Success Secret #3

“Low hanging fruit”. I had heard the term, but hadn’t really tried to apply it to my life until recently. I’ve told the following story to many people, and I knew that it describes an event that changed my life, but I had never put the story and the term together. Here goes.

About 30 years ago, I had a mentor named Bob Jiguere. He taught me a lot of important things, but on this one day, I learned something that he wasn’t really intending to teach. I was in a classroom with several other salespeople and he started by writing the numbers “1” through “10” down the left side of the blackboard. Then he put a check mark by the number “1” and said, “1 out of 10 people will buy anything from anybody.” Then he put a check mark by the number “10” and said, “1 out of 10 people won’t buy anything from anybody.” Then he made a big bracket from #2 to #9 and said, “How many of the eight in between you get will depend on how good a salesperson you are.” Then he proceeded to teach the rest of the people in the class how to be a better salesperson. Everybody but me. I had already learned my lesson and was off in my mind figuring out how to do it. This is what happened in my head. “If 1 out of 10 people will buy anything from anybody, I’m gonna get good at finding them.” I’ve spent the rest of my life looking for easy sales….“Low hanging fruit”.

Think about what that did to my approach. I expected 90% of the people that I talk to, to be more difficult than easy. I disqualified them. My approach was, “Give me a reason to move on.” I didn’t fear rejection, I wanted it. Consequently, it takes me no time to recover from rejection. I may even congratulate them on the originality of their put down before I thank them for their time and move on in my search of a buyer.

Another thing that it did was made me practice, correctly. Many salespeople struggle with call reluctance because they’re trying to close from the first word. If they’re listening (Some don’t. They talk.), they’re listening for buying signals. Too much pressure. Too little chance of success. Listen for reasons NOT to do business. There’s so many more of them. You’ll get your way more often. I have used, “I don’t see any reason that we can’t work together. Do you?” as a close. If they give me a reason, I’ll typically say something like, “You’re right! I missed that.” and prepare to move on. Often enough the buyer tries to come up with a way to handle their own objection and if they do a really good job, “I let them buy from me.”

About the same time that I was in that classroom with Bob, I read a book by Frank Bettger. He noted that if you made 10 calls and earned $X, you could figure that if you made 20 calls, you’d make twice as much, 30 calls…three times as much, and so on……………EVEN IF YOU NEVER GOT ANY BETTER THAN YOU ARE TODAY!

This is not reverse psychology. This is not a move or a trick. This is my way of life. I still talk to more people in a day than most because I’m looking for “the one” and I know that it’s more likely that the person that I’m talking to is NOT “the one”, than is “the one”.

In closing let me point out that with all that practice, I eventually did develop better skills.

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8 thoughts on “Success Secret #3

  1. Rick, this is a great article. Keep writing, keep teaching, keep sharing and keep your sense of humor. Most of all, keep letting people know how easy it is if you really work at it!

  2. I think that sounds great. I have no problem hearing all the reasons not to do business I guess my trouble would be how to handle them. Are you suggesting moving on in search of the person who doesn’t have reasons not to do business or handling the objections?

  3. If you talk to 20 people a day, you’ll sell about twice as much as if you talked to 10 people a day if you can figure out who’s gonna buy. The problem is that if you meet with too many of them, you won’t be able to talk to all 20. So, the task becomes figuring out how to disqualify the non-buyers quickly so you can meet with the buyers.

  4. Superb! You did an excellent job at explaining the scenario, and then wrapping it up with a nice neat bow; always, never, and depends. You are SO right about having all the pressure due to unrealistic expectations of closing. Have many more discussions and magically the results look better!

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