A Tale Of 2 Salesmen

It was the best of times (for the one who could sell) and the worst of times (for the one who couldn’t).

Ha ha… Do you recognize that opening line?

It’s a spin-off of the opening line from the book “A Tale of Two Cities,” and I figured it would be appropriate since I’m calling this blog post “A Tale of Two Salesmen.”

And the truth is, I am going to tell you a story about two different salesmen I interacted with last week. One of them made the sale, and the other didn’t. Even though we bought our new truck because it’s the one we wanted, both my wife and I noticed that the tactics employed by these two different salespeople affected us in different ways.

In addition to telling you this story today, I’m also going to be sharing with you a few random nuggets of gold I picked up over the last week or so.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and honestly, I’m excited to get back into it a little bit. Writing can be a very effective way to intimately connect with readers because if you’re doing it right, you’re speaking from your heart and laying out your thoughts on a page for others to see.

When people say, “I love what you wrote,” it’s almost like they’re saying, “I love the thoughts and intentions of your mind and soul.”

Anyway, let’s get on with the post.

So last week we bought a new truck.

Here’s a pic.

So far, I absolutely love it! This was not an inexpensive truck. It’s a Duramax diesel 6.6 L V-8, high country model which is the highest trim package, so it’s decked out, and can pull a train (okay, not quite but a LOT of weight) while still giving you the feeling like you’re riding in luxury.

One of my friends on social media asked me, “What are you pulling?” to which I replied, “My weight and then some.” Ha ha…

The truth is, we needed a new truck for my real estate business and also because we want to spend some more time on the road this year and over the next few years.

My oldest son is turning 18 next week, and it’s hitting my wife and me how little time we have left with our kids.

We want to take advantage of this time, so we’re going to buy a mobile Starlink Internet dish and hit the road as a family, so we can treasure the time we have left with our boys at home, and also keep doing business from the road.

Friday morning I woke up with the intention of getting the truck.

I became as clear as possible in my mind as to exactly what I wanted, got the cash ready, and said, “All right, honey, let’s go do this.”

We had been looking and thinking for a long time, but it was time to make a decision.

One of the things Napoleon Hill writes about in “Think and Grow Rich” is that indecision is a form of temporary insanity.

I feel the truth of this every time I leave a big decision undecided for too long.

Can you relate?

Sometimes making that decision can clear up so much more space in your mind for forward progress, and that’s what I wanted to make happen on Friday for myself.

Our weekend search narrowed the options down to two.

One was a white LTZ 6-seater, and the other was the black high country model we ended up going with.

Like I said above, we probably would’ve ended up getting the one we got, regardless of how the salesman interacted with us because we knew what we wanted.

That being said, there was definitely a big difference in the approach of each of the salespeople.

Both my wife and I felt way more comfortable, unpressured, and attracted to one, while the other one made us have a little feeling of avoidance in our hearts.

Of course, as home business entrepreneurs, we want to make sales, and we also want people to feel attracted to us rather than repelled from us, wouldn’t you agree?

So here are some of the things I noticed.

Salesman number one: He was very personable and helpful and asked questions about me and what we wanted, which was great! He was patient as he helped us look through the inventory and find trucks that met our criteria, which was also great.

Scattered throughout this great service were just a few little things that made it feel like there was just a slight bit of pressure on us.

He was by no means too pushy or too aggressive, but the little things added up to making us feel slightly less attracted to his approach.

For example, there was talk of his commission plan and how that day was the last day of the payout, and that making the sale would really help him as a single father.

While I definitely have empathy for him, I don’t feel that buying the truck that we wanted for our family should be a decision that’s made out of charity.

This is a classic salesperson mistake: forgetting that people buy for their reasons, not yours.

In the sales process, even if you want the other person to buy, you should never ever give them your reasons as to why they should buy.

It should always be about the customer and what they want and how buying can help them get what they want.

We went to look at the other truck, with the other salesman, and then later that night, stopped back by to take a second peek at the white one.

While we were there, I told the salesman that we wanted to sleep on it, and he said, “Are you sure? I’d love to send it over to the bank right now and we can get it closed up for you.”

Once again, a little too aggressive.

I admire his desire to close the sale, but one thing I’ve learned over my long career in selling, is that trying to close before the prospect is ready can make them feel uncomfortable pressure and push them away.

And that’s what it did for us.

Again, he wasn’t too pushy, and he backed off as soon as I told him we weren’t ready, but that little comment planted one more seed in my mind, that grew into the feeling, that the salesperson really wanted us to buy, more for his reasons than ours.

Let’s jump over to salesman number two.

We showed up to the lot, he asked us what we were looking for, and took us to the truck that fit our description and told us it was the best deal he had on the lot.

We asked if we could drive it, and he said, “Sure, is it okay if I go help these other customers while you’re gone?”

As tiny of a gesture as this was, it gave us the feeling that he was not hovering over us with his income depending on whether or not we bought the truck.

He had other customers to tend to, and he would be okay if the truck wasn’t for us.

Ahhhhh, that felt so nice. 🙂

When we got back to the lot, he answered all of our questions but never once did we get the feeling that he really, really wanted us to buy.

In fact, he said things that made us feel like it was okay if we didn’t.

Things like, “I’m the least pushy salesperson you’ll ever meet.”

“Yeah, whatever works best for you guys.”

So on and so forth.

I asked him if it was okay to think about it over the night, and rather than try to close me, he said, “Yeah, that sounds very wise to me; this is a big purchase.

Again, the feeling of no pressure and that his desire was to help us make the right decision came across, and it was attractive and comfortable.

Salesman number one texted probably 2 to 4 times throughout the day, including a text to my wife early Saturday morning saying “I hope you slept well and – are you gonna come back and buy the truck?”

ha ha.. ok he probably said the 2nd part a bit better but that was the impression we got.

Good follow up right?

Boy that’s a tricky one. Follow up can be a great thing to do but if you give the impression during your follow up that you’re too eager, you may have crossed the line a bit .

Salesman number two did not call or text us even one time while we were gone.

Once again, this absence of “push” gave us the feeling of no pressure and sprinkled an attractive pull over our relationship with him.

At the end of the day, I don’t know if the approach of each of these two salesmen would have made the difference in our purchase, but one thing is for certain, salesman number two was much more comfortable to deal with, and not even one time did we get the feeling that we didn’t want to talk to him.

Salesman number one, on the other hand, as nice and helpful as he was, gave me the slight feeling of a desire to avoid him a bit because I did not want to be pushed to make a decision.

So even if their approach wouldn’t have made the difference in this one sale, I can almost guarantee that it will add up to differences in sales over time with all the other sales interactions you factor into the equation.

This little story is a great reminder of something I learned in my very first direct sales company almost 20 years ago.

My mentor taught me that “people love to buy but hate to be sold.”

This has been proven to me time and time again.

If you can, what you want to do in your marketing is create an environment that people want to be around, one that’s educational, inspiring, and entertaining.

If you create this type of space through your videos, emails, and blog posts, people will want to be near you, and if people want to be near you, they can make a purchase decision when the timing is right for them.

Doesn’t that feel like a much better way to do business than chasing people down and pushing them to make the decision that you want them to make?

It sure does to me.

One of my other friends, Rob Skinner, who’s had a lot of success in direct sales, talks about something called “commission breath.”

This is just another way to describe the situation where you have a salesperson who wants the sale more for them than for you.

Commission breath is bad breath and makes customers wanna plug their nose & run.

By the way, this has nothing to do with whether you choose to talk to people on the phone or not.

You can make sales in one-on-one interactions without being pushy and without having commission breath.

The reason I bring that up is that sometimes in online marketing, there’s a bit of a debate as to whether or not you should talk to people on the phone or just create content and send emails.

In fact, I recently got an email from a great guy and customer. We’ll call him John to keep his privacy intact.

Here’s some of what he wrote in the email.

“My experience has always been that people are WAY more likely to buy ‘from you’ if you’ve spoken to them on the phone.

Maybe that’s me being super ‘old school,’ but 90 percent of my sales have come from a person that I’ve at least left a VM for.

Most of them have been someone I spoke to on the phone.”

In my view, what he wrote is not wrong, but it is only part of the story.

I have a lot of experience making sales over the phone, and it absolutely works when you do it the right way.

But I don’t think it’s the phone that’s creating the magic.

The underlying principle that creates the magic is trust and rapport.

For some people, especially those who might be new to online marketing, the easiest and fastest way to create trust and rapport with a prospect might be to have a conversation with them.

This is why what John wrote about people being more likely to buy from you after speaking to them is true.

But it’s also true that you can create trust and rapport through consistent content that serves your prospects.

I also have experience with making lots of sales without talking to people on the phone.

I think this is really important to understand, especially considering another part of John’s email which I’ll share with you now.

“I work full-time in a government job that pays me about 70k, but I truly hate 6 of my 8 hours every day… Literally on the phone 8 hours a day helping people get food assistance, Medicaid, and shutoff notices paid. An experienced phone dog with an appetite for phone prospecting is not supposed to feel trapped in their J.O.B.”

Boy do I relate to John as my ‘job‘ before going full time in home business was in a call center.

And here’s the thing…

If you’re not careful about your home-based business, it can turn into the same type of situation.

One where, in John’s case, you’re on the phone all day for your day job and hate it, and then during your part-time hours, you’re on the phone even more.

Now, at least if you’re on the phone with targeted prospects for your home-based business, the potential exists for freeing up your time completely thanks to residual income, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

So, it’s definitely better to be on the phone with people talking about residual income than it would be to be on the phone doing a job, in my opinion.

And maybe that’s what needs to happen in the beginning stages of your business.

But I also think it’s good to know that there are other ways to create trust and rapport with your audience that can help you to make the sales you want and need to build your freedom.

Like I said before, I’ve invested a lot of time on the phone with people over the years, I know how to do it, and like John, I’m really good at it. Also, I don’t regret it. I learned so much about people and sales and myself talking to so many people over the years.

But I recently came to a space where I have so many people who want my time that it became impossible for me to continue to do and still enjoy my life.

So I had a big realization…

I said to myself, “Paul, you’ve made a lot of sales on the phone and in other one-on-one relationship-building processes, but you’ve also made a lot of sales with email and video.

If both are possible and effective, which one brings you more joy and saves you more time?

The answer I gave myself was, “the one with the most leverage.”

Yes, I’ll take door #2.

This, by the way, is partly why I’m writing this blog post today and reducing the frequency I email my list down to once per week vs. every day.

If I can create one valuable piece of content every week, that serves you, and helps you to come to a place where you feel comfortable buying or joining when the time is right for you, without having to spend a lot of time on the phone,

…and then use the other ‘work’ time in my day and my week to focus on growing my audience, to me, this feels like the most comfortable, low-pressure, leveraged way to continue to grow my business and serve my audience.

I’m not saying my plan should be your plan, but I am saying it’s good to consider all the options that are available when you put together your plan.

“You don’t have to do all you find out, but it’s good to find out all you can do.” -Jim Rohn

Now, if you do decide to talk to people one-on-one to grow your business, and haven’t yet had success doing that, here’s something to keep in mind.

“The more you talk, the more you lose.”

This is just a little nugget of wisdom to remind you that your number one goal is not to sell whatever it is that you’re selling in a one-on-one conversation.

I was talking to a team member last week and listening to a recap of a prospecting conversation.

As I listened, I realized that my team member was trying to regurgitate an entire sales presentation in the conversation.

That’s when I said, “the more you talk, the more you lose.”

Sales and home business, when done right, is not about convincing anyone to do anything with your jaw-dropping sales presentation skills.

It’s more about listening, asking questions, expressing interest in the person, discovering their problems & dreams, offering solutions, and always having your goal be to help them make the best decision for them.

This process has very little to do with how much you say and a lot more to do with how much you hear.

Okay, well now I’m just rambling a bit, so I better close out this post.

Thanks so much for reading and for being connected to me here in the wild wild West of the Internet.

I hope some of these thoughts I shared today are of some value to you.

All the best,


PS – What do you call a belt made of watches?

A waste of time.

BWA HA HA… Thanks to Amy Starr Allen for that little zinger. 🙂

PPS: I got another email from a friend and subscriber named Chip last week who said he really enjoyed attending one of the Grow Rich Mastermind replays and asked me if it was possible for him to tune in live.

The great news is yes! If you click the green button below this video, it will take you to a page that has the live call-in number so you can join us live every morning, Monday through Friday, if you want to.

If you have any questions for me, dear reader, that you’d like me to address in an upcoming pice of content, please feel free to submit them here.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, I wanted to share with you a quick little video clip from our new member orientation from last Saturday.

Over my years in home business, people have tried to manipulate me in various ways, one of them being the ever-so-subtle demanding of loyalty.

This is a trap and is used by certain people who tend to have their best interests in mind much more so than yours.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the true definition of loyalty…

4 thoughts on “A Tale Of 2 Salesmen”

  1. Great Post Paul!! Everything you said is spot on! I’ve been in sales all my career and closing deals are easy if you are looking out for those you are serving and provide them a solution to their problems, not yours. My philosophy has always been that “The income we make is in direct proportion on how well we take care of people.” Thanks for sharing your story. By the way I am experiencing a little truck envy! Congratulations. Thanks for everything!

    • Hey topper!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post I really appreciate it.

      Hundred percent agree.

      I love that philosophy of yours. It reminds me of a famous zig Ziglar quote “you can have anything you want in life if you will only help enough other people get what they want.”

      Thanks for being one of the good ones.

      Oh and on the truck envy… I’d be happy to give you a ride in Dallas. Love you man 🙂

      Love ya m an!

  2. What a great post. I love your story about the 2 salesmen. So many great marketing do’s and don’t’s and tidbits of wisdom trickled throughout the differences between those guys. It does a great job of illustrating how icky certain sales tactics make us feel (even if they aren’t intentional). Thank you for always going above and beyond in everything that you do to serve the greater good. You are a gem. I love you tons.

    • ahhhhhh you’re the best!

      Thanks so much Amy.

      It’s fun to pay attention to all the little parts of life that teach us things.

      Thanks for always lifting me up and encouraging me.

      Appreciate you SOOOOO much!

      Love ya back!



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