Many years ago, when I first went into sales, I thought that it might be a good idea to ask someone who had achieved some success in sales for advice. Luckily for me at that time I was the smallest investor with one of the largest brokers in the country. He was successful for a very good reason, he really had a knack for dealing with people and I wanted to find out from him the secret of his success.
This source of knowledge was Marvin McIntyre of Morgan Stanley, who was a tennis friend of mine, as I had been a Tennis Professional for 20+ years. “Marvin, what would be your advice to me, since I’m going to be in sales?” I asked. “Listen” was his reply. “Learn to listen to the person that you’re dealing with and they will tell you what they want or need.”
Man, that’s it!! I go to him for advice and he gives me this simple answer? I know that already. No, I didn’t!! It’s one thing to have a normal conversation and interrupt and push your own points across without really hearing the other person. It’s quite another to have the patience to wait until they let you know what it is they really want. Luckily, I took his advice more than it would seem from my initial reaction and learned to be a better listener. Seems simple, but as in executing anything the idea of doing a simple thing well is anything but easy.
I have been through extensive sales training from a number of companies and from companies that specialize in training sales people, but I have never received any advice or training that has been as important or helped me to become successful as the first advice that I was given. Many times people have given me the blueprint to become their salesperson just because I listened. Thank you Marvin, it was the best career advice I ever received.
Talk Your Business coming October 4th at 40 Plus! www.SalesLabDC.com/leadership.
Thoughts for the consigliere - The marketer, the sales rep, the CFO. These are the indispensable levers that help creative work get to the world. When you're part of a project but not th...