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How Sad Sacks In Newark Ohio Became The World's Best Salespeople

Dec 27, 2007
This is not just a story, it is a true story. It is not just a story, it's a set of instructions that can awaken your amazing sales potential.

I did not want to be a sales manager. I loved to sell using my system of "The Magic of Numbers and Statistics in Sales." Initially I didn't want to teach it to others because I knew they would have a hard time accepting my system.

I was assigned to our Newark, Ohio office, a terrible, poor performing office that was being completely overhauled. Even the current sales manager thought it was a disaster., and he was convinced no one could make any sales in Newark, Ohio.

Because of his attitude, and belief, not only had the salespeople believed him so did the management that I was working for. Originally, I was to shut down the office but I asked for a chance to redeem it.

The office's future hung by a thread. The salespeople had doubt firmly planted in their minds. This doubt would have to be dealt with or Newark would be doomed.

But in my heart I knew that the people in Newark were the same as people in Columbus as the people in Dayton as the people in Cincinnati and everywhere else we had opened up offices. I knew that Newark would produce sales.

Because my system had been successful everywhere, all I needed to change in Newark was the negative thoughts.

I believed it would be easier to start with a new crew then to change the deeply negative thoughts of the current group. I told everyone they were absolutely right, and that Newark was an too hard to sell. I advised them to find work elsewhere.

One young saleslady that had been employed at this office begged to stay. She claimed to enjoy her work.

I warned her that I expected a lot more than the previous manager. I told her that she would be responsible for three times the amount of the previous quota.

She told me she was willing to do that, but with tears in her eyes she told me she didn't know how to do it.

Standing before me was a woman who was clearly open to learning a new way. I had no doubt she could do it with the methods I could provide.

I explained exactly how she needed to follow the system step by step and I showed her how that would lead to making her quota. I showed her every single thing that needed to be done to succeed.

I explained to her that sales was more than just coming to work. You have to actually work while you're at work. You have to believe while your dialing that the people want what you have. You have to be kind, you have to be sincere, you have to transmute the feeling you have about the products and services to the prospect on the phone. Without this, nothing will ever happened.

I also explained to her that you can keep track of your results by percentages. If for instance, you start out making one sale for every 10 prospects you talk to, that can be a number you can count on no matter what.

She would know how many presentations she had to do per sale, she would know how many presentations she had to make each day to make a certain number of sales in a week. If she wanted to make a certain amount of money in sales per week, that she would have to do a certain amount of presentations each week in order to get a certain amount of sales.

It was amazing to her the first week when she actually hit her goal. What seemed impossible had become possible! The second, third, and fourth, week it became more real and more true to her. Until finally she knew that it depended on her to do a certain amount of presentations, and that would lead to a certain number of sales, that would create a certain amount of income.

And then I introduced her to the next step: increasing her ratio of sales from yes's to nos, by raising her belief level, and her consistency. And of course that would lead to even more increases in income.

I hired more salespeople, and trained them side by side with the young woman who was aliving example of the things I was teaching them. Slowly I built up a group of five top salespeople, including the young woman. Everyone was making quota with the system.

Then we came back to an area that had been called by the previous manager. Now, at this time three of my five salespersons were from the old crew. Over time two others had come back to me and since I had a positive crew going I allowed them to come back one at a time.

We had only been able to turn the sales people from the old crew around by changing their thoughts, because we showed them that Newark was a place you could make sales. They could see it, and when they believed it, they made sales.

One afternoon I pulled the same sheets of numbers that had been used by the previous manager out of the drawer of my desk. These shame-filled pages still held bookmarks of the unfinished area and notes that detailed that sad results of the old method of calling.

When the old crew saw me pull out the numbers, a chill shot across their face. They asked, we're not going to dial those are we? I said yes we are. These are wonderful numbers we are going to do great with them.

To say they really didn't want to call those numbers was an understatement. Hang ups, complaints, faithless sales that could not be collected.

"You know" I explained "that you have been setting records over every other office in the company. You are now a powerful crew. You are some of the best salespeople in this company.

We all worked for a very large company so it was quite an accomplishment for this sales team to have the top sales records in the company. So I looked each of them in the eye and said very firmly: "This time when you call those people, they will say yes!" All of you have nothing to fear from the old numbers, you have something new -- you have a new belief. All of you have a different attitude, you have new sales skills. Now you know you have something to offer that is good and you know that these people want it. They only told me they would "Try". I knew there was a problem, when they told me that.

To keep spirits up, I created a positive party-like atmosphere in our office. I made coffee, and brought in refreshments, and tried to keep the tone light with humor. But near the day's end, we had not made even one sale.

Now I had promised my boss, that I would never walk out of my office without at least seven hundred dollars in sales for the day. We had zero. However, I was not worried, I knew my crew had the ability to pull off a minimum day in only one hour if they decided to. We normally turned in twelve hundred dollars or more per day in sales.

Two hours left now. I told everyone to stop. The room was gloomy with fear and negative thoughts that had been part of their office life from the old manager. These old thoughts had taken control of them again. It was almost as if the negative thoughts had been imprinted in the number sheets and was rubbing off on all my sales crew.

I reminded them that their success came from the changes they made in their beliefs and attitudes. It was not about the numbers,a nd it wasn't about the management. I simply pointed out to them their own innate sales skills, and showed them ways to help them put that drive into action. Success had come from skills they had already demonstrated, they could still take these numbers, and numbers, and make sales. I knew that.

I made them resume calling, but I knew I was losing my crew. I heard whining and complaining -- things I never heard when the sales were flowing. I was getting near the end of my patience. We only had half an hour left and we had no sales.

I stopped my crew. I told them, "I have made a promise never to turn in less than 700 dollars for one days sales to my boss". We have 30 minutes left to keep this promise. I have listened to your complaints and negative comments and whining all day.

I told them, "You are the best crew I have ever had, and probably one of the best I will ever have. But today was terrible. I'm disappointed because I know you can do better. You have let yourselves down, but you are ruining yourselves with your negativity. It's you, not the numbers."

They knew I was angry when I asked them to give me the very worst sheet of numbers in the room. They agreed with little delay on a specific sheet on numbers. I took it, and I announced that we would make that $700 today if I had to do it all myself. I told them to get the drivers ready to deliver product and pick up checks. I warned them that we were going to be very busy in a short while.

I pointed to my number one and number 2 sales writers, "you and you, I will not have time to write down these sales, so you will need to fill out the order forms as you hear me repeat the customer's name".Our average sale was $35.00, so I was going to have to make 20 sales in about 20 minutes. I knew I had no time to take a no. Everyone had to say yes to me. I knew, that if I believed, no one could say no to me, if I was sincere, if I believed I was doing the right thing, If I believed I was doing something good for someone, and I did.

I picked up the phone and I started dialing, I sold the first person I talked to, I sold the second person I talked to, I sold the third person I talked to. No one could say no to me. My concentration was higher than it had ever been. I had to prove to my crew, that this poison in their mind was at their control. That they could get rid of it if they chose to do so.

When the day was over I was down to what my people told me were the "worst of the worst" numbers. Yet I was still making sales and Imade the seven hundred dollars of quota just as I told them I would. The products were delivered and the and the checks were collected. My sales team was speechless. Now they knew I would never, ever accept "bad numbers" as an excuse for lack of sales. I had done it right before their eyes.

From that day on, we made even more amazing accomplishments. My crew of 5 people outsold other offices with crews of 12-15 people. I was very proud of them. Later, when I was only allowed to have 3 telephones to work with, in a territory that was considered a disaster, and unwanted by the Columbus office, we had our highest sales ever.

Although my 5 people had to share 3 phones, and we were calling an area called a disaster, my crew knew that did not matter. They believed they could do it, and we still outsold many of the offices with 12-15 phones and 20-25 salespersons.

50% of everyone we talked to said yes. The company average was 5%. My best average as a saleperson before I started managing was 33%. But now my crew was doing better than I had done.These numbers were so fantastic that no one else would believe us. But my crew believed because they were doing it.
About the Author
Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. is still helping student learn how to become the best salesstudent. View the slideshow to see how Tim can teach you to be the greatest salesperson you can be.
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