this, the salesman is creating a relationship with the customer and hopefully after enough minor exchanges the customer begins to build trust with the salesman. After all, trust is a major component of relational business transactions. Without trust, how can you enter into a relationship, whether it be personal, or strictly business. Without having a relationship, it is extremely difficult to sell a product or service.

  174. Knowing the product and getting in front of a potential customer is not selling; it is so much more. Currently, I am working as a Client Associate and could relate a lot to this. My job isn’t to sell our clients on anything, it is to give them support and offer a service that leads them to make the decision to stay with us and invest more with my team. Building a rapport is a science. It involves time and energy and never really ends. Even once a client has joined, we still need to build on the relationship continuously. Something I found really interesting in this article was the idea of focusing on behaviors and influence instead of dollars and selling. When selling a product or service, you are selling a solution to a problem. Influence the emotions and senses of a prospective buyer. Focus on the prospective buyer’s behaviors toward the product or service. Following these tips and building soft skills will make you an unstoppable salesperson. Great Article.

  175. I like how this article touched on how sales is not only a numbers game, but an emotions game. You mention often that selling is the transference of emotion, and particularly in modern times, this becomes more relevant. In today’s days of internet and mass selling rather than personal selling, personal selling has to be very relationship-based, and the seller must truly listen to the needs of their customer. Once the customer has interest, you have begun the building of your relationship, and can continue to give them what they need. If they do not engage with you and your interest, sometimes it is best to move onto someone with actual interest.

  176. This article emphasized the importance of relationships in sales. If the salesman can not establish a trustworthy relationship with the potential buyer than the sale will not go through because the salesman will have no influence over the buyer. Much like the negotiator, the salesman has to slowly engage with the potential client in order to gain leverage over their decisions. At the end of the day, the behavior that the salesperson displays will sway the buyer into buying the product or walking away. It is important as a salesperson to establish a trusting relationship with the client in order to gain influence of their decisions.

  177. I would have to say that sales is one of the hardest professions in business. The physical and mental labor that is required takes a toll on a person. I have noticed that in today’s society we are more stingy with our money making it harder for sales people to sell their products. We, the buyer, much rather having something that is going to pull us into the buy, such as a personal story, something that makes the product relatable to our lives. Building a relationship is also important too. If a buyer can feel that they trust the seller, they will buy more and more. I can think of a real life example of sales, for example, the movie Joy. Joy uses her ability to be relatable and realistic to sell her mop.

  178. Getting the right behaviors is vital no matter what job one is in. It could be sales, it could be the military, it could be the fast food industry, and etc. All the matters is getting the behaviors that make one do well in that line of work down so that you yourself can do well in that profession. Over the summer I went through many hours of training for my internship and the whole time they focuses on getting me to do habits and learn behaviors that would make my job produce higher quality work more efficiently. I think that more companies should focus on training similar to the training George gave to you. That way the workforce would share the behaviors needed for the company as a whole to succeed.

  179. I really liked what your mentor said “Think behaviors, not ‘dollars’; and Practice influence, don’t ‘sell.’”. I especially like the second quote I think it is a really interesting take on selling, you definitely should influence the person you are trying to sell too you want them to want the product, one of the greatest joys a salesman has should be the joy the customer receives from using it. Also thinking in behaviors is a very interesting way of selling, if you can predict their behaviors you can always be a step ahead of the game and be the best salesman you can be.

  180. Gaining a customers trust is everything. That starts with showing the customer how reliable you are and how persuasive you are about your good or service you are selling. Salespeople have such a stigma surrounding their profession, in order to overcome that stigma you have to be different in your own way and present yourself in a completely different light than everyone else. You must persevere through everything and it will definitely all pay off in the end.

  181. This article highlights important key skills in the business world. For example, personal skills are one of the major factors that will find leads and close sales. Cold calls used to be the way to make sales, but the way businesses operate have changed. Cold calls are not as effective anymore. Businesses still use them, but they are not the main source of finding and closing sales today.

  182. Selling can be a very personal experience. Some of the most successful salesmen are able to sell things to people who have no need for that thing simply because they befriend the customer. In a previous market class I learned about personal selling and I see several aspects of it talked about here in the article. I believe that the most important part when trying to make a sale is making the customer see the value in what you are selling them, and the easiest way to do so is to get the customer to trust you. The hostage situation is a extreme, but good example of how important trust is when making a sale. The fact that a criminal trusts the negotiator enough to allow lunches to be delivered to hostages shows the importance of trust. By behaving in a trustworthy and friendly way, customers are more easily influenced to see the value in what you are selling.

  183. When selling, it is most important to focus on the customer’s behavior and reaction towards your introduction of the product. Once you are able to identify the customer’s reaction, whether it is positive or negative, you know what to say to supplement your argument. Even when working retail, I would ask the customer at the register if they would like to open up a Gap Inc. credit card. Typically their reactions are a defiant “No” because they cannot pay off another credit card, an unsure “No” because they don’t want to be forced into anything, or simply a questionable and hesitated look. I treat these cases differently by simply continuing on with ringing up the customers items and not pushing her into being uncomfortable for the one who absolutely cannot sign up for the card, or give the unsure customers reasons for why she should sign up and list out the benefits. Depending on the customer’s behavior, it is always easiest to sell to those who react. If I was doing a retail transaction over the phone, offering to sign up for the Gap Inc. credit card wouldn’t be as successful than it would be if it was done in person where I could read her reaction face-to-face.

  184. This is a great article because it focuses a lot on learning. I liked how it talked about learning how to develop your skills and later success will follow. You cannot jump into a new job and expect to know everything and make sales right away. You must learn the ins and outs of how customers react to a sales person. Most sales happen when you are not promoting a product, they come when you act like your normal self and show the customer you are a trustworthy person. When it comes to business, you never work to earn. You work to learn not to earn.

  185. Many times, when it comes to sales, a personal connection can really go a long way. If the potential buyer likes you or feels like they can connect on some level with you, (whether thats in a way of lifestyle, interests or hobbies), a sale can much more easily be made. You need to be an influential and relatable if you want the sale to be made and you must not forget the basic sales techniques as well. Be convincing and direct. The example of the FBI hostage negotiator and holder was a great one, as many times that is the most powerful tactic used.

  186. Matthew Christensen

    This struck me because I have an interest in going into the sales field, and it is intriguing to see the different methods of teaching sales. The 2 points in this article are fascinating, because it really can be that simple. Recognizing the customers behaviors and needs is a always a vital part of the sales process. However, being able to be an extrovert and relate to the customers behaviors is even more vital. The sales dialogue should be heavily focused on the customer. I would suggest that a successful dialogue is when the customer does at least 60% of the talking. Also, check backs are key for the sales person. For example, a sales person points out a benefit to a product, and refers back to the customer “How does that sound”. These check backs make the sales person aware if the customer is truly engaged in the dialogue. When the sales person knows about level of engagement, they can make the next step in the sales process.

  187. As a marketing major, this article brought fourth tactics and ideas that I will carry with me when trying to find a career in the near future. It is completely true that grasping the attitudes and behaviors of the customer goes a long way, by doing that the seller is able to adjust their way of selling to appeal more to the customer. Someone who shows passion and confidence in a product or service and is vocal about it is going to go much further than someone simply offering it. Recently when I was buying sunglasses, I went into two stores, the first I found glasses on display that I was interested in although they were pricey, which I expected, the employee put in very little effort to persuade me to buy the glasses. The second store I went into, I was greeted and asked a few questions of what I was interested in, once the salesman knew what I was looking for he did everything in his power (without pressuring me) to follow through with the purchase, in the end they received my business because I appreciated the way the purchase made me feel and how the buying experience occurred.

  188. Andrea Perez-HIckman

    As I was reading this I was wondering how many people do door to door sales anymore. With technology the way it is now a days you don’t need someone knocking on everyone’s door but a simple phone call, email or even an ad on a website. In my personal experience, I have seen someone knocking on the door to sell me something maybe one time. Whether or not door to door sales still happen I do think what George the trainer told him, it is not about the money, it’s about the behavior and it’s important to persuade or influence this customer. It is all really psychological, you must be personable in order to get the connection you need for the customer to trust you, and like they said, once they trust you or they know the power of the negotiator/sales man you’re that much closer to making the sale.

  189. What I liked most about this article is that it perfectly illustrated the fact that first jobs that seem unglamorous can teach lessons that can be carried with you for the rest of your life and are applicable to future jobs. Through this door to door sales job, the author learned to always be attentive to the behaviors and attitudes of the customer. This job also taught the importance of being persistent. The article mentioned that for every 100 doors knocked on, three would decide to see the vacuum demonstration and out of those three, one would buy the product. This is an incredible test of patience and persistence and a great lesson about how to make the best first impression even if it is likely that few potential customers may actually be interested, something that can be applied in any future job.

  190. Products are so trendy and easily replaceable. With something like that so easily going in and out of style, one of the most important aspects of selling a product, isn’t actually always just the product alone itself. A key role to a successful sell is the response of the prospective buyer. People are more inclined to buy when they are comfortable or trust the seller. Building a relationship and maintaining a strong building report is crucial.
    As a salesperson, selling yourself is almost as important as selling the product itself. Recognizing and honing in on customer behaviors and patterns is beneficial to the seller. Knowing how to properly approach various prospective buyers, will increase the chances they will buy from you.

  191. Personal connections and trust are necessary in sales. They are a part of our everyday lives without us even noticing. How many times do we buy something because a friend recommended it to us? The friend does not try to sell us a product, but instead influences us in buying the product because of the personal connection shared with that friend. If a random person were to suggest a product, most people would not even consider buying that product because no relationship has been developed. People do not want to be “sold” on something because they want to make their own decisions. Influencing a person allows the customer to make their own decision with the help of a professional opinion.

  192. I think understanding selling is important for everyone in the business field, not just those in sales. Learning to be personable and make connections with customers is beneficial in all industries. In society, we need to constantly be building relationships and networking. My dad always encourages to me not be afraid to put myself out there in the business world. At the end of the day we all need to be able to sell ourselves. Why should any company want to hire you? The art of persuasion is important towards ourselves just as it is important on the item you are selling.

  193. The quote at the beginning of the article stating, “Door-to-door selling taught me that sales is first about behaviors. Get your behaviors right, and the money follows”, is really interesting. You would think that a person working in sales would focus first on getting money in order to become more successful. This thought is why it is strange to think that behavior instead of dollars would come first. In a way, however, it is easy to understand why sales works better this way. You can’t just rush into a job and assume you will have the perfect sales pitch down right away. It takes time and effort to really polish ones craft. I believe a lesson that goes hand-in-hand with the idea that behaviors come before dollars is that you can’t run before you walk.

  194. “Get the behavior right and the money follows ” is what grabbed my attention in this article. I think sale is all about the influence who have on your clients. Customers usually buy the seller, not the product. If a customer does not like a seller’s behavior, he or she won’t buy anything from that seller. Once a seller gain that first appearance trust from the customer, he or she will be opened to any product the seller will present. A good marketer should not make customers feel like they have been forced to buy their products, but should rather create the needs for their customers to buy their products.

  195. For a sale to be successful, there needs to be a relationship developed on some level. People are most likely to buy a product from someone that they can connect to/relate to than someone who is distant and does not seem invested in the pitch. A benefit of establishing a personal relationship when making an initial sale is the potential of future sales or customer loyalty developing as a result of that original pitch – this would be the best case-scenario of most sales being that every market seeks to develop a loyal customer following. This is why behavior is so important. Behavior is what develops relationships, not dollar amounts or sales statistics. Behavior is what makes an initial sale, and hopefully maintains future sales.

  196. After reading this article, I never thought of how important it is to be a people’s person in sales. Knowing how to connect and then grab people’s attention might sound simple, but can make or break a deal. Focusing on the customer first will later help you in persuading them to buy your product. I believe that if master this then you can sell anything. I remember of a video that went viral of a door to door salesman that was also a comedian. The comedian was able to make an instant connection with the customer and when asked on what he was selling he responded with his “personality”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAo-DmzdvK0 -Just in case some of you guys want to see it.

  197. Christina Castaldo

    This article brought to my attention the importance of developing customer relations. Developing these kind of relations is important because a customer is more likely to show interest in a product if the person selling it to them is truly trying to help in a positive way. This past summer, I worked at Nordstrom and developing customer relations is their main goal. Nordstrom focuses on providing their customer with the best customer service possible and by doing this they have found great success in the industry. The last sentence of this article really stuck out to me, “Whatever you’re selling, remember to focus first on behaving a certain way, and then on persuading and influencing your prospect.” This is extremely important in the business world, especially sales.

  198. This was a very interesting article to read. I think each point states an important fact about sales and how difficult and demanding sales is. Although it may seem like a fun and easy job, all parts of sales can be very different. Most sales starts with cold calling which can be the hardest part of a job. Constantly getting denied and turned down can make you be hard on yourself, thinking you are not doing something right. There is so much to learn in sales that it can as long as five years to learn the scoop of the sales industry.

  199. The article opened my eyes to sales. i did not realize how important and demanding it would be. Sales always seemed like something that would come naturally to not only business men and women but just all people. Reading this article proved me wrong. Sales are exceptionally tough because no matter how hard you push, there is still a chance that no one will buy your product no matter how good it is or how good of a job you are doing. Bottom line, it is important to keep on trekking and learning from every sale you make or fail at. Use your failures to your advantage and you will grow!

  200. I think that, although it may seem depressing, it is really more about who you know these days. And this article helps articulate this rather blunt expression in a great fashion. For it is not that “what you do” does not matter, rather it is just important to remember that on top of whichever business field you are in, that you are also working on your communication skills and forming connections with each and every person you may encounter. Because it is these skills and this ability to form relationships that will eventually offset you from all the average joe-shmoe’s of your profession.

  201. Sales is a skill. People who think that anybody could go into sales have never experiences the slightest bit of pushback when having to sell something. This article shows how there are only a certain type of men and women who can go into sales. Even though sales is not for everybody, everyone will sell in any job they have. Everybody sells themselves everyday in the world of business. It is important to promote yourself in life in order to get to the best position you can get to. Self-promotion is a part of life that everybody will have to face whether they are good at sales or not.

  202. This article would be best read by people first going into the sales industry. My first real job was selling photos of people at an MLB stadium and I really had no idea what I was doing but this article makes me think of things not only I did wrong but the company I worked for. We would only sell people pictures that were “good” but really they should try to sell every picture because each one they do not try to sell is just a loss without even trying to make a gain.

    The second point I want to make is that I disagree with Brain’s^ first sentence. Sales isn’t a skill its more like a dedication. You will get in what you put out and that is the key. If you make the relationships are nice to people and care about what you are selling sales can be your thing.

  203. The second step taught to you by your manager of influencing the consumer is more important in my opinion. As a psychology major i have seen how much people can be influenced by the subtle things. We don’t always notice the subtle things but they are able to influence us subconsciously. If a consumer is influenced to believe that the product being marketed is a necessity then you might as well consider it a sell but it they feel as if the product is not needed then the sale will be harder. Consumers must feel as if you’re doing them a favor and not the other way around.

  204. I found this article very informative. After reading this article I became more aware of the importance of a personal connection with your customer. In order to make a successful sale you need to make a personal connection. I really liked the comparison used between the hostage negotiator and a salesman. Like a salesman a hostage negotiator is trying to get information in order to understand the person and their circumstance better. Personally, I am more opted to buy something from a salesman that has made a personal connection with me and is not noticeably just trying to make money.

  205. This article is very interesting to read. Each deal nowadays requires trust, so if the trust exists the deal succeeds. Also, as a buyer when I trust the seller I can buy the product easily and I am willing to invest and buy more in the future. So the good relationship is extremely important between both parties to have a good results in the future. However, the seller should focus on the customer and the product for the long run and through that strategy the seller can grab the customers easily and quickly.

  206. I believe when a buyer and seller establish a form of trust, everything goes very smoothly from there. From start to end in a transaction, the seller should either have already established that trust or be trying to gain it. Especially for buyers who become a returning client, the solid relationship between them both can mean business. Take Apple for example, the “sellers” are there to help people find their needs and build relationships with their devices; “its not always about the sale itself. In conclusion, very good article – It reminded me of several scenarios in real life where this played out well.

  207. This article is a good way to understand what sales does and how it is important to recognize the importance of sale. Its important to remember that since the beginning of business people had to trust in other people to create a business. This is still an important part in the sales. Trust is something that even in the US dollar says it. Is important to have a good relationship between costumer and seller that’s when sales come in. They are good speakers and good in selling their product or service. The seller primary focus is in what the costumer wants and how they could give them to them by selling their product or service.

  208. Building a sense of trust is the most important thing both a salesman and a negotiator need before they can do anything. For both of them it reminds me of the foot in the door phenomenon. Which is having someone agree to a smaller request to build your way to a larger one. For the salesman it is making the sale, for the negotiator it is getting the hostages out. All the salesman needs to do is get the person to open to door, literally getting his foot in the door. This small task is the start of building the trust that they need to get the sale. The negotiator just needs the one holding the hosotage to do small tasks to hep them get what they need.

  209. I’ve learned in the past that face to face sales gets persuades me a lot. If I got an email or phone call of a salesperson, I immediately hang up or delete it because I thinks it’s a scam. On top of tha, I can’t form a relationship with the person on the other end so I am significantly disinterested. Even if I’m uninterested in the product during face to face sales I still listen and ask questions and they usually persuade me. This happens a lot when I go shopping for clothes as they are great at conversing with me and seem to generally care about me which pursuades me to buy their products.

  210. Influence is the best way to describe a good selling prospect. To just sell the product is not enough because, well, you sound like a salesmen and people generally do not respond well to salesmen. The do respond well to someone they trust and to someone that they think cares about their needs and wants. As a consumer, that is all we want, to have the seller of the product understand why we need the product and to be able to give it to us at our earliest and easiest convenience. The power of influence is prevalent all throughout business but it is not prevalent anywhere more than it is in sales. People buy from people they trust.

  211. Gerritt Coughlin

    Anyone can be a sales representative, but it takes someone special to be making sales. I have found that few people have the skill of personal relations, being able to approach a consumer and be able to converse with someone else fluently. It takes time and effort to learn to communicate and connect with another, yet for some people it is second nature. These are the people who are able to “narrow the funnel”.

    I have been in a similar situation as Mr. Yoest has, going to different retailers in the Monadnock region (Southern New Hampshire) to wholesale products from my clothing company (Mt. Caesar Alpacas). I agree that you must influence your prospects, by connecting with them on a personal level, and then persuading them to buy your product. The more potential buyers you go to, the more returns you will have. The most important part that I have found is addressing how they need something that you have.

    However, it is crucial to “get your behaviors right” and intentions correct. If one only works for money, than his morals and mind are not in the right place. “Money follows”, so pursue in a sale to bring value to the consumer.

  212. Michael Narzikul

    I believe that your mentor brought up some great teaching points very early on. He simplified the sales industry and was effective in his delivery. As you mentioned the most crucial part of door to door selling is getting someone to open the door. I agree with the statement about how the buyer must trust you first as a salesperson. The buyer must trust you when going door to door and also must be willing to trust. Once the buyer is willing to trust then you must follow with your behavior. It is very important to be on your best behavior and present lots of positivity and energy when trying to sell your product. The more a salesperson can show an enthusiasm for their product the more excited and willing the buyer will be. A passion for what a salesperson is selling is the most crucial part of a successful salesperson job. Without and passion or excitement the buyer will just shut the door on the salesperson, but if the salesperson can convince the buyer that they can not live without this product then the salesperson is in business. Having a mentor that not only understands but excels in any industry is one of the most crucial parts to success in my personal opinion

  213. Katarina Percopo

    I really liked this article. When comparing the sales to the FBI trying to negotiate with criminals in a hostage situation it made this click more in my head. Gaining the trust of the person you are going to try and make the sale to is really important. You want to portray yourself as not a typical salesman… you want to take interest in the customer and show them you care about the product you are selling and care about why they should have that product.

  214. Taghreed Altassan

    I completely agree with the whole idea of establishing friendly relationship with the prospective buyer. I also agree with chris, that “word of mouth” being a great way to market especially within the millennial generation. I think in the world we live in social media is the most effective form of “word of mouth” so to speak. I also felt when I read the article the comparison between sales and a hostage situation was effective. I think that there is nothing more important than a personal connection. I would agree with Aira that advertisements are important but I think that people these days rely too much on targeted and on social media. Of course I believe and support social media as a positive way to connect and the easy way these days, but it does not fulfill the advantages of a personal connection. Face to face interactions or a handwritten note are examples of timeless and classic techniques to build a personal relationship. I completely like when someone takes time to connect with me in work. I also agree with your comments about social media and how they don’t do enough to grab the attention of customers. but most of the time it grabs the attention of the customers in my opinion.

  215. I thought this article showed some key aspects into becoming a successful salesmen but I also believe that there was a deeper meaning to this piece. I believe that this piece is trying to say that the beginning of any kind of relationship whether that relationship is in business, social life, or even sports, is trust and companionship. If you are a salesmen who solely speaks about what the product is and its functions, you will not sell much because any consumer can read the label of a product and learn that. The successful salesmen lets the consumer do the talking while he listens and learns what is important to that individual and then uses those small little facts to become close and personal with the consumer. For example, if I tell a salesmen that I just renewed my gym membership, it would be beneficial for him to speak about the positive health aspects of the product that they are trying to sell since fitness and health are clearly a big part of my life. This aspect of being close and personal will turn the consumer to thinking of the salesmen as a friend rather than just another annoying person trying to sell them something.

  216. I do think it is true that you need to establish a connection with the person before you can get the sale done. For example, my dad is an entrepreneur and is an energy consultant. Most people always ask what an energy consultant is and for years I would just say he sells energy. Let’s be real here… what does that actually even mean? I learned from my dad that to be able to be any type of consultant you need to establish connections and friendships with your customers. For example, we were talking about pagers the other day. My dad was saying I know I have been friends with one of my clients forever is when I still have there pager number stored in my phone. I found this to be so funny because to me he has the most contacts in his phone than I have ever seen in my life. But, he was also telling me this is how consulting works. You first meet the person at a restaurant or a place that you know this other individual will like. You start talking over dinner and a few drinks then eventually get into what you do for a job and how you can help the other individual by explaining your job and in my dad’s example how he can budget a way for this customer to save money and cut down on energy expenses. I think it is funny that no matter what type of consulting or sales you are doing it comes down to a basic friendship. Just like the example with the FBI it comes down to gaining trust in the other individual.

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