|When I visited with a friend, I noticed a picture on
his wall entitled Salesmanship.
It was a drawing of an old sailing ship with each sail labeled
with the traits of a great salesperson. This is the first
article in the series of three where I share the traits with
you. Click the link at the end of this article to read the
next in the series. This article is devoted to the first four
Set Sail For A Great Future - Part One
by Joe Bonura, CSP
Sail Number One: Work
What a surprise! It takes hard work to be successful in selling;
however, hard work alone will not help you to reach your sales goals.
If all it took was hard work to be successful, the mill ox would
be the most successful creature on earth.
Add a little creativity to your work efforts, and you will shorten
the road to sales nirvana.
- You Can Bank On It
- Harlan Beagley, publisher of the Columbia Basin Herald
in Moses Lake, Washington, said that after reading the piggy bank
story in my book, Throw the Rabbit... he decided
to use it to get the attention of a customer who was not responding
to his phone calls. He went to the customer's store and purchased
a piggy bank and a hammer with the store's logo. Harlan placed
his presentation inside the piggy bank and sent it along with
the hammer to the client. The following day, the client called
to ask him what was in the pig. Harlan responded that in order
to discover the bank's contents, he would have to break it open.
The client loved the creativity of the approach, and Harlan now
has an open relationship with the client.
- Go Out On A Limb
- Harlan is successful because of two reasons:
- He uses the information that he learns from outside sources,
- He is not afraid to take a risk.
If you approach your potential clients like everyone else, you
will get the same results as everyone else. Be different; think
- Some sales people work harder at not working, than they do at
getting the job done. Those sales people are always looking for
the magic wand, and if they find the magic wand, they are too
lazy to wave it. It takes effort to follow through with ideas.
Sail Number Two: Self-Discipline
Successful sales people have all mastered the art of self-discipline.
Self-discipline must become a habit, and a habit is developed by
taking action, again and again, one day at a time, until your effort
- Talk To Yourself
- Exercise increases stamina and muscle strength. It takes self-discipline
to wake up every day to do what you must do to achieve the desired
results. I have enjoyed and benefited from using Billy Blanks'
Tae Bo program, but it is difficult to get up every day to exercise.
First, I have to talk myself into getting out of bed; next, I
have to go to the exercise room; then, I must turn on the video
tape; and finally, I begin. I have a choice to quit at each step
in the process. My subconscious says that I can skip a day, but
I know from experience that one day will soon equal a week, and
then I will have to start over again. Once I begin, I become familiar
with the routine, and it is harder to quit.
- The same principle holds true in selling. It is hard to pick
up the phone and make cold calls. The secret is to begin. Once
you start dialing, you will be in the mood. Mood follows
Sail Number Three: Product Knowledge
If you don't know the product, you cannot sell it. Product knowledge
does not mean only your product; it also means the competition.
Do you know both well enough? Product knowledge is learned one day
at a time. Looking out of my office window, I watched a home being
built across the street. The bricklayers built the house one brick
at a time. You learn about your product one fact at a time, until
you know all the necessary facts.
- An Hour Well Spent
- Earl Nightingale (1921-1989, one of the world’s foremost experts
on success and what makes people successful) commented that if
you were to spend just one hour a day studying any subject, you
would be a national expert in five years. Why not begin today
with a goal of becoming the best at what you do by becoming an
expert in your field.
Sail Number Four: Selling Skills
I spend at least one hundred hours a year in the field making sales
calls with sales people. It keeps me sharp, and it also gives me
a great perspective on how sales people approach their responsibilities.
- The Missing Link
- Many sales people have little or no sales training. Many companies
invest considerable time and money in product training, and then
exert little or no effort to teach the skills required to put
that product knowledge to work.
- What's On Your Bookshelf?
- It is also your responsibility to look for opportunities to
become a better sales person.
- Have you read any books on selling in the past year?
- Have you listened lately to sales tapes or CD's?
- Do you subscribe to any sales magazines?
- Have you personally invested in a sales training course?
If you answered no, or none, to all of the above, maybe it is
time you became serious about your profession.
- Would you want to go to a doctor or a dentist who is not current
in his medical field?
- Would you want to fly with a pilot who is not current?
- Would you want to trust your investments to an investment
counselor who does not keep up with his profession?
Then, why should a customer entrust his business to you if you
are not serious about your career? Every day, make a commitment
to learn something new about your business.
Stop waiting for the wind to blow in the right direction. Is
your career becalmed? Fill your sails with sales power
to reach your destination.
More Sails in future articles
here for PART TWO of this article
© 1997 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips,
follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are
interested in making more sales, or finding a job:
Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text
free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his
name and contact information:
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY 40245
(502) 553-1746 phone
About Joe Bonura
His background is unique. Joe owned and operated
a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that
time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when
he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He
conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word
spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people
asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the
agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and
consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers
Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious
designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers
Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of
He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional
Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®."
He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate
Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.
Click here TO
ENGAGE JOE BONURA FOR A TRAINING SEMINAR AT YOUR COMPANY