by For the MBJ
Published: September 6,2004
“How do I make more sales?”
“What’s the secret of sales success?”
“What can I do to get out of the sales doldrums?”
“My product is becoming a commodity, what can I do?”
Take heart salespeople, these are not problems. All of these questions are nothing more than sales symptoms. The problem, or better stated, the core of the problem, is at the heart of the issue, or rather the lack of heart — your lack of heart.
When confronted with reality, or sales truths that are uncomfortable, salespeople and sales managers tend to be defensive and tend to have answers for situations that are more of convenience than of fact.
Why do some people moan and complain while others are out making big time sales in the same marketplace? Every product or service has a leader. And more often than not, that leader is not the lowest price. Where’s the commodity issue? Answer: There isn’t an issue.
Let’s get back to the salesperson — you. What are you complaining about? It seems that if you take the same effort and energy that you use to complain and convert it into creativity — all of your problems, symptoms and barriers would disappear.
To combat this dilemma, I began to jot down ideas and principles about how to succeed while others were whining. The body of work became so substantial that it’s now a book — The Little Red Book of Selling, subtitled “How to Make Sales Forever.” The book spells out the 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness.
I’ve chosen to write about “red selling.” The reasons? Red is the color of passion. Red is the color of love. Red is the brightest color. Red is the most visible color. And red conveys fire.
You may not love what you do enough to create the passion and the drive to get beyond your problem or symptom and prevail. And if your competition has that passion and that drive, they will prevail — even if they are not the lowest price.
The good news is: So can you.
The question is: How passionate are you? How much do you love what you do? How bright are you? How visible are you? How fired up are you?
The answers to these questions will reveal your inner thoughts and feelings. And it’s those inner thoughts and feelings that determine your outside success — your sales numbers. Notice I did not ask: How low are your prices?
If there is a secret to selling, it’s within you — not your techniques. At the very heart of your sales success is how deeply you believe in the validity of your company, your product and yourself. I’ve chosen the word red because it seems so all-inclusive.
Now it’s time to ask yourself a few hard questions. Are you at your job every day because you want to be the best at sales? Are you at your job everyday because you want to help other people? Are you at your job everyday because you love your company? Are you at your job everyday because you love your product? Or — are you at your job because you think this is a place where you can make some money?
When you’re not making enough money, you’re most likely looking around to blame someone or something. And there are plenty of easy targets to aim at: the competition, the quality, your prices, your management, the economy, your production schedules, the warehouse, the computer system — in general, everybody and everything — except you.
Blame indicates a lack of passion, a lack of dedication and a lack of belief. Blaming is the easiest way out. If you’re blaming a lack of sales on market conditions or your company, you’re most likely complaining about the weather.
If you could have any sales job in the world, you need to answer these questions: What would it be? What are you doing or what plan have you made to land that job? Or is it just a dream? Is it a dream muddied by financial obligations and geographic obligations that you think you can’t do anything about?
Let me give you some hope. Salespeople can create their own work environment, their own success process and their own victories. It’s easy. All you have to do is sell a “bunch of stuff.” It’s easy for me to write about it, but the reality?
It’s harder for you to do it — unless you enter the RED SELLING zone. By choosing something that you love, by becoming more visible, by building your passion — you become red. And that red is easily transferred to your customers.
Now, when you think about the color red, it brings to mind words like drive, focus, belief, positive attitude and enthusiasm. So I’m challenging you that this is not about sales analysis — it’s about self-analysis and self-actualization that will lead you to the reality of where you are today. The best news is that if your reality is not where you want it to be — you can change it.
When you find your passion, when you find your love — you will find your red.
Free GitBit. Want the 12.5 principles from the Little Red Book of Selling? They’re yours for the taking. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter RED SELLING in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail
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