Sales; According to Gitomer (and others)!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, September 11, 2009
“Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth;
the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.”
Democritus (460 BC-370 BC) Having been in sales for 30 years, I am often asked by people new to the business “What should I be doing right now to become successful?” It would take months and even years to attend all the classes you should be attending so the path to your immediate success as compared to your long-term success, will be self-taught through reading. You could do as I have done and read a great deal, picking and choosing what you believe to be correct or you can follow the advice from Wallace D. Wattles, written in 1910:
“You must lay aside all other concepts of the universe, (that would be competing books on sales) and you must dwell (become totally focused) upon this until it is fixed in your mind (become routine and a habit) and has become your habitual thought (your belief). Read these statements over and over again. Fix every word upon your memory and meditate upon them until you firmly believe what they say. If a doubt comes to you, cast it aside. Do not listen to arguments against this idea. Do not go to churches or lectures where a contrary concept of things is taught or preached. Do not read magazines or books which teach a different idea. If you get mixed up in your understanding, belief, and faith, all your efforts will be in vain.” Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich (1910 AD)
If reading has taught me one thing it is that all books, no matter how great or how poorly they are written and no matter how much you may agree or disagree with their contents, they make you think and thinking is good. Wallace D. Wattles (1910 BG – Before Gitomer, you’ll understand later) repeatedly said in all of his writings, to achieve whatever it is you have set as your goal, YOU MUST THINK IN A CERTAIN WAY! Over 50 years later Earl Nightingale said it differently but with the same meaning in The Strangest Secret, “To change your life, change the way you think!”
“Many great ideas go unexecuted, and many great executioners are without ideas. One without the other is worthless.” Tim Blixseth
"While wishing and hoping makes you a dreamer, acting and doing makes you someone who can turn dreams into reality." Nan S. Russell
If I had to do it over again (sales) and if I knew what I now know and if I had available what is now available and if someone were to ask, “Gymbeaux, what would you recommend for me to do to become successful in sales in general, real estate sales specifically (or for that matter life in general)?” I would say:
ATTEND SEMINAIRS, PAY ATTENTION, AND TAKE GREAT NOTES
WRITE – DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU WRITE THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL SEEING YOUR THOUGHTS IN PRINT AND/OR ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN
FIND TEACHERS (WRITERS/SPEAKERS) WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND STICK WITH THEM
TAKE ACTION ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
you say, “there is so much to read, If I want to be successful in sales, where do I begin?”
As I write this, I can see my collection of books, CDs, Cassette Tapes, DVDs and yes even 8-Tracks in my library of collected works over the past 30 years. They are all good otherwise I would not have purchased them. But what books would sit upon the pedestal that should and could help someone to be more successful than most who try? Remember, we are talking about sales in general and real estate sales specifically. The following in either in book, CD or DVD format and in the order given would be my recommendation; so here goes:
1. “The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude”
by Jeffrey Gitomer
. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”
An old Chinese Proverb. It is true. No training will provide the results you desire until your attitude is such that you are ready to learn what is being taught. This wonderful book by Gitomer may be his best and is worth reading many times over. Like Henry Ford
said, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t; either way you’re right!”
If Wallace D. Wattles
is correct and I know he is, then thinking you can is the beginning of a wonderful new career but you still have to have the right attitude and this book will provide you with good thoughts to hopefully help you be aware of how you think each and every minute. READ IT BEFORE ALL OTHERS!
This is one of the few books where I have also purchased the book on CDs because it was that valuable.
2. “The Science of Getting Rich”
by Wallace D. Wattles.
This is one of the books that the movie success “The Secret”
was based upon. It is all about THINKING IN A CERTAIN WAY
, and that way will lead you to wealth, not only in terms of money but in terms of quality of life. If you would like a free Ebook copy, go to www.ScienceOfGettingRich.com.
3. “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA)” by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan. There is no better book on building a business than the MREA; NONE! Yes it says “real estate agent” but it is not about being a successful real estate agent as much as it is building a successful business. The problem is that most people in real estate sales do not think of their business as a business. Successful real estate sales people do and therein lies the difference between being successful (the 20%) and the unsuccessful (the 80%). The MREA is written like a cookbook. Follow the lead of what other successful people in sales have already done and then do what they did (plus a little bit more). The MREA is the “nuts & bolts” of business building. Without the proper attitude towards your business and life, this book will not help you. Read Gitomer’s YES!Attitude first.
4. “The Little Black Book of Connections” by Jeffrey Gitomer and “Endless Referrals” by Bob Burg. You do not have a business until you have customers. You do not have customers until you know how to find them, build relationships and then nurture those relationships into successful sales contacts. When a doctor retires and sells his medical practice (business) what is he or she selling? It is not his office, equipment, etc. The doctor is selling the patience database; that is where the wealth is. Sales of any kind are no different – the wealth is in the database. To build a fruitful database you must know people. These two books will help you create the personal skills necessary to grow your database. Without it you are destined to be part of the 80% who go through the motions of sales. When the market is good they will enjoy sales but when the market is bad the 80% starve; the 20% are still successful. The choice is yours. Build a large database of probable buyers, or not.
5. “The Little Teal Book of Trust” by Jeffrey Gitomer. Having a database of people, no matter how many, is worthless if those people do not trust you. As Gitomer says, “All things being equal, people want to do business with (and refer business to) their friends. All things being not so equal, people still want to do business with their friends.” Therefore, and this is not rocket science, MAKE MORE FRIENDS WHO TRUST YOU! You make more friends by building trust. Pages 154 to 193 should be required reading for everyone, start with your family.
6. “The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching!” by Jeffrey Gitomer. I had an uncle who would always ask me in my early years, “Jim, did you ring the cash register today?” Gitomer’s Platinum book explains what that means. In the early days of National Cash Register, the founder John Patterson understood that he was not selling a cash register. He first created a need in the customer’s mind that they needed a receipt for what they purchased. He then sold this desire the customer had to business owners. It also provided the business owner with a record of sales but it was establishing the need for a customer’s receipt that caused the company to flourish and succeed. Do you sell a twidget or do sell what a twidget will do for the customer? This is all about identifying customer’s needs and then satisfying those specific needs.
7. “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless” again by Jeffrey Gitomer. Let’s review, you have the proper attitude (book #1); the importance of having a proper attitude was reinforced by Wattles (book #2); you know how to build your business (book #3); you know how to build your database with people (books #4); you develop your database by building trust with the people in your database (book 5); and then you become aware of what you are selling and why (book 6). This book teaches you how to build customer loyalty as compared to simply creating customer satisfaction; there is a difference. Being satisfied and being thrilled are obviously two different things. We far too often expect only satisfaction in a sales transaction rather then expecting an outstanding experience. You build loyalty by going beyond what is expected by providing what is not expected – something outstanding and out of the ordinary in a good way.
8. “The Sales Bible” by Jeffrey Gitomer. You can see where this is going. Of all the authors of all the books I have read, one author/speaker has stood out as having it all together. And as Wallace Wattles said in the quote at the beginning of this Nugget, don’t become confused by all that is available; instead find someone that has it together and learn from them and do not give up but rather focus on the goal. Jeffrey Gitomer, at least to me, is that one person that I feel you can learn from for a lot of reasons but simply put, he knows what he is writing and talking about. When you read his works it just makes sense. His writing style is as if you and he are sharing a cup of coffee across the table from each other. In a lot of cases it is not something new. But how many times have we read and forgot what was important only to be reminded of it in a later reading or teaching. Gitomer puts all these forgotten moments and a lot of new ideas into his books so you have them conveniently at hand to provide a constant reminder of what you should be doing.
Gitomer has written other books worthy of reading as well but I would concentrate on the above books FIRST. I have personally read them all at least twice and most three or four times. His other writings include, “The Little Red Book of Selling”; “The Little Red Book of Sales Answers”, “The Patterson Principles of Selling”, and “The Customer Loyalty Concepts.”
Jeffrey Gitomer’s books concentrate on the process of selling. Gary Keller’s book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” shows you step-by-step how to build a sales business. As Keller has said, if you are serious about building your business you should read this book once a month for twelve months. Read it with a high-liter, mark it up, follow the path to success because the path outlined is a compilation of many successful sales careers put into one outstanding book. I took my copy to Office Depot and had it spiral bound making it much easier to use to study from as it would lie flat on my desk without the pages flipping. Obviously I took reading this book seriously so much so I purchased the book on CDs and listened to it in my car.
IF, and as you can see, this is a huge IF, IF you train yourself to watch less television and spend the same amount of time becoming better at what you do, in little to no time at all you will be exposed to the traits, habits, scripts, dialogues, procedures, organization and both the follow-up and follow-through daily practices needed to be a success in sales and ultimately in life. As Wattles says in his book “The Science of Getting Rich”, (I also have this one on CDs) "if you want to help the poor, become rich. No one has ever helped the poor by being poor."
Love what you do, do what you love!
There is only one step, after marking up your day timer for the year with the vacations and family time, set aside one hour a day to spend reading something that will make you better at what you do; help make you a better person; and, help make you a more successful person. When YOU become successful, everyone wins as long as your success was built on high ethical standards.
I have just finished reading three of Jon Gordon’s book, Training Camp, The No Complaining Rule and The Energy Bus. I rarely read books in one sitting but these are short and extremely compelling. All three are written in inspirational novel format and hold your attention. The books discussed above and these three books would be a great beginning to your personal self-improvement library if you do not already have one.