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Biz Maker: The Tale of Two Salespersons (Part 3, Conclusion)

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)

By MARK SO

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog for Part 1 and 2. For those of you who have not yet read those, please go to http://www.markso.wordpress.com.

In Part 2 of my blog, I wrote that 25% of the commenters were undecided as to whether they were Yin or Yang salespersons, and about 2% of this group (a very small number) felt that a great salesperson should be a balance of both. I totally agree: Yangs must learn from the Yins, and likewise, Yins must learn from Yangs but honestly, it is easier said than done.

Just learning skills from each other and developing these would be the obvious way to reach a balance, but I believe that having a deeper understanding of sales is the real answer.

So here I will explain that being a great salesperson is NOT just about developing a skill or transforming yourself from Yin to Yang or vice versa. Instead, evolving as a salesperson is simpler than you think.

Let’s begin. In my sales and marketing seminars, I ask my students what their motivation for selling is. Can you guess what their three main answers are? They were: 1. money; 2. recognition; and 3. more money.

To which I say, “That’s very honest of all of you, but you see, you don’t need to sell to get money and recognition. You can inherit wealth (money), or you can learn to Invest and grow your money. You can invent a new gadget or write an article for a newspaper for recognition. In other words, what you mention are motivations, but not really motivations to make you sell better.”

And the room gets very quiet. So I continue, “You see the best salespeople in the world, whether Yin or Yang, are motivated by only two things when they start selling. They are: 1. excited and motivated by the product itself; and 2. They absolutely care about the people that they sell to, their customers.”

You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Believe In

My wife Jhoanna is, as I mentioned earlier, a Super Yin; she absolutely gets freaked out when she needs to do the selling herself, but not when it comes to our seminars and our real estate properties.

Jhoanna absolutely believes in practical education; she has read self-help and how-to books all her life and has become a maven of information. The seminars we hold at Businessmaker Academy are the product of her beliefs (and mine, of course); she is very proud of them and is willing to sell them to anyone who inquires about them. When she is in the office and she answers a phone call inquiring about any of our seminars, her face lights up and she can sell very naturally and easily. (She closes 99% of them!)

The same goes for real estate; yes, she loves real estate. In fact, ever since she was seven years old, she would regularly encircle with a red marker the properties for rent or sale in the Classifieds section of the Manila Bulletin and ask her parents to call and inquire how much it was. She would even insist on going with her family every Sunday to see some of the properties they owned at that time. She was and still is obsessed with real estate, so when one of our condominium units was turned over to us, she was able to rent it out on the first day we opened the door (I am not exaggerating). This is the power of believing in your product.

You Should Not Sell If You Do Not Care For the People You Sell To

Notice that I said “should not,” and not “cannot” because you can sell to people you don’t care about, but your customers will know that you are not selling for their benefit but for yours only. This is the other must-have ingredient when it comes to selling very well. You must love your customers for you to be able to gain their trust and their loyalty. It is very hard to fake sincerity, and without sincerity, there can never be trust. If the customer trusts you, the customer will buy from you; it’s that simple.

I really care about my customers, and they know it. It is not about what I say; it is about what I do that makes my customers understand that my businesses and I are here for them. In my seminars I tell my students that I am sincerely excited to be here today to teach them, and indeed I am excited and thrilled. I always am, because at the end of the day, I love the feeling of being able to help, inspire, and provide a means for a better life for all of them.

After my seminars, they come up to me and say “thank you” and the next time they come over, I shake their hands and ask about their families or how their startup business is doing, I mention the details of our meeting several weeks ago and they are surprised that I remembered. These small things, these sincere things that I do over time, show my customers that I care.

But I go several steps further. I don’t just sell to my customers, I build businesses around them to provide them with what they need. And my customers gladly buy almost any product that I offer them because: one, I believe in and trust the product that I’m selling, and two, all my long-time customers know I am selling something that I believe can be used for their best interests.

I am not perfect, and neither is my wife, but in my examples above, Jhoanna and I, together with our growing businesses, continue to strive to be better salespeople using these two very simple truths in selling. I hope it will help you too in your quest to be even better as a salesperson now and in the future. Good luck and God bless!

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and Mark So. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of copyright holders.)

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Biz Maker: The Tale of Two Salespersons (Part 2)

(Originally published on Wednesday, June 9, 2010)

By MARK SO

First off, I’d like to thank all of those who visited my blog and commented on Part 1. (For those of you who have not yet read it, please go to http://www.markso.wordpress.com) I was amazed and happy to read some of the comments that came very, very close to what I will be revealing today, and validated what I believe a True Salesperson should be.

45% of those who commented said they were Yins, 30% said they were Yangs, and 25% were unsure. And out of all the comments, a whopping 91% believed that Yins would outsell the Yangs! And that verdict is absolutely, in my experience, correct. Yangs can move mountains when it comes to selling, but it is the Yins who are the ones who can best influence and maximize the full selling potential of the Yangs. And it is the Yins who have the best chance of closing deals if they so want to.

One comment on my blog says a lot: “I am a Yin but I know that I can beat the Yang… How? By hiring a Yang to sell for me. Hehehe. I am not the type of person willing to develop my weaknesses; (rather, I am) a person who wants to look for a person who can compensate (for them). Regards!” – Julius

That comment is classic Yin thinking and I applaud Julius for his insight. But it is not enough to just hire Yangs, because they can also hire other Yangs to sell for them.

The true power of the Yin is that they can control, correct, influence, and persuade Yangs to be the best they can be. Yins Naturally Control Yangs I want you to picture a thoroughbred champion racehorse, a powerful and magnificent creature. That’s a Yang Salesman.

A champion racehorse can run 55 to 65 kilometers per hour, which is pretty fast. Anyone (with a lot of money) can buy one (hire a Yang salesman), but not everyone can ride one (control a Yang salesman). Only the right jockey can control the racehorse, and typically jockeys are no more than 5’5” in height and weigh no more than 116 pounds. Jockeys look normal in every sense of the word; you might not even notice them most of the time, but they have a great power that allows them to control the racehorse.

Now think of the jockey as the Yin. Without the Yin, a racehorse can run like the wind, but it will not be able to run as efficiently as when the jockey is in control, even with the additional weight. Do you get the picture? Good, let me go a little deeper now, back to salesmanship. You see, not all Yins want to become jockeys.

In other words, not all Yins venture into sales because few Yins think it is possible for them to succeed in it. From the comments coming from Yins on my blog, it is apparent that most Yins think that to be a true salesperson, you need to be a Yang. But I want to let everyone know that there is no need for a transformation, just a little confidence in that you have what it takes as a Yin to possibly be the greatest salesperson ever.

I’d like to add another comment from my blog: “…with perseverance, direction, interest, and positive perception … you can make your goal come true…(It’s) within you…” – Sofia

Great words Sofia, and let me add this truth: All Yins, and only the Yins, have the power to control the Yangs if they wanted to. Can you imagine a racehorse controlling another racehorse, or an outgoing, extroverted person controlling another outgoing extroverted person? In some cases it can work, but experience tells me that in most cases, that relationship will be explosive; in Tagalog, “Kapag pinagsama ang dalawang taong malakas ang dating, sasabog iyan (Put together two strong personalities, and they will explode).”

Now, when it comes down to it, customers naturally like Yins more than Yangs You see, it’s very simple. Yang salespersons have a tendency to repel other Yangs, and if the other Yang happens to be a potential customer, getting a super Yang to close will most likely turn into a contest of who can convince the other. Instead of just closing the deal, a Yang has the tendency to oversell, which is a big no-no in sales.

I have had the privilege of seeing my wife (a super Yin) sell a few times, and she closes 99% of them (fantastic, if you ask me). My wife will admit to anyone though that she is not comfortable doing the selling on her own. But still, she manages to get the customer to buy anyway because of this simple truth: Yins are perceived as ordinary honest folk who do not sell but who give advice and make honest recommendations.

In other words, if a Yin is selling, customers usually let their guard down and are more open to possibilities. And customers are open to what the Yin has to say, 99% of the time they will buy, because Yins will almost always tell the truth. And in the world of selling, truth and honesty are the key to sales success.

So for Yins out there, listen to what I have to say: there is no need to be a great talker, no need to be a great presenter, no need to be a great charmer. There are only two things you have to learn to become possibly the greatest salesperson in the world. One, have confidence in yourself. Two, learn how to close the deal.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I explain how Yangs can harness the power of the Yins, and teach Yins how to gain more confidence and close the deal. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you regarding this article. Please leave a comment on my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and Mark So. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of copyright holders.)

Biz Maker: The Tale Of Two Salespersons, Part One

(Originally published on May 23, 2010)

By MARK SO

(Part 1)

Here’s another insightful and true story from my wonderful life, especially in the field of salespersonship. I call this story ‘The Tale of Two Salespersons’ because there are generally two kinds of salespersons in this world: the one you think is the true salesperson, and the one that you think will never be able to sell water to a thirsty man.

Sales or learning how to sell is important in whatever you do. As I always say in my seminars, “Sales is not a position, it is a way of life,” and so I hope this article will teach you what it takes to be a salesperson. Realize who between the two kinds of salespersons you identify with, who will outsell the other, and what you should do about it now.

Let me start by painting a picture of the first salesperson. Tell me if you can relate, if he or she is someone you have already met; in fact, this person was probably the one who sold you that kitchen gadget that you have never used in your life. You bought it just because the person was so convincing, or so persistent (may have even been a bit annoying) that even if you were allergic to apples, you bought the “handy, dandy apple slicer” anyway. That kind of “talent” is apparent among many superstar salesmen, and it’s called persuasiveness.

Have you met that kind of person before? I’m sure you have.

So I’m going to just call those kinds of salespeople “Yangs.” Yangs are very confident people. Some are obnoxious but most are charming, funny, generous, extroverted, persistent, and above all, persuasive. Yangs are people who can sell ice to Eskimos. Give them a product, a reason, and a prospective buyer, and see the magic called selling happen right in front of your eyes. And if they don’t get to sell it the first time, rest assured they will not stop until they do, even if it’s to the 100,000th buyer who comes along.

Can you picture the first salesperson in your mind now? Good, now let me describe the second type of salesperson. This type of person is someone you have also encountered in your life. In fact this might even apply to you, so tell me if you can relate.

This second salesperson is absolutely scared of selling. They do not like it, do not possess the indestructible confidence that “Yangs” do, and they seem to not have the “X” factor to be successful in sales. They would rather have a job in accounting, engineering, research and development, etc. as long as they don’t need to interact with customers or even try to convince anyone to buy anything. On the surface, they seem very soft and vulnerable, quiet, not noticeable, even a bit introverted most of the time. They are the exact opposite of “Yangs,” which is why I will call the second salesperson a “Yin.” If you are familiar with the symbol of Yin and Yang, these two types of salespersons are the exact opposites of each other, night versus day, extroverted versus introverted, the ultimate salesperson versus the ultimate anti-salesperson. Can you picture it?

Good. Now tell me which of the two kinds of salesmen will outsell the other in the long run? Please post a comment stating “Yang” or “Yin” on my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com and see for yourself what the public thinks.

I am quite sure that at this point you have your favorites and I really do look forward to seeing your comments and thoughts. So go ahead and go to my blog now and look for the article “Tale of Two Salespersons (Part 1).”

You see, my dear readers, I am, as you may have guessed a “Yang.” I possess all of the characteristics of a “Yang” salesperson (plus the fact that I’m incredibly handsome ha ha ha) and I can literally find a way to sell ice to Eskimos. Selling, to me, is like breathing; I simply can’t live without it, I am deadly persuasive when I want to be, I can influence people with skills developed over decades of trial and error, and I don’t mind rejection (well not as much as I used to, that is) as I sell with purpose and with experience. In fact, in all the businesses that I have, I am always the number one salesperson in all of them.

But. And this is a big BUT. There are people in my organizations that outsell even me, the number one salesperson. Would you like to know who they are? Could they be even more developed Yangs, you think? Or God forbid, could they be Yins? Want to find out? Then stay tuned to the next article where I discuss this most intriguing revelation that not even the most successful salespeople in the world realize.

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and Mark So. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)

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