The Sales Manifesto
Sales is the most noble profession that exists.
Sales helps you cut your teeth and find out who you are.
It makes you feel alive on the battlefield.
It creates strength. It gives purpose.
The art of sales, tracking one’s activity, actions and production allows for true self-analysis and growth unlike any other profession.
No sitting around pushing numbers on an Excel spreadsheet – kill or be killed is the name of the game.
As a vehicle for personal growth, sales is second-to-none for one gets to learn about themselves over and over again, every second of the day when the sales process is going on.
Sales teaches a person to learn how to face rejection. How to get knocked down nine times and stand up ten. How to actually ENJOY the utter insanity of other human beings instead of taking the day to day craziness, personally. How to build up the understanding that everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about and all we can really do is keep our side of the street clean.
Sales also happens to be the greatest vehicle for monetary growth that exists. Most jobs have a salary cap – and if you do what your boss says and you don’t get fired, you’ll maintain that salary and you’ll get your paycheck every week. And if you’re lucky enough to please your corporate overlords, you WILL get a 2% raise, every year.
Sales, on the other hand, allows for an infinite amount of money to be made because it is one of the only jobs where the amount of activity (doing the CORRECT activity, of course!) always dictates how much money a salesperson will make.
If the salesperson wants more money, they can easily do so. They just have to work harder and become smarter about building their business.
Sales is also noble in that it is the salesperson’s job to make the recommendations that will create change in people’s lives – no other profession does that in the same way.
Sure, the marketing department does SOME stuff. They can write copy and design ads and craft a branding strategy and raise awareness. And yes, the people who manufacture or deliver on the product/service one is selling have a lot to do with the actual transformation of the prospect’s life / business once they become a buyer.
But NOTHING…and we mean NOTHING in this world happens without a salesperson having the courage to go out into the world and talk to a prospect, understand their problems and concerns, decide whether or not the product they’re selling is a fit and finally, make an educated recommendation to their future clients.
When you sell something, you change someone’s life. Period. End of story.
You are not selling ‘the thing’ you’re selling – you’re selling a transformation, always. You’re selling change, growth, possibility.
Do you sell roofs? You don’t sell roofs. You sell the peace of knowing that the client’s greatest investment, their home, is going to be protected from rain, sleet, snow and wind. You sell the comforting notion that all of the client’s most prized possessions, from the old, yellowed, black and white photographs of their parents as babies to their grandfather’s acoustic guitar to the first edition books they have sitting on their living room bookshelf will be safe.
Do you sell coffee machines? You don’t sell coffee machines. You sell the excitement of the journey that becoming a deeper lover of coffee can bring – a new coffee machine that allows for more taste, an all-encompassing appreciation of the flavors and a chance to let new flavors from all over the world wash over the client’s tongue like never before. You sell the beauty of making an investment in an important (and, for some, mission-critical) daily ritual – no more $30 “Mr. Coffee” from Walmart – this new machine will allow you to harness MORE out of this life experience, each morning, with a robust and exhilarating cup of coffee.
Do you sell chemicals to concrete companies? You don’t sell chemicals to concrete companies. You sell the stability, x and x. You sell a relationship where you jump to serve them. You sell the fact that you’re always watching their back, checking the latest industry standards and being more than just someone who can get them a cheaper price on their chemicals.
Think about what you sell and map out the transformation.
Right now, take out a pen and do that.
What are you REALLY selling? Because whatever you think you’re selling is NOT actually the thing.
And let’s be clear – almost NONE of these transformations happen without a salesperson present.
Nine times out of ten, the buyer will get in his or her own way and talk themselves out of making a good decision or be swayed by other factors (which are NOT based in reality) that have dire consequences for their lives. When a salesperson is able to guide the process, they are able to help the prospect make a good decision that will, quite literally, transform their life, their family’s life or their business life, forever.
HR doesn’t do that. Marketing doesn’t do that. Manufacturing doesn’t do that.
Never forget the important role that you play in the economic machine as you write business and close deals throughout your work week. YOU are the gas that makes the engine run. Without you, your company would fail in an instant. Try pulling someone from marketing onto the sales floor to have a conversation with a customer, expertly handle their objections and guide them towards making a solid buying decision – it’ll never happen.
Because not only is your position and role in the company important, your personality and the skills you’ve developed to consistently make sales has never been more crucial.
Most people can’t take the rejection. They can’t take being told “no” twenty times in a week. They can’t take the pressure of going into the meeting with a pitch deck in front of ten, high-powered executives, knowing that your entire year’s performance rests on the next thirty minutes of your life. They can’t take the grind of the sales cycle – filling the pipe with leads, booking appointments, going on the appointments, following up, mining your network for referrals…week after week after week after week…it’s a marathon, not a sprint and most people don’t have the endurance or the PATIENCE to stick with that kind of hustle for more than a few months.
If you’re reading this book right now, you have tapped into an incredible source of power within you that has allowed you to get to this point in life.
You’ve developed a thick skin to give no credence to rejection, you’ve developed tenacity to stay in the game, the ferocity needed to wrestle a deal to the ground and win it, the vision to get up each day and do it all over again.
You are in the top 10% of the population in terms of those skills and you are in a field on which there is NO ceiling on what you can earn.
Every day, the things that you do and the skills that you’ve developed are what drive the economy forward. Without you, your company would fail.
Always remember that.
But also remember this – you can ALWAYS be better.
And now, more than ever, is the time to shine for the true salespeople among us.
Over the last twenty years or so, the standards in the sales profession have become lower and lower and lower. Salespeople expect more benefits and time off for less work. The younger generation desires the life of a “digital nomad” instead of the old school sales grind that created legends in our industry. And without a group of salespeople that were trained by “carrying the briefcase” and sitting at the kitchen table across from Mr. and Mrs. Jones, there has been an inherent degradation of fortitude and strength across the entire sales profession.
How do we know? Because not only do we train sales forces across a number of different industries (from roofing companies to SASS providers to industrial chemicals) but we also hire and train our OWN salespeople.
And we can tell that in no uncertain terms, these changes and degradation of standards in the sales industry that have negatively impacted every industry’s sales forces.
As a result, every company that employs a team of salespeople could be creating more profits, driving more revenue and be on the lookout for better, sharper, stronger, faster sales team hires – if only they knew where to look.
It is a problem that needs to be solved in two ways: the first way is for the management team to understand that while their goals of higher profits and more clients haven’t changed, the incoming crop of salespeople has changed dramatically. And if a company wants to adhere to high standards of metrics for their sales forces, they must change the way they hire, train and manage this new generation of salespeople.
The second way the problem must be solved is by the salespeople, themselves. The men and women who recognize that the sales profession as a whole has lowered its standards and it’s up to them to raise those standards back up to new heights. They must understand that the competition is so scare and so fat and lazy right now, it is ripe for the pickings for them to go in and crush numbers and stand out amongst everyone else. Some of the salespeople who choose to raise their standards will stay career salespeople – they’ll move around to different industries with higher margins and more recurring books of business while others will move into management positions or even start their own businesses as a result of the growth that their careers in sales have given them.
Whatever the long term path is, the fact is this: you cannot become the best, you cannot create the life that you truly desire for yourself unless you make a commitment to change. And very often, a commitment to change starts with looking in the mirror and realizing that you could be doing better.
That you could be selling more, prospecting harder…that your base salary has made you lazy as a salesperson and you’ve been dragged down by your peers who don’t want to work as hard as you.
That you could be managing and hiring better – not doing the same thing and expecting different results, wondering why your sales numbers have been the same for 8 quarters in a row. Stopping the process of banging your head against your desk, wondering why you have to hire 15 sales reps to find one decent one and instead, looking to find a different process and a new system for creating a powerful sales machine.
Through our books, courses and corporate sales training programs, our goal is to eradicate the diseases that are eating away at the sales profession and turn the entire industry back towards a bright and shining future.