Sell without knowing your product
- Sounds incredible - but 'tis true!

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Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

Breaks the cardinal rules, or ONE of them, at any rate that everyone tells you about SELLNG and making SALES?

Well, maybe, but I’m here to tell you it’s true – – well, for the most part.

What do I mean?

Well, let’s consider the following tale from the Bollywood flick “Blood Money” I saw a few years ago which came to mind today for whatever reason I was taking a shower.

This movie is about a young upstart “lured from Mumbai, India” to work in the glitzy environs of South Africa and an office that looks straight out of an interior decorator’s dream playbook … with villains to boot, hehe.

While the movie is a typical masala flick, and based upon the “ambitious get rich quick” mindset that was all the rage back then in India (probably still is in most of the world, to be honest) it could have done better than it did at the box office, I felt. Missed a coupla tricks, but anyway, this is NOT about what the movie missed.

At the start of the movie, we see young upstart in a meeting with the boss (well he was observing the whole thing via video link from his office) and several wizened pros, all trying to sell a 13 carat or so diamond to a very picky buyer indeed.

The sale was crucial, and a high value sale. Time was of the essence, and the boss sent his second in command to close the deal, while the rest learned from him (the “team” in other words), but said second in command wasn’t doing such a great job of it, as the customer repeatedly wanted to buy the ring at a price much lower than what the company was offering it at.

Not only that – he was seemingly not happy with the way he was being handled during the sale, period (I mean in terms of negotiation etc, of course).

Young upstart is shown silently chafing … and as the big boss asks about the sale, and the second in command hems and haws, he pipes up.

“Sir, let me do this”, he says.

Second in command shushes him, but big boss looks on curiously.

“What makes you so sure you can close the sale”, he asks. “Most likely you don’t even know a lot about our business now…”

And he didn’t, of course. Young upstart had joined the company a few days back and this was his first job and his lack of practical knowledge on gems had already been very ruthlessly exposed in his first encounter with his second in command.

But he grins anyway.

“I may be new to the game, sir, but I’m very old at the game of selling! Starting from selling knock offs at the age of 7 to pizza at the age of 11. ….”

And while I’m not sure I recall the specifics, his enthusiasm convinced the big boss to take a PUNT on him – and guess what – he made the sale – and at a price BETTER than the second in command, and in LESS time, leaving both boss and customer GASPING.

When big boss asked him what exactly he did to get the sale, he told him – and it was basically a case of knowing the customer – as opposed to the product – inside out.

He had but a rudimentary knowledge of the latter, but an SOLD knowledge of the former based upon EXPERIENCE, my friend – and that clinched the deal.

And that’s how it works in terms of sales, my friend .

Many years ago, when I worked as a systems analyst at an I.T. job, I used to be BORED all day long writing functional specification docs for the tech team (a liason between sales, client, and programmer as it were, which is an essential function for an I.T. project, but is usually ignored).

And along the way, I noticed the sales guys, and their laments about not being able to close deals, and about not being able to get REPEAT business …

One fine day, I had enough.

An idea struck me, and I spoke to my immediate boss about it, who liked it.

I side stepped my “reporting boss”, and went straight to the big boss with it who had hired me a few months ago, and he instantly OKed it much to the (for whatever reason) chagrin of reporting boss, who was the operations manager (more sales = more headache for operations? LOL).

Anyway, long story short, a few weeks later, I made my FIRST sale. To the tune of a USD 7500 I.T. project sold entirely over email and later the phone, and this project value escalated down the line, of course.

And the rest, as they say is history.

Was I an expert in web development?

Well, I had done tech work and programming myself, but I was hardly at that point up to date with the latest coding skills etc, and probably still am NOT today.

But what I did know was the customer – their pain points – their pleasure points (sorry, I know, but that’s how you SELL!) … and what GOT ‘em, and what didn’t.

Hard experience as it were dealing with people all my life, and I took the knowledge and married it to selling I.T. instead of something else, and voila.

And that’s why I bring this up today – to dispel one misconception that you need to know your product inside out before starting to sell it (either yours, or someone else’s).

Now, don’t get me wrong. You DO need to know your product, the more and in detail, the BETTER. I’m NOT recommending you sell or try to sell something you know nothing about, but the point is this … there is something FAR MORE IMPORTANT to know inside out – that being your MARKET, my friend.

And that is indeed where a lot of folks fail, including yours truly at various points as well.

Anyway, good news – I’ve put together a lot of sales fundamentals (note – NOT copy writing fundamentals) into the 10 Commandments of Successful Sales, which despite its dated cover has info within it that is anything BUT dated.

And I highly recommend it – especially if you’re trying to SELL in this economy – or any – and make a few extra bucks here and there – or do it full time.

There are many other stories I could share in this regard, of course, one being a customer in the NEXT company I worked at that taught me a LOT about selling, and getting others to do what they don’t want to initially, hehe. Perhaps he read the Art of Negotiation by Sun Tzu, I don’t know – – but whatever the case be, after a few emails, yours truly was going back and forth with him like no-one’s business as well.

Born natural, and perhaps that is me tooting my horn, but hey, results speak, and we certainly got results there!

As the old man once told me “you sold it to me, Rahul! No-one else could!”

And I did. He was a tough, tough sell even WITHOUT shelling out a penny … or dime, hehe, and more on that in future emails.

For now, make sure to grab the book if you haven’t already, and start implementing the advice therein today, my friend. If there’s one skill that is going to be essential as we move further along the road to survivordom, it’s sales, and there it is – can’t get any more blunter than that!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – Oh, and get yourself in SHAPE – FIGHTING shape – not only to feel the best you ever have in your life, but also to SURVIVE and THRIVE. Here are the two courses you need to further yourself in that regard – – Eat More, Weigh LESS and the 0 Excuses Fitness System.

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