Keys To Sales Success (an excerpt from "Encyclopedia of Me: Darryl Edition")

Over the years I have had several jobs; most of us have, and from those previous jobs, we gather certain bits of information to fill our “Encyclopedia of Me.”

The “Encyclopedia of Me: Darryl Edition” contains entries on “Programming & Exhaustion (do androids dream of electric sheep),” “How to pack and move properly,” “Omelets: the marriage of art and science,” “How to play the ukulele and look cool doing it,” and many more.

One of the entries I am most proud of comes from my time as a door-to-door salesman. The sales techniques that I gained while working the suburban streets of Kitchener, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and many tiny towns across Saskatchewan through Ontario was provided to me on my first day as an unpaid interviewee.

Being that they hand this information out on the first day to a person who may or may not actually come back to the office at the end of their interview, I feel that it is okay that I share this knowledge with you.

One of the first things that they teach you is that you need to, and bear with me on this, “have sex with 100 or more people a day.” The keys to a good sale is S-E-X:

  • S – Smile
  • E – Eye contact
  • X – eXcitement

Each sales opportunity is unique to itself and each one should be presented with your best smile, and your highest excitement level. Trust is earned and to earn the respect and trust of someone that you have just met, maintain eye contact – no one wants to converse with someone that cannot look them in the eyes. They also helped me fill my tool belt with the following:

  • F – Fear Of Loss
  • U - Urgency
  • J – Jones Effect, the
  • I - Importance
  • G - Greed
  • I – Indifference

Not all of these techniques will work for every sale, just as not every tool will work for every job/task. However, combine some of these together and you have yourself a pretty powerful tool belt. The key to using these tools in using them on people who buy emotionally. Most people don’t buy rationally, some do, but more often than not, people buy with their emotions – so use it to your advantage.

Fear of Loss is an interesting thing. It could be something that you have owned since birth or something that you were just handed; if I take it away from you, you immediately want it back. Additionally, it doesn’t have to be a thing, it could be a person, the fear of losing someone in your life will ultimately make the sale (life insurance sales people love this one).

Urgency can bring upon feelings of FoL (see above), or simply cause rash choices to be made. If you are not given enough time to talk yourself out of a sale, you will buy it. This is the exact reason that trashy magazines and chocolate bars are littered around the check-out lines – they are too tempting and your groceries are moving down that conveyor belt too damn quickly.

The Jones Effect (a.k.a keeping up with the Jones’ or envy) is pretty strong. It even made it to a level of deadly sin. Simply put, if your neighbor buys a new lawnmower, you start looking at your own and wondering why you shouldn’t get one. There could be two people who live across the street from each other and they could share the costs of installing basketball nets at the edge of their properties so that the local kids could play in the cul-de-sac – but no, 6 individuals need to prop them up in their own driveways where you have enough room to shoot free throws. Jones.

Importance (or vanity if we keep with the deadly sins talk) can be thrown in one of two ways:
A) Towards the customer – making them feel that this sale will better their lives, or that the sale will keep them in the lavishness they are accustomed to,
B) Or towards someone the customer knows (see Jones Effect), where that other person is more important than the customer. Whether the importance is on the customer or someone the customer envies, a sale opportunity is presented.

Greed (well lookie here, another sin) forces the customer to look at their financial standing. The sale must either improve the wealth of the customer, or lessen the costs of doing something. It’s that simple.

Indifference (my personal favourite) allows a sales person to act. Act that it doesn’t matter whether the customer buys from you. The customer already knows that they don’t want a pushy salesguy, ramming their wares down their throat, begging for their money so that a quota is made. Act as if you already hit your quota, act as if you couldn’t care – and somehow the customer can’t help but buy the last of your stock.

These tools have given me many opportunities since I have left the door to door company, and I have used them many times since, on job interviews, during meetings, and even on my own kids; just to get what I want.

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