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Name a situation in which a salesperson provided you with information to make your purchasing decision. Did you trust the salesperson to provide this information? Why did you trust the salesperson?

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This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without

attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

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Welcome to The Power of Selling
You’re about to go on a journey that will take you to places you can’t even imagine. Think about being able

to get what you want in life. While that may sound far-fetched, it’s not. You really can get what you want,

if you learn to use the right skills. That’s what this book is about.

Selling is a skill that everyone uses every day, no matter what they do for a living. Want to be successful?

Learn how to sell. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get

what they want,” according to famous sales expert, Zig Ziglar. That means listening and connecting with

people, understanding their needs, what they want, what motivates them, and then capturing their

imagination with a reason to buy…from you (Ziglar).

This book is different from other textbooks about selling. While it uses the traditional selling tenets as its

foundation, it adapts the concepts to the rapidly changing world of business in today’s environment,

including the use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, wikis, and other interactive ways of connecting

with customers. In addition, this book is filled with many unique approaches to traditional topics. For

example, Chapter 10 “The Presentation: The Power of Solving Problems” covers how to create an elevator

pitch for your product as well as for your personal brand; Chapter 13 “Follow-Up: The Power of Providing

Service That Sells” explains Net Promoter Score, a nontraditional method of measuring of customer

satisfaction; and Chapter 15 “Entrepreneurial Selling: The Power of Running Your Own

Business” addresses how selling can help you realize your dream of being an entrepreneur and starting

your own company.

There are four special features that make this book interesting and interactive:

1. Links to videos, Web sites, articles, and podcasts. The focus on real-world experience and

sales professionals is carried throughout the book. Not only will you learn from real examples, but

you’ll also learn from current events.

2. Video ride-alongs. The best way to learn selling is to experience it. And just about every

salesperson starts out in sales by going on ride-alongs with an experienced salesperson or manager to

learn how selling is done firsthand. In order to provide the experience of a ride-along, each chapter

starts with a short video featuring a sales professional who shares personal insights and practical tips

about how he uses the key concepts that are covered in the chapter. These videos, which were made

exclusively for The Power of Selling, highlight sales professionals who are personally interested in

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helping you learn and succeed. In fact, you can contact any of these selling professionals directly using

the contact information at the end of this preface.

3. The Power of Selling LinkedIn group. Selling professionals from across the country are part of a

LinkedIn group created expressly for the students and faculty who use The Power of Selling. Simply

go to LinkedIn and joinThe Power of Selling group to network, connect, join or start discussions, or

ask questions to the group. The people in the group are looking forward to connecting with you. The

sales professionals featured in the video ride-alongs are also members of this group. Feel free to

contact them individually or add them to your network. Visit http://www.linkedin.comand create a

profile (see Chapter 3 “The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work” for

details), then search “Groups” for “The Power of Selling” and join the group. If you already have a

LinkedIn profile, click on the following link and join The Power of Selling group.

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2566050&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=%2Egdr_1263094780871

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4. Selling U. The last section of each chapter is called Selling U, which applies the key concepts to selling

yourself as a brand to get the job you want. Selling U teaches you how to think about yourself as a

brand through every step of your career search. These sections throughout the book include details on

key career searching tips such as how to create a cover letter and résumé that sells, how to target

prospective employers, how to craft your personal elevator pitch, how to ace interviews, how to follow

up, how to negotiate and accept the right job offer, and what to do to prepare for your first day of your

new job. Links to videos, Web sites, articles, and other interactive resources make Selling U an

excellent complement to the selling material and the ultimate resource for how to build your personal

brand in this very competitive twenty-first century.

There are four features that are used throughout the book that reinforce key concepts:

1. Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands. These short vignettes highlight

examples of how successful companies implemented one of the concepts covered in the chapter.

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2. Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople. Real-life advice from sales

professionals about how to be successful in sales is showcased in these short accounts.

3. Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View. Feedback from

customers about sales techniques and what they look for in a salesperson and a brand are brought to

life in these short features.

4. You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search. Helpful tips highlighted in the Selling

U section of each chapter are emphasized in these sidebars.

It’s a powerful lineup designed to give you insight and experience into the profession of selling and teach

you how to get what you want in life. Over the course of this semester, you’ll learn how to sell products,

services, concepts, and ideas. More important, you’ll learn how to sell the most important

product…yourself.

Selling is a journey. Your journey starts here.

Meet the Sales Professionals Featured

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Sales professionals (left to right): Lisa Peskin, Paul Blake, Tonya Murphy, Andrew Sykes, Rachel

Gordon, Priya Masih, David Fox.

Lisa Peskin, Sales Trainer at Business Development University

Lisa thought she wanted to be a doctor and declared her major as premed at Pennsylvania State

University. It was only after she completed all the prerequisite courses, except one, that she decided she

didn’t like science. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After she completed her Master

of Business Administration at Temple University, her plan was to pursue a career in marketing and

decided to take a job in sales to learn the business. Once she started selling, she never looked back. Lisa

now has over twenty years of sales and sales training experience in payroll and human resources services,

financial services, and other business-to-business (B2B) industries. She started her selling career in 1989

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at Automated Data Processing (ADP) and rose to become the vice president of sales where she was

responsible for four district managers and forty salespeople. Then she decided to put her successful selling

skills to work as a sales trainer at Bayview Financial and Interbay Funding. Today she is a principal, sales

trainer, and coach at Business Development University, a company that conducts sales training with a

focus in B2B selling.

Connect with Lisa Peskin on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisapeskin

[email protected]

Paul Blake, Vice President of Sales at Greater Media Philadelphia

Paul was born to sell. He started his career in sales in 1989 when he graduated from Bloomsburg

University of Pennsylvania. He quickly rose to a leadership role as the director of sales at Global

Television Sports, then sales manager at Clear Channel Radio, WJJZ-FM, and WMMR-FM. In 2006, Paul

was promoted to vice president of sales at Greater Media Philadelphia, responsible for the advertising

sales for five radio stations in Philadelphia and managing over forty salespeople.

Connect with Paul Blake on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/pauljblake

[email protected]

Tonya Murphy, General Sales Manager at WBEN-FM

Tonya thought she wanted to be the next Barbara Walters, but soon learned that the newsroom was not

the place for her. Thanks to internships at two television stations and a sales-savvy mentor, she found that

her that her passion was sales. Tonya graduated from Cabrini College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in

English/Communications. She has been in sales for seventeen years and has held sales roles in media

including at Greater Media Philadelphia. Last year, Tonya was promoted to general sales manager at

WBEN-FM, one of the radio stations owned by Greater Media Philadelphia.

Connect with Tonya Murphy on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tonya-murphy/10/812/334

[email protected]

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Andrew Sykes, Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist at AstraZeneca

Andrew has always had a focus on selling and the pharmaceutical industry. He graduated from Saint

Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Marketing in 2005. After graduation

Andrew landed his dream job at AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical company, and today he is a

pharmaceutical sales specialist on the cardiovascular account team. Andrew’s customers are doctors who

prescribe the drugs he represents.

Connect with Andrew Sykes on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-sykes/7/52b/97

[email protected]

Rachel Gordon, Account Manager at WMGK-FM

When she graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Fashion, Business

Management, and Human Development, Rachel was certain she wanted to pursue a career in fashion

merchandising. But she found she didn’t enjoy it as much as she thought she would. She made a switch to

the media industry with a job as the national director of marketing at Westwood One. It was there that she

discovered her passion for sales. She is currently an account manager at WMGK, the classic rock station in

Philadelphia, and happy that she made the decision to change the direction of her career.

Connect with Rachel Gordon on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-gordon/0/992/35b

[email protected]

Priya Masih, Sales Representative at Lupin Pharmaceuticals

Since graduating from Saint Joseph’s University in 2004 with a Master of Science in International

Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Priya has proven herself to be an

outstanding sales achiever at The Hartford Customer Services Group, Creative Channel Services, and

GlaxoSmithKline with recognition such as The Winner’s Circle and the Top Sales Rep Award. She is

currently a sales representative at Lupin Pharmaceuticals.

Connect with Priya Masih on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/priyamasih

[email protected]

David Fox, Founder and CEO at Brave Spirits

David gave up the corporate life to start Brave Spirits. His background in marketing, new product

development, and sales includes work on major brands from Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and Mars;

spirits brands from Diageo; and wine brands from Brown-Foreman. In 2005 he and his business partner

conceived the concept for Brave Spirits and launched the company in 2007. Brave Spirits distributes

premium vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey and donates $2.00 of every bottle sold to charities that support

the men and women of America’s military, police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). It is

David’s way of creating a toast to the brave.

Learn more about Brave Spirits or connect with David Fox by e-mail:

http://www.bravespirits.com

[email protected]

References
Zig Ziglar, “Zig Ziglar’s Little PDF of Big Quotes,”

Ziglar.com,http://www.ziglar.com/_cms/assets/Downloads/TheLittle BookofBigQuotes.pdf (accessed

January 9, 2010).

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Chapter 1
The Power to Get What You Want in Life

Welcome to The Power of Selling
Do you want to be successful in sales and in life? You’ll have a chance to meet the pros, the people who

have achieved success in their careers in sales. At the beginning of each chapter you’ll have the

opportunity to go on a video ride-along, a chance to hear from sales professionals and learn firsthand

what it’s like to be in sales. You’ll go on video ride-alongs with some of the best in the business and hear

about their personal selling experiences and tips of the trade.

1.1 Get What You Want Every Day
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E

1. Understand the role of selling in everyday life.

What does success look like to you?

For most people, to achieve personal success entails more than just making a lot of money. Many

would claim that to be successful in a career means to have fulfilled an ongoing goal—one that has

been carefully planned according to their interests and passions. Is it your vision to run your own

business? Or would you rather pursue a profession in a service organization? Do you want to excel in

the technology field or, perhaps, work in the arts? Can you see yourself as a senior executive?

Imagine yourself in the role that defines success for you. Undoubtedly, to assume this role requires

more than just an initial desire; those who are most successful take many necessary steps over time

to become sufficiently qualified for the job presented to them. Think about your goal: what it will

take to get there?

With a good plan and the right information, you can achieve whatever you set out to do. It may seem

like a distant dream at the moment, but it can be a reality sooner than you think. Think about

successful people who do what you want to do. What do they all have in common? Of course, they

have all worked hard to get to their current position, and they all have a passion for their job. There

is, additionally, a subtler key ingredient for success that they all share; all successful people

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effectively engage in personal selling, the process of interacting one-on-one with someone to provide

information that will influence a purchase or action. [1]

Congratulations, You’re in Sales!

If you think personal selling is only for salespeople, think again. Everyone in every walk of life uses

personal selling (some more effectively than others!). Selling is what makes people successful. We all have

to sell our ideas, our points of view, and ourselves every day to all sorts of people—and not just those

related to our jobs. For example, when you work on a team project, you have to sell your ideas about how

your team should approach the project (or, sometimes more delicately, you will have to persuade others as

to what you should do about a lazy team member). When you are with your friends, you have to sell your

point of view about which movie you want to see or where you want to go to eat. When you pitch in for a

friend’s gift, you have to sell your ideas about what gift to give. You are selling every day whether you

realize it or not.

Think about the products and services that you buy (and concepts and causes that you believe in) and how

selling plays a role in your purchase decision. If you rented an apartment or bought a car, someone sold

you on the one you chose. If you read a product review for a new computer online then went into the store

to buy it, someone reinforced your decision and sold you the brand and model you bought. If you ran in a

5K race to raise money for a charity, someone sold you on why you should invest your time and your

money in that particular cause. A professor, an advisor, or another student may have even sold you on

taking this course!

“I Sell Stories”

Selling is vital in all aspects of business, just as it is in daily life. Consider Ike Richman, the vice president

of public relations for Comcast-Spectacor, who is responsible for the public relations for all NBA and NHL

games and hundreds of concerts and events held at the company’s Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

When you ask Ike to describe his job, he replies, “I sell stories.” What he means is that he has to “pitch”—

or advertise—his stories (about the games or concerts) to convince the press to cover the events that he is

promoting. So, even though he is not in the sales department, his job involves selling. Gary Kopervas,

similarly, is the chief creative strategist at Backe Digital Brand Communications. He works in the creative

department in an advertising agency, yet he describes his job as “selling ideas,” not creating ads. Connie

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Pearson-Bernard, the president and founder of Seamless Events, Inc., an event planning company, says

she sells experiences. For many of her clients, she also sells time because she and her team execute all the

required details to create the perfect event. As you notice, all these people are engaged in selling, even

though “sales” may not be included in their respective job descriptions. Clearly, whether you pursue a

career in sales or in another discipline, selling is an important component of every job…and everyday life.

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Imagine being a nineteen-year-old college dropout with a child on the way.

That described Tom Hopkins in 1976. He worked in construction to pay the bills. He realized there had to

be a better way to make a living, so he took a job in real estate sales, but had no success. In fact, after his

first six months, he had only sold one house and made an average of just $42 a month to support his

family.

One day, he met someone who suggested that he go to a sales training seminar. Tom was inspired by the

concepts in the seminar and put them to work. Before he was thirty, Tom was a millionaire selling real

estate. Tom is now a legend in the selling arena with his “Training for Champions” and “Sales Boot Camp”

programs. He is a successful author, speaker, columnist, and sales coach at Tom Hopkins International,

which provides sales training for companies such as Best Buy, State Farm Insurance, Aflac, U.S. Army

Recruiters, and more. [2]

The New World of Selling

There are some people who might think of selling as a high-pressure encounter between a salesperson and

a customer. Years ago, that may have been the case in some situations. But in today’s world, successful

selling is not something you do “to” a customer, it is something you do “with” a customer. The customer

has a voice and is involved in most selling situations. In fact, Internet-based tools such as forums, social

networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, along with Web sites, live chat, and other interactive

features allow customers to participate in the process no matter what they are buying.

Brand + Selling = Success

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What do Ikea, Red Bull, Mini Cooper, and Apple have in common? All four are strong and highly

identifiable brands. You might wonder what role a brand name plays in selling strategy. Perhaps it is not

always noticeable, but when you buy a Red Bull at the corner store for some extra energy, at that very

moment, a specific, chosen brand has become an extremely powerful selling tool, and it has significantly

influenced your inclination to purchase that particular drink. Selling can only be successful when that

thing that you sell has perceived value applied to it by the consumer—why Red Bull rather than another

caffeine drink? Red Bull must be more effective if a person chooses it rather than the other brand nearby.

A brand is a tool to establish value in the eyes of the customer because it indicates something unique. On

the surface, a brand is identified by a name, logo, or symbol so that it is consistently recognized. [3] But a

brand is more than that.

A great brand has four key characteristics:

1. It is unique. (Ikea furniture has exclusive, on-trend styling at unbelievable prices.)

2. It is consistent. (Red Bull looks and tastes the same no matter where you buy it.)

3. It is relevant. (Mini Cooper looks cool and doesn’t use much gas, and you can design your own

online.)

4. It has an emotional connection with its customers. (An iPod, with hundreds of personalized qualities,

becomes a loved companion.)

A brand is important in selling because it inherently offers something special that the customer values. In

addition, people trust brands because they know what they can expect; brands, over time, establish a

reputation for their specific and consistent product. If this changes, there could be negative

repercussions—for example, what would happen if thousands of Mini Coopers started to break down?

Customers expect a reliable car and would not purchase a Mini if they could not expect performance.

Brand names emerge in all different sects of the consumer market—they can represent products, like

PowerBar, or services, like FedEx. Brands can also be places, like Macy’s, Amazon.com, or even Las Vegas

(everyone knows that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! [4]). Brands can be concepts or causes like

MTV’s Rock the Vote or the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Brands can also be people, like Lady Gaga,

Jay-Z, Martha Stewart, or Barack Obama.

When products, services, concepts, ideas, and people demonstrate the characteristics of a brand, they are

much easier to sell. For example, if you go to McDonald’s for lunch, you know you can always get a Big

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Mac and fries, and you always know it will taste the same whether you go to the McDonald’s near campus

or one closer to your home. Or if you go to Abercrombie & Fitch, you can expect the store to look and feel

the same and carry the same kind of merchandise whether you go to a store in Baltimore, Maryland, or

Seattle, Washington.

The same concept applies to people. Think about your classmates: is there one that is always prepared?

He or she is the one who always does well on the tests, participates in class, is a good team player, and

gets good grades on assignments. This person has created a brand. Everyone knows that they can count

on this person; everyone knows what to expect. Conversely, the same is true for a person who is often

times late and sometimes arrives unprepared. You probably wouldn’t want to work with that person

because you’re not sure if that person will hold up his or her end of the project. Which one would you

choose as a teammate? Which one would you trust to work with on a class project? Which person is your

brand of choice?

The Power of an Emotional Connection

Uniqueness (no other fries taste like McDonald’s), consistency (a Coke tastes like Coke no matter where

you buy it), and relevance (your college bookstore is only relevant on a college campus, not in your local

mall) are clear as characteristics of a brand, but the most important characteristic is also the most

abstract—the emotional connection it creates with its customers. Some brands create such a strong

emotional connection that its customers become brand fans or advocates and actually take on the role of

selling the brand by way of referrals, online reviews, user-generated content, and word-of-mouth

advertising.

Harley-Davidson measures their customer loyalty by the number of customers who have the company’s

logo tattooed on their body. [5] These customers are emotionally connected with the brand, which offers

unique selling opportunities for Harley-Davidson dealerships. Another example of emotional connection

to a brand can be found by examining consumer relationships to sports teams. Fans willingly advertise

their favorite team by wearing T-shirts, hats, and even putting decals and bumper stickers on their cars.

They attend games (some of which require hours of standing in line) or watch them religiously on

television. For popular events, in fact, many times customers are willing to pay more than the face value of

tickets to attend; some will spend hundreds of dollars to see the NCAA Final Four, the World Series, or

the Super Bowl. These consumers are emotionally connected to their teams, and they want to be there to

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support them. A loud, sold-out stadium certainly illustrates why it’s easier to sell brands when customers

are emotionally connected.

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
Emotion Sells

Did you ever consider why the salespeople at Starbucks are called baristas instead of employees?

Howard Schultz, the chief executive officer of Starbucks, has built the brand in his vision since the

company began in 1982. He believes strongly that the brand stands for more than beans. During an

interview, he sai