“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” —Muhammad Ali
I recently fielded a phone call from an old friend. He wanted to tell me about an epiphany he just had.
I like epiphanies.
We were together at a golf tournament earlier this year. It’s a tournament that I and a few other guys have hosted for quite a few years, fourteen years to be exact. Along with golf, and beer, and cigars, and whisky, and more beer, a few poker games break out in the party suite each night, and yes…some trash talk happens.
My old friend, (we’ll call him “Doug”) was sitting with a few guys at the poker table and one of the guys asked him what he was doing, “for a living.” Doug went on to politely tell the other guy who he was now working for and what products and services he was selling. I actually overheard a small part of their conversation as I was serving up drinks and stale peanuts to the guys in the suite. (I don’t bother playing poker with them anymore…I have adult onset ADD)
After listening to Doug’s long-winded answer, the other guy, who probably always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room at any given time, asked,
“Why would you sell for them?”
Good question—fair question. But the other guy asked it in a very snarky way—with an edge to it, as if to say, they suck, or they aren’t a great company.
Doug went on to painstakingly outline WHY he had chosen that specific company to sell for. The other guy just nodded his head as he dealt out the next hand of Texas Hold Em. I’m not sure he even cared to hear Doug’s answer. While Doug’s diatribe probably fell on the deaf ears of the other guy……it did NOT fall on Doug’s deaf ears.
Doug actually listened to his own answer—listened to the words that sprung from his OWN mouth.
It caused a MAJOR EPIPHANY for him!
He told the snarky guy that he sold for his company because they were one of the oldest and most trusted companies in their industry and that none of his customers would have to worry about the company delivering their products and also standing behind those products. Doug told the other guy that his clients could “100% trust the company, and the work they did.”
As Doug defended his company, and as those words came out of his mouth he realized that these very salient points were also the greatest brand differentiators he had in his own sales toolbox.
Doug also quickly realized that he wasn’t using that clout (his company’s reputation) to its full advantage in his interaction with prospects!
Doug left the golf tournaments and flew back home not being able to get his own convicted words (and the epiphany) off of his mind!
Oh, there’s one piece of background information I haven’t told you yet.
Before Doug came to the golf tournament, he was struggling to make sales consistently. His closing percentage was quite low. We actually spent some time on the phone together talking about it. As an armchair quarterback, all I could do was analyze from a distance. He’s involved in an industry that’s foreign to me and I hadn’t witnessed him in action. Frankly, I wasn’t sure he was going to make it. Don’t get me wrong, Doug is no slouch, he is a great natural salesperson, but he wasn’t exactly firing on all 8 cylinders in his new commission-only gig, and you know where that usually leads after months of not closing enough deals!
But when Doug returned home after the little poker game he made one simple commitment to himself.
He made the decision to boldly proclaim to his prospects WHY he had decided to represent his company and sell their products. He became resolved to telling his prospect (in no uncertain terms) that they would never have to question the quality of the products they purchased or the service that would be offered behind them.
He began telling them (with an incredible amount of confidence) that they could completely trust the company he represented—that they’d never-ever need to question the strength and commitment of his company.
Now I also have to mention to you that Doug’s company isn’t (by far) the least expensive option in their marketplace. In fact, his products are a little more expensive than most of the competitors. Having a differentiator like this, one that can help overcome a concern such as ‘cost’, can help you demonstrate the intrinsic value. Hence you can justify the slightly higher cost, move past this objection and ask for the sale with confidence!
This is a pretty damn important piece of leverage if you are a commission-based salesperson and you want to close sales and continue to eat meals on a regular basis. LOL!
I always think of the humorous words of the great Zig Ziglar…
“Timid salespeople have skinny kids!”
Doug’s not timid, so he began to boldly proclaim the stellar reputation of his company. He started to confidently tell his prospects about:
- The long, storied history of his company
- Their financial strength
- Their commitment to delivering the highest quality of product
He assured them that they would never have to worry about the level of service given to each valued client, like them!
Now, I have to make sure you know, Doug doesn’t spend 15-minutes data dumping all of this. He doesn’t spend even 5-minutes spewing it out. He wraps a nice shiny efficient bow on this nugget and delivers this message in less than a minute.
It isn’t about the VOLUME of words, it’s about the…
BELIEF + CONVICTION
It’s about how Doug’s belief of the company he sells products for is transmuted into a sincere CONVICTION that comes through tangibly to each of his prospects.
Most importantly, what Doug says (and the WAY he says it) during his 60-second rap lays out the foundation for him to ultimately move his prospect to realize the VALUE of purchasing HIS company’s products and services. He points out that they are more than free to continue to “shop around” and possibly spend just a little less, but then they may have to worry about what will happen AFTER the contract is signed.
If they choose that path, they may be gambling on the quality, longevity, delivery, warranty and service of the product they chose. So…if you add up the time and money spent on the back-end, you’re probably not spending less at all, right?
Do you get this? Do you understand the POWER of conviction?
The company you’re now representing…WHY would you sell for them?
Have you asked and answered that question honestly lately and then actually listened to your words?
So what’s the rest of the story?
Doug calls me to tell me that, almost at once…as soon as he baked in the belief and conviction piece to his front-talk, his closing ratio blew up. He began closing at twice and then THREE times the average he was before!
This is what he said to me on the phone call…
“Hey, you’ll love this Joe B. I’m the new guy, right, but now I suddenly have the highest closing percentage in the western United States for the company. They’re sending new and veteran reps out in the field with me to watch me……can you f-ing believe that!”
I just sat on the other end of the phone smiling. When a salesperson figures something out, all on their own, and then they use it, and it works, it’s a beautiful thing.
Let’s look at and think about Muhammad Ali’s quote, the one at the top of this article. (Cause I know you passed right over it the first time! LOL)
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
I just had to share Doug’s phone call with you.
Please share this article with your sales team and peers!
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©.