Subject Line: Why Sales is Reality (The Art of Making Stuff LOOK GOOD and SOUND GOOD)
The clueless still believe in all the moral lessons from children’s books and movies. They believe that honesty is the way.
Authenticity gets you very far, but complete honesty doesn’t do the job. You either learn to use your words or practice explicit deception.
The real truth is always uglier than you’d like. The good and bad is completely subjective, almost insignificant.
But ugly is ugly is ugly. We all instinctively know what ugly is. Reality, can be quite ugly.
Yes, this seems like a pessimistic view. But it’s actually quite optimistic. Because it’s all about showing the good in things, giving people hope and aspirations, solutions.
SALES is all about making something LOOK GOOD and SOUND GOOD.
It’s also about knowing your customer and how you can help them with their current situation in life.
Like I said earlier, you either learn to use your words correctly or you learn to practice outright lying.
I have a saying -
“A salesman is someone who sweet talks and ultimately delivers.
A conman is someone who twists his tongue and doesn’t deliver.”
The catch? Sweet talk is a twist of the tongue. You will practice deception either way. The difference? You will follow through with your word, or you won’t.
I actively despise people who don’t follow through on their word. Their deceit is destructive, while my deceit is constructive.
Do you sense the hypocrisy?
Let me give you examples from my personal life. You may not like the ugly reality of it all, but it’s the truth.
How I Would Sell to Customers
Before the crisis and before I sold B2B, I used to work cellular retail sales (I sold smartphones, tablets, watches, services, insurance). I remember every month we had to hit a profit and sell specific products.
Every single month we had to sell tablets. But here’s the thing: (1) Nobody buys tablets unless they have kids, and (2) these were old, crappy, albeit profitable, tablets.
Now everyone sells differently (it’s an art) and it’s not uncommon for salespeople to leave out important information or outright lie. (Lots of hurdles)
Let’s say I need to sell a tablet and a customer walks in. They have premium insurance on their devices. I know that there’s cheaper insurance that’s just as sufficient. They don’t.
Let me walk you through my sale:
I’m servicing the customer and I see the opportunity. So I excuse myself to the backroom and prepare the tablet I want to sell them.
When I get back to the customer I compliment their account and tell them there’s a special offer for them.
I hand them the tablet and say, “usually this device is $450 and adds $19 to the monthly bill. But when you take your tablet tablet today, instead of adding $19 to your bill, we can bundle it so that it will only be $3 + tax.”
Imagine how that deal feels!
This is an expensive $450 device. Even though you don’t care about tablets, if it’s $450 it MUST be good.
And because of [compliment], instead of paying an entire $19 every month, I ONLY have to pay another $3.
That SOUNDS like a GREAT DEAL.
I haven’t lied to them. I told them it’s $450 and I’ll bundle it (change insurance) so it only adds $3 + tax. See, I just made it sound good.
“Yes, I’ll take it!” - Customer
Now I’m self-aware enough to know that I have a soft voice and a demeanor that people trust. The customer talks to me and they know they’re getting good customer service.
Now I need to explain the fees. But I approach it indirectly.
“Now whenever you add a new device to your account there is a fee” -
This is where I ‘sell the sizzle’ and build more trust. I lower my voice and say,
“But I always tell my customers that you can call customer service on your phone and they usually waive the fee. But you didn’t hear it from me.”
The customer FEELS GOOD that I’m looking out for them. And it’s true, they usually waive the fee.
Does it make me look bad on the back-end? Yeah, maybe. But it’s part of the game, and at the end of the day the sales director only cares that I make the sale.
It’s risky business however you put it. Gotta be ballsy enough to get creative. Have moxy.
I’ll admit, it’s fun possibly throwing myself in the line of fire to build trust with a stranger.
To people who’ve worked cellular sales before, I may be a little extra. But I only had one customer return with complaints.
I used plausible deniability tactfully and I delivered on my promise.
My coworkers? They had customers return with complaints like clockwork.
I have many more scenarios, but there are different aspects I want to cover.
A Quick Secret to Sales
I forget where I read this from, but it’s completely true. You will notice that most people who are aware of you are already 80% sold or 80% not sold.
If anyone finds the source, I’d be happy to link to them.
This means that a prospect already made the decision that they’re looking to purchase something (or they’re not).
Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to make that purchase. This means making the product LOOK GOOD and SOUND GOOD, while downplaying any issues presented along the way.
This concept applies to dating as well. When you see a man/woman, you are either attracted or you’re not.
You are at 80% and, like all sales, you need to sell the difference.
Assuming you are 80% sold, you need to sell that last 20%. You just need to say the right things and pull some triggers.
More importantly - don’t mess up your own chances. By saying or doing the wrong things, you can actually UN-SELL yourself.
Based on how you present yourself, the buyer is already making positive assumptions about you. Don’t break those assumptions.
Sensible people who want to be sold make it easy for you. People who don’t want to be sold make it harder for you.
Here are two quotes to consider:
“It’s either a FUCK YES or a FUCK NO.”
“When there’s doubt, there is no doubt.”
Again, if you can source it, I’d be happy to link.
Ponder the two quotes above and how they fit into your life.
A Con Artist Doesn’t Deliver
She used to be a dancer? Stripper? I don’t remember. But she was easily one of the sexiest women I’ve known.
While also the most disrespectful.
Why was she a disrespectful con artist? Because she couldn’t deliver on what she was selling.
I knew she was attracted to me. She looked and talked to me differently than other men.
Why was she attracted? Because I can sell myself pretty well (good with words) and more importantly, she knew I’d owned properties and lived an interesting life.
Here’s the most disrespectful part -
This is a woman with lots and lots of options. Did I care that she looked at me with gold-digging eyes? Not at all. She was a single mother with one kid. Makes sense. She can also get any financially-sound simp she wants.
But when I asked for her number, she said no. You could tell she wanted me to keep trying. But nah.
See, when I asked her what she did on her time off, she said “I spend my time off with my kid and I go to church”.
She’s selling herself as a good mother and a faithful, religious woman. But is she?
gut instinct common sense told me she wasn’t a woman of faith. Maybe her personal history and lifestyle tipped me off..
But that same night as I was finishing a smoke and got into my car, I heard a woman yelling distastefully in her car.
“He knows he’s a fucking boy right?!! Not a little faggot!! No, you make sure he -“
It was our holy woman shouting obscenities in her car during a phone call (that the entire block could hear).
You see, I make sure to only sell something I can deliver while making a good-sounding pitch.
But a con will deliberately sell something they can’t deliver while making a fairy-tale pitch.
This is not to trash on women, but it’s a very good example of a con artist. Both men and women can be con artists that only have the intention to TAKE and NOT GIVE.
Where do you think you’d be if you dated someone like that? Or married?
I’m sure the sex would be wild. But... she probably wouldn’t make it worth the trouble.
Con Artists Helped Create the Great Recession of 2008
The Great Recession is thanks to a lot of shitty salespeople (cons).
Let me explain this as simple as possible. It won’t be the exact situation, but it’s the correct concept for an easy understanding.
We all work because we have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Bankers are no different.
There was a time when banks gave out subprime mortgages to people.
Let’s say a regular mortgage payment is $3000. But for the first several months that mortgage payment is only $1000 per month.
What bankers would do is give out these mortgages to people WHO WEREN’T QUALIFIED (capable) of making the regular mortgage payments.
Instead of fully informing their customers, bankers made their quotas by selling customers on the more affordable, initial payments.
Why? 🎵 Because we got bills to pay and mouths to feed, and nothing in this worlds for free 🎵
(These buyers were promised a property, but they’d be delivered a shit show)
So people pay their mortgages in blissful ignorance. Unprepared for the larger payments to come, refinancing their homes, etc, etc.
Then once those larger mortgage payments hit, all hell breaks loose. The bubble pops and shit hits the fan.
Now there’s more to it all, but that’s a basic idea.
The blame doesn’t fall entirely on bankers trying to make a living. The Fed could’ve, and should’ve, stepped in. But it’s all water under the bridge.
You need to consider reality and deliver on what you sell.
If you haven’t noticed by now, all hell breaks loose when you don’t deliver.
YOU CAN’T JUST TAKE.
YOU HAVE TO DELIVER.
Listen, do you want to get results? Do you want to get what you want?
Then consider this quote and ponder it:
“All’s fair in love and war.”
If you want to achieve a result, don’t be afraid to get it by any means.
The “good” way and the “bad” way doesn’t really matter. It’s too subjective and grey.
But the ugly? That’s easy to spot because it means someone couldn’t deliver what they were selling.
Still don’t get it? Don’t worry, the next example should make it clear.
Selling Yourself in a Job Interview
The person conducting the interview will judge as much as they can about you in a negative light. They are looking for any excuse to deem you as ‘un-hireable’.
What does this mean? It means-
If you have any gaps in your resume, it’s because something is wrong with you.
Iff you have a poor opinion of past employers, it’s because something is wrong with you.
If you don’t give them permission to call past employment, it’s because something is wrong with you.
All of your reasons, whether true and righteous, be damned.
So what do you do? Well, you lie.
You can try to be honest and good and true. But in situations like this, you need to tell them what they want to hear.
Sorry. It’s reality. Consider yourself lucky if you find life to be otherwise.
But let me also put a different spin on it.
Companies lie on their job postings ALL THE TIME. They’re selling themselves to you.
You can go on Indeed right now and I guarantee you’ll find a bunch of bullshit postings.
The bigger, more well-known companies aren’t as bad BUT you will always find some bullshit somewhere in the system.
Maybe you’re assigned a task that isn’t your responsibility. Or the job isn’t what they advertised.
It happens all the time. Nothing is perfect. Sometimes it’s not even worth complaining about.
But they said what they had to say to lure you in. Now you have to say what they wanna hear so you can get through the door.
Here are a few tips to help you out:
Minimize any gaps in your resume. There should be no gaps on your resume before your last job. The longest you let your gap get from your last job should be a month. If you feel you can pull it off, say it’s still your current job. Background checks ONLY check your criminal record 99% of the time, so they won’t see your entire employment timeline.
Change your job title. Don’t use the job title that a company gave you. Make up a job title that accurately represents the duties you performed. This gives employers a better AND more accurate impression of your value and skills.
Use friends as reference numbers. If you had a piece of shit boss who wouldn’t put in a good word for you, then you should absolutely put a friend as the contact number. Tell your friend the boss’s name and what were your responsibilities. Obviously your friend should make you sound like a good worker who stayed with the company until very recently.
The person interviewing you wants everything to be as perfect and disney as possible. Anything that takes away from that ideal will hurt your chances extensively.
So is this bad? That depends.
CAN YOU DELIVER WHAT YOU’RE SELLING?
Once you’re in, you’re in. The only thing that gets you kicked back out is if you can’t perform the job.
If you can do the job - then you’re in the clear. Everything is good.
Because the job interview is all about making you LOOK GOOD and SOUND GOOD.
It’s all about making it as easy as possible for people to buy.
Good? Bad? What does it matter if you got the job? You made it easy to give the company what they’re looking for (just as they did for you).
It’s only ugly when one of the sides don’t follow through.
- Final Word -
Be you? Be honest? Then be damned.
Go ahead and imagine that there’s a universal disney law to be your honest self. We all have that hope.
But at the same time, you must also accept that you must break this disney law with everyone who breaks it with you.
Because the disney game can’t compete with the devil’s game. And you can’t win if you don’t play the game they are playing.
Here’s the best advice my old man ever gave me: “Tell them what they want to hear (not reality).”
Until next time.