The Sales Con

Since the release of the first book in The Quarter Method series, I have been doing interviews. Over time I have noticed that a majority those interviewers will bring up movies like Boiler Room and Glengarry Glen Ross as a reference to elite-level sales.

Every time I hear this comparison I cringe. Do the people who have fond memories of these movies realize they were about people who were committing federal fraud? Boiler Room was about investment fraud, and Glengarry Glen Ross was about real estate fraud. These “sales” people—and I use the term loosely—were all committing a crime to fraudulently steal money from unsuspecting people. In essence, they were con artists.

I actually cover this point in the second Quarter Method book, Communicating in High Definition. The entire sales industry has been corrupted, from a marketing perspective, by a small percentage of people who use the term “salesperson” instead of “con artist” because the “mark” would run if the business card said John Smith, Con Artist.

True sales are the backbone of all society. Truth is the ideal to strive for in all person-to-person communication. If you are dealing with someone who triggers your subconscious red flags, run! Your instincts have been tuned by your life experiences, and red flags go up when your experience recognizes a risk or a threat.

My clients will unanimously tell you that my sales process was not only easy, it was enjoyable. I do NOT con my clients into a sale! I advise them and point out the return on investment, but the final decision is always theirs. If they are not comfortable throughout the entire process, something is wrong.

There is NO pressure! Let me repeat that because it is very important. There is NO pressure! I either represented myself as a professional who could satisfy their needs and wants, or I didn’t. They either want to buy from me, or they don’t. Either way, it was something I did. If they don’t buy from me, it is because I did something wrong, or I didn’t do something right. It’s my job to sell!

Almost every sales book I have ever seen is written like a con artist training manual. They all say things like “Always be closing” or “Don’t take NO for an answer,” or my favorite ridiculous concept, “The prospect has your money; go get it from them!” Some of you may be reading this thinking there is a psychological component to train the sales rep: perserverance.

Let’s think about that concept for a second. If I tell my waiter I don’t want a bottle of wine and he brings it anyway, is that good service? If I tell the car salesperson I need an economy car and they take me to the luxury models, did they read my mind or lose my business? You are the buyer, it is your money, and they are bullying you for your lunch money. That is not what elite sales is at all.

Elite sales is defined by a simple transaction that was preceded by a getting-to-know-you phase and an advisory phase. During the getting-to-know-you phase, I listen to everything the client wants to talk about, and I ask questions to gain clarity. During the advisory phase, I make recommendations based on our conversation, and I answer any questions the client may have for their own clarity. Once we have agreed on the products and/or services, we sign an agreement. It is that simple! If you are stressing out on a daily basis to make sales, you are doing something wrong. Pssst, I know a guy with an amazing training program called The Quarter Method. 😉 You should check it out!

Roy “Will” Wilhite
Founder/CEO, The Quarter Method