A few years ago, I was selling training seminars to businesspeople. The company I was working for had distributors throughout the United States and Canada, and I was one of their first in another country. (In my case, New Zealand.) I had been in the business for around six months and, frankly, I was struggling. I didn’t see how I could get my sales up quickly enough to reach my income targets. Well, this company held a two-day convention in Palm Springs that they invited all their top salespeople to. They also invited me and my partner, even though we were not doing very well.
During this convention, I had a chance to chat personally with the company’s top salesperson: Paul. He was a 26-year-old young man who was earning around $200,000 a year. I asked him for some help. “Paul,” I said, “what are you doing to sell so many of these training seminars?” I have to say that Paul’s response floored me. It sounded too easy. He explained that he had put together a 25-minute educational presentation that gave salespeople tips on how to increase their sales. He made this presentation at group sales meetings.
At the end of each presentation, he then gave a brief commercial plug for one of the training seminars he was selling. And because his educational presentation had been so useful, a lot of the salespeople always decided to buy his seminar. Paul told me that it was not uncommon for him to sell 10-20 people on a training seminar at just one of these presentations. I was pretty impressed with these numbers, because I was only selling one or two seminars per week. He generously invited me to attend his next presentation and copy his approach. I had never before heard of group selling as a sales tool.
However, inspired by Paul’s success, I decided to give it a go. I used a small pocket tape recorder and taped Paul’s presentation. I then practiced it several times. Finally, I had my first chance to use it with a group of salespeople back in New Zealand. I used Paul’s words and phrases – and at the end of my presentation, I had nine sales. I was flabbergasted. As the result of using Paul’s very good advice, I had earned in one hour what I would normally have earned in a month. Paul was my first mentor (see “Word to the Wise,” below), but not my last. I learned that making a lot of money very quickly is something that you can do in different ways by using different mentors.
Right now, for example, I am selling investment properties for a company in New Zealand. I had been doing very well, but I still wanted to improve my results. So I hired Bob Serling., a very successful marketer in the United States, to be my mentor for six months. I told him that I wanted to double my sales in that time. Bob looked at the various ways I was selling and marketing and gave me half a dozen simple recommendations on how I could improve what I was doing. In the first three months of taking advantage of Bob’s help, I increased my sales by 93% (as compared to the same three-month period the previous year). His ideas were not complicated and they were not hard to implement. However, they produced great results.
(Ed. Note: Graham McGregor is a sales and marketing consultant who has personally sold products and services in over a dozen industries. He has helped dozens of organizations and hundreds of salespeople increase their sales by using simple yet effective sales improvement strategies. Graham is the author of ETR’s Double-Your-Income Sales Program. This brand-new program will show you how to use his proven sales strategies to double your current income, regardless of your occupation. For more information, click here.)