[Cheat Sheet]: How To Close Your First Sale
I remember my first sale like it was yesterday. I had been begging the manager at the car wash to let me sell car washes for over two years at this point. I was 13 and I wanted to talk to people. More importantly, I wanted that commission money.
Much like most of us, I worked in the process, not sales, department at first. I constantly watched guys make more money than me by simply talking to people. I knew I could do it and I had been pestering the shit out of my boss to let me try.
Then one day, the normal sales dude called in sick. They needed a quick replacement and I was the only one there who spoke English. They had to let me try sales. There was literally no one else there at the car wash who could possibly take on the task of sales for the day.
I already knew what car washes we offered. I already knew what was in each package. I had been doing the work since I was like 10 years old. All there was to it now, was to step up and start talking to people as they pulled on the lot.
At 8:01am the first car pulled up. It was a sparkling blue Cadillac with an old ass man driving it. He rolled down the window and said “I’ll take the regular $6 wash please.” It was at this time, I knew it would make or break my day. I had no clue it would make or break my career, but ultimately that’s exactly what it did. It made my career.
“You know Sir, I’ve seen you come in here, in this car now for several years. I can tell you love this car, you always keep it clean. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you get anything but a regular wash. This sparkling paint job won’t always be so nice if you don’t put wax on it. Plus, I see that black spot on your carpet over there too, does seeing that drive you crazy or what?”
“Yes I drives me crazy, I keep meaning to shampoo it out. I wax this car myself, at home. That’s why the paint still looks so good.” he said with a smile
“Sir, do you get sore after a full day of detailing your car?” I asked
“Yeah, I’m not getting any younger” he replied
“Look, I can have this car waxed and ready in under an hour, and I’ll also get that pesky black stain out of your carpet too. This car will leave the lot looking like the day you drove it off the lot and you won’t have to lift a single finger or feel any soreness. Today the price is only $69.95. Yes, that’s 10 times what you wanted to spend, but for you, it has 100 times the services and benefits. Let’s get this bad boy caddy shined up today.”
“Ok, sounds good. Sign me up.”
The smile on my face was so wide, it damn near broke my jaw. I had done it. At age 13 I had talked someone into spending 10x’s what they planned on and they were super happy. Around age 14 one of the managers of the car wash gave me some Zig Ziglar cassettes which would change my mind and life forever. I’ve been a student and teacher of the sales game every since.
Since that first sale, I’ve went on to make 100’s of thousands more. Hell, I sold exactly 1472 car washes in one ten hour work day before. Needless to say, I got the full sales experience from selling $6 car washes to selling $6 million dollar real estate transactions. From car washes to consulting, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that will help you avoid many of the mistakes most new salespeople make.
As I referenced in an earlier post, sales is not for everyone. If you’re not sure if you should be in sales, you shouldn’t be. If you’re like me, and you KNEW that you were destined to be in sales, and you’re just now getting started, let me put you in the game at full speed.
First off, you don’t have to be a know it all to be a good salesman. Stop thinking you’ve gotta have all the answers. Confidence will eventually come from your knowledge, but in the beginning your confidence should come from your ability to find the answers, not just spout off bullshit. Trust me, if you spout off BS answers, you will regret it later when the clients ask for the BS you offered.
Nobody becomes a master of their craft in an instant. You’re going to hear the word “no” a hell of a lot more than you’ll hear “yes”. Get used to it, it’s part of the job. In order to be a good salesman, you’ve got to just accept the fact that not everyone will buy from you. Don’t take “nos” personal. Just take them.
Mastering your craft begins with making your first sale. The idea is to improve your sales skills with every encounter you make with a prospect. It all starts with sale #1 though. What can you do to get that first fish in the net?
First, make sure you are going to attempt to sell the right person. The right person for your first sale is usually a stranger. i know most people say sell to your friends and family but honestly they usually won’t trust you at first, because they know you. Strangers have no idea how long you’ve been at it, unless you tell them.
Strangers will make their buying decision based on the experience they have with you, not the fact that last week you were flipping burgers. After you close a few strangers, take that experience back to your friends and family and work them at that point.
Second, learn everything there is about what they fuck you are selling. Nothing is worse than blowing a sale because you were too lazy to find out everything you could about how it benefits the people you are selling it to. Don’t skip out on product knowledge, your prospects will see right through you.
Before you start your sales job, do the research. You’ll not only impress the prospects, you’ll for sure get the job since you made the effort to learn about the company and products. If you don’t know everything about it, don’t lie. Simply find the answers.
Third, be yourself. Confidence comes from being comfortable with who we are. Don’t pretend to be ballin, don’t pretend to have all the answers if you don’t and don’t be intimidated by the prospect. Simply treat them as if you’re old pals who are about to help each other out.
People like to buy from people they like, be likeable. In order to be likeable, you have to be you. No one can truly decide if they like you if you don’t let them know who you are and you pretend to be someone else. Be honest, straight forward and confident.
Fourth of all, you gotta set the proper expectations. Don’t let the prospect bully you into losing your commission. Hold firm, stay confident and they will appreciate your negotiation and sales skills. When you know what you sell is worth the price you charge for it, don’t let anyone talk you into taking less.
Prospects like to be given instructions and led. For the most part, they have no clue what all comes along with your job, treat them so. Inform them of how it works, what to expect and make sure you have properly answered all of their questions.
Fifth of all, don’t take the first “no” as a real no. As I said earlier, you’re going to hear the word no, a lot. It doesn’t always mean no and most of the time it sounds more like “lemme think about it” or “not right now” or even worse “lemme check with (insert scapegoat)”
People hate making decisions because then it means it’s over and they have to commit. Once a decision is made, they have to stick to it. This means if it is the wrong decision they are stuck. Your job is to show them why, what you have, is the best decision they can make.
Really and truly, the best way to make a sale is to just go out and do it. You’re going to screw a few leads up. Learn from those screw ups. Take note of the common objections and rebuttals you get. Learn and memorize word tracks that you can spit out mindlessly so you can double think/talk to your prospects better.
Getting your first sale is like a drug. Getting the money from that first sale is the addiction behind the drug. Once you’re hooked you can never go back to the real work world. It will never be the same and you’ll only feel a dull and mundane existence. You’re better than that when you’re in sales.
Sadly what you read in the headline, as far as “cheat sheet” is not 100% true. It was a gimmick to get you to read this. There is no cheating in sales. At least not in the long run, you’ll be run out. What I’ve given you is a cheat sheet that says you can’t cheat. The more honorable you are in sales, the more people will buy your shit. That’s the best advice I can give you.
Always, always, always sell with integrity. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, don’t sell it. If you wouldn’t or don’t buy what you sell, don’t sell it. Do unto your prospects as what you would want done unto you.
Lastly, remember this: Closing is a service. You’re doing them a favor by ending their search and solving their problem. They may object at first, but they will thank you in the end. Trust me.
Remember, to master anything, you must practice it daily. Go sell something today!