A response to a comment left on The Habit of Having Habits

Comment: “I’m not trying to sell you anything, your opinion on this opportunity is worth millions too me.”

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Hey Danny,

Thanks a lot for your comments. I find the start up phase of any business to be the most exciting. However, it’s also where people make the most costly mistakes I’ve noticed.

I found your comment relevant and exciting except for one part where I am forced to disagree with you. I feel so strongly about it that I am giving it it’s own post.

You said, “I’m not trying to sell you anything”. You’re wrong! You had better be trying to sell me or else you are wasting your time. One of the biggest flaws of entrepreneurs is that they get the whacked mindset that “sales” is a bad thing. They think that if they are selling something they will be viewed as spammers and not liked. Breaking that mentality is the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur. America has such a negative view of salesman, “telemarketers, spam emails, used car salesman, etc”. I agree this type of sales generally sucks on a personal level. As a result a few bad apples have given “sales” a bad name. Good luck running a business, if you feel sales is bad.

Everything is selling. Sure you didn’t post here to sell me a subscription to Vibe (I think). But you sure as hell better be selling me on your ideas, your self, and your company, ALWAYS! I view everything I do as sales. Even this blog for me is a form of selling myself to a broader range of people across the web.

It’s worth repeating, everything is selling, look for an opportunity to sell anything, to anyone, anytime, at any price.

I loved everything about your post except for, “I’m not trying to sell you anything”. [Also, you did a fine job selling your self and company in your comments.] But saying that you aren’t selling is almost criminal.

So here are my 2 must watch video’s for any entrepreneur.

Glengarry Sales Speech

Boiler Room: ABC

I watch these weekly!

“third prize is your fired”…

Learn to sell, learn to close. No one is ever going to hand you money. No one is ever going to just decide to do business with your start up. You have to fight to get them to! You have to know how to get people to do what you want them to do. That’s how you get rich.

Now, I don’t recomend buying a $100 suit from good will, slicking your hair back, and trying to talk everyone you meet into buying a used Toyota. There are acceptable salesman, and there are also unacceptable salesman.

Definitions

Acceptable Salesman: Some one who sells goods or services at a fair price to customers with a reasonable need or want.

Unacceptable Salesman: Some one who uses fishy tactics to manipulate a person into buying something that either they can not afford or have no need for.

examples

Acceptable: Retail store associates, Call Centers, Real estate agents, Company Presidents, Entrepreneurs, Me, Donald Trump, You, Billy Mayes, Vince with Slap Chop!

Unacceptable: Payday Cash Advance companies, Time Share salespersons, Telemarketing Schemes, Boiler Rooms, A lot of things online

The difference between good and bad is simply what it is that they are selling. In general if you are selling things to poor people that they can’t really afford and don’t really need and will almost certainly regret buying. You are a bad quality salesman. No one should ever feel guilty buying your product. If they do there is something wrong. [Sure, the issue is sometimes just with people who can’t control their debt or spending. If the error is their own doing then the salesperson isn’t liable in my book. But if the salesperson is manipulating the buyer into buying their product their is usually a problem.]

I am not attacking salespeople of any kind. They are just trying to make money and that makes them not as bad as the people who buy their products.

If you want to be a great salesman, sell a product that people want and need. This is also a lot more fun way to sell. When you sell a product that people want or need then you just have to make them realize that it is what they need.

A good salesman never has to lie. If you have to misrepresent your self or product in any way to get a sale you are doing it wrong! There are a lot of gray areas in this discussion I admit. It is a lot of times a judgment call. At the end of the day only you can really decide if you are a good or bad salesman. I am not too worried either way unless you are trying to be a business owner but view sales as a negative trait.

Most people’s negative view of salespeople comes from a bad experience where they bought something and it later caused them pain. They get “Buyer’s Remorse” and feel guilty and bad. This generates an all around negative perspective of the whole sales experience and they would NEVER want to be any type of a sales person because why would they want to make someone feel THAT BAD! A bad experience with a purchase happens to pretty much anyone who has ever bought anything. It is the wrong way of thinking, sure. But it is omniscient in American society, no matter what the income bracket.

Don’t let this crazy propaganda hinder you on your path to success.

If you don’t close, you don’t matter. Harsh I know. But if you are a horrible salesman your business will be unsustainable. This is universal. The world’s best business owners are great sales people. Learn to sell everything individually. You have to be able to sell yourself, on your self, ideas, worth, goals, first! Then you have to be able to sell others on these things also. You have to sell yourself before you can sell others. Then you have to be able to sell yourself TO others before you can sell them something more.

Hope this was refreshing.

Jordan

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