Everybody has a product to sell, no matter whether you’re an employee, a founder, or an investor. It’s true, even if your company consists of just you and your computer. Look around—if you don’t see any salespeople, you’re the salesperson.” – Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal
Do you need a sales trainer?
The ability to sell and self-promote is, undoubtedly, the most important skillset a person can have and the most valuable activity anyone can perform. Yet, more often than not, sales and self-promotion is also the most often overlooked.
New and established businesses succeed or fail based purely on their ability to get their product or services out to the world, yet for many, they have the same opinion: “I didn’t go into business to be a salesperson.”
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.” – Robert Kiyosaki
So what is the logic behind this self-destructive mindset?
Why is it that most people let the single most important determinant to making their business or career dreams a reality go neglected?
There is no simple or single answer, perhaps, if there was, it would be much more easily overcome. The truth is that it is a combination of seven far more complex reasons, some as a result of upbringing, and others are more to do with our hardwiring:
- The belief you must have the “gift of the gab” – Many people believe that to be a great salesperson, you must have the so-called “gift of the gab,” a natural ability that you either have or haven’t got. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, some people are naturally better at sales, at the start, just like some people are naturally better at English or Science in school. Over the long term, however, it is the person who puts in the work that gets the best and most consistent results. “The Rapid Growth Guy,” Matthew Pollard, suggests the “gift of the gab” misconception gives people an excuse not to try and prevents them from seeing it as a learnable skill, just like any other.
What if I’m an introvert?
If you’re an introvert, it may surprise you to learn that you actually have an advantage. Just like most people who are introverted, you’ve probably used introversion, for as long as you can remember, as an excuse not to try sales. Okay, you are not a natural communicator, but you can be a strategic one.
Natural communicators—extroverts or people with the “gift of the gab”—have a wonderful ability to captivate an audience. Their natural or nurtured “gift,” however, can also be a disadvantage. First, they sometimes enjoy the conversation so much that they lose track of what they are there to do, running out of time to sell. Let’s say, for instance, an extrovert had a thirty-minute appointment with a doctor—they might spend 25 of those minutes on rapport, and before they know it, they are out of time. Second, an extrovert’s advantage is directly linked to how their day is going. If they are having a great day, their sales will reflect that. Conversely, a fight with a friend, family member, or employer quickly leads to a gutter ball.
On the other hand, introverts can’t do what the extroverts can naturally, but through the act of sales systemization and sales scripting, they can beat them, HANDS DOWN!
“Everything you do in the sales process, from the first contact through to the close of the sales and the delivery of the product or service, has an effect. Nothing is neutral. Everything either helps or hurts. Nothing can be left to chance. It all counts.” – Brian Tracy
Matthew Pollard, “The Rapid Growth Guy,” suggests that “almost ninety percent of all sales can be scripted, and as an introvert, scripting is a must.” Sales scripting allows you to be strategic about everything you say, the order of the jokes, the stories you use…everything.
Undoubtedly, by now, you will be hearing a voice inside your head screaming:
“BUT… I don’t want to sound like a robot” or “I don’t want to be inauthentic.”
It makes sense not to want these things, so let’s take a second to address them. Think back to your favorite movie and your favorite actor in that movie. You didn’t love their portrayal of their character because they seemed unauthentic or robotic, did you? Yet their words came from a script.
You may be thinking that sales scripts are robotic, because you have heard telemarketers and sales people sound scripted, just like I’m sure that you have seen bad actors do the same thing. What may surprise you is that many of the top-performing salespeople, who sound so natural, are also using a script.
“All sales professionals in the top 10 percent use a planned presentation. The low money earners, those in the bottom 80 percent of salespeople, simply say whatever comes out of their mouths when they meet with the customer. This is not the path for you.” – Brian Tracy
The thing that separates the good actors from the bad, just like the good salespeople from the bad, is their diligence to script mastery. They make the script their own. To achieve this, just like a professional actor, you must start by learning the words of the script to one-hundred percent accuracy, and next you embody the story to finally make it your own.
Of course, “gift of the gab” salespeople can learn to sales script too, and if they do, they tend to be unstoppable. However, just like most people who possess natural abilities, they tend to take it for granted and never seek to hone it, giving you, with practice and time, a clear advantage.
- It wasn’t taught in school – Unfortunately, there is no degree in sales. Sure, they may touch on sales in many marketing degrees, but purely from a theoretical perspective. So why, then, if it is so important for life success, is sales not covered in school? This is a hard question to answer without first asking one, “Are schools designed to prepare you for a career of employment or entrepreneurship?” While there are some exceptions, schools have predominantly evolved over time to teach people, on mass, the functional skill they need to be gainfully employed and useful to society. Unfortunately, sales is not required for this, and as a result, it is left out.
“The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling.” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
Many people make the common mistake of believing that they’ve learned everything they need to know the day they leave school—they couldn’t be more wrong. Many people leave school knowing their trade–whether it be medicine or construction—however, if they want successes outside of what a boss can provide, they must also learn the process of self-promotion and sales.
- It’s uncomfortable – Just like learning any skill, developing a competency for sales and self-promotion can be uncomfortable. Let’s say you had a desire to take up skiing. Would your first time standing on two thin sticks of carbon fiber, moving faster and faster down a mountain, be any less uncomfortable?
Any time we force ourselves to learn a new skill, we push ourselves outside our comfort zone, and if, as they say, “the pain is worth the gain,” we push through to success. Many people give up learning to ski, but not because they believe learning is impossible—this is where sales varies. Unfortunately, many who attempt learning to sell, due to their “gift of the gab” misconception, don’t believe they can succeed. This misconception, paired with the pains of an uncomfortable learning experience, generally results in the learner deciding not to try. After all, why try learning something that you have already decided you will fail at? That’s not to say they underestimate the importance of the skills, they just delude themselves into believing their product/service will speak for itself, or that they will find another way.
“Superior sales and distribution can by itself create a monopoly even with no product differentiation. The converse is not true no matter how strong your product even if it fits into already established habits and anybody that tries it likes it immediately you must still support it with a strong distribution plan.” – Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal
The truth is, without learning the skills of sales and self-promotion, as Napoleon Hill suggested, you are “doomed to mediocrity.”
“People don’t ever start because they don’t have all the answers. That’s like not driving down the street because all the lights aren’t green.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Don’t make mediocrity your life choice—decide “the pain is worth the gain” and believe sales and self-promotion are learnable skills. If you do this, you will find, just like skiing, that with practice you will get better, and as you do, your discomfort will subside. You will start to understand what to do when and what to focus on. Soon, you will find it just another part of who you are; you may even start to enjoy yourself.
- Fear of rejection – We are pre-programed to protect ourselves from pain, anything we perceive as possibly harmful to the body we tend to avoid. Rejection, for many, is a form of pain. While emotional, the brain perceives it as just as intense—if not more so—than real, physical pain. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but deep down, you know it to be true.
Daniel Goleman, in his world-famous book, Emotional Intelligence, suggests “When emotions are in high gear, they are 24 times stronger than the rational mind.”
To be successful in sales and self-promotion, you need to emotionally disconnect from the outcome. While this sounds simple, it’s virtually impossible.
After all if a client is saying “NO,” then it’s you that’s getting rejected, right?
The truth is, you’re correct. The way most untrained people sell makes it virtually impossible not to emotionally invest in the outcome. After all, you’re flying by the seat of your pants; it’s all on you. If they say “NO,” they’re saying “NO” to you.
So…how do you disconnect?
Stop what you’re doing, and learn a sales system!
Consider for a second that each sale or self-promotion encounter is akin to that of a production line, a series of cogs and levers that, when utilized correctly and in the right order, creates the most effective outcome. On this basis, it would be fair to assume that an ineffective sales or self-promotion outcome would be just a result of a misplaced cog or an improperly weighted lever.
The implementation of a sales system has many positive effects. First, even the most average of sales systems will give you an order in which to take a client through a meeting, drastically reducing the risk of overcomplicating and/or jumbling the sale. The true power of a sales system, however, comes from the change of mindset you will experience. The simple act of having a process, takes the emphasis of the sale off you. If a customer says “NO,” it’s no longer a judgement on you as a person, it’s because the process didn’t work, and if it happens a lot, you might need to reword or reorder the process.
- Fear of what others may think – Over thousands of years, we’ve evolved to care what others think—after all, in tribal times, if we upset the chief, we would be cast out to fend for ourselves. Upsetting the chief, however, isn’t the only thing our tribal evolution has wired us to worry about. Within any tribe, there was only a small group of men and women, a public rejection from the opposite sex or a defeat from either sex would mean a lifetime of being pigeonholed as undesirable or subservient to the defeater.
Evolution, nature and nurture, has allowed us to grow and change in many ways—however, just like cattle, herd mentality is in our DNA. Staying part of the herd and what the herd thinks of us is something we tend to value above all else. This is not because of vanity, though for many it may look like that, but because of our programming. To put this in perspective, if people didn’t care what others thought, then why did American Demographics magazine, in their October 1997 article “Scaredy Cats”, report a 15 percent higher fear of public speaking than death. Sure, you could call it stage fright, lack of confidence, fear of the spotlight, but in reality, the underlying issue to all of these are the same: fear of what others may think. After all, if people knew that they would be well-received and what they were to say would be truly valued, then they would have no issue getting up and telling the world about it.
“Care about what others think, and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu
For rapid success in anything, not just sales and self-promotion, it is important to understand this level of thinking no longer serves you. After all, if people don’t have the opportunity to think poorly of you, then they also don’t have the opportunity to think about you at all.
The world today is a much bigger place, and rejection, defeat, or even the chief in your job, family, or social group getting upset with you is not the end of the world. It won’t stop you from having a family or food on the table, whereas failing to take risks could.
“It’s easier to stand on the sidelines, criticize, and say why you shouldn’t do something. The sidelines are crowded. Get in the game.” – Robert Kiyosaki
- Sales and self-promotion is wrong – We have all played jokes and yelled at telemarketers who have called us in the middle of dinner. We have also heard horror stories of salespeople who, perhaps, ripped off a friend or overpromised and under-delivered. These constant stories of annoyance and betrayal have left many with the feeling that the act of sales and self-promotion is wrong.
“The most fundamental reason why even business people underestimate the importance of sales is their systematic effort to hide it in every level of every field in a world secretly driven by it” – Zero-to-One – Peter Thiel and Blake Master
Before we decide to write-off all sales and self-promotion, deciding that it is wrong to engage in that activity, remember the words of Brian Tracy: “Without sales, our entire society would come to a grinding halt.” Sure, businesses produce all the products and services, however, without salespeople, they wouldn’t have anywhere to send them.
Now, consider for a second the stories you have heard of annoyance and betrayal; is it possible that people tend to share bad stories more than good ones? A 2011 survey by American Express highlighted that “Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences.” To add to this, Zendesk, well known for its cloud-based customer service software, reported in 2013 that of their customers, “54% shared bad experiences with more than five people and 33% shared good experiences with more than five people.”
These statistics boil down to one simple fact, and that is, what you hear hardly depicts the act of sales and self-promotion fairly. Think about it: People don’t tend to talk about experiences where they got exactly what they expected, but they want to tell the world when they didn’t.
Sales means to serve!
Did you know the word “sales” was originally derived from the Scandinavian term that means “to serve.” Yet, these days, it has more of a slimy, used-car stigma attached to it.
So don’t be a salesperson.
“The very best salespeople today see themselves more as consultants and advisors to their customers than as salespeople.” – Brian Tracy
Instead of seeing yourself as a salesperson, manipulative and out for yourself, see yourself as a consultant, an advisor. There to help more than anything else.
- Approach anxiety – Our mind is a funny thing; programmed to keep us from danger. In ancient times, when presented with, say, an angry bear, or a woolly mammoth stampede, our bodies would experience stress. According to Dr. Michael Roizen, in his book, You Staying Young, a body’s stress response “heightens all of our biological systems” to make sure we can do things like RUN!
For a more detailed explanation of our bodies’ stress response and how it affects you, check out Matthew’s recent article in Entrepreneur:
Robert Kiyosaki, in his book famous book series Rich Dad Poor Dad, suggests “people run away from disappointment” much in the same way. Brian Tracy depicts a person selling for the first time the best, “Your heart is in your throat. …Your stomach is churning.” Psychologists suggest that the fear of selling is much like that of a child getting a spanking. To overcome this sometimes paralyzing fear, you must develop. The good news is that much like asking a person of the opposite sex out for the first time, if you do it often, it gets easier. You can call what propels you forward strength of courage, will or character. Regardless of what it is, just like a muscle, it will get stronger.
“The reason there are so little self-made millionaires is there are so few people willing to accept disappointment. A vital part of the road to success.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Matthew Pollard, “The Rapid Growth Guy” suggests it’s akin it a child learning to walk, without having the courage to make the first steps towards mastery, they will never learn to run. With a little effort and commitment, soon, initiating sales and self-promotion activities will become a habit, and as you get better at it, perhaps even something you’ll enjoy.
After all, who doesn’t enjoy doing what they’re good at?
That said, with all this going on inside our heads, it’s any wonder people can sell at all.
Want some help overcoming one of, or all seven of, the self-destructive mindsets preventing you from sales or self-promotion success?
Why not speak to “The Rapid Growth Guy,” himself?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
Overcoming almost all of the seven self-destructive mindset starts with learning the sales process. The great news is, just like any other discipline, it’s a completely learnable skill.
At the age of 18, Matthew got his first car. As many young and excited young adults do, he decided to install a sound system upgrade. While he cringes at the thought now, he worked with a close friend to install an eight inch sub-woofer into the trunk. It took the whole day to wire it up, and they made many mistakes along the way, but eventually, it worked. In their excitement, they got into the car and took it for a drive. About ten to fifteen minutes into the drive, Matthew started to notice flames coming out of the car in front of him. He quickly stopped the car and soon realized that all the electrical wiring was on fire. He flagged down cars passing by, asking for water to put out the flames, and soon, he was met with the reality that every wire from the battery to the subwoofer in the back had melted together in the fire. Later that week, Matthew found out the fire was caused by one missing fuse between the battery and the amplifier. He then agreed to commit over a thousand dollars, his whole savings plus some money he borrowed from a friend, to getting it fixed.
What can we learn from this?
Matthew, just like many in sales, attempted to just figure it out. Unfortunately, due to a missing fuse, his whole car’s electrical wiring set alight. Sales is exactly the same—just like an auto electrician learns to put a fuse in before putting power through an amplifier, a person engaging in the process of selling must learn to ask probing questions before proceeding to pitch their prospect. Otherwise, all the hard work of driving out, offering a solution, preparing a proposal and following up can also go down in flames.
“Before everything else, getting ready is the key to success.” – Henry Ford
So what is the sales process?
The sales process is a series of steps naturally building on each other, designed to lead a prospect from first introductions and rapport to making the purchasing decision and providing payment.
Take a second to watch Rapid Growth Guy, Matthew Pollard, explain in more detail during session seven of the Dan and Matt Program.
For many, the sequence of what to talk about when will instantly remedy their untrained approach of over-complicating a sale and poorly communicating the true benefits of their product or service.
Finding a good sales coach can be easier said than done. Coaches generally fit into one of two segments:
- The natural – This type of coach has always had the so-called, “gift of the gab,” so learning wasn’t necessary. That doesn’t mean they haven’t now learned a process and as a result, as mentioned earlier, their personal sales ability has become almost unstoppable. It does, however, mean that they can’t possibly understand the inner torment that most non-naturals go through just to approach a prospect about their product or service. What that means is that these coaches, while great for coaching other naturals, may not be the best choice for you.
- Business coaches – Many business coaching clients assume that a business coach can help them with sales. Unfortunately, in most cases this couldn’t be further from the truth. This magical word, so important to your business survival and growth, for most coaches is actually their major problem too. As I suggest in my recent article published in Entrepreneur, the number one issue that many coaches have is finding and selling to clients.
For a more detailed explanation, check out Matthew’s recent article in Entrepreneur:
Of course, their lack of sales ability doesn’t mean they won’t be able to help you improve your business immensely. It just means that sales, in many cases, isn’t their core competency, and you should seek assistance elsewhere.
So how can Matthew Pollard help?
Matthew Pollard was in no way a natural sales person. When he was in late high school, due to a disability, he had a reading speed of a sixth grader. This resulted in introversion and a severe lack of confidence. In fact, he only ended up in sales because the company he decided to work at closed down just before Christmas, and around that time, the only jobs hiring were commission-only. To add salt to the wound, in 2007, Matthew also fell victim to a violent attack that left him with facial lacerations requiring 26 stitches, agonising plastic surgery, and over five years to heal.
Today, Matthew has been responsible for five multimillion-dollar business success stories, in industries as vastly different as construction, telecommunications, and nationally accredited education. His acquisition strategies have also been used in obtaining clients from luxury automotive brands, multinational award-winning franchises, law associations, and leading medical institutions, as well as National Premiership Football and Olympic teams. Matthew suggests that all this success was derived from developing a sales system that overcame his disadvantages and surviving his first day of visiting 93 businesses in the hot Australian summer to make his first sale.
Natural sales people:
Matthew can assist you to step past the limitations your natural gift has given you. He will help you build a sales system that focuses on delivering your same intoxicating personality in a regimented way. Finally, you will be able to step away from your mood defining your income and losing sales because you lost track of time.
Matthew can help you overcome one or all seven of the aforementioned self-destructive sales mindsets that are standing in your way of making your dreams of entrepreneurship or a high-paying promotion come true. He can also help you create a sales system that works for you and your individual style of communication.
You can spend years trying to figure it all out for yourself, or you can work with the Rapid Growth Guy himself, and let him teach you the secrets to rapid success.
Sales training programs
Sales Scripter Guru Matthew Pollard understands that not everyone can afford professional one-on-one assistance. He also knows that for many, designing and perfecting a sales process doesn’t come easy.
This is why Matthew has created the soon-to-be-launched Sales Scripter Guru. This application will provide you with a simple and intuitive way to create your entire sales process, word for word and joke for joke.
Sure, at first you will sound a little robotic and inauthentic, but remember, this is exactly the process that your favorite actor follows to portray their characters so well on the silver screen.
For a more detailed explanation, check out Matthew’s recent article in Entrepreneur:
Does that sound like a lot of work?
It’s no way near the amount of work you currently spend going out to see clients, writing in-depth proposals, and chasing clients, only to be told “no thank you.” It’s also much easier than building a business from the ground up, only to close it later due to lack of sales success.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
Insightful words, however, sharpening the axe, for many, feels too unproductive to bear. So remember the words of Brian Tracy: “Those in the bottom 80 percent of salespeople, simply say whatever comes out of their mouths when they meet with the customer.” Don’t let this be you.
Just like the sales script McDonald’s uses up sell orders, “Would you like fries with that?” with the help of Sales Scripter Guru and a bit of hard work, your new sales script will allow you to estimate across one-hundred presentations, how many prospects will accept and decline your offer. Just like any other system, you will also be able to tinker with the elements and continually improve the process. Best of all, it’s emotion-free—if something isn’t working, you just go back and make the appropriate change.
Click here to find out more, or for an invitation to be one of the first adopters to Matthew’s new Sales Scripter Guru – Coming soon
Online sales training
Did you enjoy the video above explaining the sales process?
Want to understand it in more detail?
Did you know a lot of sales success is determined well before you even speak to a customer?
This is why Matthew Pollard has teamed up with speaker and author, of “Marketing Works: Unlocking Big Company Strategies for Small Business,” to guide you through the highly confusing, yet absolutely vital world of sales and marketing.
Let Matthew Pollard and Daniele Lima take you on a journey where, with their help, you will learn the power of:
- Segmenting the market as well as picking the most lucrative and best market for you.
- Positioning yourself in that new market, the way you want to be seen by your customers.
- Systemizing your sales process to get the best outcome possible every time.
This ten-part series provides a unique combination of the best and most up-to-date theory on sales and marketing, combined with the best real-word market examples that make it easy to apply what you learn directly to your business.
It also comes with a full workbook, so you can absorb the information, work through the application of concepts for your unique business, and finally, integrate it for rapid growth.
But don’t just read about it, listen to Dan and Matt explain the program in the video below:
Sales training seminars
Are you looking for a sales, marketing or business speaker for your next seminar?
Would you like to hire Matthew Pollard as your next speaker?
Be sure to check out his special sales topic, “Don’t Fool Yourself, Anyone Can Sell!”
Want a taste of what Matthew has to offer? Take a second to listen to the Rapid Growth Guy, Matthew Pollard, explain sales systemization in more detail during his interview on iTunes Top 50 Podcast, The Engaging Brand.Show Transcript