BY JEFFREY GITOMER
People will only do business with others once they know them, like them, and trust them. They will buy the salesperson first, way before they even consider what it is that they’re selling. The Little Red Book of Selling teaches salespeople—or anyone for that matter—how to win the sale by getting their prospects to value “them” before they value the product or service.
The Little Red Book of Selling is like a pocket-reference guide for the salesperson who wants to learn how to sell their most important product of all—themselves. This book gives the reader 12.5 principles to improve selling themselves. There are at least three principles the author repeats, in one form or another, throughout the book. One principle is being prepared for the sale. Another is about creating value for the customer. The last is about engaging the customer in a way so they’ll feel fully convinced that the product or service is for them.
Prepare to Win or Lose to Someone Else — This section is about knowing the customer as well as the product being sold. Most salespeople tend to meet with the customer and then have them talk about their own business. The author specifies that a salesperson should take the time to do their own preliminary research on their prospects’ businesses to learn how to gage what it is that they’re selling, so that it better fits their customer needs. The most prepared salesperson wins, the underprepared looks like an amateur.
It’s All About Value, Not Price — Many salespeople have an issue with giving away free time. If a customer is shown that they are valued by the salesperson that takes the proper time to educate them on why their product is worth more than its sales price, then they will create value for the customer. The customer’s perceived value and actual price is not the same. The salesperson can also become an influencer in their space to create value. Networking, giving speeches, posting informative videos, and educating others about their product’s benefits and advantages will put them at the top of their field.
Engage Me and Make Me Convince Myself — One of the best ways to establish rapport and get others to talk about themselves is by asking the right, probing questions. Most salespeople tend to rant continuously about their product and their company without taking time to listen to the customer’s needs. If the customer is engaged by a salesperson asking the right questions, then they will reveal everything that salesperson needs to know in order to convince them of why their product is the perfect fit.
The Little Red Book of Selling digs into the psychology of sales and informs salespeople that they don’t really know what the customer wants until they’ve asked. It’s not about the product or its features. It’s about how the product can benefit the customer. It isn’t until the customer is sold on the fact that the salesperson is even genuinely interested in their needs that the “know, like, and trust” factor takes place. Once that happens, they will be sold. People buy people first and their product or service second.