THE NEW REALITIES
WELCOME TO THE new world of selling! More people are going
to make more money and enjoy greater financial success in the
months and years ahead in the profession of selling than ever
before. Fully 5 percent of self-made millionaires are salespeople
who started at the bottom, became very good in their field,
earned high incomes and became wealthy. And what hundreds
of thousands, even millions, of other people have done, you can
do as well. You just need to learn how.
My son Michael and I have condensed into this book everything
we have learned from our experience selling millions of dollars of
products and services. Everything on these pages is time-tested
proven, and practical, and designed to help you make faster and
easier sales in any market.
When I began my sales career, I knew nothing of the skills and
techniques you are about to learn. I did not graduate from high
school. I worked at laboring jobs for several years. When I could
no longer find a laboring job, in desperation, I got into straight
commission sales, cold-calling one office after another in the daytime
and houses and apartments in the evenings.
I got the three-part sales training program that is common
worldwide: “Here are your cards, here are your brochures,
there’s the door.”
If I didn’t sell, I didn’t eat. I got up every morning at six and
was waiting in the parking lot when people came to work at eight
o’clock. My sales results were terrible. I was making just enough
sales to eat and to pay for a small room in a boardinghouse. I had
holes in my shoes, empty pockets, and no future.
A Life-Changing Event
Then I did something that changed my life. I went to the top salesman in our office, a man a few years older than me who was selling
ten times as much as anyone else. And he wasn’t even working very
hard! He always had a pocketful of money. He went to nice restaurants and nightclubs. He drove a new car and lived in a beautiful apartment.
I took a deep breath and went up to him and asked him outright, “What are you doing differently? How is it that you are making so many more sales than me, or anyone else?”
He looked at me with surprise and then said, “Well, if you
want some help, show me your sales presentation and I will critique it for you.”
Now, I admitted that I had heard there was such a thing as a “sales
presentation.” But it was like the far side of the moon, something
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I had never actually seen it in reality. I told the top salesman that
when I called on customers, I simply said whatever fell out of my mouth.
He said, “No. No. No. Selling is a profession. It is both a science and an art. It follows a logical, orderly process from the first step through to the closing of the sale and the satisfied customer.
Let me give you an example of a sales presentation.”
He then sat me down and asked me questions, commenting as
he went along, exactly as if I were a prospective customer for our
product. Instead of talking continually, as I did when I got in front
of a prospect, he asked questions in a logical sequence, leading
from the general to the particular, from qualifying me as a prospect
through to closing the sale. It was different from anything I had
From that day forward, instead of talking continually, I asked
better questions of my potential customers and listened closely
to their answers. And my customers reacted to me differently.
And I started to make sales, and then more and more sales. I
began reading books on selling and listening to audio programs.
I began attending every sales seminar I could find. And each
time I learned and applied something new, my sales went up, and
up, and up. Within a year, I was earning ten times as much
income. My whole life changed forever.
What I discovered was the oldest of laws: the Law of Cause
and Effect. This law says that for every effect in your life, there
is a cause or a series of causes. If there is any effect that you
would like to have in your life, find others who have already
achieved that outcome and then do the same things that they did
to get there.
In my sales seminars, I often start off by asking, “How many
people here would like to double their income in the next year
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Every hand in the room goes up. I then explain that if you
want to double your income, it is not that difficult. You simply
identify some people who are earning twice as much as you—
and who, by definition, at one time were earning half as much
as you are today—and then you find out what they did to get
from where they were to where they are today. Then, if you do
the same things that other successful people do, you soon get
the same results. It is not a miracle. It is not a matter of luck. It
is simply a matter of law—the Law of Cause and Effect.
Selling in the Markets of Today and Tomorrow
Since that day in my early twenties, when I first learned how to
make more sales, I have started, built, managed, or turned around
twenty-two companies. I have recruited, trained, managed, and
personally motivated hundreds of salespeople in different sales
organizations. I have personally trained more than 2 million
salespeople in sixty-one countries around the world. Many thousands of my graduates have gone from rags to riches, from the
bottom to the top. Many have become millionaires and multimillionaires, actually ending up owning the companies that they
were working for when they started using the ideas that you will
learn in this book.
The good news is that sales success is quite predictable. When
you do what other successful people do, you will soon get the
same results that they do.
The first step is to understand the most important factors that
determine sales success or failure in today’s market. It seems that
in every market, selling every product and service, in every industry, there are salespeople who continue to grow and prosper in
sales, earning a wonderful living for themselves and providing well
for their families.
How do they do it? They know that change is taking place
faster today in every industry than ever before. Because of ever greater competition, the need to please ever-more-demanding
customers, increasing-price sensitivity to products and services,
and incredible uncertainty in national and international markets,
the companies and individuals who survive and thrive are those
that is fast and flexible in rapidly changing conditions
Charles Darwin wrote that “survival goes not to the strongest
or most intelligent, but to the one who is most adaptable to
change.” The marketplace has changed dramatically and continues to change, and you must change with it.