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Tech Talk with SIP Print's Jonathan Fuld: 3 Keys to Successful Selling

April 01, 2010

By TMCnet Special Guest
Jonathan Fuld, Chief Technology Officer, SIP Print,

The other week while my son was home from University, he asked if he could join me in my exercise routine.  I said, “Sure, we work out for an hour.”  Three quarters of the way through the routine, we started on our 6th set of pull ups.  I let him go first and then I followed.  I did more pull ups than he did and he rewarded me with a “Good for you, Pop!” – this from a boy who pinned his father to the floor during a wrestling match in his sophomore year in high school.  He could have asked anything of me at that point, and I would have given it to him.

Which got me to thinking, while I am a technology person by experience, everything I do is sales related.  In fact, someone once mentioned that the successful technologists are dependent upon their technology background only 15 percent of the time, and upon their sales ability 85 percent of the time.  I mused: What are the three keys to successful selling?  Why three?  Anything more and I would have a hard time remembering them.  Anything less and I would think something would be missing.

I had often heard of the book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, as the primer in all things sales.  I borrowed a copy from the local library and found three basic maxims under the heading, “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People.”  Carnegie lays out that in order to be successful in one’s endeavors, one must perform the following:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want

My last article discussed call-recording and the use of analytics.  Analytics being a tool set of evaluative criteria used to measure the effectiveness of those on the phone based upon call-recordings.  Carnegie’s book pushed me to re-consider the evaluative criteria.  If an honest and sincere appreciative comment from my son during a strenuous work out makes me feel important; as Carnegie says there are two main drivers for people: health and sense of importance, then imagine if all of our interactions in the world of business, in the world of technology were guided by these three principles, we would be far more successful than our wildest dreams.

With regard to the first bullet point, Carnegie writes, “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them.  Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do.  That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.  “’To know all is to forgive all.’…God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.  Why should you and I?”

I take away from this that in order to sell technology - to improve business profits, not just the salesman must understand people without criticism.

With regard to the second bullet point, Carnegie writes, “The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.  What do you want?”

Further he writes, “…the deepest urge in human nature is ‘the desire to be important.’  Remember that phrase: ‘the desire to be important.’  It is significant.”

And finally he writes, “Emerson (News - Alert) said: ‘Every man I meet is my superior in some way.  In that, I learn of him.’…Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants.  Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points.  Then forget flattery.  Give honest, sincere appreciation.  Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,’ and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.”

I take away from this that people have a desire to be important and if I give them honest and sincere appreciation they will be far more willing to listen to my point of view and to do what I want them to do.  Flattery is easily seen, despised and works against the giver.  People desire to be important.  In giving them honest and sincere appreciation you make them so.

Of the third point, Carnegie writes, “’If there is any one secret of success,’ said Henry Ford, ‘it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.’”

And he writes, “The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking.  So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.  He has little competition...Looking at the other person’s point of view and arousing in him an eager want for something is not to be construed as manipulating that person so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment.  Each party should gain from the negotiation.”

This principle requires that I understand my potential customer, his needs, and his point of view and arouse in him an eager want and the method to fulfill it.  In doing so his needs are met as our mine.  That want is unique to each potential and existing customer.  In addition, that want in each person can change over time.  I must be constantly aware of that person’s point of view.

I plan to change my way of selling to accommodate these three principles.  In addition I plan to implement these principles in the way our sales staff and our customer service crew interact with each other and with the world.  Our SIP Print (News - Alert) appliance will help in that I can listen to call recording(s) of each person on the phone, helping them to implement the 3 keys to successful selling.

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Edited by Kelly McGuire

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