I have had some pretty interesting experiences over the last 20 years. I was never trained as a salesman and pretty much learned on the job. Nothing motivates you to sell like paying a mortgage. My top 3 realizations:
1. If a customer wants to give you money, take it then and there.
2. If you have sold “it”, shut up and let “it” be sold, all you can do at that point is “unsell” — “it”.
3. Sometimes you have to tell the customer to buy “it”.
4. In preparing your long winded, graphic heavy, presentation remember to include a moment for the customer to buy. If they take that opportunity -see item 2 above.
5. Remember that every customer evaluates your product based on their own set of priorities. It’s up to you to determine what those priorities are and shape your “pitch” to show how your product realizes those priorities. For me those priorities can be fit, style, protection level, uniqueness, sameness, beliefs, etc.
6. People barter with small companies, but not with large established ones. No ones goes into Target and offers $10 less than MSRP, do they?
7. Someone has to be the boss, even in a partnership.
8. Know what you do or sell, and do or sell what you know. You can’t be a conglomerate from day 1.
9. Don’t be afraid to tell a customer NO.
10. Talk to your customers even when they don’t buy.
11. Women can help you sell to to a market dominated by men.
12. People buy in herds….others will assume value, investigate, and possibly buy, if others are buying from you. I believe the inverse to also be true.