How It All Began

Posted in Sales and Life on October 18, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Many have asked how this book got its start. So, here it is.

Ah yes, I remember it well . . .

“It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled and twigs and leaves scuffled and rattled past the house. I sat alone at my desk, the blank piece of paper in my typewriter mocking my best efforts at making words appear on the page, when it happened; a knock on my front door that changed my life forever.”

(With a tip of the hat to W.W. Jacobs for the excerpt from his 1902 novel, “The Monkey’s Paw”)

Well, okay . . . I admit; this book didn’t really start exactly like that.

But, now that I have your attention, you can relax; your search for the perfect sales book is over. This book was written for you, as a working professional. It is about action, not theory – and doing, not thinking.

It is clear, to the point, and relevant to your life as a professional salesperson. It doesn’t require anything from you other than your natural curiosity to find something that helps you do better at your job today.

And that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it?

My writing, memorialized in this text, “The Natural Laws of Selling” had its humble beginnings as a series of weekly sales tips and articles written for salespeople at an international marketing company where I was employed as a senior executive.

The sales personnel of the company were already professionals in their own right, and were very clear about what they needed from me. They wanted plain-speaking articles on sales that cut through the bull and delivered a message that focused on action not theory.

They were also adamant about what they didn’t want.

They definitely did not want an ivory tower, academic treatise on some hypothetical scheme of selling like the hierarchy of effects model, or any other complicated, unworkable psychobabble.

Anything not based on common sense application in the real world was summarily rejected.

But as this idea was in line with the focus of all my writings, we were seeing eye-to-eye.

Within the company, “The Natural Laws of Selling” soon became the go-to resource for everyday use for salesmen and women in the company.

Why? Because every article is chock-full of new discoveries based on basic selling principles, real-life experiences, reminders of what they already knew, plus relevant information for ready use in everyday selling activities.

Over time, it became clear that these writings contained new discoveries on the inner workings of selling not found in other writings on the subject.

Complexities were faced and stripped away, false assumptions and unworkable fads were exposed and discarded, and useless chatter was recognized and tossed aside.

The proven laws that were universally workable were underscored and clarified. The time-proven basics were strengthened through understanding and applicability in the real world of the working professional salesperson.

In short, the aim of the sales journal was simple: to focus only on what worked.

This single purpose remained as the guideline throughout the whole book. And what’s more, you don’t have to read the whole book from start to finish to benefit from the material.

You can scan through the titles until something catches your attention, sparks your imagination and inspires you to read it and use it. The value of the information will be instantly evident in your attitude and positive change in results.

Never before has all this material been assembled under one cover, ready for use.

I consider it no accident that it is now in your hands.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2011-2030, all rights reserved

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Natural Laws

Posted in Sales and Life on August 16, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

NATURAL LAWS

I’m often asked this question from new salespeople:

Can’t I just memorize a sales script and start selling?”

Of course, you can. In fact, nearly all salespeople started out the same way. But selling by rote is only the bottom rung of a whole series of steps leading to a mastery of selling.

There are advance techniques that allow you to adjust your methods to the customer, which dramatically increase your sales closing ratio.

Inevitably, then, I get this next question:

“So, if they’re so good, why can’t I just learn the advanced techniques?”

The answer is simple: Excellence is reached by mastering fundamentals, not by accumulating techniques.

The basics are natural laws, which remain the same no matter what methods or techniques you adopt. Any time you add new methods of selling that don’t come from natural law, you only complicate the problem.

Rushing through the basics to get to advanced techniques only exposes your inexperience in the basics. Instead, by mastering one thing at a time, you can master anything.

Be assured, the advanced techniques will be there when you’re ready for them.

Further, there is no single sales process or method that applies to all people, products or services. In selling, you are always dealing with people. And when you’re dealing with people, you must be prepared for any contingency, because people can and often will act in very unpredictable ways.

If you’re serious about succeeding in the sales profession you must know this single important fact: Understand people and you will understand all selling.

Every selling method, tactic, technique, process, system, or routine that has been consistently successful is based on the natural laws of selling.

Here is an example of a well-worn principle: Honesty is the best policy.

Why does this work? Because all selling is based on building trust, confidence, and agreement as the path to a sale. Dishonesty, on the other hand, builds distrust, doubt, and disagreement, which leads to no sale.

Here’s another one: Force creates resistance.

Why? It’s based on a natural law of the physical universe and it works exactly the same with people. People like comfortable, good control. They resist and resent being forced or bullied into doing anything.

Natural laws or principles are conclusions based on evidence from empirical observation. They exist independent of and senior to methods, opinions or beliefs.

The natural laws of selling are tools that can help you predict consequences with invariable consistency.

Violate the laws, and stress, uncertainty and trouble will be your constant companion. Know and apply the laws in your selling and you’ll inevitably exhibit the effortless competence of the true master professional. And your sales closings will reflect this success.

It all boils down to these points:

  1. The natural laws, or basic principles of selling are few – but they are invariable and immutable.
  1. These are the rules, which, when known and followed, produce stable, predictable, and reliable results; and when ignored or violated, invariably end up in disaster.
  1. The methods of teaching, learning, and applying the principles of selling are infinite.
  1. These methods are techniques, tactics of learning how to do something.

Trying one method after another while ignoring the basic fundamentals will give you only limited, unsatisfactory results.

Work only on methods, and you become locked into methods. But if you master the principles of selling, then you are free to develop your own methods.

Align your methods with the natural laws – and those principles will empower your methods.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2012-2030, all rights reserved

The Natural Laws of Selling

Posted in Sales and Life on February 26, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

“With many companies trying to shake off the drag of a global recession, CEOs are eager to find growth. One place they need to look is in their own sales organizations.” – Harvard Business Review Blog, 2012. *

We do indeed live in interesting and uncertain times; witness the turbulent, roiling seas of the business community as proof positive.

Competition domestically and internationally is intense and growing; firms are merging, outsourcing, acquiring, and divesting faster than can be reported; emerging technology is replacing traditional methods at the speed of light; products are becoming more complex; customers are demanding better service, faster delivery and lower prices; the list goes on.

Navigating these waters in an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world environment is a key challenge facing all businesses; few will survive without an effective sales force. Firms that want to survive in the 21st century must confront this all encompassing force that pervades every aspect of business.

After all, trained and experienced salespeople may be the last line of defense for the consumer because they alone are uniquely experienced in dealing with uncertainty; or at least they should be.

Because customer uncertainty is the primary barrier facing all salespeople.

The pressure on salespeople to develop greater skills to meet the challenges of this brave new world is palpable and cannot be ignored; but where can these skills be found?

With so many books in print on the subject of sales, finding anything new and relevant on the subjects seems an impossibility.

But with this book, the possibility of becoming securely grounded in the basics of human interaction (the key to all selling), combined with the ability to seamlessly adjust the methods of selling to fit each customer, becomes a reality.

This is new, and very exciting!

The natural laws of selling are no different than the common-sense methods of dealing with people generally.

A basic law is something you can think with. It gives you an edge on  predicting the future and the consequences of what you do or don’t do.

Both principles and laws have everything to do with human beings; their emotions, reactions, drives, incentives and motives for doing anything.

Simply stated: Selling is always about people.

Understand people and you’ll understand all selling.

Some claim that this book could be a seminal work, one that changes the future of the profession. I think, after careful reading, you may agree.

For this book deals with the discovery of the primary reasons for all sales failure (hint: it’s not the techniques or methods of selling), and the exact way to correct this failing.

The purpose:
The purpose of this book was to reorient the focus of salespeople to the ageless laws of all sales and to provide a route for mastering the mystery of selling.

The strategy:
The strategy of the book was to discover, clarify and strengthen the natural laws of selling and the fundamental principles underlying all sales activities. Then, to advise only methods and tactics which align with these principles and natural laws.

The method:
The method of approach was to write short articles for daily use by the working professional.

Then, armed with the truth of why the principles work, you can figure out how to build a successful sales career on bedrock rather than the shifting sands of fads and fashions commonly found in the business of selling.

By understanding and using the time-tested, proven principles of selling, a degree of stability, not otherwise available, is attainable.

In this way the salesperson will no longer be at the whim or caprice of the newest and latest trend blowing his way.

This allows them to adjust to the customer’s needs and wants effortlessly and effectively, rather than forcing the customer to adjust to them. The result being that the sale is as comfortable and enjoyable for the customer as it is for the salesperson.

Now, the ball is in your court. The ‘heavy lifting’ has been done. The common-sense, self-evident laws of selling are standing at ready, as this quote from Thomas Jefferson correctly states:

“The truth can stand by itself.”

With this book, based the natural laws of selling, all you need to do is decide when you want to start and how fast you want to grow.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2012-2030, all rights reserved

* from Harvard Business Review blog, July 10, 2012.
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/ceos_need_to_get_serious_about.html

Get Your Priorities In Order

Posted in Sales and Life on February 15, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

A long-standing truism in the selling business is that the easiest way to jump-start your career is to go back to basics and get your priorities in order.

Accumulating endless numbers of the newest sales techniques, oddball methods, newest and latest gimmicky practices and other unusual solutions is not the answer to low sales closing ratios.

In my opinion, far too many sales texts are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, because lack of selling techniques is not the problem.

The real source of the problem is in a lack of knowledge in the ageless fundamentals of selling.

The time-tested, honored, natural laws of selling, whose value have been conclusively proven to be effective over a long period of time, is where you will find the true answers.

The focus of this book is on these established truths of selling which have remained fundamentally unchanged for ages. Expertise in selling is attained from mastering these fundamentals first.

After you get a few of the basics under your belt, you can add all the techniques and practices you want. As long as they support and align with the principles, you’ll never go wrong.

Principles are few, methods are infinite, and the principles are far, far, more important in order of priority than techniques, methods or practices.

Get your priorities in order.

Understand the fundamentals and the methods will take care of themselves.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2012-2030, all rights reserved

The Elephant in the Room

Posted in Sales and Life on January 23, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

It’s a serious, pervasive problem, impossible to overlook.

But too many still pretend it isn’t there, preferring to concern themselves with relatively trivial matters to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.

It’s the “elephant in the room,” – that nobody wants to talk about but which affects everyone.

But, it’s even worse than that.

This is something that should be there, but isn’t!

What’s missing? A knowledge of the fundamentals of selling.

“The elephant in the room” is an idiomatic phrase stemming from an ancient parable of three blind men trying to describe an elephant by touching various parts of the animal. Being sightless, they arrive at widely divergent impressions, none of which describe an elephant as it actually is.

Too often, ignoring the fundamentals of selling and focusing exclusively on fad methods is very much like trying to describe an elephant blindfolded. You’ll always come up with limited, largely unsatisfying results. It’s time to get back to basics.

The real solution to this problem is as simple as it is obvious:

a) Refocus attention on the fundamental principles of selling.

b) Develop or adapt methods to put the principles to use.

This book was written to direct attention back to the basics and thereby help you accomplish three things:

1. Achieve a high degree of understanding of the principles underlying all selling.

2. Help you develop methods which align with the fundamentals.

3. Turn mystery into mastery in the profession of sales.

Once you identify and face the “unsolvable problem” you’ll see that the “elephant in the room” is not so tough after all.

Happily, solving the problem does not require a personal overhaul of everything you’re already doing right. All that is required is a tune-up. A slight adjustment in your focus to the fundamental, bedrock principles underlying all selling activities will make all the difference.

If you are already selling successfully, this will tell you why.

If you need help, this will tell you how and where to get it.

The resolution to 90% of all selling frustrations, difficulties, and headaches has been found. The solution to the problem is clear and easily accomplished. The path out of the quagmire has been carefully researched, mapped out, and is easily followed.

The “elephant in the room” has been vanquished and the answer of how to master the mystery of all selling is now in your hands, ready for use.

Your future is now your own.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2012 – 2030, all rights reserved

And you call this a living?

Posted in Sales and Life on January 9, 2012 by Daniel Jacobs

The clock said 4:30AM, scolding me for still being awake.

I was stuck once again with that cold-sweat fixation that tomorrow could signal the end of my career. Try as I might, I couldn’t escape those all-pervasive thoughts of worry and dread. And with my anxiety escalating by the minute, the chances of any sleep were slim to none.

Others are out there, I thought, better prepared and more determined. And I’m so worn out, I’m running on the fumes of what empty used to smell like, stuck with the feeling that I’m going to blow another opportunity, one that I desperately need! I only thing I knew for sure was, something had to change.

If all this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, you really shouldn’t even be surprised.

After all, when you’ve been thrown in over your head to do a job for which you’ve had no effective training or practice, who would expect anything different. In the absence of any real familiarity in basics of selling, who can blame you for wanting to quit?

Now, we all know that the wrong thing to do is nothing and just keep wishing things would change. But what to do?

Iif you’re still with me this far, there is hope, because of these three important things:

a) You feel that there may be something to learn.

b) You’re serious enough about changing your life.

c) You’re willing to do something about it.

This is why I wrote this book – for working professionals just like you. It’s for those who know when they need help, are willing to get it, and then put it to immediate use in their own lives.

The sole focus of this book is on fundamental principles underlying all selling.

I chose this path because gaining an understanding of the natural laws of selling combined with a disciplined practice of workable methods in applying them will give you the stability, certainty and effortless competence that is missing in your life and your career.

And, even better, you don’t have to study some dry, academic textbook for several semesters to accomplish the results you want.

Instead, just flip though this book at random and read any article that grabs your attention. I guarantee you will find at least one gemstone that you can use today to get you going on the right track, immediately.

And that’s really what you’re looking for isn’t it?

daniel w. jacobs
© 2008 -2030, all rights reserved

Effortless Excellence

Posted in Sales and Life on December 10, 2011 by Daniel Jacobs

Every sales rep knows that the easiest time to make another sale is when you’ve just finished a successful one.

But the mystery is: How do you make that first sale?

This question was the catalyst that prompted all my research and study of the field of selling.

Here is a thumb-nail sketch of what I discovered:

1. Look at what has worked for you or others (ideas, thoughts, actions, people) and strengthen them.

2. Isolate what has not worked for you or others (ideas, thoughts, actions, people) and knock them off.

3. Figure out what the exact next step is to get you going in the right direction again.

4. ‘Get ‘er done! then repeat steps 1-4.

When to use these steps:

  1. When nothing is going right.
  2. When everything takes more effort than necessary.
  3. When you feel hopeless, lost, depressed and ready to give up.

(note: If you’re too depressed to even get started, take a good look around –  you may just be surrounded by assholes)

These steps above will put you back on the right track, back in the game, clear the fog of confusion and highlight the way out of the morass.

There is no mystery all great truths are basically simple and this one is no exception.

Effortless Excellence: 

The fundamental principles have been isolated; the methods supporting these principles have been discovered.

Focus on natural laws of selling and adopt or adapt methods (ways) of applying them. Mystery solved.

Now practice and practice, then practice more on the methods that align with and strengthen your principles and you’re on your way.

Effortless excellence develops from the command of fundamentals, not the accumulation of technique.

Try it, you’ll like it.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2011-2030, all rights reserved