Failure Is Not A Life-Sentence

As I’ve said many times, I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes; many of them. I am sometimes wrong, but never uncertain or afraid of failing. To me, failure is only a temporary setback, not a life sentence. The fact of failing is a condition, and conditions will change. Adopt this mindset and it will serve you as it has and continues to serve me, for life. 🙂

Daniel Jacobs, 2017

Closing Is Easy!

What? Easy? I always thought it was the hardest part of the sales process. Nope, it turns out that closing sales can be relatively easy. Here’s how to do it:

First, get out of the way of YOURSELF. Knock off those self-limiting habits, old opinions, insecurities, and “can’t’s and stops” that other people gave you “for your own good.” All they do is hold you back from being YOU.

Next, decide to master the fundamentals of dealing with PEOPLE, which is 90% of understanding closing. This starts with the willingness to SHOW UP and be INTERESTED in them for a change. People are not that scary.

Finally, direct your ATTENTION to the desired goal, and only that goal. Never give up. With the attitude that no matter what, you’re going to“get ‘er done,” anything is possible.

Daniel Jacobs, 2017

Communication: The Process

“Communication – – the human connection —is the key to personal and career success.” By Paul J. Meyer, Leader of the self-improvement industry.

 Okay, if it’s so important, what is communication?
Communication is defined as the interchange and flow of information, ideas, or feelings from one person to another.

Effective communication occurs only if the receiver heard and understands the message sent by the sender. The source of nearly all selling or closing difficulties can be traced to a failure to communicate effectively.

Communication Is A Two-Way Process:

1.     Attention: A thought or idea in the mind of the sender.

2.    Intention: The purpose or aim to connect with the receiver.

3.    Transmission: A message is sent from sender to receiver.

4.    Receipt of information: The message is received.

5.    Understanding: The receiver receives and understands what was sent.

6.    Acknowledgment: The process reverses and the initial receiver confirms to the sender that the message was received and understood.

7.    As the communication continues, it reverses again.

Some people think that by sending a voicemail, an email, or a letter that a communication has taken place. But this is a faulty assumption. No communication has taken place unless received, understood and acknowledged by the receiver.

For example:

Q. If you are a speaker giving a lecture to a group via conference call, and all their phones are on mute, has a communication taken place?

A. Technically, the answer is no as there was no way the speaker could know if his words were heard, let alone heard with understanding.

There is a big difference between hearing and understanding. Without the feedback in terms of an acknowledgment from the audience, there is, by definition, no two-way communication, and most likely the value of the lecture will be significantly diminished.

Obstacles To Effective Communication

This means any mental, emotional, or physical limitation or impediment to the sent message being received as intended.

Example: On a long-distance phone call, the line is patchy or garbled. This creates barriers to communication and understanding. You may have said, “The client called to say you need to contact your lawyer immediately.”

But, if the message was distorted or muddied, it may have been received as, “The client called to say you need to . . .  (garbled) . . . your contact with the media.” The message may have been heard, but certainly was not understood.  The same result would occur if the receiver misunderstood a word in the message, or the importance of the call, leading to confusion and no action.

The primary factors influencing the understanding or misunderstanding of a message are ATTENTION and INTENTION.

Example: if your attention is distracted, or fixed on some present problem, most likely your message will be unclear, confused, or muddled to some degree making it difficult to understand. And as misunderstandings lead to indecision and inaction, your directives will be left incomplete or undone.

There is also the factor of the listener. Listening and hearing are two different things.

Hearing, is the involuntary process of the perception of sound waves. It happens without conscious thought or intention of understanding.

LISTENING: it can be active or passive.

PASSIVE or inactive listening is the hearing sounds without interest or intent to grasp fully what is being said.

ACTIVE listening is purposeful, interested, listening with the intention to understand what is being heard. The listener seeks to understand the words, and feelings of the sender of the message and use them for his or her purposes.

It is largely agreed that it takes hearing or reading something six times to gain full understanding and certainty. I agree. This is why you will see material on communication throughout this book, as it is, after all, by far, the most important tool of anyone aspiring to close sales!

Daniel Jacobs, 2017

Which Is Worse?

 Which is worse, trying and failing or failing to try?

I’ve done both and believe me, trying and failing is way better for your self-worth.

The problem in letting bad experience dictate your attitude is that your attitude then sabotages any future experience and you end up being a success at failing. 

Your self-esteem is gone. Your motivation is on empty. You’re caught in a vicious circle, spiraling downward. And you don’t try anything because you “know” it’s going to fail anyway, right?

I’ve been there and done that, and was seriously uncomfortable in my own skin as a result. It’s no fun feeling that you’re totally wrong, useless, and worth nothing. But it gets worse. When your own self-worth is low, you magnetically attract experiences to reinforce your low self-esteem. 

In short, it sucks! Big time. Being stuck in the sticky tar of “wrongness” is something I wouldn’t wish it on anyone

Only when my wife asked me one question, iIn the middle of my “I’m totally wrong” moments, did I begin to wake up and see what I was doing to myself.

Here’s what happened.

I was caught  a web of regret, shame, and blaming myself for everything when she asked this question:

If it’s true that you’re totally wrong, isn’t it also true that you might be wrong about that?”

The wisdom of this question penetrated even the morass of wrongness I was stuck in, and a faint light of hope became visible on the horizon. I had to humbly admit that she was RIGHT!

In that instant, circumstances and situations that previously seemed solid and impenetrable suddenly seemed small and insignificant. I felt like I had seen the light, and it wasn’t that of an approaching train.

In searching for the reason to “why was this happening to me?” I had been digging a hole which got so deep, I could no longer throw the dirt out the top. It got to the point when the harder I tried to dig myself out, the more I ended up BURYING MYSELF.

This was my “ah ha” moment when I turned the corner on self-destruction and began the route back to sanity and stability. Yes, the road was long, but I knew it was better than doing nothing.

Gradually, I became comfortable and confident with myself again, and what I really want and what I didn’t want, and what was important in life became clear to me.

The switch from negative to positive in my attitude made all the difference. Yes, I had made mistakes, but I also learned from them. I became aware that the fact of failing doesn’t have to be a life sentence. 

Daniel Jacobs, 2017

 

 

 

What Does Your Future Look Like?

Not unlike any other honest person, I can predict with nearly zero accuracy what your future holds. But I can give you an estimation of the general outlook and what you can to about it.

I believe that intelligent foresight about possibilities of what is to come with this realization: What shows up in your future has a lot to do with what you’re creating right now.

I also understand that the seeds of your future success are planted, given life and sustenance by what you pay attention to, and pour energy into, today. Because, ultimately, you are the effect of your own cause. Or in words attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Want to change your future to something better to look forward to? The secret is contained in this natural law of closing:

LAW: External changes are the result of internal adjustments.

It all starts and ends with you. Want more success, money, happiness, comfort, health or wealth? It all starts with internal positive expectations. And I don’t mean just wishful thinking or resolutions that you never expect to come true.

If you really want such things, take a long, hard look at what you’re doing right now. Are you actively pursuing what you want? Or waiting for some magic genie to award it to you? Whichever it is, it’s up to you to either strengthen what you’re doing right or make a decision to change your habits and behavior patterns into something that has at least some chance of success.

Here is a four-step formula that can reorient your efforts and breath life into your goals and purposes:

  1. Simplify your life. Get rid of complexities and distracting, toxic connections. Knock off anything or anyone who wastes your energy, time, money, or attention.
  2. Decide on a clear, clean purpose that you want to achieve.
  3. Imagine what it would be like to get there (what would it feel like? How would this change your life?)
  4. Decide what the very next step that you need to take is, then go into action.

Take my word on this, the power of decision is awesomeness personified once you release the self-imposed limitations on using it. Start now. You can thank me later!

Qualities of a Master Closer

Good salesmen are not necessarily great closers any more than an outstanding mechanic translates to being a great public speaker.  Closing is an instinctive or learned discipline that requires a different set of abilities than found in selling.

The qualities of a master closer are factors such as:

  1. Intention to help and add value to the customer.
  2. Closing is for the customer, not your commission.
  3. Remain actively interested in people.
  4. Politely persistent and never give up.
  5. Sincerity and honesty sells more than anything else you do,
  6. Attention on the customer more than the closer.
  7. Listen and comfortably control their attention with confidence.

8. Be responsible for both sides of the table. “If I were in your position, I’d go with this (whatever is the best for them).

9. Keep it simple. Complexity = misunderstanding = indecision = a failed close.

10. Make it personal. They’re not just a statistic on your hot prospect list. Know their name and use it. It is, after all, the most important word to the customer.

11. Never argue with the client. Agree with how they feel (“I know just how you feel, I’ve felt that same way myself). If it concerns an issue that is important to them, agree to put it on the back burner for now, promising to come back to it later.

12. The most important thing to the customer is the customer.

And finally always remember the seven “C’s” of Confidence. Competence, Certainty. Conviction. Capability. Capacity.

And most important: The Customer.

Daniel Jacobs, 2017

Advanced Sales Technology – The Laws Of Selling 1998, DWJ

ADVANCED SALES TECHNOLOGY: THE LAWS OF SELLING

Dan Jacobs, first printing 1998

Not being a professional writer, I begin this undertaking with some trepidation. That’s because, although I do understand the fundamentals of selling, my ability to communicate them in writing may not be sufficient to the task at hand.

The idea of approaching any activity from a sort of a philosophical point of view has always been natural for me. Looking for the “why” something worked in addition to simply recognizing that it did work was a common approach. So, with sales, the same operating basis was at work.

I simply began by throwing out what I knew didn’t produce a result consistently and keeping in those things that were workable for me personally.

For instance, I had always detested those methods that sought to manipulate the client into buying something whether he really needed it or not. When others would use that on me, I found myself instinctively resenting it and would resist as soon as I recognized it in use. So, I resolved to not use such methods. My sales improved.

I noticed that when a salesman was more interested in what he got out of the sale than my concerns or desires, I became less interested in buying from him and I resisted. When I started putting my full attention on the client or prospect and what I could do for him, my sales stats again improved.

The big discovery for me was when I found that when I assumed full responsibility for the sale while maintaining complete communication with the individual I was selling to, we both enjoyed the process much more. Sales again went up; in addition, repeat business was much, much easier. He was now my friend….really.

Over time, by isolating these simple basic fundamentals that were common to all successful sales, the bedrock common denominators, I could use them with little variation in all selling actions. Memorization of special techniques were unnecessary. Any rote statements to “get the sale” were now very old hat. The effort was gone. I could be myself and not some made-up combination of all the things I had heard about sales. All that was required was to do what was now “natural” for me. As a result, I had transformed myself into this mythical thing called “the natural born” salesman! I could just be me!

Now, I knew that these fundamentals worked consistently for me, but could they be applied by someone else with similar success? Could I reduce these principles to something that could be duplicated by anyone? This was the purpose behind attempted to put these ideas into writing. So we begin.

Let’s begin with a simple analogy: Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that you know absolutely nothing about golf. It should take no more than 20 to 30 minutes for you to memorize and all the rules that are required to technically play the game. But that ability will still leave you totally helpless when it comes to playing the game.

It might be of benefit to consider sales activity itself as a game. As in all games, it does have goals, barriers, rules, opponents, and above all, a purpose.

This book’s title promises you information about sales, not golf, but in this instance, the two games are not dissimilar, especially when it comes to instruction. Most of the sales bibliography has strived to teach you how to find prospects and close deals by focusing solely on the technique necessary to accomplish this goal. Seemingly the object of the profession.

Except it isn’t. It’s a requirement of continuance in the profession. But the real purpose of sales is easily summarized in one sentence.

HELP THE PERSON ACHIEVE HIS GOAL.

But, to help someone get what he wants and (not just what we want), a particular viewpoint must be held. The problems, stresses, frustrations of the prospect must be the interest of the salesman. We help him achieve his goals by getting information and aligning our product or service to benefit him.

YOU MUST BE SINCERELY INTERESTED IN HIM

The sooner you acknowledge that basic fundamental, that sooner you’re on your way to some vast improvements in your sales. After all, making one sale is irrelevant unless one sale is all you are ever going to need. You win this game by consistently stringing sales together, bringing about one sale, while creating the necessary enthusiasm to close the next one. And to do that, you have to do more than just close one person or one deal. You have to play the game. Correctly.

That’s what this book is all about. The focus has been on isolating the basic conceptual information, not mere tips for a particular situation. The ideas, theories, and abstractions that you can take to any selling situation. This book will not instruct you on how to use a particular technique or trick to bring about a sale. This book assumes you have the “sales game’s” fundamentals in tow to the extent that you can make some sales and are able to talk intelligently about how the game is won. Rather than dwelling on what you should do, this book focuses on why you should do it – and instructs you not in the technique of sales but in the correct technology of the game.

The truth is, all sales is largely a mental endeavor, professionals estimate it to be as much as 80 percent mental. It doesn’t really require much physical strength or agility. But as with any game, you do require a certain level of intelligence and mental agility to win. While it is not exactly rocket science, there are fundamentals that are on the same order of magnitude as those found in the physical sciences.

There is no question that many top salesmen and women operate on a kind of 6th sense or instinct, unable to articulate the real reasons behind their success, but there is also no doubt that they do operate on sound fundamentals of the subject. Whether able to articulate them or not, they are aware of what works in their field and what doesn’t. Additionally, they are able to do the basics very well.

OK, we have established that you have to be willing to help people and be interested in them to expect any long-term success in the field. But what is the essential requisite of any sales activity that is the most often overlooked?

ESTABLISHING THE PURPOSES OF THE SALESPERSON

This step is so important that it is shameful that it is so rarely done. Unless you have clearly established for yourself, the correct purpose for the activity, you will set yourself up for failure.

For example, let’s say you set up the purpose to “make a lot of money.” If you become engaged in selling with this purpose, to be successful, the client has to only give you money. Your attention will be focused only on one thing…the money. Yet what customer will be interested in a sales action that only has the purpose of giving you money?

Your purposes should be something that will be interesting to the customer…something that generates interest…something that creates a “reach” from the client to you.

What purpose could you set up in your individual area of sales that in itself might create an interest or desire on the part of the customer to find out more about? You have to step outside of your shoes and walk in his for awhile to get the idea of what he might want or need. Surveys, interviews, and research are all common methods these days of discovering what makes people buy.

But this is not exactly what I’m talking about. I’m suggesting that you simply step outside of yourself for a minute and look at what the client would buy or be interested in. If you really look, it’s right there in front of you. They are “advertising” it in various ways. You just have to be clever enough to see it and acknowledge it.

Once you have your own purposes established it becomes easy to envision what sort of scene might be ideal for you to operate in. It then becomes possible to evaluate when you are approaching or departing from this scene.

Daniel Jacobs

©1998, all rights reserved