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Over the year’s I have listened to many people tell me how to sell. I have attended numerous seminars and courses with great’s like Jack Daly and gained invaluable knowledge and motivation on how to attack the sales process in my business.

I have also had disasters. Employing Business Development Managers who at a base of $100,000 don’t get even one sale. They are just there for the gravy train until it runs out and then they are onto their next unsuspecting victim.

If I spoke to a hundred business owners I am sure I would get 100 disaster stories on hiring the wrong sales person for the job.

Last night on my flight from Brisbane to Melbourne, I sat next to a man named David. I don’t normally talk to people that are next to me, but somehow we struck up a conversation. We did the normal questions, “what do you do, where do you live”.

In no time at all we were firing questions as we both worked out we had a common interest in the IT industry.

When he explained that he was a Solutions and Services Director for a big IT company, gave a perfectly clear positioning statement of the company and it’s unique selling proposition, then continued to tell me just how great this company was that he had worked for for the past 20 years – I just sat in awe.

Tick. Positioning statement

Tick. All key messages

Tick. Unique selling proposition

Tick. Company philosophy

Tick. Culture.

Tick. Passion

This man was a gun and a marketers dream. I sat in sheer admiration at how easy it was for all of this to roll off his tongue. Why wouldn’t you do business with this guy. He was awesome! He knew exactly what his company did, why they were so good, what they were best at and how to make the person listening trust what he was saying. He was good. Very good.

If he wasn’t a big honcho for an IT company, I would have offered him a job on the spot. Unfortunately, I could not afford someone of his calibre (but in the back of my head, I kept thinking – imagine what he could do for my company -surely I can afford that!).

So, I did the next best thing. I asked him questions about sales. What makes a good salesperson? What is your philosophy behind the sales process?

“You can’t sell something to someone that they don’t want, and you can’t sell something to someone that they don’t need”.

“The only way you can do it is by lying”.

What makes a really successful salesperson?

“Really successful people understand what they do and what they are really good at”.

Analogy: “Would you buy a car from someone without a licence”?

Advice: “Learn your subject matter. Love what you do and find the company you work for exciting”.

“If people are not passionate, they can’t sell”.

“If you walk into JB Hi Fi and talk to two people about flat screen TV’s, you get either a person who thinks “yeah, whatever” and just answers the questions or you get someone who is passionate and will give you options and features that will make you like the product as much as he does”.

I scribbled down notes as fast as I could. We all know these things but sometimes we need to be reminded.

We talked for 2 hours and it was the best 2 hours I have ever had on a flight. After having a family misfortune, it took my mind off my own issues and onto something that I am passionate about. Growing my business and making it successful by helping small to medium sized businesses grow through marketing.

Thank you so much David. You made my evening!

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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