Terrible Lie #1:You need to sell more to make more money.

Fact: You need to sell LESS to make more money.

I have a motto: In order to sell more, you must first learn to sell less, a whole lot less. Sound crazy?

I have a friend who just moved from selling photocopier machines to selling Mercedes-Benzes in the most prestigious dealership in New England. His secret? While selling photocopiers, he did the exact opposite of what everyone else in his company as doing: he focused less on selling and more on why his customers wanted to buy.

In fact, he stopped selling altogether and made his mission to discover precisely how he could solve more problems for his customers than anyone else in his company. He not only solved more problems, he made more money, and opened up more opportunities than any other copier salesman in his industry.

Terrible Lie #2:

Most salespeople are full of themselves

Fact: The world’s best salespeople are full of other people.

In my seminars, I play a little game with the audience. I say: It’s the last week of the month and you haven’t made half your quota. Your boss in on your case, and you may lose your job if you don’t make three sales in the next two hours.

Okay? So it’s 9:30 in the morning and you NEED to make a sale, you pick up the phone to make your first call…

And here’s my question: What in the world is going through your head as you dial the telephone?
The typical responses from the audience: I wonder if I’ll make this sale… I hope she says yes… This call better not turn out like the rest… etc.

And to these responses I ask: And as long as you’re thinking about yourself, how interested will you be in finding out how you can help your prospect?

The typical answer: Not too interested at all!

And if you’re not interested in your prospect, I add. Why in the world would your prospect ever become interested in YOU?

Terrible Lie #3: Selling is one of the worst paid professions on the planet.

Fact: Selling is the HIGHEST paid profession on the planet.

After spending thousands of hours studying some of the richest salespeople alive (people like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, and Mary Kay Ash), I came upon two very surprising realizations:

1. The world’s greatest salespeople never appear to be selling anything at all (in fact, you’ll never catch a great salesperson making any irritating sales pitches or initiating a single close).

2. And despite the fact the world’s greatest salespeople don’t appear to be selling anything, they still manage to outsell every one of their competitors!

Note: most people don’t think of successful business executives and celebrities as salespeople; in fact, when most of us think of a typical salesperson we think of a pushy used car salesman or an annoying insurance rep. But these so-called salespeople aren’t really salespeople at all, they’re professional peddlers (cashiers in fancy suits). Which leads us to Terrible Lie #4:

Terrible Lie #4: Great salespeople use slimy tactics.

Fact: The world’s best salespeople hardly use any tactics at all.

Selling (in the traditional definition of the word) is a crude, simple-minded pursuit, it’s using deceptive gestures, words, and emotional appeals that persuade and manipulate our prospects into doing something he may (or may not) want to do.

Now, do you really think Steve Jobs became one of the most beloved CEO’s in the world using ridiculous, simple-minded sales tactics?

Or what about Mary Kay Ash? Could you imagine her using Leading Questions or a Porcupine Close on national TV?

Of course not! The world’s greatest salespeople wouldn’t be caught dead using any kind of crude, slimy selling techniques… They interact with thousands (and even millions) of people each year; they make the most money… attract the most opportunities… and effortlessly rise to the top of every profession…

Terrible Lie #5: Great salespeople have the gift of gab.

Fact: The world’s best salespeople have the gift of listening.

Professional salespeople also enjoy listening to their prospects (they’re not simply waiting for their turn to speak); they never look for what their prospects can do for THEM; but are intensely interested in what they can do for their prospects!


Len Foley is the author of the best-selling book: Sales Without the Sucker Punch! www.21stcenturysalestraining.com

His work has been used in dozens of corporations including AT&T, the Ignition Corporation, Best Buy, and the Atlanta Journal. He has also has been published in hundreds of on and offline newsletters and publications, and is a regular contributor to ezines all over the world.

His new book: Your Successful Sales Career, co-authored with Brian Azar The Sales Doctor will be published by AMACOM in February 2004 and will be available in bookstores everywhere.