I realize the headline may already seem a bit dubious, but to merely suggest that what I’m about to share with you could modestly increase your sales would be a gross understatement!
First of all, I am well aware of the pain of lost sales to a ruthless or maybe just a more skilled competitor. I am well familiar with sales quotas and the pressure to achieve those numbers.
I know what it’s like to feel almost paralyzed with fear when presenting my offer and completely tongue-tied when asking for the order.
Don’t get me started on cold calling. I know that one all to well.
Basically the core fundamentals of successful selling (prospecting, presenting, closing) made me very uncomfortable to varying degrees, depending on how I felt that day, how many sales I had under my belt and whether the prospect was particularly welcoming or not.
If you can relate to any of this, I’m going to help you, right here. Right now.
RULE # 1 – Be Anxious For Nothing (Phil 4:6)
The more you care about whether you make the sale, the harder it becomes. Conversely, the less you care about the outcome, the more likely you’ll make the sale. Not caring about the outcome doesn’t mean you’re unprofessional or sloppy in any way. It simply means that you know your wellbeing doesn’t depend on this sale going through.
Sure it would be nice if it does, but the more desperate you are for it to go through, the more the other party senses that and it actually repels them.
Consider money for example… The more needy you are of a loan, the less likely a bank will lend to you. However, when you have a big bank balance and don’t need their money, they’ll call you every week offering you a loan.
Same is true in relationships. The more desperate someone is to find a wife or a husband, the harder it is for them to make that happen. Desperation and neediness are repellants.
But you think… you really do need that sale!
Have you forgotten the birds of the air – who neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, but are always fed and taken care of?
Listen carefully… When you really “need” the sale to go through, the other party always feels that, even if only at a subconscious level. You are in effect giving them power over your future. They’ll negotiate harder and try to squeeze every penny of profit out of the deal – if you let them. Of course, not everyone is like that, but many are.
Let them know that whether they buy or not, is perfectly fine. The choice is theirs. When you let go, something amazing happens. The prospect feels free to choose, not forcefully compelled to buy. And if your offer is a good one, they’ll find themselves leaning in your direction.
Case Study # 1: In November of 1983, I took a Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Toronto with all my earthly possessions packed into three large boxes and $100 cash in my pocket. I had lost everything that mattered and was starting over with a few scraps of what was left of my life.
I got a job selling copiers and I was the picture of desperate. I rented a spare bedroom from a stranger, went to happy hour to eat the free pretzels and peanuts while nursing a single Canada Dry Ginger Ale until I was no longer hungry.
As Zig Ziglar once said, I was so broke, I couldn’t even pay attention!
So I went to work, sometimes making over 100 cold calls in person in a single day. And for six months, I barely eked out a living. It was awful.
Finally when I saw that hard work wasn’t enough to overcome my transparently obvious desperation, I decided to “Let Go and Let God”. It was a new phrase to me, but I had tried everything else to no avail. In the next 30 days, I made more sales than in the previous six months combined!
Case Study # 2: Years ago, I read about a commissioned sales rep whose wife got cancer and needed his care giving. To add to the difficulty he still needed to keep the household financially afloat despite now only having one income.
He was so concerned for his wife (who did recover by the way), that he no longer cared whether he got the sale. He simply went in, made his pitch and left without a care in the world as to whether the prospect bought or not. To his amazement, his sales soared.
Case Study # 3: It was August 31st, 1979, the last day of our sales quarter and not only had I made zero sales that month, but every prospect I had on my warm or hot list evaporated and I had no idea who I could call on to make at least one copier sale.
Being on straight commission, I desperately needed a sale! However, because I had absolutely no prospects of making any sales, I gave it all over to God and truly, for the first time in my life, said and meant, that it didn’t matter what happened that day. If I made a sale that would be nice. If not, it truly didn’t matter.
Letting go of that anxiety was a surreal experience for me. But what happened next was of Biblical proportions. Not only did I make a sale on my first random visit to an office, but by lunch time, I had met my monthly quota of four sales. By end of day, I had spoken with 12 companies and every single one of them bought a copier. Plus, the Royal Columbian Hospital called in a purchase order for $7,975 and they were in my territory!
I made a total of 13 individual sales that day. That was my quarterly sales quota – in one single day – all from people and companies that were not even on my prospect list. I earned roughly $10,000 in one day, and that was 1979!
There’s more to that story, but I could go on and on giving many examples of people I know personally, who came to the end of their rope, let go of the outcome they were hoping for – without compromising the quality of their presentation or follow through – and began to experience magnificent breakthroughs.
Here’s the secret… There’s something I call the “spirit of the sale”. It is the unseen substance that fills the space between you and your prospect. It is completely detectable, but altogether invisible. Felt by all, ignored by some, but very real.
Lest you think it strange that I refer to this phenomenon as having substance, remember what the writer of Hebrews said… “Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for”. There are many things that are unseen, that have substance. Love is one. So is hate. Faith is one. So is fear.
And these things can be felt by others, who in turn make decisions, either consciously or unconsciously based on those unseen substances that I refer to as “the spirit of the sale”. When you choose to cooperate with that reality, you can actually form the substance between you and your prospect like a bridge of trust over which goods and services and funds can be exchanged in a spirit of good will.
Your prospect should never feel your hand in their pocket so to speak. Neither should they ever feel fear coming from you. Let your prospect feel instead your desire for them to have their best outcome regardless of who it is.
Let them feel how much you want what is best for them. Be confident not so much in your talent or personality, but rather in knowing that God is your provider and He wants you to succeed in life far more than you do. He will instruct you (Psalm 32:8). He will guide you (John 16:13). He will provide (Matthew 6:33). He will help you (Psalm 33:20, 46:1). He will deliver you (Psalm 91:14). He will answer you when you call on Him (Psalm 91:15)
The bottom line: When fear is removed from the equation and you really let go of the outcome while not compromising the level or quality of service and follow up, your sales volume will escalate!
This blog has become longer than I imagined when I set out to write it. This is simply because I didn’t want to just give you clichés or slogans. I wanted to give you some substance. So… I will continue this teaching in my next blog. You don’t want to miss it!
And because 83% of the folks who responded to my survey said they wanted help to improve their skills and sales results, I’ve made my classic Selling Among Wolves Audio Coaching Program available this Christmas for an incredible savings of $200 off the normal price. You can even GET IT FREE when you buy my Christmas Bundle. CLICK HERE for details.