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I ask salespeople, “Can you define what sales are? Have you ever looked up the word sales in the dictionary?” Never in my speaking career has anyone in my audiences responded to me with the correct root word of sales. We can spend our whole life working in sales and yet not know its origin. That astounds me. So here it is...
It comes from sellan, an Old English root word meaning to give. It doesn’t mean to take, or to sell door-to-door like a charlatan. It doesn’t mean to connive or to manipulate. If everybody really knew what real salesmanship was about, they would understand that real salesmanship is about real givemanship first. We’ve got so many people living in this capitalistic society who are so involved in me, me, me. Nobody really gives a shit about what you want until you help them with what they want. Thank you to Lefty Lefton for this revelation.
We have to answer the question of the prospective buyer: “What’s in it for me?” We have to make it all about them. It’s a sick, altruistic turn if you really think about it. If you satisfy them first, you’re going to get enough of what you want. You’re going to have to wait.
It’s kind of like a good gumbo. You have to bring that gumbo up to a boil, then you have to slow it down, and you don’t rush it. If you rush it, you’ll burn the hell out of the bottom of the pot, and the gumbo will taste starch. You have to have a little patience. You put that gumbo on a low fire and you wait. It’s like one-day-old wine. Nobody ever drinks one-day-old wine or one-day-old Jack Daniels. It’s not good until later! It’s the same way with sales. We have to wait. We can’t be so self-consumed with paying our rent and our bills that we don’t stop and ask some good questions.
You'll find many more stories like this in my Amazon #1 Bestselling Book, Come Hell or High Water, along with practical, repeatable methods for making changes to power your sales performance. You'll laugh, you'll think, and you'll ACT differently after reading - and implementing - these valuable ideas to help you in both business and in life!
Peace, love & gumbo!
Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF, CNP
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