The Best Sales Advice I’ve Ever Received
Warren Greshes

I have been in sales for over thirty years. I’ve been a salesman, sales manager, and as a business owner for the last twenty plus years, I am still very involved in selling; as I’m constantly looking for new clients as well as growing the existing ones.

As I look back on my career, much of my expertise in sales has been shaped by a few pieces of great advice I’ve received over the years. While I never had the benefit of receiving formal sales training, these 3 pieces of advice, which I received at a young age, have not only stayed with me, but have contributed to a lot of my success.

1. If You Chop Enough Wood, The Chips Have to Land Somewhere. Prospecting is the most important part of the sales process. The biggest reason salespeople don’t do enough business is: they don’t talk to enough people. They don’t “show up.” As long as you keep getting in front of prospects, the law of large numbers says you’ll eventually be successful. You might have a lot of clients today, but if you don’t constantly keep that pipeline filled, down the line your business will collapse. Ten percent of your client base will leave you every year for reasons totally beyond your control. No matter how busy you are, a portion of every day must be spent looking for new business.

2. If You Sell Enough Dresses, You Can Burn Down My Office. That was a direct quote from my old boss in the Garment Center in New York. It taught me two very valuable lessons.

A. Great salespeople are worth their weight in gold. Just like superstars on a baseball team, superstar salespeople can pretty much do whatever they want. What are they going to do: fire you? Every competitor would be at your doorstep in a minute. Of course, just like the superstar athlete, you better be ready to put your money where your mouth is; and keep producing. Remember, a superstar ballplayer that’s a pain in the butt is called a “Flake,” but a mediocre ballplayer that’s a pain in the butt is considered a troublemaker.

B. The beauty of sales is that your numbers are on the board for everyone to see every day, meaning no one can ever tell you you’re doing a poor job if you’re not, and, conversely, you can’t convince anyone you’re doing a great job if you’re not.

3. The Way You Break Them in is The Way They’re Always Going to Be. It’s human nature to try to find people you can take advantage of. Who do most of us take advantage of; our friends and family, of course? But why: because we can. Clients and prospects are always looking for salespeople who can be kept waiting in the waiting room forever. Or, will cut their price in return for a vague promise of future business, (“Give it to me for this price now and down the road we’ll make it up to you.”).

Let clients and prospects know up front that you will not be one of those salespeople. Establish ground rules for a win-win relationship right away and you’ll be amazed how easily the clients will fall in line. They’ll just go and find someone else to be their patsy. And believe me, there are plenty of them out there.

Warren Greshes is a sales motivation, customer service and business improvement who has keynoted corporate and association meetings throughout the world for the last 20 years. In addition, he is the author of “The Best Damn Sales Book Ever: 16 Rock-Solid Rules to Achieving Sales Success,” and hosts his own talk show and podcast, “The Warren Greshes Show: Your Vioce for Sales, Success and Small Business.

- Copyright © 2006 by Warren Greshes. All rights reserved.


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