Sales Success Part I by Dan Kennedy

The aim of the Dan Kennedy (DK) and his book, “No BS Sales Success In The New Economy” (all references in this blog are to this book, unless otherwise noted), is to create a new willingness in a sales professional to change behavior and process. The change is measured by immediate and dramatic increase in the income. However, income growth is not how he defines sales success.

DK defined sales success as:

“…both in physical actions and words…the salesperson is representing something of value to the client – so much value that the client is willing to exchange their security (spelled M-O-N-E-Y) for it”.

The rest of the book outlines ideas and actions that can lead a sales person to that success. Key ideas to take away from DK’s definition:

  1. Salesperson job has only two elements: Actions & Words
  2. Value is the only thing that clients need to see; value has two perspectives – one for client and one for salesperson
  3. Value for customer is defined by willingness on the client to change their feeling of security (ie current way of doing things) for a new way; Value for salesperson is to be the embodiment of security
  4. Value for client needs to be above what s/he expect; therefore, the client’s value expectations need to be managed by the sales professional
  5. Taking all of the above into consideration, salesperson’s “one thing” (from the book The One Thing) is to manage client’s willingness to exchange their security for something new

(Although not covered in the above quote, DK does mention that exchange comes from profitability and pleasurable assurances)

DK also provided the definition for sales failure. It surprised me because it does not mention monetary gains but includes personal traits. The characteristics include (how many apply to you?):

  • “who coast”
  • “intellectual lazy”
  • “perform half-heartedly”
  • “expect high rewards for low efforts”
  • blaming anyone but yourself for unsatisfactory results

Measuring Action & Words

There is a simple yet effective question which can be asked to measure the impact of salesperson’s actions and words – “is the result satisfactory or unsatisfactory?” Clearly, the path of change lays in an unsatisfactory result. Prevailing winds will always exist. The condition of any sales is that there are forces acting upon the sales professional outside of their control. The only powerful way to get to high levels of achievement is by removing the unsatisfactory obstacles placed by the salesperson themselves.

DK has a great opening chapter that I highly recommend for anyone to read. In its essence, he outlines that any “NO” is not a rejection because sales is almost never personal and therefore does not injure egos. DK argues there is no need to be personally concerned with what the customer says or thinks about the product as long as the client is buying it and is using/selling much for it. In my experience, I have worked with teams that simply did not like a vendor’s representative. They found any opportunity to remind that representative of how poor their services are – yet, the same team kept renewing the vendor’s contract every year for decades. As a philosopher once quipped, judge people not by their thinking but by their action – so is with sales. DK implores any sales professional to give little weight to what people think and give all their attention to what people buy.

There is no “NO”: Kennedy’s 8 Steps to Getting Past “No”

  1. Determine that you are going to exert control over the situation and the other people involved
  2. Determine that you can and will get positive results even in negative situations
  3. Get your ego out of the way
  4. Do not confuse refusal with rejection
  5. Be more interested in achieving positive results than in anything else
  6. Understand that most no’s are erroneous
  7. Ignore the “erroneous no”. Keep making your case. Keep probing for the real reason for reluctance or refusal. Acknowledge (admit the exist of reluctance or refusal) not never accept (as a final outcome)
  8. Respond only to real reasons. Do not get caught up in responding to “erroneous no’s” – that is like wrestling with a phantom





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