The Impact of Technology on Selling in the Modern Era

In the nature of the sales profession, if we have an ability that goes beyond providing for our own needs, we have a responsibility to use that ability to reach down and help those who do not have that capacity. We can learn to sell each other on the importance of building our lives on the foundation stones of honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty. When we build on these foundation stones, we can build a business, a life, a family, a friendship, and a professional selling career while making a difference in the world in which we live.

Selling in the modern market, being ethical is not the only the right way to live, it is also practical way to live. True selling professionals do not only talk about ethics, they live ethically. When we are honest and ethical and live with integrity, our rewards are guaranteed. Build the career on an ethical foundation with the foundation stones of honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.

Today’s sales professional is educated in what is necessary to be successful in the modern world – from computer literacy to market knowledge. One trademark of an “educated” person is the commitment to growth and keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology of the times.

The most exciting part of the sales profession is that change and technology cannot pass us by unless we allow them to because each of us is restricted only by mental and emotional attitudes. As long as we control our attitudes, we can be as productive as we choose to be – in whatever we want to do. To be successful in the years ahead as a sales star, we must understand the changes and the new technology.

The one thing that customers have always rated highest in the sales world is trust, which is also called dependability because it is a direct reflection on the integrity of the individual. The primary reason people will choose not to buy from you is a lack of trust. Women make better sales professional because they are more dependable and more open than men. They are also more trusted by the people they meet. Saleswomen will be far more inclined to let the prospects be the centre of attention and listen to what they are saying, that is due to a large part to women’s ability to listen. All successful sales professionals utilise listening skills to their fullest. The more salespersons know about the prospects’ needs, the better position they are in to meet those needs. Talking is sharing, but listening is caring.

When we listen, we must do more than listen with our ears. We have to look out for those non-verbal cues and gestures, their tones and speed of their voice. Listen with an open heart and observe them. Do not interrupt and never finish a phrase, a thought, or sentence when your prospect pauses. Another factor is the “Law of Reciprocity”, when we carefully listen to our prospects elaborate, we are putting them in debt to us. They will then have a feeling they “owe” us something and consequently more willing to listen to us.

In sales, dependability gives us credibility. Credibility makes us believable. With credibility and believability comes confidence, and with confidence comes success.

The sales professional today understands the importance of the proper balance between home and career and understands that to be successful in only one area of life is the biggest failure of all. The sales credo: “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want!”. This sales credo is a philosophy and not a tactic. Do this often enough and you will build a beautiful sales career.

(Adapted from “The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional – Ziglar on Selling”, Chapter 2 – Selling in the Modern Market – The Decade of Technology, by Zig Ziglar)

Some Updates

Folks,

Pace of business, work and life is pretty hectic. Nevertheless, everyday, I would take time to read my various books from the fields of sales, personal development and leadership, while I am traveling to and fro from home to appointments to office.

Recently, I dug out my treasure box and uploaded my Zig Ziglar’s book chapter reviews, a good revision for me too ! For the other few books, I would balance my readings and post my book chapter reviews quite regularly as possible. Please pardon me if I do not post for a few days.

Changed my working desk at home, a brand new office table with a counter-riser, sorting out my stationery, letters, paperwork, desktop and rearranging my piled-up notes and work materials. Need to dismantle my old computer work desk for selling to 2nd hand dealers.

Actively taking photos of the National Education Shows (National Day Parade 2008 Rehearsals), please do drop by my photojournalism blog links and take a look ! 

Alright folks, thanks for taking time to read this post ! Appreciate it !

Sales – A Right Choice ?

A sales career is about choosing to be in the world’s oldest profession, it can be and should be fun. By beginning with a sense of humour combined with self-esteem that allows you to laugh at yourself will play a significant part in the success of our chosen sales profession.

In sales, we face different kinds of treatment; treated rudely and avoided by friends and relatives. We are always facing whether to get out or get in but we can never get out of something we have never been in. New salespeople never get “in the business” due to poor information and poor preparation.

There is no free lunch in the world we are today. The majority of highly paid veterans in sales are hard workers. The best-paying hard work in the world is selling and the poorest-paying easy work in the world is selling. Applying ourselves to the job and absorb the training offered, our productivity will go up, and the stress and fatigue level will do down through the adoption of a time management and productivity system along with the training system.

We must be committed to the sales profession because a lack of commitment is a primary reason why the sales profession has earned the reputation for having a high turnover rate. Opportunity is born of independence handled in a responsible manner.

Many benefits await the person that enters the sales profession. Independence, opportunity, problem solving, security, family and communication. The attitude, discipline, willingness to work and organisational skills brings out a security that is not found when we are dependent on the whims of other people who are frequently incapable of making objective evaluations about our worth. Enjoying a profession where our success is specifically measurable and our performance is recognised based on results is tremendously satisfying. The profession of selling teaches us that people do things for their reasons, not yours. This principle helps us to be more effective in communicating not only with members of our family but with members of our community as well.

As salespeople, we encounter people at every emotional level – when they are happy, excited, and enthusiastic, and when they are irritated and down in the slumps. We learn how to deal with the extroverts, the introverts, the procrastinators, the optimists, the pessimists, the detailed oriented, the impetuous, the loud mouths, the big shots, the ego manics and a host of others. We learn to persuade people our way of thinking rather than order people to do the things we want them to do. Successful salespersons are also excellent managers. They have to manage time, territory, personal habits and life in general. The better they manage their lives, the better that will be able to manage their business.

(Adapted from “The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional – Ziglar on Selling”, Chapter 1 – You Made the Right Choice, by Zig Ziglar)

How to Sell Yourself to Others

If you have an excellent product or service and you are selling it, it will never be sold without a buyer on the other side of the equation. Therefore, it is very important to understand why would anyone want to buy from you ?

To sell yourself successfully to others, there is a need to make yourself into a most-wanted package and the people would be able to see your viewpoints and like you too. It is important for the contents and wrapping to be well designed with the eye appeal and buy appeal. 

The wrapping would be the exterior you, the outward appearance, cleanliness, grooming, weight, shape, clothes you wear, how you wear them, your body posture etc etc…. If any of the above exterior features is an issue, you would not be able to project across to your buyer because they would be worried and concern about you, resulting in no sale at all. 

There are 8 Rules for Body Care – 

  1. Shower or bathe daily
  2. Take care of your hair
  3. Use makeup sparingly (for ladies)
  4. Shave as often as necessary (for men)
  5. Manicure your nails regularly (for ladies)
  6. Keep nails clean and trimmed (for men)
  7. Keep physically trim
  8. Check your posture
The clothes that you wear are just as important, we need to have the necessary and appropriate clothes for the nature of events/business/appointments, a.k.a the When and Where you wear the different types of clothes are key decisive factors. 
There are also 8 Rule for Clothing –
  1. Buy the best clothing you can afford
  2. Build a complete wardrobe
  3. Dress for the occasion
  4. Hang your clothing properly
  5. Have your clothing cleaned and pressed regularly
  6. Choose accessories that complement, not distract
  7. Match your shoes to your wardrobe
  8. Take care of your footwear

The key to selling is to KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SELLING ! Do we really know what we are selling, in our everyday life, in our work ? Therefore, if you want to sell yourself successfully, you must be very sure that you know what you got to sell. 

People failed in selling because they are selling what they are NOT instead of what they ARE. It is also very important to note that we have to sell and display the right things at the right time to the right people. 

Exercise is very important, not just for your physical health, fitness and emotional well-being. It will definitely help you to develop a good body posture, thus allowing you to stand tall and proud and to become the NUMBER ONE person !

(Adapted from How to SELL Yourself, Chapter TWO: Selling Yourself to Others, by Joe Girard)

Principle-Centred Leadership Characteristics

In the other book that I am concurrently reading, is “Principle-Centred Leadership” by Stephen R. Covey, this book touches on how to get people to centre their lives and leadership around principles such as justice and integrity, applying natural laws to problems and to centre life on the correct principles as the key to personal fulfilment and professional success.

Correct principles are like compasses, always pointing the way, if we are able to read them, we won’t get lost or confused or fooled by conflicting voices and conflicts. Centering life on correct principles is the key to developing our rich internal powers in our lives, and with that powers, we can achieve our dreams. We would also become more balanced, unified, organised, anchored and rooted.

Principle-Centred Leadership is practiced from the inside out on four levels –

  1. Personal
  2. Interpersonal
  3. Managerial
  4. Organisational
Trust is the root of success or failure in relationships, organisations and businesses.
Principle-Centred Leaders possess the following 8 characteristics – 
  1. Continually Learning 
  2. Service-Oriented
  3. Radiate Positive Energy
  4. Believe in Other People
  5. Lead Balanced Lives
  6. See Life as an Adventure
  7. Synergistic 
  8. Exercise for Self-Renewal

(Adapted from Perface: A Principle-Centred Approach, Introduction to Section 1 and Chapter 1: Characteristics of Principle-Centered Leaders of Principle-Centred Leadership by Stephen R. Covey)

After reading the first few segments of “Principle-Centred Leadership”, it already strike a chord inside my heart, mind and soul, I related to it very quickly, like it is a part of me, leadership and principles, to be reinforced, learning new knowledge, changing, improving and mentoring future leaders.

I would still need some time to work on the 5 Steps Development Process, please bear with me while I work on how to present it in my future postings and write-ups.

Bought A New Book + Updates

Recently, with my collection of personal development and sales books by Joe Girard, indeed, I would probably be classified as having a bit of many books to read, digest and apply. Nevertheless, it did not deter me from continuing to purchase another book, an author that I would like to add on to my current collection and read his works.

The author I decided sometime ago, was Anthony Robbins and the book I chosen was “Awaken the Giant Within”, I happened to find a 30% voucher off the price of the book and decided to add this particular book to my collection at Borders, Wheelock Place.

I also met up with my very old mate, Nick, who was back home for a bit longer time than he usually had, currently based in Hong Kong as a private banker. I knew him for 18 years till date, very long time mates. Had a lot to chat, from our careers to him being the Devil’s Advocate to me reading that many personal development books. Nick asked me, “Why don’t you read autobiography books of people that created an empire out of nothing ?” ….. That was a very good pointer brought up to me, there were entrepreneurs and business owners around the world that will definitely be a good role model for me to learn and emulate from their life and entrepreneur experiences, had a few role models in mind and would be adding them to my collection soon.

I took the opportunity to ask Nick on banking related matters since he is inside the industry and understand more about the mechanisms about them, gained more knowledge today and received great advice on some banking matters.

Looking back, many things had changed for both of us, we all had our own fields and industries to work in and work with. We both had our fair share of ups and downs, many different kinds of experience, many lessons, it wasn’t that long ago that my self-esteem and self-confidence was rock-bottom and it was something that people around me don’t know much about it and it was only through time, through getting older, understanding more about oneself and learning through different fields of personal development, had I climbed myself out today.

Well, there was a healthy debate on the impacts, effects and usefulness of personal development books and courses. We can understand and learn whatever that can be taught, if we don’t have a good strategy and proper execution plan in place, our teachings would never be applied across to our personal life and career. Nick also brought up another pointer, “How badly do you want it ?”, another key factor, how much and how big do you want it, in your life, money or career ? 

I would also like to take this opportunity and blog posting to dedicate to my old mate Nick, thanks for your friendship and congrats on your happiness, a new life ahead for you. In the midst of friendly debates and making fun of each other, there was a certain discussion on being a good role model, well I will keep to this learning, “The challenge, direction, goals and objectives now is to make my future writings to be a LIGHT, not a JUDGE, to be a MODEL, not a CRITIC (from Principle-Centred Leadership)”, therefore, you can set your mind at ease !!!

All the best, old mate Nick ! Catch up with you again soon !

Selling Ourself to Own Self

The book that I would be started my book chapter review today would by Joe Girard, “How To Sell Yourself” and I would be doing the book chapter reviews concurrently with Stephen R. Covey, “Principle-Centred Leadership”.

In this manner, I would be pushing myself to read, absorb, analyse, expand on my learnings, apply and share with my readers. Moving foward, I would be able to complete my 5 other personal development and sales training books and I am also looking at purchasing additional book to my current library.

Anyway …… back to proper chapter review – 

Folks, I need you to do a small exercise here first, do you ever recall when you were a young child, did you ever asked your parents for a toy or a sweet ? And did you try asking a girl or guy out for a date ? In these two instances, did it come across to you that you were SELLING and you had not been AWARE of this at all. Therefore, everyone of us is a SALESPERSON !!

Before anybody can sell themselves successfully, first and foremost, they have to be absolutely 100% sold on themselves. You must believe in yourself, have faith in yourself  and have confidence in yourself. Ask yourself this simple question “Just Who Are You Anyway ?”.

Remember, in this huge world that we live in, there is ONLY ONE YOU ! Nobody else is like you and You Are NUMBER ONE ! If you don’t believe you are NUMBER ONE, no one else will. You Must Have that BELIEF !

Muhammad Ali pre-match ritual on psyching himself up before his opponents is a classic and world class example of selling yourself on you. His trademark “I Am The Greatest!” strikes great fear in his opponents and they would start unselling themselves. 

People who sell themselves succcessfully are first sold on themselves and to like yourselves, the late George Romney gave three steps to liking yourself – 

  1. Never do anything, anywhere, that you would be ashamed of
  2. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back now and then
  3. So live that you’d be glad to have yourself for a friend
There are 3 kinds of people in this world –
  1. Achievers – Winners, those who sold themselves on themselves, people that we want to emulate.
  2. Gripers – Losers, those who are put-downers and puller-downers, avoid them.
  3. Copped out of Life – People who simply given up, shun them.
The road to winning is selling yourself to be NUMBER ONE, believing and acting like NUMBER ONE ! You Are What You Think You Are ! The NO.1 RULE is to have faith in yourself, the greatest product in the world and nobody else in the world to be exactly like you.

YOU ARE NUMBER ONE !!!

In order to drive across the messages and teachings above, the following exercises are very crucial and important –
  1. Write out “I Am Number One” on cards, stick it around where you can see it (especially the FIRST thing in the morning), Read it and Smile.
  2. Avoid losers
  3. Put away negative thoughts e.g. jealousy, envy, greed, hate – out of your life
The above list of pointers are some of those written by Joe Girard in his book “How to Sell Yourself”, Chapter One – Selling Yourself On You. 

5 Steps Development Process

I had already started on my new book, “Principle-Centred Leadership” by Stephen R. Covey and after reading 5 chapters, I confessed that I am really “shaken”, going deeper inside me of my inner self, enlightening, enriching and forever learning. 

The wider and deeper I read from different personal development books, the more I realised the importance of these phrases, “The More I Think I Know, The More I Do Not Know” and “You Think You Know Everything but You Know Nothing“.

In my future book chapter reviews, I would be using this 5 Steps Development Process taught by Stephen R. Covey, arising from Principle-Centred Leadership, Chapter 5 “A Break With The Past”, page 71 – 

  • Step 1 – Capturing the content of the material and its essence – seek first to understand the basic principles
  • Step 2 – Expand on what I have learned, adding my own ideas and thoughts
  • Step 3 – Teaching the materials learned in Steps 1 & 2 – sharing with people on what I have learned, increase understanding, creating a common language and vocabulary for change and unlocking the perceptions that others have of you.
  • Step 4 – Applying the principles to my current situation and circumstances 
  • Step 5 – Monitor the results

The challenge, direction, goals and objectives now is to make my future writings to be a LIGHT, not a JUDGE, to be a MODEL, not a CRITIC (from Principle-Centred Leadership)

Arrival of new books !

Folks,

Finally, I received my set of Personal Development Books that I ordered during National Achiever Congress 2008, it was by world class trainer Joe Girard !

My three books are –

  1. How to SELL Anything to Anybody
  2. How to SELL Yourself
  3. How to CLOSE EVERY SALE

Moving foward, I would be doing a lot of reading during and in-between timings when I am traveling or resting. It would be read concurrently with “Principle-Centred Leadership” by Stephen R. Covey and I would be sharing with my readers here on the topics that I read, analysed, summarised and applied to myself and mentoring my readers and friends.

In the upcoming months, I would be occupied with my career, businesses, growth, mentoring and physical training. A great challenge and objectives that I set for myself to achieve, I would be planning to sign up for external personal development courses at a later time down the road, currently, I need to grow, expand and breakthrough from the 2 courses that I attended a few months back, National Achiever Congress 2008 and Millionaire Mindset Intensive.

Ultimately, we must seek to learn new experiences, knowledge, skills and things and we cannot stop learning, especially if you are an entrepreneur.