As a sales trainer and author, I always advise anyone who is interested in becoming a top performer to “read more.” Often, I realize this advice isn’t as easy to follow as it sounds; we all have other commitments that make it hard to devote time to opening a book. But when it comes to “The One Minute Salesperson” by Spencer Johnson, you don’t have any excuse – the book is barely 100 pages long.
Besides being a quick read, it has an entertaining story, revolving around a young salesperson who decides to track down the mythical colleague who is said to be a master of selling. Along the way, he learns an important lesson from this other man: that we have all been selling all our lives, whether we have known it or not.
Think about that for a moment: As a child, you sold your parents on letting you have ice cream, or staying up a little past your bedtime. You’ve sold friends on your favorite band or restaurant, and most likely more than a few people on all the reasons they should consider dating you. The impact of Spencer Johnson’s message here is profound: We are all born salespeople, in one way or another, we just have to let our natural skills come out.
The second key lesson the young salesperson learns is that envisioning a successful outcome is an important step toward making it happen. In other words, if you can see success in your mind, then you are well on the way to achieving it.
That idea is a consistent theme in my own books, as well as many of the top sellers in the sales category. There’s a good reason for this: It works. You’ll consistently find that the very best in every field – from selling to medicine or athletics – all make a habit of imagining themselves succeeding. After that, they just have to follow the blueprint they have created in their minds.
And finally, the third important point that Dr. Johnson leaves readers with is that for a salesperson to turn his or her job from the daily grind into a pleasure, they need to learn to take themselves out of their own perspective. In other words, they need to see the world through their customers’ shoes.
As with the other points, this is something that any salesperson who is serious about becoming a top performer should be reminded of from time to time. People don’t buy for our reasons, but for their own. As soon as we can figure out what it is they really want, we can go about helping them to find it… and shouldn’t that always be our goal as salespeople?
The One Minute Salesperson by Spencer Johnson is a fantastic read for any salesperson, sales manager, or professional who needs to bring new accounts and revenue into a company. If you haven’t taken the chance to read it already, I encourage you to spend an hour or two with this sales classic.