I often get asked how I got stated with Business Development and Marketing. My story is long and full of great stories, the ride’s been awesome. It helps that my father, himself a full time salesman even at the age of 86, has passionately shared stories of his many years in sales with me and my 8 brothers and sisters.
My first job was working for my father in his furniture store. My family came from a long line of furniture people and so I went into the furniture business. Dad owned a store in Burien Washington for many years and he is a very patient teacher. Dad likes to look at selling as if it’s a game.
Prospects have a wallet and we have a product. It’s our job to make them comfortable enough to pull out their wallet and give us a portion of their hard earned money.
If they didn’t give it to us, that was their prerogative. There was no place for disappointment because it’s their money. This taught me so much about being patient and discovering the real needs behind peoples decision making. Interestingly their needs were always unique to their situation so I learned to never assume anything. Dad taught me most of what I know about selling.
Negotiating A Win/Win
After working for my dad I started my selling career working in a pawn shop on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle during the mid 70’s.
Downtown Seattle at that time was not the urban chic it is today. Back then it was a dirty, gritty often times dangerous place to work and at 18 years of age, I loved it. This is where I first learned the art of negotiation. My teacher was an old Jewish guy named Mr. Goldman. I dearly loved working with Mr. Goldman.
Mr. Goldman had decades of experience in the pawn industry. He taught me how to read people. What I learned was it’s not always about price. It’s really about what they wanted and so I learned 4 important lessons about negotiating:
- First discover if the object of the negotiation has any emotional attachment to it. If there is emotion involved seek to understand why
- Keep the end in mind. Identify what outcome they are seeking. Maybe it’s just a little extra cash to get by on or maybe they just wanted to keep something safe or maybe they just want to get rid of it.
- Be patient. Whoever rushes the process does it at their own peril. Haste will cost you your outcome.
- Know what you can afford to do and stick to it, no matter what. If you know what your end game needs to be and you are clear about it, you won’t get caught up. Negotiate with the end in mind, theirs and yours. If you can’t get what you need from the negotiation, be willing to walk away … no matter how much you want it to work.
At times it was like a game. They had a outcome and we had an outcome. The game was to see if you could figure out what they wanted and needed and then if it met our outcome, give it to them.
Because I had such a great and patient teacher I learned to be patient with others. The goal was to find the middle ground where they could win and we could make a profit. We fought for higher prices when selling and lower prices when buying.
This experience taught me the fine art of reading and understanding the needs of others. I still use much of what I learned in those early years and fondly remember the work.
Next I worked at the Seattle Design Center. This was the place many designers and architects brought their clients to select furniture, fabrics and accessories. In order to buy here you needed to be a business owner. This place was not open to the public.
As a male with severe color blindness in reds and greens, I really had limited qualifications for managing a “designer” showroom.The design center was a place where the best of the best interior designers and architects came and those3 of us that worked there were expected to know our stuff.
Because of this expectation, it was not unusual for these designers and architects to ask for expert opinions on color choices and fabric combinations. Since I was colorblind my ability to make a sale depended on my ability to help them identify and decide on choices.
This is where I learned that the average person already knows what they want, they just need some help “fleshing it out”. In order to identify what they needed to help them decide I learned how to ask questions. Clarifying questions as well as questions that helped them to eliminate choices.
The funny thing is, I am color blind. I mean really color blind. You know, where I can’t tell what color the traffic light is half the time. I have a very difficult time distinguishing green from red from blue. Here I am making a living by helping these professionals to make important and expensive decisions on behalf of their clients. I couldn’t even dress myself without help.
So I learned the how to ask questions. Questions became my most important ally. They would ask me questions about color combinations and patterns. I couldn’t even see the colors. I don’t have an internal color sense. I literally cannot tell you if something goes together, even if my life depended on it.
Questions enabled me to discover what I knew they already knew the answer to be. I learned to help people become unstuck in their thinking. You see I believe you already know the answer to your conundrum. You just need some help to bring it out. I am an expert at helping people and businesses to become unstuck.
Ready For A Breakthrough?
Over the years I have been taught marketing and sales by some of the worlds top trainers and teachers.
I have worked with marketing systems by Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy and Chet Holmes to name a few. I have also been trained by some of the great sales trainers of our time like Tom Hopkins, Ari Galper, Zig Ziggler and many others. I have a very well rounded perspective on sales and marketing.
In 2010, I was certified as a Hidden Marketing Assets (HMA) Business Consultant. This gave me a sophisticated 8 step business development system to help any business achieve exponential sales results. The system was patterned after the teachings of Jay Abraham by a man named Richard Johnson. Richard has honed and perfected this systematized approach to marketing and business development since 1994 and after 19 years of testing and improving it can be said, this system really works!
That Is Why I Say
“I Will Show You How To Increase Sales By 25%, 50% 100% even a 1,000% In The Next 90 Days Without Increasing Your Advertising, Guaranteed!”
By For more on what others have said, go to my testimonials page.
It is currently being used by Dell and IBM on their small business development platforms and has been applied to over 60 industries in 14 plus nations around the world.
Maybe you or someone you know will become one of the people I will be used to release resources to.
Do you want help?
Give me a call at (206) 569-8579, there is no obligation and I promise you it will be enlightening.