Chapter 5

It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS that make you successful and effective as a salesperson?

Is it hyper-selling? Is it your ability to induce someone to buy your product by the sheer weight of your eloquence and an astonishing flow of words? Sales drivel and chatter? Oogah-boogah?

Or did you make the sale because you overpromised? Or you overwhelmed the likely buyer? There are some people who just don't like to say no.

I'm certain it isn't any of these offensive approaches. But I wanted to know. I wanted a finite answer to what makes a great salesperson.

So I conducted a number of focus groups. Here's the nature of the questions I probed:

  • What can you remember about the man or woman who called on you (whether a friend, relative, casual acquaintance, or someone you didn't know)? What qualities stand out most in your mind?
  • What is it that made that person an effective salesperson? Assume the product is something you like and the price is about right. What was it about the solicitor you liked most? What impressed you most?
  • Let's say you are considering two different products. Both are similar in price, apparent quality, aesthetically pleasing, and comparable—the same in just about every respect. Tell me, why did you choose the product you did?

You will grant me these are three penetrating questions. Incisive. Acute. Thought provoking.

Here's what I found. I call them my Four Es: empathy, energy, enthusiasm, and ethics.

These are the ...

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