Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Learn to Sell

There is a bit at the end of Rich Dad Poor Dad where someone with an MFA in English is asking him for advice about how to become a successful writer. Kiyosaki (the author) tells her to go to a seminar on how sales.

The would be author is offended. She has an MFA after all and considers herself a very serious writer, not someone interested in seminars on sales.

Kiyosaki holds up a copy of his own book, and says something along the lines of: "You see what they write on the covers of books that make millions? It says Best Selling Book, not Best Written Book. You want to be successful? Learn to sell".

I bring this up because one of my major points with Strategic Sorcery is the melding of magical and mundane methods. Knowing how to sell has been one of the biggest strengths in my life. When I was 22 I got a job at Nobody Beats the Wiz selling electronics. My father bought be a couple Zig Ziggler books for tech and loaned me some tapes he had of sales seminars he had been to. It was my first time applying what is now called "life hacking" skills.

I got so good that I once sold a $299 service contract on a $500 camcorder.

I learned two things from that job. The first is that while you may not be able to get people to do things that they don't really want to do, you can make people want things that they didn't want a few minutes ago. The second thing is that this was a skill that was applicable to almost every area of human endeavor. When you are looking for a mate, you are selling yourself. When you are looking for an investor, you are selling business. When you are looking to get a book published, you are selling your book. Want to be successful at almost anything? Learn to sell.


Jow said...

Many people get really put off and their ideals all in a bunch when it comes to this. Most people don't want to be the skeezy salesman. They HATE the skeezy salesman!

But like you said, it's a skill. Just that. A. Skill. Skeezy salesmen aren't even good at it! Because you can smell their skeeze, and they are constantly trying to financially date rape you.

Meanwhile Nice Guy at the garage totally talked you into getting new tires when you just came in for a flat patch, but you really did need those new tires. Nice Guy told you that you were pretty, listened to your problems, made you smile, and then bent you over and fucked you like a porn star... Fiscally.

And you'll go back to Nice Guy, cause he isn't going to try that all the time, but you know, like more than half the time when you meet up with him, it will lead to Fiscal intercourse. And you are cool with that, because you trust him, and he is helping you out buy giving you things you need. Like deep fiscal dickings.

It's like what they NRA says about guns: If we demonize sales techniques only skeezy salesmen will have them.

nutty professor said...

"I got so good that I once sold a $299 service contract on a $500 camcorder."

Sounds like a shitty deal to me, or at least a dumb ass client...awesome job!

Anonymous said...

Heh. I'm busted. I have to admit, every time I hear the word "sales" it immediately brings to mind "fraud" and lies". My mind flashes on all the attempted "hard" sells of crappy deals and/or shoddy products---and the salesperson being pushy, not taking "no" for an answer until I show visible, unmistakable signs of anger (or just walk out).

It's selective memory. Most sales aren't like that at all. I get a product I want, the salesperson makes money, everybody goes home happy.

It says Best Selling Book, not Best Written Book.

I really like that line. I suspect the author in the example was operating from the assumption that a good product sells itself---which unfortunately isn't true. She was offended because of the flawed assumption that "needs a good sales pitch" means "because the work is crap."

Jason Miller, said...

@nutty professor.

I still feel bad about that one to this day. I allowed myself to get caught up and really should not have even suggested it to the customer, much less driven it home.

Gordon said...

Loving this. Everybody is in sales their entire life. You could work in a retirement home and you're still in sales.

It's just that salespeople seem to be the only ones who know it.