Solid Sales Wisdom Does Not Go Out of Style

Sales Tips

I was going through old files in my storage area doing research for a training program. A few minutes turned into a couple of hours as I got consumed sifting through articles and newsletters I had written, notes on workshops I delivered, random scribbles on slips of paper and more.

All dating back to the 80’s and 90’s.

Not surprisingly–to me anyway–almost all of it is just as relevant today as it was when I first read it, wrote it, or spoke it. Here is just a sampling of some of the nuggets I pulled out of the files.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have not succeeded in meeting your objective in the past (some would call it failure, but that’s negative) your past performance should only serve to be a learning experience for your next actions.



Here’s something I had in a file from 1991 that is even more relevant today, given the nature of online orders: There are three good reasons to call customers to confirm orders they placed by mail, fax, with a customer service rep, or, as mentioned, online.

1. You ensure the order is accurate.

2. You show the customer you care about getting it right.

3. You get another opportunity to cross sell or upsell.

Action is the best way to overcome the fear of anything in sales.


What we are all capable of achieving is a matter of our own perspectives. We place limitations on ourselves erroneously. For example, would you be able to quickly walk, or run on a long, 24-inch wide plank of wood? Certainly. What if it were raised 50 feet up in the air between two buildings? Was your answer different? That’s a self-imposed limitation. What other similar beliefs are holding you back?


Be sure you are facing straight ahead when speaking on the phone. If your chin is too high, or pressing against your chest you will not sound natural.



Here’s a myth that holds people back:

“Better safe than sorry.”

Baloney! You will feel worse about the risks you didn’t take in life than the ones you acted on. Instead, ask

“What’s the worst thing that could happen if I took action?”



Most people who lack motivation also lack a purpose. If you were offered $100,000 to get a relatively simple task done in a short period of time, you’d likely do it, right? Certainly… you’d have a strong purpose, a reward, and a deadline. What is it that you’d really, passionately want to achieve? Set that as a target. Now you have a purpose. Then set a deadline. And then, get going!


You will never graduate from the school of sales. The person who doesn’t read is worse off than the person who can’t read.



Some people say, “I can’t do that.” Others employ a technique they use when closing, the assumptive question:

“What’s the best way to get this done?”



Your attitude and performance is normally a reflection of those you associate with. If you hang with whiners and low achievers, it’s like having a ball and chain around your leg and you’re in a race. People will pull you up, or down to their level.



Instead of thinking,

“What points can I present?”, think,

“What questions can I ask?”


Instead of thinking before a call,

“How can I sell this person?”, ask,

“How can I help this person?”

Or, “Why would this person be interested in anything I have?”


And here’s something that’s even more relevant
today than it was in 1989 when I had thrown it in a file, and suggested it at least a thousand times since then:

If you really want to make an impression with a customer, or a prospect, send a handwritten note, in an envelope addressed by hand, with an actual first-class stamp. Those are always opened and read.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or get more important.



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