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SELL MORE AND BETTER,
ETERNAL SALES TECHNIQUES
(Salesman’s Thoughts 1)
Raúl Sánchez Gilo
All rights reserved
© Copyright 2018 by Raul Sanchez Gilo
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the owner of the intellectual property.
Cover design: Rosamaria Bertol Astasio
Second edition in English, 2018
(Translated from the © Spanish edition 2016 and 2018 by the Author)
To Rosamari for her love and patience
Notes to the Second Edition.
CHAPTER 1: MY COMMITMENT TO JIN
CHAPTER 2: SELL MORE AND BETTER
What is Sell?
CHAPTER 3: THE SELLERS
What it means to be a Seller?
The Seller of the Future
Fifteen Weaknesses of Sellers
The Seven Virtues of the Seller
CHAPTER 4: THE PRODUCT
About the Product
Is my Product a good, a service or an idea?
I am a different Product, I have Brand
The Product and the Price
A Quality egg
What about we kill the Product?
CHAPTER 5: THE CUSTOMER
About the Customer
Types of Clients
The Motivations of Customers
Know and Follow up your Customer
But where are the Customers?
I am an Important Client, by rule and without rule
The Satisfied Customer
The Mystery of the Cover
The great support and warm reception of this book by all the readers of the first edition have encouraged me to publish this extended Second Edition, both digital and printed.
In this edition, an extra chapter has been added at the end which somehow completes the book at explaining what represent all the elements of the original cover. Some of them appear throughout the book, as is the case of the tiger, the book and the egg. Others, such as the mysterious blue box, have a large relationship with all the concepts and sales topics that are described throughout the book and in this edition their meaning are revealed.
Thus, the title of the new chapter is ‘The Mystery of the Cover.’ Although, from now on, as a challenge, the reader is invited to try to discover the mystery for himself and to think about what these elements represent during the reading and conclusion of the book.
In any case, and before you read the last chapter, I will be happy to receive your interpretations, as I have done with the readers of the first edition. The surprise for me was that it had more interpretations than the one I gave at first, many of them very interesting and original, so it will be a pleasure to hear your opinion in this email: email@example.com
I want to take advantage of this opportunity to thank all the opinions, reviews and comments of the many readers, both in the Spanish and English edition. It would be impossible to name them all, but I want to highlight the great unanimity of positive reviews received from great sales masters, from well-known professionals with a lot of experience and expertise as salespeople, sales team managers, business owners, both B2B and B2C, from sellers of all sectors, sales coaches, as well as other authors and experts in the art of selling. Your opinions are very important to me, I keep them all in my heart, and they encourage me to keep writing. I dedicate this Second Edition to all of them with a big Thank You!!
To you, new reader, I hope you like it, that it motivates and inspires you in your daily work and mainly that you have fun, since that’s what it’s all about at the end. Meanwhile, I am sure that this wonderful phrase of a classic will inspire you to discover the Eternal Sales Techniques:
‘If you want to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.’ (Cicero)
See you inside.
If you sell, or want to sell, this book is for you. Do not leave your destiny to chance; discover with this book what is really to sell. You will not regret. The eternal knowledge of how to sell more and better has always been there, and will be there beyond the latest technological changes, fashions, beyond the internet and beyond when it be overtaken by other media, call it virtual reality or artificial intelligence, or whatever the future holds for us, but always, always, the concepts explained here will be valid, since we are human beings, and that is what makes the difference.
You don’t know why you’re not able to sell more? You don’t know how to build customer loyalty in your business? How to sell better? Do you want to get more and better customers, more profits, and succeed selling? This book answers your questions. Discover what is really Sell, with capital letters:
Eternal and universal concepts, applicable to any field, any industry and at any level, to get what we want most. This book can help anyone —involved or not in selling products or services— to improve their commercial and human nature understanding, to learn or relearn the basics of selling, and to move on from here. But anyway, do not think that this is only the beginning, or the end, but a way, in this case the best of the ways, because it is lighted by the spirit, and by the heart, which we all have.
Whether novices or experts who have taken vices over many years, this book is especially dedicated to:
Sellers, salespersons, businessmen, technicians, entrepreneurs, exporters, dealers, traders, storekeepers, sales managers, suppliers, distributors, travelers, exhibitors, merchants, general managers, account executives, business owners, negotiators, advisers, agents, representatives, executives, intermediaries, middlemen, consultants, developers, opinion leaders, trainers, marketing experts, coaching experts, motivators, networking experts, e-commerce experts, bloggers, experts in tourism, in human resources, personal shoppers, insurance agents, sponsors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, students of economics and business, marketing, sales or many other careers, and thus a long etcetera.
In fact, the concepts explained here should be studied in any career, since everyone, somehow, have a client-facing facet: engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, veterinarians, economists, entrepreneurs, computer experts, pharmacists, telco experts, communicators, designers, politicians, hoteliers, journalists, advertisers, musicians, artists, photographers, translators, public relations, social works, business management, and many others.
In short, this book is aimed at all those who, in one way or another, have a business relationship. The long list, almost comic, is just another way of saying that ultimately affects everyone in the industry and in life, at all levels.
It is also dedicated to all those who are looking for an entertaining book, with no magic solutions, which helps to think and is full of concepts and principles to negotiate and sell more and better.
Selling and trading in an intelligent way is an ancient knowledge, just that today we have complicated it a bit more, with the new technologies, the marketing, the new era, with new ways of working and interacting with customers, with internet, the big data and with a thousand more complications. At the end, to a greater or lesser extent, it will always be essential to know what we already knew, and that we are forgetting with the routine. This book teaches to sell, beyond all these complications, but it is not a bible on sales, because there is no such thing as to answer everything, neither about this nor about any other matter, but you will already discover that by yourself...
Accompanied by our guides, we will make an amazing trip that will catch us, full of principles, ideas, metaphors, double meanings, a lot of humor, and surprising relationships between concepts which will discover us the authentic way to sell more and better.
Among many other things:
We will analyze the human needs and what means to sell and be a salesman.
We will enter inside the seller/salesperson to check what the seller of the future will be like.
We will discover our main weaknesses and strengths, and how to use them in our favor, a trip to ourselves.
We will immerse ourselves in the secrets of the product, how to get the best out of it, and how to sell ideas.
From an old grain of rice to the internet, we will find out how to benefit from added values such as the brand.
We will ‘bull-fight’ the price; we will expose the formula of product value and how to define our value proposition.
The soul of the sword will catch us, as we reveal the mystery of the egg and how to use the quality to achieve the customer satisfaction.
We will try to kill the product while going through its life cycle and we will learn how to direct our efforts at each stage.
We will know better our customer and will discover the best classification.
We will get drunk, literally, to discover the desires and motivations of customers, how to understand them and influence them.
We will explore how to manage customer relationship and their follow-up.
We will visit the old market to understand where customers are, how to identify potential customers and our ideal customer.
We will be surprised at how to better manage our time and effort, and our results, with Pareto’s rule or without it.
We will learn to optimize customer satisfaction, so that we do not have to play cards, and we will learn to sell ideas and manage expectations.
We will arrive at the endless knot to convert each sale in the beginning of the next, with the final formula to get customer loyalty and amply meet their needs.
We will know the heart of the tiger, and the wheel of life; and we will have fun on the trip.
Go ahead; discover the eternal and exclusive knowledge that is waiting for you ... Success and many sales!
(Note: from now on, as a more general, broader concept, we will use ‘seller’ to refer also to ‘salesman/salesperson’, including not only those whose job it is specifically to sell but also to any person, company or organization that also sells, to which all concepts and advices are also applicable)
This is not a tale, nor an invented story, since it happened as it was, and condemned me since that time, forcing me to tell it, share it and even he talks to me.
I met him a night of heavy rain and cold, the doors of hell, or of heaven, had opened, and the air whistled to stun. There were few lights, I was walking through streets that I did not recognize and did not know where to take refuge. I looked everywhere and glimpsed an open shop, the only one that could be at these hours; a good option to hang out until it stops raining; to get lost in its aisles and shelves filled with thousands of unnecessary items, as I had done many other times, until most probably finding something that I didn’t know I needed until then, and that inevitably would buy, and it is that these Chinese stores have about everything.
I walked in without thinking, literally in another world, where I felt at ease, and that was what it was all about, about the experience; somehow, the famous Swedish furniture manufacturer and Chinese bazaars do the same, although at different levels: provide everything, at less price, and above all, to manage the customer experience for increasing your happiness when buying, even if you do not need so many things, but you always take the bait ... Why will it be?
I do not know how much time passed, I think it was still raining but I was not sure. As usual, my eyes ran through all that was there, the cave of Ali Baba, everything was a bargain, affordable, usable and desirable; I went through halls and corridors, it was fun. Without knowing how, I stepped into a darker corridor, slightly gloomy, full of items that looked broken and some nonsense, but I was already at that point where my mind was stunned after seeing hundreds of products, and didn’t know what I was looking for either —and if you asked, it was always down the hall— so I kept going without fear, sure that at the end I would find something extraordinary, and so it was...
Suddenly, after a corner, more light, more space, and someone in the background, behind a counter ... Would I’ve come back to the beginning of the store? ... It was all quite different from the entry, and here there was no entrance or exit, just a clerk waiting and smiling at me: a young guy who looked Asian, not Chinese, maybe Japanese, but not from the nowadays, but from another age by his dress; he was wearing a short and open kimono that seemed black silk, and which let see a pant with many folds —later I would know that they were seven folds, representing the seven virtues according to the bushido tradition (translated in the Japanese usage as ‘the way of the warrior’), or that they also represented the five elements plus the ying/yang duality according to Zen tradition, and that such wearing, the hakama, was formerly an status symbol that allowed to distinguish the samurai (‘the one who serves’ according to its original meaning), but I would learn later all that— now I had arrived at the counter and I nodded, I think I said ‘good nite’ or so, I do not remember well, I was astonished, and he corresponded me with another greeting, but more formal, respectful and sincere; in fact, it was the classic reverence, with his hands at his sides, studied and precise —I was nearly at the point to measure the angle with the smartphone, sure he bowed exactly 30 degrees— and although he seemed wishing to tell me something after the salute, he just looked at me for a while, I think he was waiting that I would talk to him, until I broke the ice:
“This part of the store seems different from the beginning, is there something special here?”
“Yes, there is,” he replied softly, “My name is Jin, and I’m here to help you choose it.”
“But I see nothing here that interests me,” and even if it were so, I was not going to say it, I thought.
“It’s true, you have been hanging around the store for a long time and did not decide on anything, so I’m glad you came here, since I’ve been in this shop longer than anyone else, and I’m the one who can best help you. Would you like to see something special? Somehow I nodded, “I warn you it is not suitable for everyone, it is only for certain types of customers as you, since it is clear that you have travelled a lot.” I do not know why I was not surprised that he knew that. “Do you like antiques?” Jin said.
“Not especially, and they are often expensive, not for my pocket.”
“But if I could offer you one free, would you be interested?”
“Well, it depends, in that case…”
“… I think it’s fine; furthermore it will make you happy and to others as well; I mean something intangible and eternal; let me explain you why, Mr.…”
“Raúl, my name is Raúl, but do not try to pronounce it, I know of a Chinese who tried several times and almost drowned. Finally I told him he could better call me Paul, and so I have always being called in my trips to Asia. You were Jin, right?”
“Yes, I am Jin, thanks for remembering, Mr. Paul.”
“Do not call me Mr., it makes me look older.”
“I get it. And I’m not Chinese, but Japanese.”
“Yes, you’re right, but that’s the stereotype we have: all Asians seem to be the same, even if they are not. Anyway, you’d better not try to say my name, Paul is fine.”
“All right, Paul.”
Jin bent down and took something under the counter; it was wrapped in an old and dirty cloth, full of dust. The fact is that he had piqued my curiosity, so nothing was wrong to find out what it was.
Meanwhile, I looked around; I was surprised that there was no one else in this hall. When I came there were other clients who also took refuge here from the rain, but now everything was solitary and silent, and all the light of the place was focused in that object that Jin was unwrapping parsimoniously. Time stopped. Finally I could see what Jin was offering to me: inside that tangle appeared a book that seemed very old and that he held in his hands as something delicate and important. It had a reddish wood cover, with engraved symbols that I did not know if they were Chinese, or Japanese, or a mixture of both, but that it seemed very artistic to me. While holding it and before letting me to see it, he told me the following story:
“This book is priceless. It belonged to my ancestors, and has passed from generation to generation for centuries, helping us in our lives: it helped my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents, and so on up to the first Japanese emperors; to all of them it helped to be happier and more successful in their life...”
Wow, an old self-help book, it must be the first one written, but he exaggerates a lot; that is, he descends from emperors, so that he has descended much ... at least down to this store. But I did not want to stop his speech...
“It was written by a very observant woman of the court who gazed the daily struggle of many families to survive and excel, mainly families of merchants and businessmen, who arrived at the court from every corner of the empire and beyond; only the best came to sell not only their products but also get the favors and attentions from the powerful of the court, and sometimes also from their women, but that is another story,” Jin said, with a gesture, smiling roguely and without covering his mouth completely.
What a pity, it was not a story of seduction, but of persuasion ... though I was wondering if it was not the same in the end.
“She noticed how some merchants had more success than others and wanted to analyze why. She talked with them, and she let herself be seduced by them, not in every way, you know.” He smiled again in roguish way.
I do not believe it, I’m sure that court was like all of them, a whorehouse...
“She listened carefully to everything they told her and tried to understand, earning the friendship of the art of commerce true masters, taking notes from all of them, looking at the different psychologies of each character, their knowledge, behaviors, and discovering their common techniques and patterns. Finally, she wrote this book to be put into practice by those who need to sell and sell themselves for any reason, and to serve as inspiration in their day to day life.”
“Well! I didn’t know there were such old sales books, I thought they were a modern fashion.”
“Trade and negotiation go along with man since ancient times, Paul; it is also said that she enjoyed the confidence of the emperor as main adviser in all his business issues.”
“OK, Jin … the story is cool, I am not sure to believe it at all, but if you don’t want to sell me the book, why do you tell me?” Jin, standing solemn, seemed to have the answer more than ready:
“Because we all want to be winners. Because I know that in one way or another you have sold, you have bought, they have sold you, they have bought you, and sometimes you do not know why it was or why it was not. Because you are a competitor and because you are also a seller...”
Why does he know that I have worked quite in the commercial field?
“And do you think I need this book?” I said to cut the cackle.
“No, I really need to you, Paul…”
Now he indeed surprised me, because he said it in such a way and sounded so familiar to me that seemed he knew me from long ago; I felt a tremor as when someone tap your shoulder unexpectedly, someone you have not seen for long time.
“I cannot allow this ancient knowledge gets lost; after all, it is a legacy of my ancestors, and I am the last and the only one who can read the old symbols and poems in which it is written and that women of the court used to use.”
“And what’s in it for me?”
“I’ll tell you what it says and you can tell it in your own way with my help, you publish it and so I can rest in peace knowing that the legacy of my ancestors is still alive and can help more people like it helped my family, and sure it will to you as well.”
“And I do not have to pay you royalties or commission?”
“No. Just that you contribute with your experience and you update it: the world has changed a lot since then, but most of the valuable concepts and advices that it contains are still valid and applicable today.”
“And why you not do it yourself?”
“It’s hard to explain ... I just cannot do it, but if you agree, for sure you will know exactly why, for now I can only say that I cannot publish it myself.”
While thinking about his proposal, I assumed that he would have some unresolved problem of papers that he could not explain; I always wanted to publish something, and it is a subject I have experience; now I had time, I was not working ... the situation was unusual, but he seemed sincere, and I do not usually reject opportunities. I’m thinking that ... I’ll take it.
“And how did you say the book is titled?”
“I did not say, but a possible translation would be ‘The art of selling more and better.’”
Jin gave me the book with a reverence. I took it, looked at it with curiosity, opened it from the middle and it was what I expected, the typical vertical writing symbols, unintelligible, I did not understand anything. But it had something special, maybe was the touch or knowing that was something so old and that was hiding secrets that could be interesting to decipher; but somehow it seemed that I had seen it before, perhaps in dreams, and I was feeling like a recognition...
I felt like I was coming out of a dream, or falling, or both, I shuddered, looked up and inexplicably Jin was no longer in front of me, he had disappeared ... confused, I looked everywhere, I called him several times, but nobody answered. My first intention was to leave the book on the counter, but the counter was not there either, it was all very strange. What had happened? Had I dreamed it? Maybe I took this book from one of the shelves and my mind began to wander and I imagined everything, I would have had a bad dinner or somebody put something in the drink, would I be stoned? Would it be a hidden camera? The fact is that there was a strange smell in the air, such as flowers (I would know later that that smell was of cherry blossoms). It took me quite a while to react and decide it was best to go out and ask at the store entrance.
I returned on my steps through the labyrinthine corridors. Did not know really where I was, I think I got lost several times and it took me a while to find the door. At the end, or the beginning, there was the Chinese guy of the entry at his counter, and I asked him:
“Excuse me, I would like to talk to your employee Jin, but don’t know where he is, could you please call him?” The Chinese looked at me puzzled; I think he thought I was drunk or worse. He replied in his own way:
“Here not be Jin, just me, my name is Chen.”
“Are you the only employee in the store?”
“Yes, can I help you with anything?”
“Haven’t you seen to go out an Asian man with wide pants, dressed in black, wearing a kimono...?”
“No, not seen.” The Chinese guy looked at the book I held in my hand, and said:
“At the end we have books if interested, but they are new.”
“Do you have someone like this one?”
“No, first time I see that, not Chinese, here all translated books. Strange book that, do you want to sell it?”
I was about to say yes ... that I wanted to sell it, but not to him ... I grabbed harder the book in my hands, as something valuable. It was clear that this book was not from the store, so I did not feel guilty about leaving without paying it.
The rain had stopped, although it was cold. I felt tired, and stunned, as after a long journey. I really do not remember how I got home. There, I was still in my world, thinking about what had happened without finding an explanation, with all those unanswered questions in my head: who was Jin? Was he really dressed like a samurai? Or was he just in my imagination? Then, from where I got this book? Where had he gone? And if he was not from the store, what was he doing there? ... There must be some hidden door, and sure he went through it while I was not looking. In any case, I will not meet him again, but if I don’t speak with him I cannot know what the book says, it will not be worth having it, maybe I could get something out of the book in an antiquarian ... Without stop questioning me, I remember I had a couple of beers to relax, and I guess I fell asleep.
I woke up startled, with that feeling that everything about yesterday was a dream, and maybe it was. I went to the kitchen, and came back to reality, or fatality, because the book was there, on the table, waiting for me, defiant, telling me I had something to do. I had breakfast with many questions in my mind, looking at the book, it was really nothing special, but again I felt I knew the book well before ... And why does my coffee suddenly smell like flowers?
“Of course you know it, Paul.”
“Ehhh!, Jin? ... What are you doing here? Where are you? I hope this is not a joke... ”
“I’m with you, but do not try to see me, you cannot... ”
That’s it, I am crazy, I hear voices in my head, I knew it would happen sooner or later, but not for two beers ... shit! ... I will not buy that brand again…
“You’re not crazy, Paul, a bit nutty maybe, but nothing serious.”
“And why I hear you but not see you?” I said a bit scared, while looking behind the curtains, opened all the doors, and made sure the TV was off, convincing myself that there was no one there.
“You already know the answer, Paul.”
“So yes, it was what I was afraid of, that you’re a kind of eh ... let’s say ... a ghost? A suffering soul?”
“Not at all. As I told you, only if we finish the mission I will rest in peace, but I am not a ghost like you imagine them.”
“Is it like a curse or something?”
“No, I’m just the last one of my family, like I told you, and I cannot leave without completing my legacy.”
“Then you’re dead? When was it? Yesterday you seemed very alive.”