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Ice Cubes To Eskimos

Sales Rules Not To Break

Dare to break these laws...and you'll fail in sales

If you had to name one of the world's top speakers on achievement, the first name to come to mind should be Brian Tracy, who has written several books, including Advanced Selling Strategies (Fireside Books) and the recently released The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). Based on his two decades of experience, he shares these five "absolutely unbreakable" laws for sales success:

  • Thou shalt build credibility with thy customer before attempting to sell. "The most important ingredient in a long-term sales relationship is trust," says Tracy, who adds that the more a customer trusts you, "the easier it is to sell and keep selling to the customer."
  • Thou shalt learn the customer's real needs by asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. "The better you understand a customer's situation and what he or she needs to improve his or her work or life, the easier it will be for you to match the benefits of your offering to the customer so the customer accepts your recommendation," says Tracy.
  • Thou shalt position thyself as a problem-solver, helper and teacher in the mind and heart of thy customer. "The way the customer thinks about you when you're not there is the most important determinant of how the customer responds to you when you are present," says Tracy. When you're viewed as a problem-solver, the customer welcomes your input.
  • Thou shalt commit thyself to excellence in selling and never stop growing in skill. Like anything, good selling takes hard work. Tracy urges entrepreneurs to "resolve to be the best at what you do. Read in your field. Listen to audio tapes. Take sales seminars. Never stop improving."
  • Thou shalt set goals for every area of thy life and work on them every day. If you want to succeed in selling, says Tracy, you must "have specific, written goals" and set daily schedules to achieve those goals.
Need more sales laws to keep you in check? Read "Focus Pocus" to learn how to center in and go for the sales kill.

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This article was originally published in the August 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ice Cubes To Eskimos.

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