How to Sell to an Idiot

12 Steps to Selling Anything to Anyone
Book cover for How to Sell to an Idiot

Sales in a Nutshell

Total Success in selling does not come from a series of random events, manipulation, covert persuasion tactics, the "Ben Franklin" close, or the stars all lining up perfectly.  For you to make the sale, you just have to be lucky.  But we believe that luck and success are achieved by design.  Luck is a choice, so is success.  It is amazing how lucky you can get with the right attitude and by using the right tools.

High achievers in any field of business or life know that success is not a coincidence, it is a series of concrete steps and the right decisions made on a daily basis.  If you are seeking to change your results, it is going to take more than new goals, a new positive attitude, or a brand new suit.  It is going to take new action on your part.  New ideas alone just won't cut the mustard.  There are plenty of positive thinking, goal setting underachievers who have everything going for them except one thing, a signature at the bottom of the contract.  A master salesperson has the ability to match insight with action.  Your willingness to try new strategies and continually challenge yourself will keep the window of opportunity open and new results possible.

If you are not getting the results that you want, or if you are looking to accelerate the pace of your results, it may be the perfect time to call a time out and make some adjustments to your current sales system. Making adjustments is different than scrapping your entire approach.  Do more of those things that are working for you and less of the things that are not working. Incorporate the things that are working for others into your daily routine.  There are really only two 2 ways to fail in sales - doing things that don't work and not doing things that do work.It sounds simple, but if it is so simple, why are there so many people doing what doesn't work and expecting different results?   Sometimes working harder and harder at achieving what you want actually begins to get you farther away from getting it.  It may be time to de-complicate the entire selling process.  It has to be easy for the customer to buy or confusion will prevail.  Out of confusion, nobody wins.

Salespeople have become so focused on getting sales that "closing the deal" has become more important than connecting with the customer.  The salesperson spends more time trying to get the customer to say, “Yes” than actually getting to know the customer and their true needs.  Think about it, when the salesperson is dipping into his "closing tool kit" and bringing out the "alternate choice” close the "tie down" close or the "porcupine" close, there just isn't enough time left for building relationships and connecting with the customer.

Learn from Kids

Speaking of keeping it simple, have you ever tried telling a four-year-old, “no?”  Some of the greatest salespeople on this planet are between the ages of three and eight.  The natural sales skills kids possess were not learned at some sales boot camp.  You've had the sales skills required for you to get the results that you want all the time.  If you are not using these natural skills, you’ve learned some things that you may want to unlearn.

Kids have a simple approach to getting what they want.  They ask for it and keep asking until they get what they want.  They have a very high tolerance for the word no.  Kids reject rejection.  When they are told, “No” they don't hang their heads or take it personally, they just re-group and dig in deeper. Again, the master skills of high achieving salespeople are not learned by reading a book or listening to a CD.  Kids have great work ethic.  They don't wear down until they get what they want; a lesson that could be learned by those who underachieve in the sales biz.  Kids have goals. They know how to negotiate.  Their follow up skills and persistence are unmatched by even some of the highest producers of the world's greatest sales forces.

Some of today’s greatest sales trainers are right in front of you, or at the park, or skateboarding up your driveway.  Take time to watch them, listen to them, and take good notes.  They may help remind you of all the skills you once used to create exactly what you truly desired.  It’s a balance between learning new skills and strategies and unlearning those things that are stopping you or slowing you down.

Selling to and winning over your toughest customer is a balance between creating your luck and developing practical, concrete steps to producing a sale and positive experience for your customer. Not necessarily in that order. Be willing to change and adjust your approach and de-complicate the entire process by utilizing those skills and tools used by some of the greatest salespeople in the world - kids.