Passionate Selling
It Ain’t Rocket Surgery

Passionate Selling

Sales ace Brian McKittrick offers straightforward, functional sales advice all salespeople can apply immediately.

Insurance salesman Brian McKittrick offers sales strategies and sales actions you can pursue to become a top producer. He speaks candidly about being a former drug dealer. His attitude and use of profanity may make some readers uncomfortable, but his sales advice is solid and effective.

Keep It Simple

McKittrick urges you to develop confidence, dress well and learn the right sales processes. You need to know what to say and do, and when to say and do it before you make sales calls.

Proactive sales professionals…aggressively create their own traffic.Brian McKittrick

Present your information to your clients as clearly, directly and succinctly as possible. To that end, McKittrick advises avoiding long emails, long phone calls, long presentations or long anything else. Break your information down to its basic components and present each component straightforwardly. 

Strategic Areas

Success requires getting ready to sell. That includes developing resilience in the face of criticism and thinking creatively. Care deeply about selling and about the service you provide. Articulate your values and vision. Go on the record with yourself about what really matters.

Your education about how to become a more effective salesperson should never end. Read sales books and related material to learn the newest dos and don’ts of sales. Organize and schedule your day to create and sustain regular habits that help you accomplish more. Set goals and track them. Focus only on one or two sales goals each week, as you also pursue your personal goals in the areas of “faith, family, fitness and finances,” as well as sales.

McKittrick advocates staying healthy and eating right. Start with a daily morning walk, he advises, and follow a fitness routine. He notes that salespeople need to be likable. To get people to like you, make them feel good about themselves; then they’ll feel good about you, too.

Each Encounter Counts

McKittrick takes the unusual approach of emphasizing that how you relate to each prospect is a singular experience for that person. So, you should treat each encounter with each prospect as a special, important event.    

Carefully target your market, so you can focus your sales efforts on your most viable – and potentially most profitable – niche prospects. Target the best prospects by doing thorough research: examining association lists, shopping databases,specialized industry websites, mailing lists and other targeted audiences.

Use email, text, cold calls and social media to get in front of your most likely prospects. This means hard work, but stick to it. The heart of McKittrick’s approach is to be excited about what you sell and diligent about finding and reaching its best audiences.

If work is an adventure, it’s not really work. Brian McKittrick

When you talk to prospects, sell what matters. Don’t focus on features. Focus on benefits, which bring value to customers.To close sales, learn to read your prospects and their situation. Ask for the order and then shut up. Either prospects will give you an order, or you’ll have more work to do.

How Sales Are Like Puppies

McKittrick outlines some classic and not-so-classic closing techniques. The “assumptive close” assumes the client will buy, and it begins with your first interaction. With the “puppy-dog close,” you offer your return policy as a closing incentive by letting the clients take your offering home and try it out. As with a new puppy, they won’t bring it back.

The “sharp angle close” narrows clients down to one single objection. Offer a clear solution to that one isolated problem and ask if they have any other issues; they won’t. With the “testimonial close,” present glowing endorsements from your current clients in parallel demographics. 

To make these practices work for you, don’t hesitate. Gather your nerve and energy, and carry them out. 

Action Steps

Start with daily goals, move to monthly goals, then quarterly goals and finally, annual goals. Keep your goals realistic and strive to achieve every one.

Many salespeople are embarrassed to run sales scenarios and display their sales skills – or lack thereof – to their peers. McKittrick insists that you must practice your techniques in front of supportive colleagues. He compares role-playing sessions in sales with batting practice in baseball. You can’t become a better hitter without regular practice, and you can’t become a better salesperson without regular role-playing.

When the phone rings in your office and the call is up for grabs among several salespeople, be the one who grabs it. When a prospect walks into your salesroom, extend a warm greeting. You will never be the sales leader in your office if you stay quiet in the back of the room.

McKittrick reminds you that people are not walking onto your sales lot just to avoid the rain. They aren’t calling your office just because they miss talking to people. They’re walking in or calling you because they are interested in buying what you’re selling. So, sell it to them.

Building repeat business is about brand loyalty. Brian McKittrick

Keep track of your leads, which should translate to sales. Plan and structure the most attractive deals for your prospects. Similarly, be aware that the prospect you worked so hard to close, or hope to soon close, knows other people with similar needs. Ask your prospect for their names and contact information.  

Leave your business cards everywhere: on retail countertops, on community bulletin boards – wherever people will see them.

He encourages salespeople to remember that prospects want to “keep up with the Joneses.” In a sense, the Joneses live next door to you. What if they pulled into their driveway with a handsome new sedan? And three days later, you received a personal letter from the salesperson who sold your neighbors their new car offering you a test drive in one just like it? Wouldn’t that intrigue you? The payoff for this kind of follow-up effort can be tremendous.

One at a Time

If these recommendations and actions seem overwhelming, don’t try them all at once. McKittrick urges you to add and implement only one sales strategy at a time. 

There is no other return on investment as high as the investment you put into learning and growing. Brian McKittrick

Then, when that’s underway, implement another. Do this over and over, employing the practices that feel most appropriate and work best for you.

Bedrock Advice

For such a wise salesperson, McKittrick unwittingly undermines himself. The book’s whimsical title and his insistence on cursing and emphasizing his former criminal past may lead you to dismiss his advice, which is almost shockingly to the point, readable, memorable and easy to put into action. McKittrick avoids the gee-whiz tone of so many sales manuals. His writing is calm, clear and accessible. He announces his mission at the outset – to make you a more effective salesperson – and he fulfills it, page by page.

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