|MOBE Daily #47|
“Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.”
– Roy Bartell
What’s the very first thing an aspiring entrepreneur should do?
Print business card? Get all their stationary ready along with a new computer set-up? Go look for a new office to rent? Go and get funding ready? Get a logo designed?
None of that stuff.
The very first thing you ought to do is go try and sell your product / service to a potential customer. If that doesn’t work, try again. And then again. And again.
Get your ‘minimum viable product’ together and just go see if someone actually is willing to pay for it after talking to a hundred or more prospects.
And if you don’t know how to sell, go learn.
When I first got serious about building wealth and starting business’s, I knew I had to get some sales experience.
So I started looking for a commission-only job. I didn’t want a base. I wanted to put myself in a situation where it was either ‘learn to swim, or drown’ – a safety net would have slowed down my progress.
I found a telemarketing job for one of the biggest phone company’s in Australia called Telstra. The task was to call back former customers and get them to move their phone plan back to Telstra. We could also upsell them Foxtel, and sell them cell phone plans too.
Most of the people being called had left for a reason.
They were either unsatisfied, or had found a cheaper service elsewhere.
Some of them outright hated Telstra, so when I and my fellow telemarketers called them, they’d let out an outburst of profanity. This was character-building stuff.
The first week on the job was training. We got paid $300 during training, and mostly it consisted of learning the scripts and role playing with one another.
I took it really seriously. During my drive home at the end of each day, I’d be talking to myself in the car reciting my scripts, and imagining what I’d say to my prospects’ different questions and objections.
I remember discovering this famous scene from Glengarry Glen Ross on youtube – ‘Always Be Closing’ – I must have watched that 20 times to pump myself up about selling.
(I’ll share the link with you, but if you’re easily offended by a few swearwords, don’t watch it. Here’s the scene: com/watch?v=v9XW6P0tiVc)
I still think this is Alec Baldwins greatest scene of his career!
Anyway, after a week of training I was ready to get on the phones and start calling.
I remember sitting in my cubicle, headset on, with music coming through while the automatic dialer called my first lead.
“Hello?” a voice suddenly said on the other end of the line.
“Uh hi, my names Matt, I’m calling from Telstra today to see if I can save you some money… on your phone bill and…”
Beep, beep, beep, beep.
They’d hung up on me. This was going to be tougher than I thought.
I spent all morning getting cut off, and barely taking any conversation past 3 minutes. But I kept making adjustments, and slowly my confidence built up.
The entire first day, I sold nothing and therefore made nothing.
But the next day, I sold my first phone plan! I only made something like $15. But it was really exciting.
As the days went on, I got better and better.
Within a few weeks, I was having days where I’d make between $250 – $350 in commissions. That was a lot of money for me back then – much more than I’d make as a waiter, or any of the typical jobs other students were doing.
Within a couple months I was ranked something like #15 in the country for the most monthly sales. That probably sounds better than it was, because there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. But I was still proud of myself.
I spent a good 4 months in that job and I not only removed my fear of selling, but I learned to like selling. I was genuinely saving the people I spoke to money on their phone plans.
Looking back, that decision to go do a commission-only sales job was one of the best I ever made for my career as an entrepreneur.
Till this day, I still consider myself a salesman. The only thing that’s changed is the commissions are a bit bigger.
If you’re afraid to sell, or feel squeamish about it, my advice to you is just start selling and embrace it.
You don’t have to take a telemarketing job – but just start selling your product or service and make sure every day you’re having conversations with prospects which end in you asking them to make a decision.
One last thing; if you get good at selling, I guarantee you your sales copy (your writing – emails, blog posts, etc) will be so much stronger. You’ll know what makes people actually buy, and you’ll be able to then sell to the masses and have a lot more leverage.
Let’s get into todays videos…