Simple Steps to Help You Become a Terrible Salesperson
If you’re like most people, you’re reading this newsletter in the hope of finding a few ideas that will make you better at your job. But has it ever occurred to you that maybe you shouldn’t try to get any better? There are other jobs, you know. You could be a florist, or a watermelon farmer, or a delivery driver. I was a delivery driver back in college, and it wasn’t a bad gig.
So to help you transition into the glorious new world of guitar tech or bail bondsman or whatever you end up doing, we first need to transition you out of selling things. And the best way to do that is to help you develop a healthy fear of rejection. So remember this key piece of information:
If every one of your calls doesn’t turn into a sale, you are a crappy salesperson.
You need to expect a 100% conversion rate, because you should know that a 100% conversion rate is categorically impossible.
For example, I have a friend who works as a wealth management analyst for Citigroup. He told me that when he started to build his book of business he made 400-500 calls a week and that his conversion rate was 2%. In his words, ‘For every 100 calls I made, 10 of them wouldn’t immediately hang up on me. Of those 10, five would listen, three would agree to meet with me, and two would sign.’ He is still with Citigroup and now manages about 60 other wealth managers. His diamond-hard belief in the promise of his 2% conversion rate has helped him become an extremely successful salesperson. He owns a home whose annual property taxes cost more than most boats.
And I know you don’t want that. Affluence is overrated – and seriously, who wants the responsibility of authority? Not me. I’d much rather scrape together a meager living and live in constant fear of potential rejection.
However, developing that fear is going to take some work. Fortunately for you, I know what you need to do.
Try once, then give up! It typically takes five to seven ‘touches’ before a potential customer will consider buying whatever you’re selling. Successful salespeople know this and consequently don’t stop after a single phone call or email. You, however, should. That way, when your career goes up in smoke, at least you can say you tried.
Better yet, don’t try at all! Trying is hard, and spending the afternoon playing golf sounds way more fun. Remember, you can’t get rejected if you never make an effort.
Always remember – they’re rejecting YOU: It’s critically important for you to understand this. If you call a potential customer and fail to make a sale, it’s not because they’re on a budget freeze. It’s not because you caught them at the wrong time or in the wrong mood; it’s not because they can’t see an immediate need for what you’re offering; and it’s not because they need time to consider your offer or consult their business partners. It’s because they hate you. If anyone else in the world had called, they’d have bought. They’re probably calling one of your competitors right now just so they can place a multi-million dollar order with anybody but you. I could go on, but that should be enough to make sure you cry yourself to sleep tonight.
There are other techniques to help your sales career stagnate and ultimately crumble, but I’ve run out of space. So I’ll leave you with the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man who led America through the darkness of World War II and who knew a few things about fear. I’m sure you’ve heard this quote before: