Selling Without The Slime: Introduction
It is often said that prostitution is the oldest profession. This is a bold-faced lie. In reality, SALES is the oldest profession. Think about it - you have to convince someone that what you have is what they want or need. Whether you're convincing someone to buy something, or convincing friends or family to do something, you're selling. In a way, every profession is sales. In reality, LIFE is sales.
Years ago I accepted my first sales gig not expecting it would end up being a career. I was simply trying to make some good money to keep the household afloat until my girlfriend could graduate her registered nursing program and take that duty over, while I went back to school myself. Truth is, I was about 22 and didn't have a single clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - but I need to do something.
I never considered myself a salesman, or even a very persuasive person. It must have been one of those "blind talents." You know, a talent you have but you never actually realized you had. Immediately out of the gate I was posting numbers. There was nothing I couldn't sell, and no metric target I couldn't attain. This goes against logic, I thought. The salespeople with the highest metric performance are always the sleazy ones! But I'm not. How am I performing like this?
Within a year of being in my industry, I was asked to take over a store and run the show. On top of that, they wanted to pay me more to take in all the district's new-hires and be their dedicated trainer until I deemed their performance was at an acceptable level to send them to their regular store.
After a short while with that company, a competing larger organization asked me to join their ranks. It meant higher pay, so the decision was a no-brainer. However, not long after taking over my new location, I learned through the grapevine that they were planning within the next year to close this store - and with it would go the store's management. They'd pulled the wool over my eyes, I was set up. I was hired as a fall guy, so the District Manager could move his buddy to a different store and save his job.
Obviously, that whole thing angered me. What was I going to do? This was the only income in my household at the time and I didn't exactly have a ton in savings to fall back on. Sure I could go back to my old company, but I'm hard-headed. So, there was only one thing to do. Be me. Sell. Kill it. Show them that the store is worth keeping. In the end, it was my own over-excitement and inexperience that got me into this mess. I didn't see the signs and just ran in head-first. Now I have to save this store, to save myself.
Within 2 weeks I had identified hundreds of shortcomings and I had developed a plan to resurrect this beast. Within my first 3 months the store's profit was nearly double what it had been and I was getting shout-outs on every conference call from everyone all the way up to C-level management for the resurrection. In another 6 months, I had doubled it again.
All without myself or my salespeople being shady, manipulative or in any way slimy. So, how? How is that possible?
Over the last 8 years I've tested this time and again, I've honed it to what I consider perfection. I've replicated this exact scenario across multiple locations numerous times and its always held true. Get rid of the slime and the numbers will come.
What "Slime" is:
Before we can really get too deep into how to sell without The Slime, we'll have to have a conversation about what The Slime really is.
I'm sure you've been in a situation before with a pushy, borderline argumentative salesperson. You know the one, Bob down at the car lot, probably. Think about all of Bob's tactics. He talks a lot and very quickly, he uses jargon, lies, doesn't disclose certain things that should be and then he'll even try to guilt you one way or another.
He's trying to confuse you, to take you for all you've got. He doesn't care if you're really happy with the car - but he'll sure love that commission.
That's a prime example of The Slime. It's the dirty, underhanded sales crap that may perhaps bring some short term wins but will result in long term failure. I mean, think about it - will you ever go back and seek out Bob again after that experience?
Now, think about the opposite. What was the easiest most pleasant transaction you've ever had with a salesperson? Let's say it was Jim at the car lot. Jim was open, honest, knowledgeable and easy to understand, wasn't he? You'd definitely return to him for business next time, and heck, you may even send him some of your friends to do business with.
But we have sales metrics to hit. Not just units of sale, but quality of sale metrics, too. The extra things, the real profit. How can we be Jim but still hit all our metrics - but more importantly, make more money?
That's exactly what I'm going to show you.
In Part 1, our next installment, we will take step back and discuss the basics of sales, but with a slimeless twist.
Over the next few weeks I invite you to join me as I will be releasing new chapters and diving deeper into Selling Without The Slime.
If you have any questions or concerns you'd like addressed within this series, please do feel free to send me an email at DonaldColfax@gmail.com
What's your least favorite attribute of slimy salespeople?
© 2019 Don Colfax