Reggie Johnson's sales training program "How to Close More Customers" is available at www.success-tapes.com
I started out selling in a high pressure environment competing against some of the most ruthless cut-throats in the business. In spite of this, I was second in sales to no human being for years ... until I met Chilli!
Chilli was a nickname for a Sales Counselor from the “old school”. He was slightly over weight, over looked, and over the hill. He was also a legend. Every day, every month, and every year, he was number one in sales. In spite of this I told everybody, my first day with his company, I would be the new number one!
Frank, a veteran Sales Counselor, said to me: “Reggie, you must be dreaming, no one has ever beaten Chilli and no one ever will!” Since my ego was on the line, I worked extra hard that first month and could not wait to see the sales figures. Guess who was number one? Chilli!
While being number two is fine for most people in a sales force of one thousand, it was a humbling experience for me. The following month I made a commitment to put in more hours, move faster, and take no prisoners. I sold every man, woman, and child I saw ( and some I did not see ). When the sales figures came back--- guess who was number one? That (**#) Chilli!
As much as it pained my ego, I decided to observe Chilli with his clients. It was a revelation. I discovered while I was conducting a perfect presentation in all other phases of the sale; Chilli, for the most part, innately knew when to abandom them and go straight for the close.
While I was closing too little and sometimes too late, he was closing a lot more and sometimes too soon. The following month and every month thereafter, I was number one.
There are five morals to this story. Let me end this article with one of them: I was able to out perform Chilli by leaving my ego at the “ proverbial door”, learning from him, and adding it to my personal game plan. The trick in life (and sales) is to learn from everybody, even those with less credentials than you. It could mean the difference between being number two ... and being number One!