In the world of sales we hear a lot different compliments that people say when it comes to describing the ability of the best salespeople. For example, people say things like “This person could sell ice to an Eskimo!” We’ve all heard that one before. Here are a few modern ones that maybe you haven’t heard before. We’ll have fun with some of them. This person could sell. . .
- A newspaper to a blind man
- Underwear to a nudist
- A cape to Superman
- A cage to a lion
- Obamacare to a conservative
Do you want me to stop? We hear all these different lists of things that a particular person could sell to the most unlikely person. When people say these things, all they’re trying to say is that the person can sell anything to everybody.
Those Aren’t the Best Salespeople
But guess what? That's not the type of person I like to recruit to my sales force. In fact, in the world of business if there's anything I will tell you not to brag about is that you can sell anything to everybody. In fact, if I see on a resume that a person has sold five different products over the past five or 10 years, I won't hire the person. Here's why. If he's sold five different products over the past five or 10 years, that means he'll sell five different products over the next five or 10 years. This is the person that one day sells cars, and the next day sells insurance, then real estate, then pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, and coffee. Every day there's something else. And they're great salespeople, and they can convince you.
The Best Salespeople Are True Believers
I prefer a true believer over 100 of those kinds of salespeople any day of the week. Here's the difference between the best salespeople (true believers) and salespeople that can "sell ice to an Eskimo." A true believer may not look like a salesperson. He's a regular guy.
Questions The Best Salespeople Ask
They ask questions like:
- How does this product benefit our clients?
- Tell me why this product is better than xyz.
- What makes us special?
- And oh, by the way, how do we get paid on the products?
Compare that to the things that salespeople that can sell anything to everybody says:
- Um, how do we get paid on these products?
- And oh, by the way, what's the product? What do you guys sell again?
- OK, I just need to know the basic stuff and I can go sell it to anybody.
Do you know which one is the best salesperson? I'll take the true believer. You know why? Because I can't replace the true believer's heart. The true believer believes in the company, in the cause, in the product. You can't break a true believer. In contrast, anybody can break a salesperson that can sell anything to anyone. Because of that, the best salespeople are true believers and I'll take one true believer over 100 others any day of the week. Here's why. I put my time into sales folk and they go sell one product after another. All the hours I put into them end up going to another product. But if I develop true believers, five to 20 years from now the company will be run by them. This happens because they bleed the company, the product, the cause.
Different Ways Men Date Women
Another way to look at it is how men date women. A salesperson is a man that says anything to get a woman in bed with him. And I'm not talking about getting into bed to take a nap with him. You know what I'm talking about. But a true believer is going to tell you who he is and what he stands for. He'll ask a lot of questions about you and what your family stands for. He wants to know what's important to you because he has no desire for just getting you to bed. A true believer wants to build a long-lasting relationship. If you find somebody like that, you better realize that the person is for real.
Make a List of Your True Believers
If you run a company, make a list of your true believers. Those are the best salespeople that believe in you, are aligned with you, believe in your company, product and cause. You better believe that you have to put your time into these folks. Because these are the folks that are going to run the entire company for you one day. They're not doing it for the heck of it. And they automatically attract money because people want to do business with true believers.
Take Inventory of Yourself
Next, take an inventory of yourself. Make a list of the things you've done in the last five to 10 years. If you've done multiple things in the last three to five years, you're not in the true believer department. I know most people don't want to hear that, but you're just not. But if when you sit down and make a list and notice you're one in the last five years, that's good. See if you can go 10, 15, 20 years with one message, one company, one cause, one movement, one industry. The longer you go, the more you're a true believer.
The Best Salesperson is a True Believer with Work Ethic
A true believer with a strong work ethic works from the heart, not just the head. And they attract other true believers, because when people look in their eyes, they see a true believer. And people like following true believers. History favors true believers.
My Challenge to You
My challenge to you is to go out there and look for your true believers. Put your time into them. Next, work on identifying yourself as a true believer, and do one thing for five to 20 years. If you do, a lot will happen to you both financially, business wise, life wise, and with your reputation. In the community, when your name comes up, instead of people asking, "What's he selling now?" they'll say, "Oh, he's been selling one thing for the last 15 years." That's a true believer.
And by the way, once you've found true believers, here's how to develop them.
If you have any one-liners about salespeople that can sell anything to everybody that I didn't share at the beginning of this article, I'd love to hear them, so leave a comment at the bottom.