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If you want to make selling easier for you in 2013, my recommendation is to focus on some of the soft skills which make selling easy rather than the deceitful and manipulative tricks that you get in many sales books.
These soft skills are actually life skills and they are all learnable. I know this because I had to learn them and continue working on them to this day! And the great thing is you can use everyday life as a teacher.
Think and grow rich is a classic motivational book. Written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by Andrew Carnegie, it was published in 1937 at the end of the Great Depression. It is not a book about sales by any means yet it contains many lessons for developing our thinking for success in sales.
It is a classic book about the use of the power the mind in order to achieve personal goals. It is one of the first personal development books I read. The language is a little different to what we use today but the things covered such as visualisation and affirmations are well accepted today.
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I was with someone the other day who was struggling with sales. He told me that he did not like sales but that he knew he had to improve his ability. I asked him what he had done to acquire skills and knowledge of sales related subjects. Apart for reading a few online blogs and articles he had done absolutely nothing. He had not attended any trainings, read any books, listened to any audios or until now had any coaching. I asked him if he learned to drive that way. Just jump into the car with no previous experience and expect a smooth journey!
My wife bought me an iPod for my birthday a few years ago. She purchased it with the expectation that I would use it to listen to my music collection, I quickly discovered, however, a totally different use for it. Whilst scanning iTunes for music I stumbled across an audio book on sales and motivation by Zig Ziglar I then went onto discover audible.com where you can buy a whole range of normal books which have been released as an audio book.
When I was walking in the mountains of Peru last year it was amazing that despite walking at a very slow pace we seemed to cover a lot of ground within the space of a day. We live in an instant gratification society. We are so used to getting things straight away that we expect everything to be instant. The same is true with progress in sales. Taking small consistent steps can actually take you much further than irregular bursts of activity.
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The most important decision you will ever make in sales is deciding to become a student and learn the craft.
When I was a trainee accountant I would show up at the classes because it was part of my job. I hoped one day to be a qualified accountant but I was just going through the motions. I was not taking my learning seriously and the consequence was that I was likely to end up like many part qualified accountants who get so far in their career and then get stuck in tedious jobs with mediocre salaries.
There are some people who try and get all their learning for free. They listen to free podcasts, they sign up to any free reports going and come along to free talks or workshops. I have come across some people who have spent £100 travelling to a free seminar but would not pay £100 for a seminar on their doorstep!
Wanting to expand knowledge and understanding is an admirable quality. A mark of top sales professionals is that they never stop looking for new insights to make selling easier and more productive. That is why most of the sales books are purchased by sales people who are already successful.
This is at direct odds with people I regularly meet who are very clever people who have read a few books and think that they know it all!
Everything comes with a price tag. The best things in life may be for free but even they come with a price attached. Although money may not be involved, there is still a price. For example, you may need to give something up or do something that you are reluctant to do.
I have not yet come across a successful business where the owner has been resistant to sales. You do not have to enjoy sales but one way or another every business needs a sales pipeline. The more we resist sales, the more prospects will respect our wishes and stay away!
The hair on the back of your neck stands on end and you feel strangely spooky. You have just seen and heard something that you are sure you have experienced before. Was it a dream? Was it a premonition? Was it an event just forgotten about? Science is still struggling to explain and reproduce the déjà vu phenomenon.