Last week I got back from a two week business and pleasure excursion.
I spent nearly two weeks in Hawaii island hopping around, taking 4 days to work in the middle, and seeing the island life.
I flew in helicopters over volcanoes. I swam in the ocean. I visited ancient sacred sites.
But the coolest thing I did in all of my time in the Pacific was sales training for digital marketing agency owners.
I truly love what I do!
The four day intensive I taught at was pretty elite.
There was an application process. These agency owners were screened on thorough phone interviews. And they had to be willing to scale their businesses big.
In essence, they were the perfect group of people to work with and train in sales.
Each day of the 4 day intensive we had two small 15 minute breaks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. They were called the morning and afternoon "tea sessions".
I don't drink tea so I gorged myself on chocolate croissants and orange juice (yes yes, the food of champions, I know).
On the third day of the training there I was during the tea time, business casually shoving a croissant into my mouth, when one of the students came up to me with a look of pure excitement on his face.
"Stan! Stan! Stan! I have a question. Do you have a minute?"
I sloshed some OJ into my mouth to clear the chocolate and pastry away.
"Sure," I said trying to get my teaching face on.
"I just had this crazy idea want to sell a service to one of my clients for $7,500."
And then he proceeded to tell me about this service he was going to offer. A service that 48 hours beforehand he didn't know existed and that he had never sold before.
He was excited.
I could see it on his face. Moreover though I could hear his excitement in his voice.
Since we were standing together I could see that as he spoke he actually went onto his tippy toes multiple times considering this option.
He quickly described his service, realizing that our break was about to be over, and ended his excited explanation with this exasperated question:
What words do you think I could say to make my client bite the hook?
He looked me excitedly in the eyes, expecting me to deliver the magical phrase that will always make someone buy something from you.
I let his question hang for a second, and then I took a bite of my chocolate croissant and chewed slowly.
I chewed slowly and thought how best to say what I wanted, but then just plowed ahead with what I knew would be golden advice.
"Jason," I said to the student. "There are no magic words you can say to guarantee the sale."
He looked at me puzzled.
He'd paid thousands of dollars to be here in Hawaii at this event. Surely some more sage wisdom than that would come forth, right?
Then I put it plainly:
Sales is helping someone get from where they are to where they want to be.
If your product or service can do that, and if you're working from a 100% base of integrity, and if you know that you can get your clients the results they're looking for, then all you need to do is be authentic.
"Be yourself," I said. "Call her right now and share the excitement you just shared with me with her."
Then I described more fully how to do that.
"This isn't Harry Potter. There is no spell. But if you do what I just told you to do then you're going to have the money by this afternoon."
Our break was ending and Jason was excited to go make his phone call.
I was excited to finish my croissant AND for Jason to go make his sale.
I went back into our conference room where I was sitting with other presenters near the back and took my seat. As the training got back under way I noticed our one student missing, but I knew where he was.
Five minutes later he walked through the door with a giant grin on his face and giving me a thumbs up.
It was as simple as just being authentic.
Sometimes sales people get caught up on certain words, or phrases, or scripts, or word tracks that they absolutely must say in order to make the sale.
This. Is. Dumb.
And I'm sorry to sound offensive or be mean, but that is dumb.
Don't do that.
Don't think you must say anything.
Don't think you must say words exactly in the perfect order or else all of your sales will never be sold.
What you must do is fulfill a need for your potential client. You must resolve their pain (sometimes a pain they don't even know they have yet until you teach them how miserable they are). You must truly have a servant's heart to serve them and make their life better. And you better deliver on results.
When you are authentic as a sales person the world changes.
People like you.
They feel like they know you.
They trust you.
And they buy things from you.
There are no magic words.
Just a magical process.
And that process is being a good person.
Is it easy?....
If it were then everyone would be a sales person.
But you're part of the elite of the elite. You're reading this blog. And you're trying to hone your craft and perfect your sales skills.
So next time you're pitching a potential client just loosen up. Forget everything you've ever learned about word tracks, scripts, and saying the right things, and just be yourself, open up to how you really think you can help them, and ask for the sale.
Then let me know what happened.
Jason made $7,500 in about ten minutes. How much will you make?