In the brilliant and famous Arthur Miller play, Death of a Salesman, main character Willy Loman is the sad and defeated traveling salesman, unsuccessful, tired, and living a life of failed dreams in a small apartment in Brooklyn., NY. The play is literary genius depicting an American tragedy.
However, what the play also depicts is another tragedy - the tragedy that the salesperson in today’s society, has become a punchline, a stereotype, a character full of bad intentions and deception. You see, Loman is the typical trench coat-wearing, fedora-donning, briefcase-carrying salesperson everyone has grown to loath. The image of the self-serving peddler - meeting you to desperately try to sell you something - has become the logo, the trademark, the brand that unfortunately every salesperson finds themselves a part of, no matter how sincere their intentions or how moral their compass.
How did this happen, and why? Is every salesperson out to simply make a sale and take your money? Is everyone that sells anything just in it for themselves? Of course not.
So why then, when we have to purchase something, anything really, we fill with anxiety, trepidation, and a feeling that we need to protect ourselves? Why does every salesperson, especially on the first encounter, have to overcome this incredibly strong bias?
The following is the introduction to my book:
A few years ago, I did an experiment. I asked everyone I met, every day, for three weeks, whether they enjoyed, looked forward to, speaking with, or meeting with a salesperson.
Ready for this?
One-hundred percent of them - all 231 - answered “NO.”
I even asked the same question to 68 in-home sales reps. The same response.
Then I did some research and discovered, when polled, the vast majority of salespeople claimed that they enjoy the “meeting-people” part of their job, but at the same time, DISLIKE the “selling” part.
So, in one corner, salespeople don’t really like selling, and in the other, consumers don’t really like meeting with sales people. It’s a wonder anything is sold or purchased at all, outside the internet.
My first book, The 7 Secrets to Selling More by Selling Less, addresses this phenomenon, gets into the why and the how, and what salespeople can do to overcome this brick wall that is constantly in front of them at every sales opportunity.
So why this blog post? Admittedly, to introduce you to the possibility of getting my book, but more importantly, to let you know that you, as the salesperson wondering why you are struggling, why the same-old tired sales techniques and pitches do not result in anything more than a 30% closing rate, can change all that.
You see, contrary to what many old sales managers and trainers have taught you, or what you have read in the past, there are actually ways to be a successful salesperson, without “selling.” Without sales-pitches, and closing techniques, without objection handling strategies and buying pressure. There are ways to not perpetuate the ugly sales stereotype of commissions and quotas and selling at all cost. A way to increase your sales and volume without increasing how fake you are with a customer, or the pressure you feel you need to induce to make a sale.
I will be blogging weekly about this topic, and many other sales -related subjects and themes and concepts that will hopefully not only help you, but entertain you as well.
Thanks for reading and until next time…
Good selling and happy helping!