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5 Simple Sales Lessons for Non-Salespeople

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Garrett Buhl Robinson is not your stereotypical salesperson. But he is one of the most effective salespeople I have ever come across.

Robinson is the author of three self-published books and, as any author will tell you, writing a book is much easier than selling a book.

My wife Karen and I caught a glimpse of Robinson as we leisurely strolled through New York City's Bryant Park. I watched with growing curiosity from a distance as he initiated contact with scores of park-goers.

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Most people politely walked by, but a precious few stopped to chat. And if you stop to chat with Garrett Buhl Robinson -- trust me on this -- you will buy a book.

Robinson delivers a rock-solid presentation in his own very simple sales format.

1. Initiate contact. Robinson positions himself at the intersection of two busy walking paths where he will most certainly encounter passers-by enjoying the afternoon. He greets anyone (and I mean anyone!) who makes eye contact with a pleasant and upbeat, "Hi there -- how's your day going?" Simple, authentic and effective.

Simple sales lesson: Talk to everyone in a positive and upbeat approach.

2. Discovery. When people stop -- most do not -- Robinson asks a simple question to engage them in the topic at hand. "Do you like to read?" (The answer is always "yes.") Then he follows up with, "Do you prefer fiction or poetry?" At that point he simply picks up the book that fits the customer's preference.

Simple sales lesson: Identify two or three quick qualifying questions that will help you solidify the interest of your customer.

3. Demonstration. Robinson simply picks up a book and offers a 30-second tour. The presentation is well rehearsed and, yet, exceedingly conversational. Most importantly, Robinson demonstrates a real passion for his work. And it all makes perfect sense to the customer.

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Simple sales lesson: Keep your presentation brief, exciting and passionate.

4. Ask. Robinson's close is neither scary nor complicated. "Would you like to purchase a copy? It's just $10." He delivers the question with a smile on his face and he absolutely assumes that the answer will be "yes."

Simple sales lesson: Just ask for the sale! Keep it simple and conversational -- but ask!

5. Referrals. Robinson doesn't stop there. He hands everyone a business card with his website and contact information, and he asks people to post their thoughts on the book on their social-media page. Nothing like external validation from the masses!

Simple sales lesson: Why stop at selling just one book when you can sell five more?

As I said, Garrett Buhl Robinson is not your stereotypical salesperson. But he understands the selling process in a very profound way.

He exudes passion for his product and willingly puts himself outside of his comfort zone to connect with his customers and asks for the sale.

Did I just describe you and your own commitment level? Or is it time to get out there and apply some of Robinson's lessons?

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