By Gene Fresco
Ross Perot is one of the greatest salespeople who ever lived.
From a superstar salesperson at IBM to the Founder of Electronic Data Systems, he has made history in business throughout the world.
He said, “There was a time when I identified with Thoreau’s line about the mass of men living lives of quiet desperation. I was working as an IBM salesman and they put a quota on the amount I could earn.” (In the first 19 days of 1962, Perot exceeded his entire year’s quota.)
Management has no crystal ball to know precisely what you can or cannot sell.
In every rep job I’ve ever had, I would always double the quota I was given and, a lot of times, I would hit it or come close.
The last rep job I had, the rep sold $238,000 for his last year. I sold $700,000 my first year. You can’t judge what you can do by the performance of others.
Don’t sell yourself short. Be all that you can be!
Look around, see what you have to sell and think BIG.
Whatever goal you are given, don’t lock yourself into it. Try doubling it and see how close you can get. It will be gratifying and rewarding if you get into the habit of doing that.
In the music business, we have many products to sell to many people. We have pianos, guitars, drums, band instruments, sound systems and many more products that people need. If you think BIG, your customer will think BIG. Don’t see yourself as a clerk. A clerk just gives the customer what he or she asks for. Think of yourself as a super salesperson who can solve a customer’s problem with the right product to do the right job. Never assume. When you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Let me tell you a story about a salesman who assumed.
When I was stationed in New York with the U.S. Air Force, my father-in-law and mother-in-law came to visit my family. My father-in-law was a successful contractor in Reno NV. He wanted to buy a new car and drive it back to Reno. We went to a car dealer on Long Island. (I was stationed at Mitchell AFB.) My father-in-law dressed like a contractor: khaki pants, plaid work shirt, work boots, etc.
The car salesman assumed that my father-in-law was a working stiff and began showing him low-end cars. My father-in-law, being a gentleman, listened to the salesman tell him about every car he showed him. Then he said, “I like the car in the showroom.”
The salesman said, “You mean the Thunderbird?”
My father-in-law said, “Yep.”
The salesman asked, “How do plan on paying for it?”
My father-in-law said, “I’ll write you a check.”
The salesman took my father-in-law to the finance guy. The finance guy asked him, “Do you mind if I call your bank to verify your check?”
He called my father-in-law’s banker and the banker said, “I don’t even want to know the amount. I will guarantee it is good.”
That’s what happens when you assume. Lucky for the salesman, my father-in-law wasn’t insulted that the salesman assumed what he could afford by the way he was dressed.
DON’T EVER ASSUME!
Don’t assume that all you can sell is the quota you are given. Can you imagine selling your year’s quota in 19 days, as Ross Perot did?
Wow! I thought I was doing great doubling my quota! I guess I should have thought bigger, too.
Earl Nightingale said, “You are what you think about.” Think success…think happiness…think about giving your loved ones everything they need, and you will be a great salesperson.
Life will give us whatever we ask for if we are willing to pay the price to achieve it.
You have to be willing to pay the price. Learn all you can about selling, about the products you sell, about the people to whom you sell, about the music scene in your town, about your competition and about yourself.
Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and strive to meet them. Use your time wisely. Don’t be distracted by wasting productive time on non-productive activities. The clock will beat you if you do. Go the extra mile. Selling is not an 8:00 to 5:00 job.
Go to clubs, meet the Owners and offer your assistance if they need it. Meet the musicians at their gigs and give them your business cards. Keep your eyes open for new clubs
opening, make sure the Owners have your information and offer any assistance they may need. In other words, be a Professional Salesperson.
Remember the eight “P”s of selling: Planning, Preparation, Prospecting, Pre-Approach, Presentation, Persistence, Perpetuation and Profitability.
It’s hard to believe, but there are only five months left in this year (including this month).
I hope this year has been good to all of you and you use these next five months to make it a great year.
I’m glad I chose the musical instrument industry for a career and don’t think I would have had as much fun in some other industry.
I hope you all feel the same way, love what you do and want to be successful at it.
If you have any questions about selling, please contact Dan Ferrisi, the Editor, and he will forward your comments directly to me.
I wish you good selling.