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June 12, 2022

Selling. Why Some People Become Great At Selling, And Most People Never Do.

Yesterday we had four people in the store that I was showing vacuum cleaners. A slow day. One was not really considering buying, just gathering information, and I couldn’t move her any closer to buying (without being obvious and rude) One bought, and the other two did not.  On most days, both of them would have bought…barely bought…but not yesterday.

I knew at the exact moment when the other two couples that didn’t buy…decided not to buy. Both of these short presentations should have resulted is a sale.  And I screwed them up, and so the people didn’t buy.  In both instances I immediately knew when the people were starting to move away from buying…and I caused it. Me, the master salesman. As soon as I knew that I missed a beat in my presentation, and they were shifting away from buying, I knew it was lost. Sometimes knowing these things isn’t all that fun.

This morning, I was on Facebook, reading posts from people in my business, talking about how they aren’t selling anything. They blame it on economic conditions, competition, suppliers (very common) and mostly on the “stupid customers”.  After 45 years selling, training salespeople, writing books on selling, and talking to tens of thousands of customers…..I can say this with absolute certainty…

I know the reason only a few people achieve greatness in selling, and most people never learn a new thing after the first year in sales. And it’s this…

You Never Learn Anything From The Missed Sale You Blame On Someone Else. 

Every interaction with a sales prospect either results in a sale or it doesn’t. If it does, you made a sale. If it doesn’t (and you were trying to sell) you now have a perfect lesson in how to sell, because you found something that didn’t work.

So you can try to avoid things that hold back sales, and learn which things bring you closer to a completed sale. Your sales skills evolve, sharpen, and become more profitable.

But I have learned that one thing, above all others, keeps you from learning from your missed sales. And it’s blaming that missed sale on something other than yourself. And the reason is simple. If you blame someone else, you stop trying to figure out what went wrong. Learning stops dead in its tracks.

So when you hear a ‘salesperson” say “That deadbeat should have bought” or “Our supplier should advertise better” or “Nobody buys anymore”….just understand that this person will never get any better at selling than they are right now. Never.  I just hope that person is your competitor, and not you.


I talk a little more on this in my book on One Call Closing.