Zig Ziglar's "golden rule" of selling...
Phil - thanks for sharing that sad news...
I read "Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale" many years ago... I remember picking up some good tips from that book.
I learned a lot from his chapter 7, "The Critical Step in Selling"...
I'm going to type in a part of that book (perhaps some here will buy it as a result)...
Zig Ziglar wrote:
[Beginning of Zig Ziglar quote]
Years ago (1963), I was the number one cookware salesman in America for the Saladmaster Corporation of Dallas, Texas. We lived in Columbia, South Carolina, and business was fantastic. An associate of mine, selling the same product in the same town, was "starving to death." Once, while visiting in his home, we were in the kitchen having a cup of coffee, talking about his sales decline, when the following dialogue took place:
Zig: "Bill, I know exactly what your problem is." Bill: "What's my problem, Zig?" Zig: "Your problem is simple. You're attempting the psychologically impossible." Bill: "What are you talking about?" Zig: "You're trying to sell a product you don't enthusiastically believe in." Bill: "Zig, that's crazy! Man, we've got the greatest set of cookware on the American market! It's absolutely fantastic! As a matter of fact, Zig, I left the company I'd been with for four years and came with Saladmaster because of the superiority of the product. In addition to that, I was a manager with the other company and started here as a salesman because of my belief in this product."
Zig: "Aw, come on, Bill. Peddle that baloney to other people! I know you and I know you don't believe what you're saying." Bill (a little hot under the collar): "You can say what you want to, but I know I believe in our product." Zig: "Bill, I can prove beyond any doubt that you do not really believe in the product you sell," and with that, I nodded toward the stove.
Bill: "Awwwww, you mean the fact that I'm cooking in a competitive set of cookware?" Zig: "Bill, that's exactly right." Bill: "Zig, don't give it a thought. Man, that's got nothing to do with it. I'm going to buy a set of our cookware, but you know I've had my problems. We wrecked our car and for a couple of months we had to depend on borrowed transportation, buses, and taxis. Now Zig, you know you can't get the job done in the sales world unless you have transportation you can depend on twenty-four hours a day.
"On top of that, my wife spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and I lost a lot of time and spent a lot of money. Now add the worry and concern I've had and surely you can understand why it knocked us for a loop! And it's not over, because it looks like we're going to have to put the boys in the hospital to get their tonsils out and Zig, we don't even have any insurance! You're right when you say we should have a set of the cookware, and we are definitely going to get a set, but the timing is just not right!"
Selling Is a Transference of Feeling
Zig: "Bill, let me ask you a question. How long have you been with this company?" Bill: "Oh, about five years." Zig: "Bill, what was your excuse last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that? [Pause.] Let me tell you exactly what happens when you get down to the "short rows" (that's Southern for decision-making time), when you ask your prospect that obligating question and he's 'thinking it over.' The decision ball is up in the air; yes is full commission, no is no commission.
"I can see the scene now, Bill, so let me paint the picture for you. The customer is thinking out loud as he says, 'I don't know, Bill. Boy, we sure need a good set of pots. I don't know how my wife cooks in that stuff she has, but it just doesn't seem like the right time to get 'em now. My wife's been in hospital, we just wrecked the family car, it looks as if the boys are going to have their tonsils taken out, and we don't even have any insurance!'
"Now Bill, you and I both know they're not about to give you exactly the same excuses you've been giving me. But we also know they are going to give you the same excuses you've been giving yourself for the last five years. You are well trained, Bill, so I know exactly what you are going to do every time they give you an excuse for not buying. You're going to sit there with a forced grin on your face, saying to yourself, 'Think positive now, Bill, think positive, Bill!' But all the time, deeeeeep down inside, you're going to be thinking, 'Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. That's the reason I don't have a set of the stuff myself.'
"Let me tell you something, Bill. The smartest thing you'll ever do, even if you've got to mortgage your furniture, is to buy a set of your own cookware. Hear me on this, Bill [and I'm going to say to all my selling friends as you read this book, if you stop reading right here or don't believe or follow through on anything else I say in this book, if you will buy - without reservation - my next statement, you will immediately be more effective at selling whatever you sell].
Selling is essentially a transference of feeling.
If I (the salesman) can make you (the prospect) feel about my product the way I feel about my product, you are going to buy my product, if there is any way in the world you can come up with the money.
"Now in order to transfer a feeling, you've got to have that feeling. When you're trying to persuade somebody to do something you have not done yourself, that fact comes across to the prospect. Of course, all salesmen can occasionally con a person into buying something he doesn't really believe in, but if you're going to build an outstanding career, you've got to be committed to the product itself. You've got to believe because as Bernie Lofchick from Winnipeg, Canada, the greatest sales manager I know, says, 'Believers are closers.' "
[End of Zig Ziglar quote]
I think Zig Ziglar is right on the money here...
When you're around someone who is "excited" - you often tend to get a bit excited too!
However, when you're around someone whose mood is glum - you may tend to get a bit glum too.
If you don't feel genuine enthusiasm for your product, it's going to be hard to sell it. That means, you should either find out how to become enthusiastic about the product, or sell something else instead.
Of course, this is also relevant to entrepreneurs - because a lot of entrepreneurship is selling.
If you haven't read it, Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale
is a good book! I read it many years ago... and when I did get a job selling (which I took specifically to get selling experience), I made sure that I picked a product I was enthusiastic about (for me, I loved stand up comedy, so I sold tickets for a comedy club via cold calling, selling them, believe it or not, by phone to a list straight from the phone book!).
As a result of knowing Zig Ziglar's "golden rule" (and other things I picked up from here on Sowpub and from reading various books), I often won the sales competitions while I was doing that job! (I would "psyche myself up" and remind myself how enthusiastic I was about comedy, before I would make my day's calls... So when I spoke to a prospect, I was genuinely enthusiastic. I think my results showed that the theory of "transference of feeling" is real!)
Zig's helped a lot of salespeople to not have skinny children (while selling in an honest way)... May he rest in peace.
Last edited by Dien Rice : November 30, 2012 at 01:31 PM.