Back to Basic Selling: The Winning Combo

Posted on by in Reading Between the Lines

“To be successful, sales techniques must be used in combination with product knowledge, markets and applications, territory management, time management and attitude.”

Back to Basic Selling by Robert F. Taylor, page 62

Today’s quote sounds like a mouthful, but it actually is the combination of the lock that is preventing you from becoming more successful.

Let’s break it down one element at a time.

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "Back to Basic Selling".

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “Back to Basic Selling”.

Sales Techniques. Rather than thinking of sales as a clever and coordinated series of deceptive tactics, I want you to think of sales as a sincere service designed to help ordinary people make better travel-related decisions. It has little to do with overcoming objections, up-selling, or the often-abused term known as “closing.”

The techniques I suggest you focus on include isolating people who have an interest in your service, and then asking appropriate questions that will logically lead you to an understanding of how you might be able to help them. The secret, if there is such a thing, is to never stop doing this.

Product Knowledge. Knowing your business is of paramount importance. But you also must recognize that your clients also have easy access to the Internet… which in fact, has the power to deliver 90% of the information available to you. Once again, the secret lies in providing that 10% consisting of behind-the-scenes intelligence while helping your clients sift through the information at hand.

Markets and Applications.  It may sound like I am beating a dead horse, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of selecting a specific market, or a group of like-minded people, that often share a common need. It bears repeating that you can’t be all things to all people, and yet that is the biggest mistake travel professionals make from coast to coast. In the interest of time I will repeat the advice to select a specific market and become extremely knowledgeable with the wants and needs of those within this group.

Territory Management.  You might’ve noticed the large successful companies have divisional managers, zone managers, product managers, and managers for national accounts. This is an example of the importance of cutting a territory into manageable parts.

I think the same holds true in your business. If you can define a geographical territory for which to ply your trade, you will be able to wrap your hands around the selling process as it relates to this specific territory. For example: if you make it your business to become visible with every consumer between your town park, the river on the north end of town, and your high school, you will know exactly what you have to do, where you have to do it, and who to do it with.  This may sound like an overly simplistic sample, but I think you get the idea. Don’t fool yourself with a grandiose plan that won’t work due to all the interruptions you have to deal with on a daily basis. I’m suggesting that you make life easier for yourself. You’ll soon see you will accomplish more.

Time Management.  This is a subject that deserves several volumes of information.  The fact is that you will never have enough time to do everything you want to do. But you do have enough time to do what is important… now. Therefore, today’s assignment is to challenge you to define exactly what is important “now” in order to grow your business.

Attitude. I am addressing attitude last only because it was written last in today’s quote. I strongly believe that it is the most important element if you have a sincere interest in building a profitable business. As a matter of fact, I started a company called Head 1st Sales because I believe your success will start in your head.

In the interest of time, I will try to simplify this segment and leave you with something to think about.  I will do this through a series of questions.

1. Are you in business to hurt me?

2. Are you in business to take advantage of me?

3. Are you in business to manipulate me?

4. Are you in business cheat me or to fleece me out of my hard earned money?

5. Are you in business to help me?

These five questions, when answered honestly, should put you in the correct frame of mind to get out and find more people to help without apology.

“Mike, it can’t possibly be as simple as that?”

Answer: “Yes it can.”


Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive monthly invitations send Mike an email with the words “business training” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.

For information on Mike’s Fourth Annual Training Cruise, email Mike at mike@mikemarchev.com with the word “cruise” in the subject box.

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