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Sales Is A Contact Sport

Article by John Chapin


A few days ago, I was watching an interview featuring a highly successful real estate agent in New York City. According to him, a key factor in his success is reaching out to 15 new people daily. This resonated with a conversation I had a few months ago with a local financial planner, who shared a similar strategy. He recounted the story of a very successful insurance agent who attributed his success to talking to three new people seven days a week about what he did for a living. He said it didn’t matter if they were at the supermarket or he met them at church, the key was to talk to three new people a day.

The idea of salespeople going out and talking to lots of people about what they do remains a timeless and crucial element of sales success; it was effective from the inception of sales, continues to yield results today, and will endure as long as selling exists.

Billionaire John Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of two billion-dollar companies (hair products brand Paul Mitchell and tequila company Patron Spirits) often talks about all the rejection he faced growing up selling encyclopedias and shampoo door-to-door and then later in life building the haircare and tequila companies. He has said that dealing with rejection is a tough but necessary skill if you want to be successful—that in order to make it, you need to deal with the rejection so you can knock on enough doors to get enough people to listen to you.

The popular saying, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door,” carries a crucial caveat—awareness is key because while having a better mousetrap is great, if no one knows about it, they won’t be beating a path to your door. If enough people know you exist and what you do for a living, you’ll have plenty that contact you when they need what you have. From that point they’ll determine whether they like and trust you. If they do, you’ll have plenty of business. Assuming you’re generally likeable, honest, and have integrity, focus on the first part: Making sure plenty of people know you exist and what you do for a living.

Sales is a contact sport; it is a numbers game. Sales is about people and relationships and in order to get the number of relationships we need to make the necessary sales and be successful, we have to contact lots of people. Even a blind pig finds corn, if you talk to enough people, you’ll eventually bump into someone who says, “I need what you have” or “I know someone who needs what you have.”

John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker, coach, and trainer. Email: [email protected]

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