If you want to know how to build customer loyalty while also achieving mega-sales, there is perhaps no better person to talk to than Jeffrey Gitomer. The author of The Sales Bible, The Little Book of Leadership and many other best-selling books, he also has consulted to many Fortune 500 companies and is a sought after speaker, inducted to the National Speaker Association's Speaker Hall of Fame.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing him, and he shared his tips on how to make the sale such a positive experience that customers will keep coming back--and even rave about you on Facebook.
You've often said, "People don't like to be sold, but they love to BUY!" What do you mean by that?
Gitomer: If you go into a car dealership, you do not want to be sold. You want to buy whatever the brand of the car is, but the car sales people don't quite get that. They try to push you into something they've already got in stock or that their boss told them to sell.
So what you're suggesting is kind of the anti-selling. You want to create any opportunity for someone to make a decision to buy, but one that will be a positive outcome.
Gitomer: That's correct. I want to make the experience so memorable that the customer will come back to buy again and refer others to you. That's the whole key. If I have a lousy experience in the store not only am I not going to come back, I'm going to post it on Facebook. In the old days, they would tell 50 people if you did something wrong; now they tell 50 million people."
There is a raw authenticity to you, but in an era of political correctness, do you worry about offending clients?
Gitomer: I'm exactly the same off the stage as I am on. I have 25 employees and they're more productive and at ease because no one has to worry about calling their lawyer because someone told an inappropriate joke. I cold called in New York City for three years and do you think there's an ounce of political correctness when you're standing at somebody's door? You cold call in New York City and "up yours" is a greeting.
These are hard times. What can sales people do to protect their jobs?
Gitomer: The antidote is to be the best sales guy. No one's going to get rid of you then. There is a challenge among sales people right now that they're not really willing to do the hard work that it takes to make selling easy. You need to tweet, have a FaceBook business
page, have a LinkedIn account, a Youtube channel, a blog
and a website where they've registered their own
name.com and built a personal brand. You have to have 500 people following you on Twitter, you have to have
500 LinkedIn connections, you have to have about a thousand people on
your FaceBook fan page and you have to have a least a dozen YouTube
videos up where people give testimonies for you or where you are giving
valuable information to the market place.That requires work and that time and you can't do it during your
You gotta network and do prospecting, but it's a lot easier to prospect on LinkedIn, then it is to prospect on the phone with people you don't know. Instead, a lot of people are going home at night and watch some stupid television shows. Will what you're watching on television help you double your sales? There's no 9 to 5 job in selling unless you're at McDonald's and you can ask the closing question, "Do you want fries with that?"
Your most recent book is The Little Book of Leadership. Why is it so hard to find great leaders in sales especially?
Gitomer: One of the reasons is that a company will normally take their best sales guy out of the field and make him a leader and not give him any training. Here he is, thrust into a leadership position, with zero training; and all the other people on his team hate him because they think that they should have got the job. So number one: Prepare the leader for the job. Number two: The sales leader needs to lead with his people, not from behind [the] desk. Go out on sales calls where the sales guy thinks it's impossible to get this deal done and close that sale and everyone will talk about you as a supreme sales leader. You can only do it by doing stuff in front of your people that they can't do themselves.
For the audio version of this interview, please click here.