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June 29, 2022

A Lesson I Learned From The World’s Worst Salesperson

After I had been selling vacuum cleaners in people’s homes for a decade or so I began having salespeople approach me to learn how I did so well. This young man stopped by my office one day and asked if I could teach him how to sell. He sold another brand of vacuum cleaner. I asked him a few questions. “How many have you sold so far?”   He said, “Three”. I asked, “What is your closing percentage?”. He said   “100%”. It kind of surprised me.

So I asked, “How did you get 100% of your presentations to buy? Tell me about your experience” He told me that he talked to 300 people at their doors. Three let him in to talk to them, and all three bought. So I asked, “What did you say at the door?”, and this is what he told me… “Hi. I sell a vacuum cleaner made by Amway. It costs $ 899. Would you like me to show it to you?”. I swear, that was what he told them. And three out of 300 said, “Sure, come on in.” I had to give this a little thought. This young man knew nothing about selling. It was like a foreign language to him, but he sold 100% of the people he presented his product to.

The problem was, I didn’t sell that brand, and he wasn’t willing to switch to my product, no matter how much more money he would have made. So we parted ways after one discussion. But what I learned is that if you just want to make the super easy sales, you can just talk to enough people to find the really interested ones. And one in 100 sounds about right.

What I learned from this was that there are people out there that are ready to buy what you sell, if you just look for them.