The following is a guest post by Chris Lytle, author of The Accidental Salesperson, on learning the three secrets of success on an airplane flight.
I learned the “three secrets of success” while flying first class from Chicago to San Francisco. My seatmate was a relatively young Silicon Valley entrepreneur flush from the IPO issued by the firm he’d founded.
It’s a simple, memorable formula:
- You’ve got to know what you’re doing. (Most people don’t.)
- You’ve got to KNOW you know what you’re doing. (This helps you repeat successful behaviors often enough to actually accumulate some money.)
- You got to be KNOWN for what you KNOW. (When other people know you know what you’re doing they come to you for help and advice and not your lowest price.)
That story is in the 2nd Edition of The Accidental Salesperson. In the book, I encourage salespeople to share something they’ve read or learned with their prospects and customers before pulling out the price sheets. “If you’ve been to a seminar, share a page from the handout,” I advise. “If you have read a good book on selling, share it with a customer who has a sales force.”
I have shared the “three secrets of success” in more than half of my 2200 live presentations. Every time I tell it, it becomes much clearer that my seatmate on that flight was right.
When you are known for what you know instead of what you sell you become a resource instead of a vendor. A partner instead of a pleader.
In a world where every professional purchasing agent is trying to turn your offering into a commodity, salespeople have to lead with business intelligence instead of price sheets.
Sadly, only a small percentage of us go home at night and crack open a book that may help us improve our sales. Let me share with you the last Accidental Salesperson axiom from the 2nd edition. Success is not an accident. It’s a choice.
Choose to become an expert. Become known for what you know and not just what you sell and watch your sales, customer retention and referrals go through the roof.
Chris Lytle is the President of Sparque, Inc. An acclaimed leader in sales training, he has conducted more than 2,100 seminars worldwide and is also the author of The Accidental Sales Manager.