Erie Chamber Blog
Friday December 14,  2018
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-Jimmy Smith, Operations & Advertising Manager at Prep and Villa’s Hagerty Family Events Center

When you think of a typical sales person what comes to your mind? Some of the words that I think of are: Pushy, too many positive statements, annoying, and forceful. All of these are adjectives to describe someone who is only thinking about themselves. The sales person is attempting to get the customer to make a decision because of their OWN needs. Whether that’s to meet a quota, get a higher commission, impress their boss, etc. They don’t have the customer in mind and that’s what is wrong with the persona of a sales person.

When I started my career in sales, I hated the idea of being a “salesman” because of the words I described. The idea of cold calling people to try and get them to buy something terrified me. It made me uncomfortable picking up the phone which lead to me not being confident when talking to people on the phone and that resulted in no sales being made. I would think to myself there has to be a better way to how I am doing this! 

I started to search for and read various books on the topic of selling and came across a book called “See You At the Top” by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar was a charter member in the establishment of American Salesmasters in 1963 and has written over 30 books on the topic of sales. He had success and credibility to prove he knew what he was talking about, so I searched for my answers within this book. 

There was a lot of really great information I learned from his book but the one phrase that has stuck with me through the years is “you can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want”. Wow! This completely revolutionized my thoughts on the idea of being a salesman. For the first time I took a step back and decided to look at myself as someone who can go out and try to help people! I can provide solutions to problems that people have by the products that I offer. 

This not only changed my thoughts on my job as a salesman, but it also gave me confidence when going out into the market place. I no longer was uncomfortable by discussing the products I had to offer because I put the OTHER PERSONS NEEDS first on my list of objectives! If I didn’t have a solution to a problem they had, then I didn’t try to push anything on them. 

As simple as this may seem it completely changed my viewpoint on sales and allowed me to grow my clientele at an exceptional rate! I would encourage anyone who is struggling with sales to take a step back and ask yourself what your motive is. Is it to hit a sales quote or is it to see if someone has a need and if you have a product that can help them?

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