Selling Is 90% "Understanding People"
When Joe Gandolfo, a life insurance salesman was asked how he had sold over one billion dollars of life insurance in 1975, he said that all it takes is “understanding people.” Although Joe's response makes selling seem simple, his formula for success is one that can be recommended to you without hesitation, because it will work well for you as it does for insurance agents or for any sales representative for that matter.
In the insurance industry, as you may be aware, members of that profession get excited about someone who sells in excess of one million dollars in life insurance each year. In fact, they have an elite group of sales representatives they call the million dollar round table where individuals are recognized for their outstanding sales performance. To put Joe’s accomplishment into better perspective, it would take an average million dollar round table producer one thousand years to equal Joe Gandolfo’s production figures for 1975 alone.
Joe’s performance is almost unbelievable from any perspective. However, from his sales productivity, we see he is one of an elite group of superstars who have discovered the secrets to sales success. Therefore, when Joe suggests that it is the ability of a sales representative to understand and work with people, rather than technical skills or product knowledge that produce sales, you really should pay attention to what he has to say. Joe’s sales philosophy is simple if you don’t learn and use the techniques that will help you to get to know and understand your prospects, you will never be able to effectively use your product knowledge or skills of persuasion to produce a steady flow of sales.
In out Sales Success Strategies self-directed learning series , we explore some vital techniques that will help you to set the stage for getting to know people better. The first and most important step in the sales process is to build rapport with the people you serve. This is a vital step because if you fail to build trust, your prospective customers will never reveal enough about themselves to give you the inside track to help them meet their needs through the purchase of your products and/or services.