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The Psychology of Selling By Pat Evans


We all know there are two types of people: those who say, “My glass is half empty,” and those who say, “Isn’t that my glass?” I’m an “Isn’t that my glass?” person.

I have learned over the years that negative thinking is a waste of time. Blaming people is a bad habit that takes up a large part of a typical person’s day. I’ll prove it. Your homework assignment will be very simple: DON’T BLAME ANYONE FOR ANYTHING FOR THREE DAYS. This includes slow and/or moronic car drivers, your spouse or significant other, your children, prospects, and watch out for this one — people in your own firm. If you mentally blame any person for anything, start over with a fresh three days. E-mail me when you have successfully completed the task, but keep in mind my life expectancy.

Blame can be split into two categories: guilt or shame. You suffer guilt when you cause an action. Shame occurs when you begin to believe you are a bad person because of some action you took. Shame has nothing to do with attaining sales quotas and is a destructive force. Guilt can be controlled by taking charge of your life. Act responsibly and you will be perceived as a responsible person. You will then evolve into a responsible rep or entrepreneur and accept blame.

When you sell, you always have to be thinking, you may have a better solution than what you are faced with. How can you negotiate like an entrepreneur so you can close more deals? I have many examples of this type of thinking but one of my favorites includes a hobby of mine. I have raced sailboats since I was eight years old. My present sailboat has a roller furling jib and mains’l. The outhaul unfurls the sail while a sheet or reef line furls it and vice versa. So every time I utilize a sail by unfurling it, one sheet retracts and one line elongates.

This is how you should visualize a close. If a prospect wants your firm to give a discount or throw in extras, answer yes, but first explain what you mean. For example, a prospect wants money off on a maintenance contract. Okay, but explain there are two types of contracts that you offer. Full price gives the prospect onsite response within four hours. The discounted contract offers a slower response so a technician will show up by the end of the next day. This means the firm’s mail or packages will not be sent or shipped out for one or two days. I never once had anyone choose the slow response discounted plan.

Write It down!

Isn’t that my glass? Every time you think to blame someone, turn it into a positive. Create a Franklin “T” inside your head and when a negative idea surfaces like the dread you may feel about possibly losing a deal, simply look on the positive side of the “T” and read off the counterbalance, I will succeed and win the deal. Will yourself to think in a positive format. You do not gain any advantage by thinking negatively.

If you feel someone messed up you should create a constructive series of questions to pose to the individual. “When can we expect __________ to occur in your department?” Do not dwell on mistakes. As Warren Buffett says, “If you don’t make mistakes, you can’t make decisions. You can’t dwell on them.”
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Pat Evans is the author of SalesBURST!! World’s Fastest (entrepreneurial) Sales Training (Wiley; October 2007), past national spokesperson for NODMA, and was founder of EVCOR, a small business that eventually grew to $40 million in annual revenue and sold for $60 million. Visit www.EvanSales.com.

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