Seven Sales Lessons from Mark Stevens

Today I read a very interesting article by Mark Stevens entitled Sales Lessons From a Fly Fishing Master and found at Mark Stevens is a bestselling author and the CEO of MSCO which is a management and marketing firm. In this article, Stevens offers seven lessons about sales and being a salesman which I found very valuable. I quote these nuggets below:

1. If there are two versions of you, the salesperson and the civilian, people will see you as disingenuous. There must be only one you.

2. Relate to people exactly as you are. Imperfections are not seen as reasons not to do business with you. Just the opposite, your willingness to be transparent is seen as vindication that you are the genuine article — a trustworthy individual one can reliably do business with.

3. Tell your clients and prospects what they don’t want to hear when you believe that the painful medicine will be in their best interests. They may be upset with the messenger in the moment of truth, but you will stand out from the yes-men when the dust clears.

4. Always carry yourself with great pride, knowing that a salesperson is a “prince of the company.” Others can work the books and make the factory hum, but as IBM founder Tom Watson said, “Nothing happens unless a sale is made.” And you’re the one who makes that happen.

5. Prospects are not doing you a favor by making time to see you. I always view it as their good fortune to see me. I have ideas. I bring solutions, experience and knowledge. I’m not there for favors. I’m there to help grow their business. I’m confident my company can accomplish that. I don’t act or mean to be cavalier. I just know that the smart people I’m privileged to work with can deliver, and that confidence is always contagious.

6. Sell yourself before you enter an initial meeting. Send the prospect a copy of an award, a media clip, a paper you wrote — anything that distinguishes you as a person of importance and authority. By establishing your credentials in advance, you change the entire dynamic of the meeting. You’re not simply another salesperson. You are a force to be reckoned with.

7. Remind yourself that prospects need you even more than you need them. They are the ones with the needs. You are the one with the solutions.

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