The Sales Brothers: Peat and Repeat

To maximize your potential you must know your presentation inside and out. In sales, as in sports, we say, "get back to basics". It comes down to practice, practice, practice. Or...Peat, Repeat, Drill for Skill.

Knute Rockne, when he was coaching at Notre Dame, gave a talk to a large sales organization. The heart of his speech was that you must must hold the ABCs of your job so firmly in your mind that they become part of you. You've got to drill, drill, drill. 

So let the brothers Peat and Repeat be your friends. You will see the payoff in your sales career.

Thanks, Dad, for the Life Lessons

While I was growing up, I really didn't see my dad that much. In the morning, he had already left for work. In the evening, I'd say "good night" to everyone except my dad, because he was still at work. It was a different time- one income, five kids.

There is a saying, "Work smart, not hard". My dad taught me that the real key is to do both. My dad said, "When you have a family, you will have a responsibility as a provider. It is simple, but not easy. Keep your family fed, keep a roof over their heads, and they will always feel safe because of your work and your love." 

Thanks, Dad.

The Ten Minute Cognitive Workout

Part of peak state is having positive self-talk. The Ten Minute Cognitive workout is a systematic way to develop positive self-talk and add to your peak state. 

It works like this: If you want to be more confident in your presentation, you would come up with a statement to reflect that; for instance, you could say, "I am feeling very confident about my presentation". Write it down, read it to yourself, say it out loud to yourself. You can have up to 12 statements. Every morning, write them down, read them to yourself, say them aloud. You will find that the more you do this, the more they will sink into your subconscious. Soon, these will be the default self-talk statements that come up in your mind-  replacing any negative self-talk you might have previously had about that issue.

It comes down to 4 simple rules:

1. Each statement must begin with "I am"

2. Each statement must be in the present tense.

3. Each statement must be in the progressive form of the verb (that is, the verb must end in "-ing"

4. Each statement must be positive.

To learn more about this topic, please try the book below.

What Goes Around Really Does Come Around

About 2 weeks ago, I was walking down my driveway to check the mail. In the middle of the street, I saw a Pomeranian walking in circles. There was a lot of traffic. I scooped up the dog and put him in my fenced backyard, after putting my own dogs inside. The Pom had a collar on with his name (Jake) and his phone number. I thought it was funny that this hair balloon was named Jake instead of Fluffy, or something. I called the number and the owner was out of town. She said she had friends watching Jake and that he was 16 years old, deaf, and blind. I told the owner where my house was and that she could have someone pick him up anytime.

A couple of days ago, my dog Lily got out. I searched for 45 minutes, no luck. I had to go pick up my son from school, so I was gone for about an hour. When I came home, I grabbed Lily's collar and leash and set out again. I searched for another hour, no luck. Heading home, I heard a voice, "Hey! Did you lose a dog?". I said, "yes". The lady said, "I think I have her in my backyard". I was so happy. I can't express what a relief it was. Naturally, I thanked her profusely. Then I told her I only lived a few doors down. A big smile came over the lady's face and she said, "Are you the one who saved Jake?". "Yes, I am," I said. She said, "Is that not great kismet!" We both laughed and agreed. 

That old saying is absolutely true.

Tell the Truth- It's Easier to Remember

The main focus in a sales presentation is to develop rapport and gain trust. That's why telling the truth is critical. Any exaggeration or lie, no matter how small, will destroy rapport and trust. Some salespeople want to answer "yes" to every question. They don't believe in their product enough to tell the truth about it. No product is perfect; no product will solve all of a client's problems. Your process should be exactly the opposite. Build in "mini-negatives". Don't be afraid to say,  "no, my product won't do x". You will never gain trust by saying "Yes" to everything. Not telling the truth is wrong, but it is also disrespectful. It shows a lack of respect for your product, your client, and yourself. Please tell the's also easier to remember...

Happy selling!

The "Vacation Insurance" Close

How much money do you spend on your car, house, or health? What do you do to protect your investment in these thing? Easy. You buy insurance. So you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on protection, but the only way you see any of that money back is if something bad happens - you wreck your car, your house burns down, or you get sick.

You will also spend thousands on your lifetime of vacations. Today, I'm going to offer you vacation insurance. And the great thing about that, is that nothing tragic has to happen to see a return on this investment. Knowing all the insurance you already own, how can you afford NOT to own vacation insurance?

Want better Information? Ask Better Questions.

Questions are the backbone of any sales presentation. They assist you in many different ways.

Good questions....

  • allow you to avoid arguments.
  • limit talking too much (also known as "spray and pray").
  • help you help your customer - by clarifying the customer's needs.
  • let your customers come up with their own ideas.
  • reveal important information that you will need for the close.
  • help you build bonds of trust with the customer and develop mutual respect.

Remember, questions provide information. Information is power.

For more on this topic, try the book below.

Learn to Lead

  • A leader's efforts should be for the benefit of other people, not for self-gain.
  • Outstanding leaders had to learn to be good followers first.
  • Effective leaders know how to build and maintain positive relationships.
  • Leaders must be excellent. No one wants to follow average.
  • Leaders add value. Leadership is defined by improving the lives of others.
  • Leaders give away power. The power of the leader should ripple through the entire team.


For more on this topic, read the book below.

The Greatest Salespeople Ever

In my experience, the most consistent and successful salespeople are pets and kids. Every day, my dogs' passion and persistence conquer my resistance. Both kids and pets understand that every "no" just means "not yet". Both groups have no fear. They look on repetition as a means to an end. 

If you want to become a better salesperson, study and imitate your children and/or your pets. Remember, "no" is the final answer only if you let it be. 

Wizard of Oz: The Sales Version

I have always said that sales are made through a process that is driven by emotion, but backed by logic. We can look at this through the classic story of "The Wizard of Oz". 

In the story, we first meet the Scarecrow. He wants a brain and, of course, represents logic. If the product makes no sense for your client, the presentation is over before it has begun. Next we meet the Tin Man. He needs a heart. This is our opportunity to connect with the clients' emotions. Finally, we meet the lion, who wants courage. If the client doesn't have the courage to move forward, there is no sale.

How can you incorporate this analogy into your presentation? I suggest it should happen in your intent statement:

"Folks, at the end of this presentation, I am going to ask you to purchase my product. It really comes down to a simple yes or no. If this product makes sense to you and moves your heart, I promise that the only thing that will prevent you from the courage to move forward."

Remember the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and especially the Lion...and find your courage!

To learn more about the ideas in this post, try the movie below.

The Wizard of Oz
Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley