What does it take to climb to the top in sales? Why do some sales people make several times more sales than the others? What is the secret that all top sales people share?
The Guinness Book of World Records has declared that Joe Girard is, "The World's Greatest Salesman."
During his amazing career selling cars, Joe, for twelve straight years, sold more automobiles than any other salesperson. Period. In fact, as an individual, Joe sold more cars than most dealerships sell in total, and all of them at retail!
Coming from difficult and humble beginnings, Joe had been forced out of high school and fired from more than forty jobs!
But in 1949 things began to get better. Joe met a man who "took him under his wing", teaching him how to be a successful building contractor. Joe became pretty successful, so in 1961 he contracted to construct several private homes.
Unfortunately, he had made the mistake of accepting the word of a real estate speculator that told him the area was to have a sewer system installed. Instead of checking things, Joe took the man's word for it.
He soon found out it just wasn't true. Individual septic tanks had to be installed for each house, which meant the homes became greatly de-valued.
As a result of the error, Joe lost his business. He found himself with no job, no savings, and $60,000 in debt. Oh, and it was also the Christmas season.
To make things even worse, on a cold day in January, Joe's wife June tearfully told him there was no food in the house and the kids were begging for something to eat.
On that day, Joe Girard found himself at the rock bottom of the barrel.
Joe had a choice: Either see his kids starve or go out and find
a job, any job! After begging and pleading with the manager of a local automobile dealership to hire him, the manager finally gave in and provided Joe with a small desk at the very back of the showroom.
Just before closing time that day, Joe's first customer walked in. He said to himself, "There's no way this guy is getting out of here without buying a car from me."
Joe remembered that his hungry kids were at home, then he looked at the customer and saw... a bag of groceries!
Within a month, Joe became so successful at selling automobiles that the manager fired him! He was simply too aggressive and the other salesmen were very upset.
But Joe had finally found his calling, and it wasn't very long at all before another dealership hired him, where he worked until he retired in 1978.
Recalling that very first sale, and explaining what made him "The World's Greatest Salesman", Joe says this:
"Want. My want. That was all I knew. And that want was enough to drive me to say and do enough of the right things to sell that customer a car. I am not saying that that's all there is to it, then or now, but that is most of it."
"If you want, and know what you want, you will have most of the tools you need to be a successful salesman. I mean that. Nobody can be a successful salesman without wanting. Wanting something very much. And the more you want, the more you drive yourself to do what it takes to sell."
"Once I visualized that first customer as a bag of groceries to take home to my family, he was sold, whether he knew it or not."
We might not ever become the world's greatest in what we do, but we can become the best we can possibly be at it. It all starts, continues, and ends with one simple word: DESIRE.
About the author:
Dave Cole is the Editor of Prosperity: The Choice Is Yours Ezine. Visit him at
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