Sharing this with my writing team, and saving this for many future glances! Thank you for writing such an informative yet readable guide to effective storytelling. Hey Madi, thanks for the shars and the praise! This is genius! Alaura, your writing is captivating. The ending to this article is just too perfect. I work in health and wellness and it seems to me there are few things less important when it comes to marketing in that industry than the story. Thank you so much for writing this, I look forward to gleaning more insights from you in the future!
Thanks, Chantelle. I love writing content for health topics, too so science-y! This article has some great information, but the tone is quite unprofessional. Is this the new definition of professional? Has professional turned into casual? We want the voice of every writer to come through. Truly fantastic content is remembered for its value. They have great premises, but they read like a Thought Catalog piece: trendy writing that reads like an opinion piece and not an authority piece. A professional voice, when perfected, delivers information in a direct, easy-to-understand fashion without any extraneous information.
Well, your comments certainly resound with me, Ian. So yes, you have a point. However, I find it unfair that you dismiss the over hours of research I put into this nearly 7,word article as unprofessional or merely opinionated. As a data-driven, story-based copywriter, my first priority to to ensure that the choices I make at an editorial level and creative level are backed by scientific research. If the authority behind this content was hidden behind my enthusiasm about the subject, so be it.
Thanks for your feedback. Like I said, I can sense that much work went behind this piece. Again, thanks for sharing your opinion, which is valid, but probably not shared by the Hero of the story I want to make. It sounds like the story you want to make will happen at a different, less playful, venue for ideas. I do agree and very much so that content should make a hero out of the reader. If Copy Hackers is fine with that, then great——you know what you want. Your opinion is an irreverent tone undermines authority, but there are plenty of people who see irreverence as a sign that the speaker has such a familiarity with the subject that they can afford to have some fun with it, and invite others to join in the fun.
Appropriate that you compare this article to a party——I suppose marketing has turned into a drunken, debaucherous affair, has it? That semi-snarky comment aside, I would like to hear from other people who read this post. It is fascinating to me from a sociological standpoint, so hopefully a few other voices can chime in.
Do you readers think that irreverence is a sign of authority? Do you think that professionalism has to be debaucherous in order to be compelling? To forewarn you, my immediate emotional reaction was to come to the defense of Alaura not that she needs it, clearly. Her whole point of writing is to tell her audience that people buy or otherwise behave based on their emotions.
People react to characters in a story. Irreverence makes people let their guard down. Perfection and rigor are certainly laudable qualities, but for most judging by the previous responses and my own emotional one they appear cold and unfeeling. She embraces her humanness with all its flaws and welcomes all who would be copy writers to join with her. I absolutely do not thing professionalism requires debauchery.
I also do not think that parties are at all necessarily drunken, debaucherous affairs. Conversely, I do think that many people associate professionalism and piety with debauchery. This is primarily due to prevalent stories, real and fictional. From political and religious scandals to power-hungry story-book villains, our culture is increasingly averse to those who tout rules and authority over love and grace. Is this at the cost of strong morals? Almost certainly.
But in this context, with these readers and this author who clearly put a great deal of effort, wit, and structure into her post I frankly see the accusation of debauchery as preposterous. Do you hear the people sing? This casual writing style may not be your cup of tea, but lots of people do respond to it. Connecting with the audience is as important — maybe more so — than giving the information. I guess that would make him unprofessional in your eyes. You say that a playful tone removes authority. I disagree. Authority and playfulness are NOT mutually exclusive.
But then, you also say that only young, immature readers respond to such a casual writing style. I wonder if you have any evidence of this, of is this just your personal disdain speaking? Frankly, I find your tone quite condescending. You just use fewer pop-culture references. This is a truly amazing article Alaura.
The Best Sales Books of All Time: 61 Must-Reads [ Update]
Any place I could get this checklist? Hi Charles, Thanks so much for the bloggity love! I had the same thought. This was a monster read but worth every second. Thanks for the in-depth research, being refreshingly concise and action-oriented. Thanks for powering through this monster post! Thanks, Alaura! Thanks, Tiffany. The greatest challenge I face as a copywriter is convincing startup founders to be transparent. To write their stories, to make people identify with them, like them, build a connection with their product. Thanks for your thoughts, Alice!
Alaura, thank you for sharing your brilliance! I agree we need to show how to implement storytelling elements to digital copy instead of just telling people to use stories. I wrote a post recently for small business owners about using story to build emotional connections. This is a remarkable post, Alaura. I was an English major and a journalism major. I have have a wall-sized bookshelf containing dozens of titles on the craft of writing.
And I got less useful advice from them than I did from your post. WOW, Dave! Thanks for the great slideshare, Brian! A few ish word posts on what the elements of storytelling are, but not on how to use them in copywriting. Agree to disagree. I wish more businesses were open to being vulnerable and transparent in their copy.
We share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services. Academy Copywriting. How to Listen: A guide for marketers who want to know what their customers want 18 Min Read. How I turned my wedding into an email marketing case study with a slightly epic mistake 15 Min Read. We asked 14 marketers who hire freelancers. I used cold emails to 14x my freelance copywriting business.
Includes templates. These client management techniques worked for Mad Men — will they work for you? Alaura WordWeaverFree. The Cro Magnon cave drawing had gone viral. Simple: they told stories. Inside This Post Every freaking marketing blog out there says storytelling is imperative to creating emotional connections with your audience. You may also like. About the author. Alaura Alaura Weaver is a story-based copywriter. Rafael Medeiros. Alaura, this article is GOLD. Thank YOU! Naman Modi. Alaura — What are your thoughts on StoryBrand? Thanks for sharing, John. Sorry, but Highrise sucks.
Bitrix24 is free and way better. Haylee Read. Arthur Cleroux. Sue Ballard. This is a great article! I have read and reread it — thank you;- This might sound silly, but I am still struggling to find the essence of what it means to use storytelling in your brand work… Would you be able to write a liner that describes to an outsider WHAT storytelling in branding means, HOW and WHY it works like the elevator pitch for brand storytelling;-?
Thanks in advance! Joy Brown. Paul Writing. Nick Blevins. Trudy Stone. The Best. Keri Vandongen. Marsha Sims. Turchian Omer. This article is art! I loved everything in it and is a real eye opener…thank you soo much. Alaura Weaver. Wow…thanks Turchian! How do I get the checklist? There is no link under the announcement of it. Oh I found it on your website, hooray! Ian Chandler. Lance Jones. Whatever qualities you possess, it is necessary that some one be sold the idea of their full worth, or you cannot succeed. No matter how valuable your services might be, they have only potential worth until another man, or some business, or the world at large perceives desirable possibilities in you and buys the expectation that you will "deliver the goods.
Probably you have said to yourself, "If I had the chance, I know I could deliver the goods. However, before you will be given a chance you must get across to the mind of some prospective buyer of muscular power, or brain energy, or other capabilities such as you could supply, the true idea that you have "the goods" he needs and that your qualifications would be a satisfactory purchase for him.
In other words, it is necessary that you use the selling process effectively, with thorough scientific knowledge and a high degree of art, in order to make certain of gaining your opportunity for success. You have no doubt that you can succeed if you get the chance. But you have not realized, perhaps, that you can make yourself the master of your own destiny by first learning and then practicing until it becomes second nature to you the sure, salesmanship way to gain the opportunities you deserve.
After you comprehend the sure process, you can soon develop skill in actually selling to other men true ideas of the best that is in you. The secret of certain success in life for you, then, whatever your vocation or ambition , lies in knowing HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in the right market or field of service. The chapters of the present book, supplemented by the contents of the companion volume, "The Selling Process," should reveal to you clearly every principal detail of this secret.
Before you proceed further with the study of successful salesmanship as analyzed in these pages, avoid a possible misconception of masterly selling. Even the most efficient salesman does not get all the orders for which he tries. By his knowledge and skill his average of failures is minimized; therefore everybody recognizes him as a great success. So, however well you comprehend the selling process, and however skillfully you use it in your career, you will not always accomplish the particular purpose to which you apply your salesmanship.
But you will markedly lessen the number and importance of your failures to do the things you attempt. You will also increase to an extraordinary degree the quantity, quality, and profitable results of your successful efforts. You will make a grand average so high that you will feel you are a real success. Others, too, will so regard you. Therefore, whatever your life ambition, study the selling process until you understand it thoroughly; then perfect your skill by daily practice in selling your ideas, and ideas about yourself, to other people. When you know HOW to sell true ideas of your best capability in your chosen market or field of service, and have become expert in applying what you have learned, you can use salesmanship continually in your everyday work.
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You should feel absolute assurance that with its aid you can open the treasure house of your desires. This universal master key that fits all locks now between you and success can be made by your own hands and head. You have begun to shape it for your future use. The professional salesman or saleswoman who undertakes the thorough study of both this book and its companion volume, might better read first "The Selling Process," the chapters of which apply especially to his or her vocation.
If you are a "salesman," therefore, begin your study with the introduction to that book. Then re-read the other book in the light of the new ideas that will have been shed upon its contents by the present text. The practical value of "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" to you as a salesman will be multiplied a hundredfold if both are kept handy for continual reference. The marginal index should enable you to find quickly any point regarding which you want to refresh your recollection.
This set of books was not written to collect dust on a library shelf. No salesman can get the full worth out of the pages unless he uses "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process" as working tools. If you are not engaged in selling as a vocation, and have not realized before that you must be a good salesman or saleswoman in order to achieve your life ambition, commence mastering the secret of certain success with the selling process by reading thoroughly the book now in your hands. This preliminary study will increase your ability to read intelligently the more technical contents of "The Selling Process.
You cannot afford to miss a single bit of information regarding the sure way to succeed. This is the first publication of "Certain Success," but five large editions of "The Selling Process" were required in and to supply the demand from all over the world. My chief purpose in preparing this set has been to stimulate each reader's comprehension of the value of skillful salesmanship to him. All of us who are ambitious to make the most of the best that is in us need to be first-class salesmen, whether we market "goods" or our personal capabilities.
As has been emphasized repeatedly in this preface, every one who would succeed in life must know HOW to sell his qualifications to the highest advantage. Poor salesmanship is responsible for most of the failures of people who really deserve to succeed. It is almost surely fatal to ambitious hopes in any trade, profession, or business.
But the scope of this set does not afford room to give here a minutely detailed exposition of the special processes of making sales in particular businesses. I have compiled for you, rather, the general principles of effective selling that may be universally applied. The fine art of successful salesmanship cannot be mastered in a few hours of casual reading. You will not be able, immediately after glancing through these books, to unlock every long-desired golden opportunity with absolute assurance. You should keep them always at hand like your bank books, and draw on the contents for your salesmanship needs from day to day.
You will get only a smattering of the secret of certain success if you just skim over the chapters, and skip whatever requires you to think hard in order to comprehend it all. But if you dig into the meaning of each sentence for the full idea, you will enrich yourself with constantly increasing power and skill in selling. So you will surely become a real success. The principles and methods of successful salesmanship summarized in these companion books, though they will be new to most readers, are not mere personal theories.
They all have been demonstrated and tested in actual practice during my twelve years experience as Commercial and General Sales Manager of the Ford Motor Company. Under my direction in the course of that period Ford sales were multiplied one hundred thirty-two times—from 6, to , cars a year. The fundamental principles and methods that I have tested and proved to be most successful in selling automobiles and good will should work equally well in any profession, or business, or trade; and for any normal, intelligent man or woman who uses them continually.
Since the first publication of "The Selling Process" thousands of enthusiastic readers of the book have voluntarily borne witness to its practical, dollars-and-cents value to them in their daily work. Preachers, doctors, lawyers, bank officials, clerks, book-keepers, mechanics, laborers; as well as business executives and sales managers and salesmen—men and women in scores of widely different vocations—unite in testifying to their increased earning power and fuller satisfaction in living and working.
They credit these results to their study and continued use of "The Selling Process. Your success will be in direct proportion to your thorough knowledge and continual use of all four parts of the whole secret. No matter how great your effort, an entire lack of one or more of these principal elements of Certain Success will cause partial or utter failure in your life ambition.
You will be like a man who tries to open a safe with a four-combination lock, though he knows only two or three of the numbers. No one, however well fitted for success elsewhere, can succeed in the wrong field , or in rendering services for which he is not qualified. Nor is complete success attainable by a man unless he develops the best that is in him. Even if he brings to the right market his utmost ability, he may fail miserably by making a false impression that he is unfitted for the opportunity he wants. Or he may be overlooked because he does not make the true impression of his fitness.
Evidently, in order to gain a chance to succeed, anyone must first sell to the fullest advantage the idea that he is the man for the opportunity already waiting or for the new opening he makes for himself. Of course he cannot do this surely unless he knows how. Therefore sales knowledge is universally needed to complement the three other principal elements of the complete secret of certain success. When we try to explain the failure of any man who seems worthy to have succeeded, we nearly always say, in substance, one of three things about his case:.
Or, "He is capable of filling a better position;" a more polite way of saying that a man has outgrown his present job but has not developed ability to get a bigger one. Very rarely is a worthy man's failure in life ascribed to the commonest cause— his personal inefficiency in selling to the world comprehension of his especial qualifications for success.
If a man is a square peg in a round hole, he should realize that his particular qualities must be fitted into the right field for them before he can succeed. A natural "organizer" cannot achieve his ambitions if he works alone at a routine task. No sensible man would aspire to fill a better position than he holds, unless he had developed a capacity beyond the limitations of his present work. The shipping clerk who craves the higher salary of a correspondent knows he cannot hope for the desired promotion if he has not learned to write good business letters.
However deserving of advancement a man may be, he realizes he has but a slim chance to succeed if his worth is unrecognized. So he wants appreciation from his chief. He knows that unless his worth is perceived and truly valued, some one else, who may be less qualified, is apt to be selected for the "Manager's" job he desires. Such "injustices" have poisoned countless disappointed hopes with bitterest resentment.
The deserving man who fails because he is a misfit in his particular position, the worthy man who is limited to a small career because the work he does lacks scope for the use of all his ability; the third good man who has been kept down for the reason that his chief is blind to his qualifications for promotion—all three of these failures under stand pretty clearly the reasons for their non-success. It is very different in the case of the capable man who fails because he has been inefficient in selling true impressions of his qualifications for success.
A private secretary, for illustration, might be thoroughly competent for managerial duties; but by his self-effacement in his present job he might make the false impression that he was wanting in executive capacity. He would be given a chance as manager if he were effective in creating a true impression of his administrative ability. Such a capable man, if he has little or no scientific knowledge of the selling process is apt also to lack comprehension of the value to him of knowing how to sell ideas.
He does not happen to call himself a salesman. Therefore he has never studied with personal interest the fine art of selling. He does not realize that ignorance of salesmanship , and consequent non-use of the selling process, almost always are responsible for the merely partial success or the downright failure in life of the man who deserves to win, but who loses out. One may feel able to "deliver the goods," were he given the chance.
He may know where his best capability is greatly needed and would be highly appreciated if recognized. Yet the door of opportunity may not open to his deserving hand, however hard he tries to win his way in. His failure seems to him altogether unfair, the rankest injustice from Fortune. If a man knows he is completely fitted to fill a higher position, he feels considerable self-confidence when he first applies for it. But his real ability may not be recognized by his chief. The ambitious man may be denied the coveted chance to take the step upward to the bigger opportunities for which he rightly believes himself qualified.
If his deserts and his utmost efforts do not win the promotion he desires, he grows discouraged. He loses the taste of zest for his work. His earlier optimism oozes away. After awhile his ambition slumps. Then he resigns himself sullenly to the conviction that he is a failure but is not to blame. Leaving out of consideration most exceptional, unpreventable bad luck, the worthy man who fails in life is to blame. He is not, as he thinks, a victim of circumstances or ill-fate. His failure is due to his ignorance of the first of the four principal factors of the secret of certain success.
Potentially qualified to succeed, he does not have the absolutely necessary dynamic element. He lacks an essential characteristic of the self-made successful man, a characteristic which any one of intelligence can learn how to develop— a high degree of capability in gaining his own opportunities to succeed. He does not know how to sell true ideas about himself ; though he may realize the importance of making the best impression possible. So, however, he tries, he cannot get his deserved chances to succeed.
He could secure them easily if he comprehended the selling process of the master salesman, and used it with skill. This process of masterly selling is the key to certain success for the fully qualified man in any vocation. A capable applicant will invariably be given a chance to succeed, if he takes the best that is in him to a man who has need of such services as he could render, and then sells the true idea of his ability. He has mastered all four principal elements of the complete secret of certain success.
Consequently he is able to create and to control his opportunities to succeed. He makes and governs his own good luck. Everywhere the most desirable positions in the business world are in need of men who can fill them. Only the poorer jobs are crowded. But when Opportunity has to seek the man, the right one is often overlooked. The golden chance is gained by another—less qualified and less worthy, perhaps; but a better salesman of himself. The fully competent man, however, can assure his success by becoming proficient in selling true ideas of his best capability in the right market or field of service.
The master salesman of himself makes his own chances to succeed, and therefore runs no risk of being overlooked by Opportunity. Master salesmen of ideas about "goods" use particular selling processes to get their ideas across surely to the minds of prospective buyers. The professional salesman, therefore, has plainly charted the way to certain success in any vocation, for the man who has developed the best that is in him.
If you are a candidate for a position, do not let a prospective employer buy your services at his valuation, for he is certain to under-estimate you. Sell him true ideas of your merits. Set a fair price on your worth , and get across to his mind the true idea that you would be worth that much to him. Such skillful salesmanship used by an applicant for a position can be depended on to make the best possible impression of his desirability; just as the practiced art of the professional salesman enables him to present the qualities and values of his goods in the most favorable light.
The masterly selling process is not very difficult to learn. Proficiency in its use can be gained gradually by any one who practices consciously every day the actual sale of ideas in the artistic way. As was stated in the Introduction to this book, it has been proved conclusively in business that particular principles and methods of selling are certain to produce the highest average of closed orders. In other words, success for the professional salesman is assured if he develops certain qualifications, and if he does certain things; all within the capacity of any normal, intelligent man.
Scientific sales executives know positively, as the result of comparative tests, that the salesman who develops these personal qualifications, and who does these things, should get his quota of business and hold it. Hence, as has been said, specific training is given in the sales schools of the most successful businesses, along the lines of best selling practice. When the individual salesman who has been so trained commences work in his territory, he learns in his experiences with buyers that the principles and methods he has been taught are actually most effective.
Assuming that he has developed his best capabilities pretty fully, and that he has become fairly skillful in using what he knows about how to sell his line, he works with continually growing confidence that he will succeed. Why should he doubt his complete selling power?
He knows there is a field for his goods in this territory. He knows clearly and vividly what ideas he wants to get across to the minds of prospective buyers. He knows—most important of all— just how to make convincing and attractive impressions of the desirability and true value of what he presents for purchase.
He comprehends the most effective ways to show prospects both their need for his goods and that he has come, with a real purpose of service, to satisfy that need. You, the non-professional salesman of yourself, will sell your "goods of sale" with similar complete confidence in your power to gain and to control your opportunities for success—if you, too, use the right selling process.
This set of books explains and demonstrates in detail the principles and methods of the successful salesman of ideas. The Introduction and twelve Chapters of the present series apply the selling process especially to the sale of ideas about one's self , with particular relation to self-advancement in the world. The fact that you have proceeded thus far in reading "Certain Success" proves you have an earnest purpose to make the most of your present opportunity to learn how to succeed with certainty. We will assume that you have developed your individual ability pretty fully, and that you know where there is a field for such services as you are sure you could render if afforded the chance.
Surely, then, your ambition in life, whatever it may be, is a sufficient incentive to the most thorough study of the principles and methods of successful salesmanship. Do not merely read this set of books. This statement is not an exaggeration. It is necessary that you accept it literally throughout your reading of this set of books. Do not take it "with a grain of salt. Realize when you come upon the repeated idea as you proceed with your study that your continued reading should frequently be reenforced by a steadily growing conviction that you are mastering the sure way to succeed.
You believe in yourself more than you did when you began to read this book. This increasing faith should develop to complete confidence when you have dug into the text of both "Certain Success" and "The Selling Process," and have dug out every idea in the twenty-four chapters. At the outset of your present study comprehend that salesmanship is not a science. Rather, it is an art. Like every other art, however, it has a related science. Selling is a process. Knowledge about the principles and methods that make the process most effective is the related science.
But such knowledge supplies only the best foundation for building success by the actual practice of most effective salesmanship. The master salesman practices the scien tific principles and methods he has learned until the skillful use of his knowledge in every-day selling becomes second nature to him.
Thus, and thus only, is his art perfected. You will gain knowledge from these books about how to sell with assurance the true idea of your best capabilities—about how to sell any "goods of sale" unfailingly. But you can develop the skill necessary to the actual achievement of certain success only if you continually use what you learn about the selling process. You must perfect your selling art by the intelligent employment of every word and tone and act of your life to attract other men to you, and to impress on them convincingly true ideas of your particular ability.
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The master professional salesman is "always on the job" with his three means of self-expression, to get across to prospects true ideas of the desirability and value of his goods. He is a salesman every minute , and in everything he does or says. You can become as efficient as he, in selling ideas about your "goods of sale," if your proficiency becomes as easy and natural as his.
Such ease is the sure result of sufficient right practice. You have countless opportunities daily to make use of the selling process. In each expression of yourself—in your every word, tone, and act—you convey some idea of your particular character and ability. You should know how to make true, at tractive impressions of your best self; and how to avoid making untrue and unfavorable impressions by what you do and say.
Then, when you have learned the most effective way to sell ideas about yourself that you want other people to have, it is necessary that you use the selling process consciously all the time until you grow into the habit of using it unconsciously, as your second nature. Once you are accustomed to acting the salesman continually , it will be no more difficult for you to be "always on the job" selling right ideas of your qualifications for success, than it is for the professional user of the selling process to be a salesman "every minute.
As already has been emphasized, "the goods of sale" in your case are your best capabilities. You need first of all to know your true self, before you can sell true ideas about your qualifications for success. Your true self is your best self. You are untrue to yourself, you balk your own ambition to succeed, unless you develop to the utmost of your capacity your particular salable qualities.
You do not need qualities you now wholly lack. You should not attempt to "salt" the gold mine in yourself with the characteristics of other men who have succeeded by the development and use of capabilities that were natural to them , but that would be unnatural to you. It is worse than futile—it is foolish for you to imitate anybody else. Just be your best self. Make the most of what you have that is salable.
You require no more to assure your success. Every individual has distinct characteristics, and is capable of doing particular things, of which he may be genuinely proud if he fully develops and uses his personal qualifications. When all the truth about his best possible self is skillfully made known to others , chances for success are certain to be opened to the ambitious man.
Storyhacking: I show you how to crack the code behind the irresistible selling power of stories
If he lacks the salesmanship key, the doors of opportunity may always remain closed, however well he deserves to be welcomed. You possess "goods of sale" that have real quality , that are durable , that will render service and afford pleasurable satisfaction to others. Your goods can be sold as surely as quality phonographs, durable automobile tires, serviceable clothes, or pleasing books. Maybe you can "deliver the goods" with smiles, or hearty tones, or ready acts of kindness. Any one can easily be friendly.
But have you developed all your ability to smile genuinely? Have you cultivated the hearty tone of real kindness so that now it is unnatural for you ever to speak in any other way? Do you perform friendly acts of consideration for others on every occasion, as second nature? If your honest answers to such questions must be negative, you are not a good salesman of your best self all the time. Your most salable quality may be dependability, rather than quick thinking. If this is the case, concentrate your salesmanship on making impressions of the true idea of your reliability.
Your greatest success will be achieved in some field of service where dependableness is a primary essential. You may be naturally unfitted to make a star reporter, but peculiarly qualified to develop into the cashier of a bank. Should you happen to be unattractive in features, your job is to transform your homeliness into a likable quality—not to try to make yourself appear handsome. If you are wholly inexperienced, that need not be a detriment to your success in the field you want to enter.
When you have mastered the selling process, your very greenness can be presented before the mind of a prospective employer as the best of reasons for engaging you. You will be able to make yourself appear desirable because you are green in that field, and therefore have no wrong ideas to "unlearn. You can greatly improve your chances to get the job for which you are best adapted, if you use the reciprocal selling process employed by the professional salesman when he sells his services to a house.
He meets the head of the concern as his man-equal, and does not just offer himself "for hire. Very likely you think you are seriously handicapped in many ways.
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Having made no detailed analysis of yourself from a salesman's view-point, you do not appreciate fully the number and the market value of the advantages you might have. Probably some of your best, most salable qualities are latent or but partly developed. List your particular "goods of sale. Then you will realize vividly that you possess many abilities, some undeveloped yet, which are always needed in the world. You know that such qualities should be readily salable, to the mutual benefit of yourself and of buyers.
You are learning the selling process in order to make certain that you can sell the best that is in you , as other men are selling themselves successfully. Complete your chart by listing your various defects. Then study out ways to use even your particular faults differently than you have been handling them; so that they will help you, instead of being hindrances to your success.
Think of some people you know, and of how they have turned their physical "liabilities" into "assets" of popularity. The very first sales knowledge you need is of exactly what you have to sell. You cannot see all of yourself, your good and bad points—yourself as you are , and as you might be —unless you make a detailed chart of your "goods of sale. Your handicaps will shrink, and the peculiar advantages you have will grow before your eyes. You should feel new confidence in your own ability.
With this confidence will come a feeling that you are not the inferior of another man who has achieved a larger measure of success than you have gained. When you start the sale of true ideas of your best self to an employer-buyer of such services as you are capable of rendering, you will have an innate consciousness of your man-equality with him.
You should realize that this sale of yourself, like all other true sales, is to be a transaction of reciprocal benefits, and should be conducted on the basis of mutual respect. It is your right to take pains that the prospective buyer of your services shall sell himself to you as the boss you want to work with. Expect him to sell himself to you as a desirable employer just as thoroughly and satisfyingly as you intend to sell yourself to him as a worthy applicant for an opportunity in his business.
When you have definite, sure knowledge of your capability and service value, you certainly should not be willing to take "any old job. There is no better way to make the impression of your desirability as an employee than to demonstrate that you are choosing your employment intelligently. In explaining your choice, give specific reasons for your selection of this particular opening. Show that you comprehend what is to be done. Give some indication of your ability to do it efficiently and satisfactorily. Suggest the worth of your services when you shall have proved your fitness. The ordinary man who applies for a job in the ordinary way is accepted or turned down wholly at the discretion of the employer.
If you use the selling process skillfully, you will suggest that you are out of the ordinary class. Of course, you should demonstrate in your salesmanship that you are not over-rating your ability. The other man must be made to feel you have sound reasons for your bearing of equality and self-confidence when you seek to make sure that in his business you will have your best chance to succeed. By showing him that you are taking intelligent precautions against making a mistake in your employment, you indicate conclusively that you are not merely a "floater," but that you have a purpose "to stick and make good.
In the same measure that you require proof of a desirable personality in an employer, you should make sure that the work is exactly what you expect. See that your prospective "new boss" sells you the job at the same time you are selling him your services. If he perceives in you the one man who best fits his needs, he will put forth every effort to buy your services.
Every employer will respect the man who states, with salesmanship, a sound reason for selecting and seeking connection with a business house; since such a man gives promise of making the sort of dependable, loyal worker that every business values and appreciates. The true salesman sells to satisfy a real need of the buyer. Therefore, when you have charted your salable qualities, select the field of service in which such capability as you possess is needed.
That, you may be sure, is your right market—the field where you are certain to succeed. Enter it, and no other field. Apply there for a place of opportunity to serve; with the absolute confidence of a good salesman come to satisfy a want, and conscious of his individual fitness "to deliver the goods. You may not get just what you desire at the first attempt. The best professional salesman often has to make repeated efforts to close orders.
But in the end, if you "have the goods," that are needed where you bring them, and you know how to sell true ideas of your best self as you will know after mastering the selling process you will be sure of getting sufficient opportunities to succeed.
You will be as certain about getting enough chances as the first-class professional salesman is certain of attaining his full quota of business despite some turn-downs. Success is a matter of making a good batting average. Remember as you read that you are studying a completed process. An unfinished sales effort is not a sale at all. You will not be a certainly successful salesman until you perfect your knowledge and skill in all the steps of salesmanship. You can learn only a single part of sales efficiency at a time.
The relative significance of each point, its full importance in the entire selling process, will not be comprehended until you have read at least once all there is in this set of books. When you re-study the successive chapters, the details you may at first understand but vaguely in a disconnected way will be clear. You will comprehend them as various elements of salesmanship which must be fitted together to complete the process of selling. Thus far in the present chapter we have been considering principally the "goods of sale. Now let us turn our attention to the mental view of sales.
In the effective selling process the skilled salesman is able to be the controlling party. He makes the other man think as he thinks. As has been stated repeatedly, he sells ideas , not goods. So the real nature of any sale is mental, not material. You must "deliver the goods" to the mind of the man to whom you wish to sell your best capabilities. You should use the same process as the professional salesman, who works to control the thoughts of his prospect regarding the line of goods presented.
Hence when you plan to make sure of getting a desired position, it is necessary that you know exactly how to put true ideas about yourself into the head of the person whom you have chosen as your prospective employer. Further, you need to know precisely what psychological effects you can secure with certainty by using skillful salesmanship. Ideas of your best capability may be sold through three mediums—advertising, correspondence, and personal selling.
Take advantage of all three, wherever and whenever possible, to gain your chance for success. Use these mediums with real salesmanship. If you advertise for a position, think out in detail the impression of your true best self that you wish to make on the minds of readers. Put your personality into the advertising medium in such carefully selected language as will reach the needs of particular employers , and will not appear to be just a broadside of words shot into the air without aim.
Indicate clearly that you are not seeking "any old job so long as the salary is good. Many a successful business man has sold himself through the door of his initial big opportunity by real salesmanship in his advertisement of his capabilities. Each letter you write should be regarded as "a sales letter. Take the greatest pains to have that impression what you want it to be.
Never be slovenly or careless in writing to anyone on any subject. Put genuine salesmanship into all your letters consciously ; instead of conveying ideas unwittingly, without realizing what the reader is likely to think of you and the things you write. You can scatter impressions of your best self broadcast over the earth by using your ordinary correspondence as a medium of salesmanship. So you can open both nearby and far distant opportunities for the future; even while you still are training yourself to make the most of these chances you hope to gain. Good sales letters are so rare that the ability to write them has erroneously been called "a gift.
Any one of educated intelligence can write his ideas; provided he has clear, definite thought-images in his own mind. But cloudy thinking reflects only a blur on paper. A letter that plainly conveys true ideas is a sales letter; for it gets across to the mind of the recipient a clear, definite mental impression of the writer's real personality and thoughts. In all your correspondence, throughout the period of preparation for your chosen life career, send out true ideas of your best capability.
If you do, you doubtless will find the door of your desired opportunity open by the time you are fully prepared to knock. Successful business is always ready in advance to welcome "comers;" whenever and wherever they are sighted. Therefore project your personality far and wide through your letters. Employ the medium of correspondence, with salesmanship knowledge and skill, even when you write the most ordinary messages to your acquaintances or to strangers.
That is, think out certain ways to sell particular ideas about yourself ; then incorporate these bits of salesmanship in your letters. A young man in his senior year at college selected a large corporation as his prospective employer. What's the formula? What's the answer? In sales you learn to prospect, qualify, present, and close. You learn to sell. No one teaches us charisma. The best salespeople are loaded with it. Many of us provide our bedding customers with pillows. We ask them to lay their heads on these pillows, despite the fact that many previous prospective buyers have used them.
Our customers don't like this practice. Fortunately there is an easy, sanitary solution. The fourth in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling. In this article, Cathy Finney fine-tunes the skill of making house calls so you'll no longer waste your time, spin your wheels or get your brain picked.
There are twelve major ways that retailers systematically lose bedding sales. Eight of these are outlined in this important series. Every step of the bedding sales process is examined from handling phone inquiries to creating and following though on a successful bedding sales strategy. There are no bad-hair days at retail. This is your wake up call to assess your flight plan for soaring Business cards are both the wave of the future and the way of the past.
The cards may be low-tech, but they can leave an indelible impression. Ideas from a new book on creative ways to create and use business cards to expand your business. Cathy Finney implores you not to talk about product. Instead, find out what they really want. Every good salesperson knows that it is important to qualify customers.
The questions you ask and the way you ask them determine whether or not the answers you get will help move the sale forward. In order to establish good customer relationship, we need to be able to identify and deal with the various customer attitudes Acceptance, Skepticism, Indifference and Objection. As we probe to identify customer needs, we will then introduce an appropriate product benefit that will solve that need.
Herrod's Department Store knows how to sell premium bedding. You made a good first impression See May FW. Now it's time to avoid drive-by-greetings, learn the fine art of looking busy and handle rude customers. You made a good first impression See the May issue of FW. Now it's time to approach those customers. This first in a three part series on "The Approach," deals with appearance, attitude, handling browsers and making your customer's shopping experience start out happily. Bon mots witty sayings can be especially useful on those days when you are challenged to walk on water, for as author Herb Cohen wrote, "The secret of walking on water is knowing where the stones are.
Your ability to solve specific problems depends upon how well you support the customers needs with appropriate product benefits. You can do this effectively with a communication skill called a Support Statement. Nine to thirty seconds - that's it! That's all the time you have to make a good first impression! What's even more scary? If someone's first impression of you is negative, it will take them three times as long to change their mind about you!
This month, Peter A. Constructive criticism aimed at employees or co-workers are often taken as personal attacks. No matter what the manager's intent, if the comments are improperly phrased, they will probably be perceived as placing the blame, being mean, insensitive or unwarranted.
Another look at advertising and promotions. If they have even the smallest hint of deceit, you might find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit, suffering from a loss of business, irritated customers, and a few sleepless nights. Marino again draws from Suzette Haden Elgin's book, "How to Disagree without Being Disagreeable," this time to help sales managers use presuppositions when handling potentially volatile situations with salespeople.
This article, which illustrates the "thinking process" established by the Simmons "Mattress Business Academy" is the first in a series of articles by Ron Wolinski, Manager of Simmons Education. Have you ever said something, and as soon as the words came out of your mouth you would have done anything to stuff them back in? Part 3 on words to use and not use will explain how to avoid the lizards. Using metaphors, especially those having to do with sports and war help convey that every disagreement needs to be hostile. Peter Marino discusses the role metaphors play in disagreeing with someone without being disagreeable.
There are words that calm and words that can enrage your customer. How can you quote them your policy, ask for their commitment, find out their budget and get a deposit without saying these words? Placating, Blaming, Distracting, Computing and Leveling. These five communication modes and any combination of them, affect the manner in which you communicate values, desires, expectations, and ideas under stress.
The way salespeople and customer service people speak to customers, and the way managers use these modes to communicate with salespeople, can affect the long term success of your store. My friends, take a closer look at your store, your products and your life. Use the passion you have, once had or only occasionally glimpsed.
If you master this feat, then as Seneca suggested, your cup of clay will be seen as a cup of gold. Your customers will see that gold too, and sales will soar. January is a time for reflection, that is, a time to think upon the past year and to plan for the year ahead. Fittingly, the ancient Romans named it January after the two-faced god Janus who with one face looked to the past, with the other to the future. In an age when, as one author on marketing put it, "the free enterprise system has nearly choked us with choice," providing a "one on one relationship- selling" service for customers should be the goal of every salesperson.
Martin Buber, the noted philosopher's ideas on the art of dialogue can help every salesperson to achieve this goal. You know the routine. The cards that are angled 45 degrees to the right are the people I must follow-up on. The cards "tilting" to the left are distinct possibilities, and the ones standing straight up have items on order. Here's a follow-up system that can keep anyone on track! Another of Ma Cooper's famous stories that looks at the problems salespeople encounter when speak, but fail to communicate. HFC research on confident and non-confident home furnishings buyers is also discussed.
This month, more top salespeople share their secrets. In the world of retail, attitude is everything. Energy Vampires can masquerade as a client, a colleague or your mother Most of us have heard the saying, "Features are; benefits do. In this excerpt from his wonderful new book, Peter Marino explores the kinds of benefits that leave our customers feeling glad.
This article presents words of wisdom from some of the most talented front-line retail sales consultants in our industry. Customers tend to be won over only by personalized feature-benefit statements that are relevant to what really turns them on. The only way to turn low-margin one-time customers into clients is to help them to find comfort in their buying decision.
The only way to do this is to make shopping an emotionally satisfying experience. Buying home furnishings is an emotional experience. Not buying is a logical one. What do evangelical faiths and great salespeople have in common? They talk about what they believe in all the time. Many salespeople just want to be nice. In doing so, they may fail to meet the needs of their customers and cause them to buy from that pushy salesperson down the street.
Rapport must be established and nourished. It is both a state and a process. Peter Marino looks at how to establish it and keep it alive. Part 2 in this series looks at the fear your customers have of making a serious buying mistake and how you can make them feel glad by helping them to become aware of their needs Make it easy for your prospect. Make it simple for your customer. Just get right to the point. She presents closing techniques your salespeople definitely need to know and others that they need to forget if they want to effectively help customers to buy.
It is about opening a relationship! Chapter 1 in Peter A. If you think that you and your salespeople are in the business of selling furniture to your customers Peter says that you are dead wrong. Because selling furniture is all about getting customers to buy! They need to be taught how to open! Having wrestled with sales tips and techniques offered up by sales educators such as Genie Z. This installment looks at how to approach different types of customers and fool proof follow-up techniques. Part one of a two part series poses this question.
Each salesperson has the option of leading the sale, following the customer's lead or trying to overlay the store's agenda on the sales process. An ethical approach to helping your customers avoid purchase mistakes will bring bottom-line benefits to your store and a world of change to the reputation of our industry.
Customers like to do business with someone they consider "nice" and they will send their friends to these nice people as well. It's not always a bigger store or lower prices. It can be as simple as a genuine regard for the customer. Today's sales trainers suggest that salespeople establish customer rapport, spend time determining needs and solve problems.
But what happens if they don't ask for the order? Do your salespeople meet, greet and sell every customer the same? Cathy Finney gives practical tips on how to serve customers the way they are comfortable being served. It's about learning to speak their language. It's about understanding them and their needs, and figuring out how you can help them. The next time a customer says "I can buy it cheaper on the Internet," or "There are better deals down the street," or whatever, don't give up! Personality skills, creativeness, and cleverness do pay off when you are trying to put a sale together.
In this issue Dr. Marino looks at handling customer objections, selling with a strategy, the Valence Factors, the foundation for qualifying customers and the roles of the salesperson. Ron Wolinski of Simmons looks at how to re-focus your customer's attention on the health aspects of a better night's sleep. The third in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the hear of successful selling. Decorators use basic design principles almost intuitively in their day to day work. If you understand how to use space, line, form, color texture and pattern, you will be better able to meet the decorating needs of your customers.
The second article in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling. Ron Wolinski of Simmons explains how a few minutes of preparation can save the demonstration and the sale. How can you handle customers who want a better price without losing them? The first article in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling. Nasty customers are a fact of life. Their Prozac supply runs out and they take it out on you. When salespeople hear an objection, they often panic!
Instead, they should get excited! It means that their customer is interested. If they weren't, they wouldn't object! The "real" concessions and the "real" bargains customers need are the benefits that lie within their products and services. Ron Wolinski of Simmons shares a checklist of things that the best sales consultants do consistantly.
Within every company another Nordstrom waits for those who are willing to put in the effort. Subservience to individual role alone will fail, while focusing on the ultimate goal will result in true customer service. She is more comfortable volunteering this information when you've been calling her "Louise" for the past 20 minutes. But how do you get this information upfront without being nosy or pushy? Peter Marino's fertile mind created this story of Verax Dotcom, the salesperson who could not lie.
It is fun to read and full of great sales skill information. We as professionals must do our "probing" to understand what is important to our customers. There is, however, another side to this analysis process. That other side may be our biggest challenge. That challenge is to be a good "listener. All things being equal, customers like to do business with salespeople they can relate to. If your prices are pretty much the same as your competitors' and customer service seems to be equal among stores, customers are more apt to do business with someone they like.
Marino by an elderly customer. Why do some salespeople inspire customers to share their feelings and personal stories? The secret, he says is contained in the phrase; customers don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Ron Wolinsky of Simmons, looks at the national problem of sleep deprivation and suggests ways retail salespeople can help their customers to get a better night's sleep. This ends Cathy Finney's 4 part series on the "Approach" which started with the June issue.
This installment looks at having fun and alleviating your customer's worst fears about you. We've all seen them. The "Don't" or "No" signs in the stores, the showrooms, the restaurants, the shops. They are "negative customer factors" because they do nothing to encourage business. Take these negatives You avoided those drive-by-greetings, learned the fine art of looking busy and handled rude customers.
Now you are ready for small talk and to diffuse any problems before they surface. The proper maintenance of their sleep set plays a major role in the consumer's understanding of what they can experience with a new sleep system, and how they can gain the greatest return on investment long-term comfort and support. We do not want our customers returning a sleep set due to lack of knowledge and understanding. In this two part series, Cathy Finney looks at ways that good salespeople can become great salespeople.
Related Mastering The Essentials of Sales: What You Need to Know to Close Every Sale (SellingPower Library)
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