How the Greatest Salesperson in History Does It

Simply put: Love your customers. I'll explain more at the end of the article, but first: Think about the stereotypical salesperson for a second. He's arrogant, aggressive, and pushy. He can't be nice. He can't tell customers the truth. He's focused on selling that next car. He's focused on quota. After all, isn't that what we've always known about a salesperson?

Don't Follow My Crappy Start

When I was younger and got a job selling men's frangrance (of all things!), I focused on the me-first-customer-second philosophy. The startup company I worked for promoted that mindset, so being the ignorant 15-year-old that I was, I went along with it. I focused on my sales, disregarded what the customer needed, and wondered what I would buy with my newfound wealth. Unfortunately then, but fortunately now, I sold nothing. I followed the stereotypical salesperson approach, so what happened? When you go into each sales meeting wondering what you'll get from it, ironically, you won't get it. Yet, when you focus on your customer first (as philosophical as that may sound), you'll get more sales. I guarantee you.


Switching your mindset to a me-second-customer-first mindset allows you to concentrate on their needs. If they don't need something, tell them: you'll build a long-term relationship, and establish your credibility as a trustful resource. Yet, if you feel something will help them improve their business (or lives), show them how your product will do just that. You won't get to do the latter, though, if you're not passionate about your customers' well-being.

Take it from the world's greatest salesperson.

Joe Girard made history in 1973 when he sold over 1400 cars in a month. In total, he sold over 13,000 cars. His record for a day? 174. Not bad, if you consider the average car salesperson sells four cars a month. Here's how Girard does it:

It's like a marriage. You need to like each other. And if you treat people right, you will love them. I told my customers that I liked them, that I loved them, all the time. I would send a card every month with a different picture, a different greeting, and the card would say, "I like you." I would close a sale, and I would say to my customer, "I love you." I even gave them buttons that said "I like you." People may have had to wait for an appointment, but when I was with them, I was with them body and soul.

You won't need a total customer-centric organization to have a successful organization. But, if you're selling, loving your customers is the first step.

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Posted on June 26

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