Posts Tagged ‘customer service


It Doesn’t Have to Be Hell to Sell

Making the leap from service to sales doesn't have to be terrifying.

Making the leap from service to sales doesn’t have to be terrifying.

The management classic Who Moved My Cheese makes it clear: change is going to happen regardless of how you feel about it. In fact, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s happening right now in your organization in ways you’ve never even imagined. Change doesn’t need us to acknowledge it; it does what it does because that’s the nature of change. And as the moral of the story goes, the sooner we accept and embrace it, the better off we’ll be.

Many will waste time bemoaning the pointless question, “Is this change necessary?”  The answer is yes; now don’t ever ask that stupid question again. Variety is the spice of life and a rolling stone gathers no moss. You’ve got to itch your niche. What’s in style one season is out the next. What once used to pinch now fits like a glove. Things change, markets change, people change. Continuous reinvention is what makes us successful. It’s the nature of evolution and survival of the fittest. This is not just a physical or genetic phenomenon. The same holds true for businesses. Change also keeps us relevant. The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice when he was ninety years old. His reply? “Because I think I’m making progress.”

So now that it’s come to your attention that you must “do” sales, let’s talk about what sales really is and isn’t. The basis of living life is to be of service to others. It’s at the core of the Golden Rule, the very fiber that ties us all together to live in a civilized and peaceful manner. Sales isn’t a spiel or a canned talk. As they say, “If you’re telling, you ain’t selling.” Sales is about meeting a need. Sales happen because someone offers a solution to a problem.

Make no mistake about it, sales does take work. The 20% who go back after five rejections gain 80% of the sales. And it’s tough to take that much rejection. But as I learned from selling books door to door during my college years, A Rejection = A Dead End, but An Objection = An Opportunity.

Last, and perhaps most important, you need to believe in what you’re offering. A customer can smell inauthenticity a mile away but it’s impossible to say no to someone who is passionate about what they offer.  If you don’t like your company, your boss, your product, your customer, or yourself, it’s going to bleed out into the conversation and kill any chance of building a relationship. People do business with those who solve problems. If you don’t believe in it, how can they? I have been faced with this dilemma several times. But it all boils down to this: if you can’t get excited about what it is you’re selling, it’s time to move on to something you can get excited about selling. Sales is all about making relationships and that requires passion. Make yourself irresistible to your potential clients and enjoy your new role!

The bottom line is unless the cash register rings the factory whistle won’t blow. The leap from service to sales is not as scary and vast as we have imagined. Sales are our lifeline and we are all salespeople at the cores of our being: people helping others to have a better life. So embrace your new role, it has the potential to be much more exciting and satisfying than you probably imagined.



would you go the extra mile—literally?

I recently flew into the DFW airport and a close friend offered to pick me up and deliver me to my hotel. As we pulled out of the airport, she asked me to call my hotel so she could get specific directions. Although she had lived in Dallas her whole life, there was quite a bit of construction around the area and she needed to get me situated quickly and back to her meeting.

We received word from the hotel concierge on the other end of the line that we were only about five miles away. He then gave us numerous vectoring moves, repeatedly, since we couldn’t write them down. The concierge must have sensed our confusion and immediately made a radical proposal.

He told us to pull over, give him our location, and he would come to us. Oh, and he gave us his personal cell phone number just in case he couldn’t readily identify us. Now I was really confused. Did he understand that we already had a car and that if he just talked a little longer we could probably find our way?

Turns out he did understand the situation but felt it best to offer us the ultimate life raft. A city-savvy limo driver sent out into the sea of churning Dallas toll roads and tumultuous off-ramps, throwing us a literal line-of-sight buoy that we could follow and make it safely into harbor. So we pulled to the side of the toll plaza, cars spraying past us as we sat huddled in the SUV waiting for our tugboat captain to appear. And appear he did!

He was right. The hotel wasn’t far away and once we got behind him, it was really only

We made it! Thanks Roger!!

 one more exit up the highway. But rather than tell us to calm down and listen to the directions one more time, he felt it best to get in the limo, find us, and let us follow him in. Now that’s what I call going the extra mile….literally.


be a pal, not a HAL

This month our newest release is a sales book, one of the most “back to basics”, “how to personally interact with the customer” books that I’ve read.

Sales, like all other industries, is constantly changing. Technology has changed how people get pricing, locate, and even review, products. In short, everything is out there. This is great, but the bottom line is that people do business with those they know will treat them fairly and who go out of their way to provide an outstanding product or customer service. That’s the human equation. And no amount of SEO ranking can take away the importance of that in the long run.

I sold books for two years in college during my summers with the Southwestern Company. My father, the consummate salesman, told me that if I could make a sale from a cold call, I could do anything in life. In a lot of ways he was right! He also used to joke with me that I should put my head through the door, and not my foot, because then I could keep talking even when they slammed the door!

But the most important thing I learned during those summers was the criticality of the human interaction. Many feel sales is a numbers game. If I make ten calls and close one sale that means I have a conversion rate of 10%. Determine the number of sales I have to make to meet my goal and I can extrapolate the number of calls I have to make.

 But what if I made two sales calls a day and closed both of them? That’s what I did. That means I can spend a lot more quality time with each customer. I spent hours at people’s houses. They cooked me meals, shared family photos, gave me kittens, and yes, bought my encyclopedia set. It was a great product, they liked me, and that made the sale happen.

I love technology because it allows me to begin to connect with a wider audience. But in the end, it’s all about how we personally interface with each other that defines the relationship, be it sales or otherwise.

Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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February 2020
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