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Since it is true that life responds to our attitude - here is a list of winning thoughts

By John Lees, sales & marketing specialist

Since I have been writing articles for many years now, I thought it might be useful to pause and offer a list of just a few key thoughts that I have written about in the past decade or so. Here we go.

  • Never ask permission to do your selling job
  • Don't wait until opening night to rehearse your work on sales presentations
  • Don't handle objections, anticipate and mention them first
  • To be apposite, first learn to be opposite to the amateurs in selling and management
  • Always down-sell rather than up-sell
  • Sell progress for tomorrow, not change for today
  • Customers are a company's 'second sales force'
  • Giving knowledge is power, not merely having knowledge
  • Customers prefer benefits and features, not features and benefits
  • Sales success occurs when distribution is accompanied by contribution
  • Always treat customers as people; never treat people as customers
  • You can't control the external economy, but you can control the internal economy (your company or job)
  • If service is your key point of difference, you are dependent on rival suppliers being weak
  • Profit is not made by charging more; it is made by avoiding the pressure to charge less
  • If the back cover of a book shows the price, and the front cover creates attention, what is your front cover?
  • The sale can't be closed if it wasn't opened well
  • Sell the taste of your proposition, not the recipe
  • Good sales managers want answers to two key questions: what form of proposition will the market respond to?, and what kind of sales behaviour will the market accept?
  • All companies operate with internal accountability concerning revenues, but very few are driven by an external accountability to achieve results for customers
  • There are two gaps in every market: the 1st gap concerns the purchase of products by customers, and the 2nd gap relates to customer success with products bought. Always sell in the 2nd gap, not the 1st
  • Products cost money, ideas make money. Sell ideas.
  • Always sell far more that you charge for
  • Imagine that every competitor is a titan, at all times
  • There are three kinds of propositions: the 1st is 'same as most others'; the 2nd is 'slightly better than most others'…and the 3rd is 'unique, valuable and much better than all others'. Only ever sell at the 3rdlevel
  • Most companies spend more on their websites than they do on the development of their sales people
  • In all areas of selling, 'talking is silver, showing is gold'
  • If you fail in service, customers will go elsewhere and perhaps speak badly of your company. The worst thing they can do though is not tell you how you failed
  • Create a 'board of customers' and learn valuable lessons at two levels: what does the market think of your service, and how much better could the customers perform, and therefore buy more of your products
  • When selling to prime prospects, always begin by respecting their current buying arrangements and supplier relationships, and then sell ideas for improved results for the future, starting tomorrow
  • To ensure a better economic outlook for your company, learn to 'look out' at the market to see where opportunities exist
  • Sell pleasure first,price last
  • Good managers are tough with staff, but never rough
  • Leaders in sales management operate with this powerful edict: 'manage the customers,lead the staff'
  • Many companies persist in paying sales people who have already been fired by the customers
  • A sales budget is a minimum performance standard
  • You can't win in selling if you look or sound like a loser
  • A company of 100 people should have 100 managers
  • In selling, ask expensive questions, not cheap ones
  • Leaders in business have one, high, improving standard when it comes to how they treat people, and the standard applies to both customers and colleagues
  • Sales people can use 100 word sales presentations, and customers can defeat them by using just one word
  • Customers will never know how good your solutions are until they use them, so a trial should be sold first
  • The best sales people start by being courteous and competitive, and then become creative and constructive
  • Quality service comes only from high quality people
  • Successful sales people have bought what they sell
  • It is not wise to leave sales people to their own devices; especially if they haven't got any

John Lees is a sales & marketing specialist, operating as a professional speaker, trainer, consultant, business coach, and he is the author of 11 books on business development.

Read John Lees' Biography here.

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