We are all sellers. We are all in the business of selling, to some degree.
I don’t mean purely in business either. I mean, when we’re at home and we want to watch a particular channel, we have to convince others why it would be a good idea to watch what we want to watch. We have to sell the idea of going to a particular restaurant or enjoying a particular activity on the weekend. If we come into contact with others, whether we like it or not, we are all sellers.
My first experience in sales, on a commercial level, was when I took the role of general “Dogsbody” after school at a warehouse where we imported magazines. My main job was unpacking 40 foot containers full of high gloss magazines.
Once everything was downloaded, we had to go out and sell the magazines to both Joe Public and local distributors. This was my first real face-to-face selling experience.
It was something I really fell in love with.
I couldn’t really say exactly what it was that I loved selling at the time, but looking back now, I would have to say it was the personal interaction and being able to help people make a decision that will benefit them. .
I guess it was due to the fact that I really enjoyed reading the magazines during lunch breaks and therefore believed in my product and wanted others to enjoy reading the magazines in the same way that I did.
Also, for some reason, I’ve always focused on trying to make sure that people leave my company feeling better about themselves than when they entered. In hindsight, this approach has always served me well.
In the last 20 years, selling has almost always been a part of whatever occupation I’ve had. It’s something I’ve enjoyed and pretended to be very good at.
I have invested £1000 in educating myself in the world of sales strategies and techniques. I have attended numerous sales seminars, but I have always felt that something was missing.
I asked a self-proclaimed sales coach about 4 years ago this question: “What makes the best salespeople better than good salespeople?”
His response to me was, “They follow these strategies.” I took it with a pinch of salt…!
Now, I DO believe that strategies are crucial to selling, but I still couldn’t help but believe that there was still something else out there that separated “good” from “great”….
Knowing your product, knowing your audience, knowing your competition makes a lot of sense, but I still felt like there was a missing link.
That “missing link” bothered me for a while, but then it went to the back of my mind when “life” took over, as it does with all of us.
That was until I was “channel surfing” on a random Saturday afternoon and came across this “High Drama, American, Peroxide, Charismatic, Action Packed” TV show.
There was this big blonde guy and his big blonde wife and their long haired tattooed family chasing down bail jumpers in the US.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I had just come into contact with Dog The Bounty Hunter!
For those of you who don’t know, basically, a bounty hunter goes after fugitives who have missed court dates or violated their bail conditions (being “naughty” in our terms!!)
Given the above definition, you’re not really going after people who have attended Sunday School, are Rhodes Scholars, or are what might be termed “Pillars of Society.” These are ex-convicts or people accused of serious crimes. So, as you can imagine, there aren’t too many Choirboys among them.
As I watched this guy chase down and capture these fugitives, armed with his bear mace, something struck me as unique to this guy. He wasn’t purely a “Knock down, Drag out” type of guy who hated convicts and wanted to bring them some “hard justice”. There was something very different.
The way he tracks people down and tricks them into coming to him is VERY unorthodox. He is capable of making phone calls that open clues or acting on hunches that become the catalysts for turning a photo and name into a successful capture.
In short, his understanding of the people he is after, his social and emotional intelligence, are second to none. He is also very sensitive and affectionate with his family. This degree of sensitivity, I have no doubt, adds to your receptivity and ability to read and understand others.
After the action where they pounce on the convict, there is usually some degree of adrenaline-inducing action in which there is a lot of screaming, cursing and mace. The voltage is high. The fugitive is handcuffed and taken to the truck in which they are traveling.
This is where the difference begins. Instead of simply throwing the fugitive into the back of a pickup truck and closing the doors, they put the captive in the middle of the back seat, flanked by Dog and one of his crew members.
Shoulder to shoulder.
From there, Dog “mumbles the captive” for missing his court date or not registering with the bail bondsman.
Ask questions and listen to feedback. Then she begins to “dig”. She begins to ask about their families, their children, their faith…anything that means anything to them. Trying to find a hook, an emotional lever.
More often than not, that emotional lever comes down to runaway children. I’m sure, as many of you readers are parents, you can relate to how powerful the emotion of not being able to see your children for 20 years can be. This is where there is normally some degree of tears, emotions, or regret on the part of the captive.
He uses the terms “My Brotha” or “My Sista” when talking to them. This may not seem like a huge difference, but in terms of creating a subconscious relationship, it is VERY powerful.
This is normally where Dog will offer the fugitive a cigarette, something to eat, or handcuff him in front instead of behind his back. Something to make them more comfortable.
After the pain with the emotional leverage you’ve caused by talking about “How could you do that to your kids, etc.?”, now you start to empower them. Saying that she will help them get into rehab if that’s what they need or “talk to the judge to make it lenient.” He sows the seed of good in them.
I sat down to watch this episode where the team had just been through the above and I was left thinking, “Why bother with all this? After all, all these people have had run-ins with the law and supposedly done things What are they? Illegal?
They didn’t pay him more money if he was nice to the fugitives or if he gave them some “hard justice”…
Initially, I was confused, but I watched a few more episodes and started to understand more about this guy. It so happened that as a convicted felon in the past, a man who had served in a high security prison in Texas, knew the path these people walked.
Dog himself is a “con turned good” and has enough love for his fellow man that he actually cares about these people. He REALLY believes that he can make a difference in their lives and will do whatever he can to help them along the way.
The old burning question you had about “What separates GOOD from GREAT” when it comes to Selling reared its head again… only this time, I had an answer!
I think it boils down to two things:
First, the salesperson must be able to really understand what the customer is looking for. What is your bread? What are your hot buttons? What keeps you awake at night? This is traditionally done through open questions, but that must also be linked to a degree of empathy.
And secondly, more importantly, it all comes down to really caring about the customer. It’s about really believing that the product you sell can actually improve the lives or business of your customers, regardless of what you sell.
Any self-respecting sales trainer will tell you that a large percentage of the time, “people buy on emotion and justify that purchase with logic.”
I honestly believe that if the salesperson’s motivation for the sale is more than their earned commission, it is that they REALLY believe their product or service will serve the customer better and it is the salesperson’s DUTY to make sure they protect the customer from further sales. people selling inferior products or services, the customer will pick up on that emotion and, in most cases, act on it.