The Art Of Closing The Sale: Developing A Powerful Sales Personality

02/03/2023by dang tin0


To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only real end of life.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

BECOMING EXCELLENT IN CLOSING SALES IS AN INSIDE job. It begins within you. In sales, your personality is more important than your product knowledge. It is more important than your sales skills. It is more important than the product or service that you are selling. In fact, your personality determines fully 80 percent of your sales success.

This is easily proven by the fact that there are salespeople who can still achieve high sales volumes even with a highly competitive, expensive product in a depressed market. At the same time, there are people with exclusive products in buoy ant markets who are selling poorly.

Becoming Mentally Fit

Mental fitness is very similar to phy sical fitness in several way s. Phy sical fitness requires proper diet and exercise. Mental fitness requires a proper mental diet and regular practice. Become more mentally fit, and your happiness and sales volume will rise accordingly.

Top salespeople have high levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Self- confidence is the natural growth of liking and respecting yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the more confidence you will have in prospecting, presenting, and closing sales. Like and care about yourself, and you will genuinely like others and be more successful with them.

Without self-confidence, it is almost impossible to be successful in selling. If you lack confidence, you will come up with every excuse to avoid talking to prospects or taking any action where there is a possibility for failure or rejection.
Remember, the more you like yourself, the more you like others. You like other people; they will have confidence in you. The more confidence they have in you, the more likely that they will buy what you are selling. We alway s feel better accepting the recommendation of someone whom we

feel likes us than someone we are not sure about. We prefer to buy from people whom we feel care about us. Like and care about yourself, and you will genuinely like others and be more successful with them.

Take Charge of Your Life

Sometimes I ask my sales audiences, “How many people here are self- employ ed?”
About 10 or 15 percent of the audience raises their hands. Then I ask again, “How many people are really self-employed?” One by one the audience realizes what I am getting at. One at a time they raise their hands. They suddenly realize that they are all self-employ ed.

The biggest mistake you can make is to ever think that you work for any one but yourself. From the time you take your first job until the day you retire, you are self-employ ed. You are the president of your own entrepreneurial corporation, selling your services into the marketplace at the highest price possible. You have only one employ ee— yourself. Your job is to sell the highest quality and quantity of your services throughout your working life.

Top salespeople accept 100 percent responsibility for themselves and every thing they do. They take full responsibility for their activities and for their results. They refuse to make excuses or blame others. They say no to criticizing and complaining. Top salespeople say, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

View Yourself as Self-Employed

In a study done in New York some y ears ago, researchers found that the top 3 percent of people in every field looked upon themselves as self-employ ed. They treated the company as if it belonged to them personally. They saw themselves as being in charge of every aspect of their lives. They took every thing that happened to their company personally, exactly as if they owned 100 percent of the stock.
The biggest mistake you can make is to ever think that you work for anyone but yourself. From the time you take your first job until the day you retire, you are self- employed.

The sales manager of a Fortune 500 company once told me an interesting story. He said that he was with his top salesman, negotiating the final terms and conditions of a $200 million contract with a major client. During a break, the client pulled him aside and asked, referring to the salesman, “That man owns your company, doesn’t he?”
The sales manager, knowing the salesman, was a bit surprised. He said, “What makes you say that?”
“Well,” the client said, “in all my meetings with him, he constantly refers to the company as ‘my company ’ and ‘my people,’ ‘my contract’ and so on. He sounds like he actually owns the whole company. Is that true?”
My friend, the sales manager, smiled and said, “Yes, in a way he does.”

You Are the Boss

As the president of your own personal services corporation, you are 100 percent in charge of every thing that happens to your business. You are in command of training and development, and of continually upgrading your skills. You are in control of sales and marketing, production and quality control, and personal organization and efficiency. You are the boss.

It is absolutely amazing how many people see themselves passively rather than actively. Instead of taking charge of their lives and changing things they don’t like, they wait passively for the company to come along and do it for them. The great majority of adults do not invest in their own personal and professional development. They do not read, listen to audio programs, or attend courses. They expect the company to do this for them, not only to pay for it, but also to give them the time off to upgrade their skills so they can earn more money. Go figure.

Be Aggressive About Learning

Take all the training you can get. Use every job you have as an opportunity to learn more skills that you can use for the rest of your life. Be aggressive about upgrading your knowledge. If your company offers any training opportunities, accept them immediately. Don’t delay. Every new skill you learn is an investment in your own future.
Every thing you have in your life today is a result of your own choices up to now. Your current situation is a result of both your actions and your inactions in the past. The amount you earn today is due to both what you have done and what you have failed to do. Sometimes the things you fail to do, like completing your education or improving your skills once you start work, have a greater impact on your future than the things that you actually do.

Winners Versus Losers

The difference between winners and losers in this area is quite clear. Winners alway s accept responsibility themselves for the consequences of their actions. Losers never do but instead alway s have some kind of explanation for why they are doing poorly. Winners are solution oriented. They are always looking for ways to solve the problems and deal with the challenges they face each day.

Losers have a disease called excuse-itis, which we define as “an inflammation of the excuse-making gland.” It is invariably fatal to success. Once a person is infected with excuse-itis, instead of making progress, he makes excuses for every difficulty in his life. Winners are different. Winners are solution oriented. They are alway s looking for way s to solve the problems and deal with the challenges they face each day. They continually try new things. If one thing doesn’t work, they try something else. They never consider the possibility of failure.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

A major difference between successful salespeople and average salespeople is that successful salespeople work much harder than the average. In author Thomas Stanley ’s research for his book The Millionaire Next Door, 85 percent of the self- made millionaires he interviewed attributed their success to “hard, hard work.”
Over and over, when successful people are questioned, in any area of life, they say things like, “I was no smarter than other people, but I was willing to work harder than they were.”
Average people want to work hard. They intend to work hard. They are planning to work hard—sometime in the future. They even claim that they work hard and complain about how diligently they work, but they don’t really work very hard at all.

Don’t Waste Time

The average salesperson today wastes a full 50 percent of his or her working time. According to the research, he comes in a little later, works a little slower, and leaves a little earlier. He spends most of his working time in idle chitchat with coworkers, personal business, reading the paper, drinking coffee, and surfing the Internet.
Winners are different. They arrive a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later. They work through their lunch hours and coffee breaks. They work in the evenings and prepare in the mornings. They make every minute count.

Pay the Price in Advance

H. L. Hunt, owner of more than two hundred companies and at one time the richest man in the world, was once asked on a radio interview for his “secret of success.” He replied,
I have started and built hundreds of companies. In 50 y ears of experience, I have found that there are only two things necessary for success.

First, decide exactly what you want. Most people never do this. Second, determine the price that you are going to have to pay to get what you want, and then resolve to pay that price.
Top salespeople are absolutely determined to succeed, and they are willing to pay the price, in advance.

Ambition and Desire

Ambition and desire are the foundation qualities of all great achievement. As it turns out, top salespeople have above-average ambition and desire to sell.

Top salespeople have a burning commitment and an intense desire to be successful. They will not let any thing stop them. To put it another way, they are “hungry.”

Average salespeople think in terms of making just enough money to pay their bills. They think about getting one more sale so they can get through one more month. They don’t believe in putting in the extra efforts that are essential for great success.


Some time ago, a large insurance company had a sales competition each y ear in November. Every one who hit the target, which was about 35 percent above their monthly average for the y ear, received two weeks’ vacation in the Caribbean as a bonus.

Each November, during the contest period, the sales force came alive. They worked day and night to qualify for those two weeks in the sun. Salespeople who had average sales throughout the y ear became superstars for that thirty -day period.

One y ear, the insurance company went back and reviewed the sales of each person who qualified every November. They made a startling discovery : the average salesperson was selling three policies a week during the y ear. But in the contest period, they increased their sales to an average of four policies a week. By starting a little earlier and working a little harder, those who qualified for the Caribbean vacation were selling one extra policy during the forty – to fifty -hour week.

The managers sat down with their salespeople and pointed out that if they put in a little extra effort throughout the y ear, they could be in that prizewinning, high-income category all y ear long, instead of just once a y ear. They showed how this would translate into income over a forty -y ear career.

If a person started selling when she was twenty -five and sold until she was sixty – five, and if the average salesperson made four sales per week rather than three, this would translate into ten extra y ears of income. In other words, a salesperson could achieve the same amount of income in thirty y ears that she would in forty y ears. And she would have the money ten y ears earlier.


Sometimes people approach me at my seminars and tell me that they have no ambition. They say they are quite content at their level of income. They make enough to pay their bills and sta yout of debt. They ask me what I can do for them if they lack an all-consuming desire to accomplish more than they are already achieving.

Reluctantly, I tell them that there is really no hope for them if they have no ambition. If they don’t have the desire themselves to be more and do better than they are today, there is nothing that any one else can do for them. I tell them, “Some people are born to be followers, and some people are born to be leaders, and I have to assume that you were born to be a follower.” I have never met any one who particularly likes this response. Too bad. Ambition is essential for great success.

Develop Empathy and Understanding

Top salespeople also have high levels of empathy, i.e., they really care about their customers. Ambition, the desire to achieve, combined with empathy, the genuine caring for the well-being of your customers, are the twin key s to top sales performance.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, say s that EQ or emotional quotient is more important than IQ, intelligence quotient, for success. He defines emotional intelligence as the ability to get along well with a large number of other people and to be sensitive to their thoughts, feelings, and moods. He concludes that empathy is the most important of all qualities for building and maintaining high- quality relationships with other people, both at home and at work.

You have empathy for your customers when you make every effort to understand them, to “walk a mile in their shoes.” A person with sympathy may feel sorry for another person, but he looks at him from the outside. A person with empathy makes every effort to get inside the mind and heart of the customer and to understand his situation and needs. There is an old say ing, “If you can see Joe Jones through Joe Jones’s ey es, you can sell Joe Jones what Joe Jones buy s.”


Empathy requires the development of long-time perspective. Average salespeople think primarily in terms of making a sale right now, with little concern for long-term relationships or the future. Top salespeople, on the other hand, think about the second and third sales to this customer while still talking to him about the first sale. Further, they imagine selling to this customer twenty y ears from now. Every thing they do in their dealings with this customer today is with a view to the long term. As a result, they are far more empathetic in the short term than average salespeople.
Top salespeople think about the second and third sales to this customer while still talking to him about the first sale. Further, they imagine selling to this customer twenty years from now.

Poor salespeople look upon every transaction as an opportunity to make a sale and then get out. Peak-performance salespeople do not think in terms of closing sales as much as they think in terms of opening long-term customer relationships.


A balance between ambition and empathy seems to be the ideal combination for long-term sales success. If a salesperson is too ambitious, he will not care that much for the customer, and the customer will sense this. If a salesperson is too empathetic, he will not be assertive enough to ask for the sale. Balance is essential.
Customers today are smarter than they have ever been in history, and they are getting smarter every day. They are the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, demanding, and even disloy al consumers of all time.

Today ’s customer has had so much experience with so many salespeople that she can see through a salesperson like seeing through plastic wrap. If the salesperson is not seriously concerned about her well-being, she perceives it immediately. She doesn’t have to think about it. She knows in a few minutes whether the salesperson is selling just for himself, or if he is genuinely concerned about the customer’s interest.


The very best way to express and practice empathy with a customer, or with any one else, is to ask questions and listen intently to the answers. Dominate the listening, rather than the talking. As Stephen Covey say s, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” The more time you invest in understanding your customer’s situation, the more empathy you will naturally have for him or her and the more probable it is that you will make the sale in the end.

Keep On Keeping On

Top salespeople possess above average willpower and determination to succeed. They have the ability to keep on keeping on, even in the face of disappointments and setbacks. They are willing to pay the price of success in advance. They are eager to work hard. They are prepared to go the extra mile. They know that “there are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.”

The highest-paid salespeople realize that every bit of success that they aspire to must be paid in full, in advance. There is no such thing as something for nothing, no fast, easy way to be successful. The only way to get to the top is through hard, hard work, sustained over a long period of time.

Many salespeople are led astray by stories of people who have gotten into a particular field or made a specific investment and earned a lot of money in a short period of time. These cases are very rare, and in most cases, the people who made a lot of money quickly lost it just as quickly. As they say, “Easy come, easy go.”
The highest-paid salespeople realize that every bit of success that they aspire to must be paid in full, in advance. There is no such thing as something for nothing, no fast, easy way to be successful

The Highest-Income Years

Most people make their highest incomes after the fortieth or forty -fifth y ear of their lives. Some do it faster, but the vast majority of individuals only develop the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve high earnings a bit later in life. The average forty -y ear-old in the United States has a net worth of $1,010. One- third of baby boomers, who will be retiring in the next few y ears, are broke. They have nothing saved up at all. This is all too common.
Be willing to pay the price in terms of ambition, desire, hard work, and determination, extended over a long period of time, to achieve the success that you desire. As you practice what you learn in this book, you will move ahead faster than you ever imagined possible.

Get Rich Slowly but Surely

Henry Ford once said, “The two most important qualities for success in business are patience and foresight, and the man who lacks patience is not cut out for success in competitive enterprise.” There is no fast, effortless way to make money. Get-rich-quick schemes only work for the person selling them. Don’t waste a minute of your life try ing to cut corners or create financial shortcuts. Chasing the will-o’-the-wisp of the quick buck is the surest way to destroy your character and undermine your career.

The worst thing that can happen to a salesperson is to make a lot of money during an economic boom, especially at the beginning of his career. As a result, he gets the idea that making money is easy. For the rest of his life, then, he searches for the next opportunity to make easy money. He seldom succeeds. Worse, this early success causes him never to settle down to do the hard work and make the necessary sacrifices to achieve enduring success. Soon he stops believing in himself, and to stop believing is to fail.

Believe in Yourself and What You Are Selling

Top salespeople have high levels of belief in themselves. They also believe in their companies and their product or service’s value to the customer.

There seems to be a direct relationship between how much you believe in your product or service and how easily you can convince a customer to believe in it. Your customer can never believe in your product any more than you do. As William James of Harvard said, “Belief creates the actual fact.”

This is why it is so important for you to sell something that you believe in, something that you consider good for your customer to own or use. Every one has experienced having to sell something that he or she didn’t think was particularly good. If you have this feeling, you will never be successful in a competitive market. If you cannot put your whole heart into what you are selling, you will not sell very much of it.


Salespeople approach me continually, say ing, “I don’t really like this product [or this company, or the people I work with, or the people I have to sell to], but I want to be successful at selling it. What advice can you give me?”
I cannot help them. If you don’t love your product and really believe in it, you cannot possibly be successful selling it. The competition is too great. If you don’t respect your company and your boss, and you don’t like your customers, you don’t stand a chance against a sales professional who does.

In fact, you cannot even be lukewarm about your product and be successful in a competitive market. You have to believe that your product is absolutely excellent. You also have to believe that your customer can really benefit from using it. If you don’t believe these things deep in your heart, you will never convince others that they should have it.

Do What You Love to Do

One of the secrets of success in selling is for you to do what you love to do. Top salespeople love what they are selling. They believe in it passionately. They will defend it and argue over it. They will talk about it day and night. When they go to bed, they think about their product. When they wake up in the morning, they can hardly wait to talk to prospects about it.

“When you get into this business, you will make a living. But when the business gets into you, you will make a great life.” Truer words were never spoken.

Look at the top salespeople in the very best companies, and you’ll find that these people are fanatical about their products and services. That is why they sell so much. One of my top salesmen once said, “When you get into this business, you will make a living. But when the business gets into you, you will make a great life.” Truer words were never spoken.

Keep Your Word

Top-selling salespeople are impeccably honest with themselves and with others. There is no substitute for honesty in selling. Earl Nightingale once said, “If honesty did not exist, it would have to be invented as the surest way of getting rich.” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Guard your integrity as a sacred thing.” You must be perfectly honest with yourself in all things. Live in truth with yourself and others. Be completely truthful in terms of the work that you have to do to achieve the rewards that you want to enjoy.

The average person is built like a human lie detector. Because he has had so many experiences with half-honest or dishonest people, the ty pical consumer can pick up insincerity or falsehood across a crowded room. Every one can. The worst fool in the world is the one who thinks he can fool someone else.


A national trade organization to which I belong commissioned a study to find out why customers bought from one person or company and not from another, even though the products were similar. After investing $50,000 interviewing customers, they arrived at a simple conclusion: people bought from one person over another because they trusted that person more. The word trust was defined as “feeling the salesperson would follow through on his commitments and fulfill his promises.”


It is crucial that you never say your product will do any thing that it will not do. Never make false claims. Never even exaggerate. In fact, one of the most helpful things you can do to establish your credibility is to point out where your product is weak in comparison with that of your competitors.

Put These Qualities Together

The top salesperson, because he has a combination of all these qualities, has a natural ability to turn strangers into friends wherever he goes. When you are completely honest with yourself and you practice the quality of empathy with others, you like yourself more, and your customers will, in turn, like and accept you.
There is a 1:1 relationship between being and becoming an excellent person and high levels of self-esteem. The rule is that you can never like or love any one else more than you like yourself. So don’t expect any one else to like you more than you like yourself. How you feel about yourself is the single most important determinant of the quality of all your relationships, both personal and business.

Choosing the Right Product for You

Choosing the product or service to sell is very much like dating or getting married. There has to be the right chemistry, or it won’t work. It has to be a product or service that you like, enjoy, and feel is good for others. It must be compatible with your personality.

Each person is different. Sometimes an excellent salesperson will do poorly because she is selling the wrong product for her. This does not mean there is something wrong with the product or service. It simply means that the salesperson and the product are incompatible. Choosing the product or service to sell is very much like dating or getting married. There has to be the right chemistry, or it won’t work. There are two ty pes of products, tangible and intangible. Some people are capable of selling tangible products, and some are capable of selling intangible products. If you can sell the one, you probably cannot sell the other.


A tangible product is something you can touch, taste, feel, hold, demonstrate, and tr yout. Examples include a car, a boat, office equipment, furniture, decorations, computers, watches, or tools. If you are the kind of person who likes tangible products, you will only be successful when you are selling them. You can relate to them and enjoy them. You feel happy when you are talking about them, describing them, and selling them to others. You will never be successful or happy selling an intangible product.


An intangible product, on the other hand, is something that you cannot touch or taste. Intangible products are usually ideas of some kind. For example, investments are an idea. Insurance is an idea. Education and training products and services are ideas. Even real estate as an investment is an idea based on concepts and numbers more than it is a tangible product.
If you are the kind of person who loves ideas and concepts, you will only be content selling some kind of intangible product.


The best way to ascertain which type of salesperson you are is to ask yourself, am I interested in concrete products and things, or in the world of ideas? Do you like to work with your hands and deal with products that you can touch and feel? Or you do like philosophy, psy chology, and metaphy sics? If you enjoy discussing politics and religion or your interests are drawn to concepts, you will be happiest selling intangible services. If your major interest is in solid things like houses, cars, clothes, and computers, then you should sell tangibles.

If you ever get into a field and feel uncomfortable selling a particular product or service, this is an indication that you may be selling the wrong product for your individual personality. When you are selling the right thing for you, you will become involved emotionally. It will excite you and interest you. It will absorb your attention. You will like to think about and discuss it with others. But if your heart is not in what you are selling, you may be selling the wrong thing for you.


To be successful in selling, you must actually love your product and be excited about what it can do to improve the life or work of your customers. You will only be fruitful when you believe that what you are selling is a great product or service in comparison with every thing else that is on the market.

The “acid test” of whether or not you are selling the right product for you is your level of enthusiasm about it. Since enthusiasm is an emotion that comes from within, it can only be triggered when what you are doing on the outside is in harmony with what you feel on the inside. If you are not enthusiastic about what you are doing, it is obviously the wrong thing for you.

Admire Successful People

Perhaps the most common emotions of poor performers are envy and resentment. They are jealous of other people’s success. They seek every opportunity to criticize and complain about high-performance people, usually behind their backs. Fortunately, their negative attitude has no effect on these high achievers. But it dooms these underachievers to personal failure throughout their careers.

Alway s admire the top people in your field. Speak positively about them. Look up to them, and use them as your role models. Try to emulate them in every way possible. Be happy for their success. Keep reminding yourself that any thing that they have accomplished, you can accomplish as well. Be grateful that there are people ahead of you and making more money than you, because this is proof that you can achieve the same goals. Alway s want for others what you want for yourself.

Program Yourself for Success

When you admire and look up to other successful people, you program your subconscious mind to do and say exactly the same things that they do. And when you program your subconscious mind for achievement, it will find way s to help you. It will give you inspiration and energy to move you toward your goals. It will attract people and ideas into your life. Your subconscious mind will give you answers to solve your problems, and strategies to achieve your goals. It is the most powerful force in the world, and you can use it any way you want.
Your subconscious mind . . . is the most powerful force in the world, and you can use it any way you want.

Confidently Expect to Succeed

In more than fifty years of motivational research, psychologists have found that an attitude of confident expectations seems to go hand in hand with great success in
every area. If you confidently expect to succeed, in advance, you will be optimistic. This optimism has an effect on every one around you, making them respond more positively toward you and your offerings.
The law of expectations say s, “Whatever you expect, with confidence, becomes your own self-fulfilling prophecy.” If you expect to succeed, you will succeed. If you expect to be popular wherever you go, you will be popular. If you expect to have a good time at a party, you will have a good time. Your expectations will become your realities.

Your expectations exert an inordinate influence on other people. If you confidently expect to sell to a prospect, this expectation is picked up by the subconscious mind of the prospect. In a very positive way, your expectations enable you to influence the prospect into making a buy ing decision that is good for both of you.


One of the greatest obstacles to selling is negative expectations. These occur when the salesperson, as a result of attitude or previous experience, does not expect to be successful. He unconsciously manufactures these negative expectations in advance, and when he goes in to see the prospect, he has already convinced himself that he is wasting his time. The prospect picks up on this feeling of negative expectation and responds negatively to the offering.

Your expectations, positive or negative, are completely under your own control. They can help you or hurt you. And good or bad, they influence the behavior of those around you. Be sure that you manufacture and maintain only positive expectations in every thing you do.

Confidently Ignore Customer Skepticism

Virtually all customers are hesitant about buy ing. They are skeptical. They have been burned many times by salespeople in the past. As a result, they give a lot of knee-jerk objections and reasons for not buy ing. “I’m not interested.” “I don’t have the money.” “Business is slow right now.” “Let me think it over.” “I need to talk to someone else.” “Leave me something to look at,” and so on. But none of these are real reasons for not buy ing. They are normal and automatic responses to any sales offering.

However, if you confidently expect to sell, and take no note of these objections, the customer eventually begins to relax and come around. Many an uncertain buy er has been completely turned around by the positive attitude and confident expectations of the salesperson.

The salesperson simply ignored the initial sales resistance and kept on talking, asking questions, and listening. Eventually, the customer’s resistance broke down, and he decided to buy.
When you have been sold by a professional salesperson, you stay sold. You actually enjoy the experience. You don’t experience buy er’s remorse. You are happy that you bought the product or service, and you are eager to get it and begin using and enjoy ing it. And the more confident and positive the salesperson, the more satisfied you are with the buy ing experience. This should be your goal with each of your customers as well.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

The law of correspondence say s that “ your outer world is a mirror of your inner world.” In other words, every thing that happens to you on the outside is a reflection of what is going on with you on the inside. If you want to change or improve any part of your sales or personal life, you have to begin by changing yourself on the inside. Every thing we have been talking about so far has revolved around making these inner changes in a positive and constructive way.

Feed Your Mind with Mental Protein

Make the decision today to read in your field for thirty to sixty minutes each day. Like any professional, develop your own library of sales books. Each morning, instead of reading the newspaper or watching television, invest thirty to sixty minutes reading something on sales that will help you to perform better during the day.

Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” What you put into your mind in the first hour sets the tone of your mind for the rest of the day. If you feed your mind with something positive, educational, and uplifting in the first hour, you will perform better all day long. You will be more cheerful, relaxed, and self-assured. You will also be more resilient and will bounce back faster from rejection and disappointment.
All top people arise early and get going immediately. Average folks rise at the last possible minute, run around in circles, and then dash off for the office with no time for thinking or preparation.

Get up every morning two hours before your first appointment. If you have to be at work at 8:00 AM, get up at 6:00, spend an hour reading, and then get ready for your day. All top people arise early and get going immediately. Average folks rise at the last possible minute, run around in circles, and then dash off for the office with no time for thinking or preparation.


By getting up in the morning and reading a half hour to an hour in sales, you will find yourself reading about one sales book per week. This will translate into about fifty books per y ear. Fifty books per y ear multiplied by ten y ears will come to a total of five hundred books. Do you think this would have any effect on your sales results or your income?
The fact is that when you discipline yourself to read thirty to sixty minutes each day in your field, you will soon become one of the most knowledgeable, skilled, and highest-paid people in sales. By reading the very best books written by top salespeople over the y ears, you will learn ideas, insights, strategies, and techniques to help you make more sales faster than you could ever imagine.

Which books should you read? Don’t worry. By the law of attraction, you will be drawn to exactly the right books at exactly the right time for you. As you build your sales library and read from it each morning, you will step on the accelerator of your own career. You will move faster and more confidently toward sales success. Your income will double and triple faster than you ever thought possible.


Not long ago, a young man, twenty y ears old, came to one of my public sales seminars. His name was Bob. He had long, unkempt hair, was poorly dressed, and had a negative attitude. During the seminar, I explained the importance of reading thirty to sixty minutes each morning. He sat in the back all day, taking notes, and left at the end of the day without say ing any thing to me.

About two months later, I got a phone call from his uncle. It turned out that Bob came from a broken family, was a high-school dropout, and had experienced some minor problems with the law. Finally, his uncle and aunt had taken him in. He was unemploy ed, had no ambition, and sat around watching TV most of the day. Ultimately, the uncle laid down the law and insisted that Bob get a job, any job, rather than continue to sit around the house.


Reluctantly, Bob went out and got a job in straight-commission selling, from house to house and business to business. As you can imagine, he did poorly. He made very few sales and very little money. But he had to keep this job in order to continue living with his uncle and aunt. One day, the uncle saw the advertisement for my seminar in the paper and in desperation decided to send his nephew. Bob did not want to go. He only went because his uncle paid for it, drove him to the seminar, and picked him up afterward.

In the two months following the seminar, however, a miracle had taken place. The first thing Bob did when he got home was buy a book on selling. He then began getting up each morning and reading for thirty minutes before he went to his sales job. Within a week, he was reading an hour per day. Soon he was getting up at 5:00 AM and reading for two hours before he went off to work. In no time at all, his sales took off. Then they exploded. He started breaking sales records. And the more he sold, the more confident and enthusiastic he became.


All by himself, he began to make changes in his phy sical appearance. He had his hair cut and groomed neatly. He bought new clothes so he looked like a professional. The other salespeople in his company began looking up to him and asking him for advice.

Six weeks after my course, they made him a sales manager and put him in charge of a small territory. Two months after my course, he went with his uncle and bought his first car. He had tripled and quadrupled his income and completely changed his personality.

His uncle told me that Bob attributed all of his success to having been forced to go to my seminar. He said the most important thing he learned was the value of reading in sales for at least an hour every morning before starting out. It transformed his life.


The average adult reads less than one book a year. Many salespeople do not read at all in the field of selling. In fact, a whopping 90 percent of sales books are bought by customers who are not in the sales profession. But whenever I talk with top salespeople about the importance of reading, I am always amazed to learn how many books they have read and are reading at the present time. They sound like sales libraries, rattling off titles, authors, and concepts from their libraries of sales books.

When you begin to read one book per week, fifty books a year, you will separate yourself completely from the ranks of average salespeople. You will put yourself onto the fast track and begin making more sales than you ever dreamed. Try it and prove it for yourself. It is said that “reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body.” The more you read, the sharper and more alert you become. When you read more in selling, you learn more new ideas to sell more of your products more effectively. The more you read, the faster you move to the top of your field.


One of my clients is a sales manager with thirty -two salespeople selling products in a very competitive industry. Yet the salespeople in his company earn an average of three times as much as those of his competitors who sell similar products. Because of this, every one wants to work for him. Salespeople from other companies are continually apply ing to him for sales jobs.
He told me that he had developed a very simple way to sort out winners from losers in selling. When he sat down to interview a prospective salesperson, he would say, “Thank you for coming in. Before we begin, let me ask you a question. What are some of your favorite books and audio programs on sales in your personal development library ?” Then he waits.
If the prospective salesperson hesitates or says, “I don’t really have any,” my friend stands up, takes her by the arm, and shows her the door.
If the prospective salesperson can quickly give the names of books and audio programs that he reads and listens to, he almost always gets the job.


What this manager had learned was that a salesperson who was not personally committed to becoming better by investing her own money in books and audio programs would never be successful in a competitive market. It was a waste of time to hire and attempt to train such a person. He had learned from experience to only hire people who were already committed to their own personal and professional self-development programs. These were the people who very soon became sales superstars and earned three times as much as their competitors in rival companies.
“If you are not continually learning and upgrading your skills, somewhere, someone else is, and when you meet that person, you will lose.” —Reed Buckley

It would be the same as an athlete who is overweight, unfit, smokes, eats too much, and doesn’t train trying to compete in any sport. No matter how nice or sincere a person he is or how much he desires to win, he doesn’t have a chance against well-trained, determined competition. Author Reed Buckley once said, “If you are not continually learning and upgrading your skills, somewhere, someone else is, and when you meet that person, you will lose.”

Listen to Audio Programs

Business speaker Nick Carter once said, “Audio learning is the greatest breakthrough in education since the invention of the printing press.”

When I started off in sales, frustrated and unhappy, working long hours and getting few results, someone intro duced me to audio learning. It changed my life. Even now, after all these y ears, I still remember the wonderful experience of listening to top salespeople on audio sharing their experiences and explaining their methods. Some of them are still with me today.

You can get the equivalent of a full-time university education each year just by listening to educational audio programs as you drive from place to place.

Back when the personal computer was new, there was the term GIGO, which means “garbage in, garbage out.” These letters could also stand for “good in, good out.” When you continually feed your mind with audio learning as you travel from call to call, you program yourself at a deep level to say and do what the winners would do during a sales situation.


The average sales professional drives about 25,000 miles per y ear. This means that, allowing for traffic, the average salesperson sits behind the wheel about 1,000 hours per y ear. This is the equivalent of six months of forty -hour weeks, or two university semesters.

The University of California released a study recently that showed that you can get the equivalent of a full-time university education each y ear just by listening to educational audio programs as you drive from place to place.
From this day forward, turn your car into a “classroom on wheels.” As Zig Ziglar say s, “Enroll in Automobile University and attend full time for the rest of your career.” By turning your car into a “learning machine,” you will be amazed at the enormous number of great ideas you will hear each week, each month, and each year.


A good audio learning program contains the best ideas of ten, twenty, and even fifty books. To buy and read these books would cost you hundreds of dollars and take hundreds of hours. Instead, you can get the distilled essence of the best thinkers in your field by simply listening to audio programs as you drive around.

Not only that, you can stop the audio program when you come to a particularly good idea and take some time to think about how you could use it in your sales work. You can repeat an audio program and listen to it several times. By listening to such programs, you keep your mind awake and alert throughout the sales day. Like a star athlete, when you arrive to call on a prospect, you will be attentive and prepared to perform at your best.


The great tragedy is that mediocre salespeople waste this precious learning time. They drive around listening to the radio or to music in their cars. They miss one of the great learning opportunities that is available to professional salespeople.

It is said that radio is “chewing gum for the ears.” For the salesperson, listening to the radio is the equivalent of an athlete’s dieting on candy and soft drinks. He loses his focus. He gets distracted by what’s on the air. Instead of thinking about how to sell more effectively, his mental powers are weakened. He loses his “edge.” Don’t let this happen to you.


The highest-paid salespeople I know listen to audio programs all the time. Their cars are mobile “classrooms.” They usually carry several different audio programs and alternate them based on what they feel they need to learn the most at that moment. The best salespeople don’t even know if their radios work, because they never turn them on.


If a person in the competitive field of sales insists on listening to the radio as she drives around, it is an indication that she is simply not serious about her success. I have worked with countless sales professionals who have struggled for years at low levels of income, and then, as the result of listening to one audio program (often one of mine), their incomes have doubled and tripled, sometimes in as little as thirty days.
Wouldn’t it be a tragedy if the only thing holding you back from earning two or three times as much as you are earning today was the information contained in a single audio program?

The Magic Questions

There are two great questions that you can use to accelerate your growth toward high income in sales. These are two of the best questions that I have ever learned. I have used them over the y ears, and they have been responsible for making or saving me many thousands of dollars.
The first question to ask yourself after each sales call is, what did I do right?
This question keeps you focused on the best parts of your performance. Even if the sales call was a complete failure, there were certain things that you did correctly. It is important that you identify the best parts of your performance so you do not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

You could write down:
“I was thoroughly prepared.”
“I researched the client in advance.” “I was punctual for my appointment.” “I was well dressed and groomed.”
“I asked questions and listened carefully before speaking.” “I made a complete presentation.”
“I asked for the order twice,” and so on.

By asking the question, what did I do right? you keep yourself continually focused on the best elements of your sales activities. By reviewing these activities immediately after a sales call, you program them into your subconscious and create a predisposition to repeat these positive behaviors at your next sales call.


The second question you must ask yourself is, what would I do differently?
This question forces you to think about the positive things that you could do to improve your performance in a similar situation. Even if the sales call has been completely successful, there were still things that you could do differently in the future to make it even better.

The advantage of these two questions is that the answers to both of them are positive. Force yourself to review and mentally rehearse the very greatest ingredients of your performance. Then, the next time you are in a similar situation, your subconscious mind will pass them back up to you and make them available to you for the sales call.


Average salespeople have a tendency to ask the wrong questions. Instead of asking themselves, what did I do right? they ask themselves, what did I do wrong? Rather than focusing on the best components of their performance, they focus on the worst. This simply programs them to repeat those mistakes at the next sales call. “What would I do differently ?” is superior to “What mistakes did I make?” Dwell on your mistakes and shortcomings, and you can be certain you will see them again.

Successful people continually recall their very best sales calls. They review and rehearse the best things that they said and did with the customer. As a result, they continually program high performance into their subconscious minds. They then repeat their very best performances over and over again in subsequent sales calls.

The Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion exerts a strong influence on you throughout your day, and throughout your life. One of the key s to success is to take complete control of the suggestive influences that you allow to reach your conscious and subconscious minds. You must make every effort to ensure that the mental influences around you are as positive as possible, just as you would only eat really healthy foods if you wanted to feel the best about yourself phy sically

You are positively or negatively influenced by every sight, sound, thought, experience, and person in your world. If you watch negative or violent television programs, it affects you at an unconscious level and makes you a more negative person. If you listen to useless babble on the radio, it clogs up your mind as sludge clogs up a drain and makes you less effective. If you read unconstructive material in books, magazines, or newspapers, it fills your mind with mental garbage that can demotivate you and make you more easily discouraged.


Perhaps the most important part of your suggestive environment is the set of people with whom you associate most of the time. Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, in his book The Achieving Society, found that a negative “reference group” was enough in itself to condemn a person to lifelong failure.

Your reference group consists of the people around you, the people with whom you associate, and the people with whom you identify. Your most important reference group, in forming your personality, is your family. If your parents were disapproving and critical, this can affect you all your life. Whether your brothers and sisters were helpful or hurtful can have an effect on you for many y ears. As you grow up, your friends at school, your teachers, teammates, and other associates exert an inordinate influence on your thinking and your emotions.


As an adult, you must choose your friends and associates with care. As Zig Ziglar say s, “You cannot fly with the eagles if you continue to scratch with the

turkey s.” Get around positive people. Associate with those who are going somewhere with their lives. Socialize with folks who are positive and who have goals for themselves and their work. Only spend time with people who have virtues that you admire and want to emulate yourself.

Meanwhile, get away from negative people. Avoid those who complain and criticize much of the time. Especially avoid joining in when people start complaining about their work or about other successful people. This is a sort of “loser slime” that gets all over you and can ruin all of your chances for success.


Remember the old say ings “Like attracts like” and “Birds of a feather flock together”? Top salespeople tend to be loners. This does not mean that they are “aloners.” It simply means that they are selective about the people with whom they spend time. They do not drink coffee with whoever is sitting there or go out for lunch with whoever is standing at the door. Instead, they deliberately choose their companions. They either spend their time by themselves or with those people whose company is valuable and worthwhile to them. You must do the same.

The 100-Call Method

Here is a powerful way to put all these ideas to work. It is called the “100-call method.” Whenever I have started a new sales job, I have made it a point to hit the ground running. I set a goal to make 100 face-to-face calls in the shortest period of time possible. From that moment on, I get up early, prepare thoroughly, and then work steadily all day long, often cold-calling, to complete my 100-call goal.

Don’t worry about whether or not you sell any thing during these 100 calls. Put the idea of selling aside for now and just concentrate on getting face-to-face with 100 people and telling them about your product or service. Two wonderful things will happen during this time. First of all, by dedicating yourself to seeing 100 people and listening to their questions and objections, you will learn more about how to sell your product in that first 100 calls than someone else might learn in one or two y ears.


The second wonderful thing that will happen is that, because you are making no effort to sell, you will start to make sales almost without effort. Your confidence and energy will increase with each call you make. Your self-esteem will be augmented. You will feel more calm and comfortable. As a result, you will like your customers, and they will like you and want to buy from you. By the time you have made 100 calls, you will have turbocharged your sales career and be on your way to the top.

Here is something else I have found. For the next two y ears, you will find yourself making sales to many of those on whom you called during your 100-call warm-up period. Because you were relaxed and put them under no pressure to buy, they relaxed as well, and they thought of you when they decided to buy what you were selling.


You can use this 100-call method to break out of a sales slump, or to start off a new sales y ear or even a new sales period. At any time, you can turbocharge yourself by setting a goal to make 100 face-to-face calls as fast as you possibly can without worry ing about whether or not you make a sale. There is something about this strategy that releases your potential and enables you to perform at your best.

When you combine the 100-call method with all of the other psy chological techniques that we have talked about in this book so far, you will become a remarkable salesperson. You will have vigor, zeal, confidence, and competence at a level that you may never have experienced before. You will have taken complete charge of your sales career and put yourself in field position to earn more than you ever have

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