greatest salesman in the world

On The Everything Store

I recently finished reading The Everything Store – Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – by Brad Stone.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

There is so much stuff that has yet to he invented. There’s so much new that’s going to happen. People don’t have any idea yet how impactful the Internet is going to be and that this is still Day 1 in such a big way.

“If you want to get to the truth about what makes us different, it’s this,” Bezos says, veering into a familiar Jeffism: “We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent. Most companies are not those things. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer. They want to work on things that will pay dividends in two or three years, and if they don’t work in two or three years they will move on to something else. And they prefer to be close-followers rather than inventors, because it’s safer. So if you want to capture the truth about Amazon, that is why we are different. Very few companies have all of those three elements.

So looking back on life’s important junctures was on Bezos’s mind when he came up with what he calls “the regret-minimization framework” to decide the next step to take at this juncture in his career.

We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate direct! to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger returns on invested capital. Our decisions have consistently reflected this focus. We first measure ourselves in terms of the metrics most indicative of our market leadership: customer and revenue growth, the degree to which our customers continue to purchase from us on a repeat basis, and the strength of our brand. We have invested and will continue to invest aggressively to expand and leverage our customer base, brand, and infrastructure as we move to establish an enduring franchise.

Jeff Bezos embodied the qualities Sam Walton wrote about. He was constitutionally unwilling to watch Amazon succumb to any kind of institutional torpor, and he generated a nonstop flood of ideas on how to improve the experience of the website, make it more compelling for customers, and keep it one step ahead of rivals.

Bezos was obsessed with the customer experience, and anyone who didn’t have the same single-minded focus or who he felt wasn’t demonstrating a capacity for thinking big bore the brunt of his considerable temper.

“My approach has always been that value trumps everything,” Sinegal continued. “The reason people are prepared to come to our strange places to shop is that we have value. We deliver on that value constantly. There are no annuities in this business.” A decade later and finally preparing to retire, Sinegal remembers that conversation well. “I think Jeff looked at it and thought that was something that would apply to his business as well,” he says.

“I understand what you’re saying, but you are completely wrong,’ he said. “Communication is a sign of dysfunction. It means people aren’t working together in a close, organic way. We should be trying to figure out a way for teams to communicate less with each other. not more.”

That was a typical interaction with Jeff. He had this unbelievable ability to be incredibly intelligent about things he had nothing to do with, and he was totally ruthless about communicating it.

If Amazon wanted to stimulate creativity among its developers, it shouldn’t try to guess what kind of services they might want; such guesses would be based on patterns of the past. Instead, it should be creating primitives—the building blocks of computing—and then getting out of the way. In other words, it needed to break its infrastructure down into the smallest, simplest atomic components and allow developers to freely access them with as much flexibility as possible.

‘Jeff does a couple of things better than anyone I’ve ever worked for,” Dalzell says. “He embraces the truth. A lot of people talk about the truth, but they don’t engage their decision-making around the best truth at the time. “The second thing is that he is not tethered by conventional thinking. What is amazing to me is that he is bound only by the laws of physics. He can’t change those. Everything else he views as open to discussion.”

On a closing note:

Amazon may be the most beguiling company that ever existed. and it is just getting started. It is both missionary and mercenary. and throughout the history of business and other human affairs, that has always been a potent combination. “We don’t have a single big advantage,” he once told an old adversary, publisher Tim O’Reilly, back when they were arguing over Amazon protecting its patented 1-Click ordering method from rivals like Barnes & Noble. “So we have to weave a rope of many small advantages.” Amazon is still weaving that rope. That is its future, to keep weaving and growing, manifesting the constitutional relentlessness of its founder and his vision. And it will continue to expand until either Jeff Bezos exits the scene or no one is left to stand in his way.

A recommended read in the areas of technology and corporate history.

Zig Ziglar’s Secrets Of Closing The Sale

I recently finished reading Zig Ziglar’s Secrets Of Closing The Sale – For Anyone Who Must Get Others To Say Yes! by Zig Ziglar.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “If, in your heart, you really feel the sales process is something you do t0 the prospect, then you are a manipulator. The dictionary defines manipulate: “To control the action of, by management; also, to manage artfully or fraudulently. Manipulation: Skillful or dexterous management, sometimes for purpose of fraud, state of being manipulated.” I’ll be the first to admit that manipulators make sales, but in my thirty-six years in the profession I have never known even one manipulator who was successful in the profession. If, in your heart, you feel the sales process is something you do for the prospect, then this book could represent a significant addition to your sales library. Your benefits will be considerable because you are truly interested in benefiting others.”

2- “You’ve got to establish that trust and respect with your prospects if you expect to be a sales professional. This should be obvious. but for fear it’s not, I’ll spell it out. Again, you cannot be one kind of person and another kind of salesperson.  You must be consistent in all areas of life if you are going to achieve maximum results in building your sales career. That’s one of the major reasons we deal with the entire person rather than just the salesperson throughout this book. This is one of the “not-so-little” things that make the buying difference in the prospect’s mind.”

3- “People forget price but they’ll never forget poor quality or a poor choice. They generally give the salesperson a generous portion of the blame. Some of that goes with the territory, but too much blame means you won’t have the territory for long.”

4- “High performers in the world of selling establish trust with customers by one-on-one, eye-to-eye communication skills. They maintain n trust by personally assuming responsibility for completing the sale, which means servicing the account on an ongoing basis and utilizing their company support people in the most effective manner. High performers demonstrated great integrity with their follow-through and belief that the sale is not complete until the product is installed and functioning satisfactorily.”

5- “The critical step: in the world of selling is this step of honesty which is your total conviction, your complete belief that the product or service you sell is the best buy for the prospect.”

6- “Sympathy means you feel like another person feels. Empathy means you understand how the other person feels, though you do not feel the same way…To be truly professional you must be able to comfortably move from the seller’s side of the table to the buyer’s side. If you know how your prospect thinks and feels, you’re definitely going to sell more of what you’re selling because you will communicate more effectively.”

7- “One myth—that a salesperson should not get involved with customer concerns other than the purpose of the sales call—was exploded, as was the concept that price isn’t important and that you should “promise them anything” to close a sale. Customers want and expect heir salespeople to be able to act as trustworthy resources who respond directly and provide them expertise, backed by effective recommendations. One significant characteristic of the high producer is his willingness to explain product drawbacks.”

8- ” H in the heart of your sales career is honesty, E is ego and empathy, A is your attitude toward you your prospects and profession, R is for physical, mental, and spiritual reserve, T is for tough—and the toughest thing is love”

9- “When the inner man speaks, the I not speak from the heart unless he truly believes in his product and/or service. This means that he must have paid the price by obtaining profound knowledge of his product or service. One must also believe this product/service is unquestionably what the customer/patient needs.”

10- “Almost without exception, every product or service can be sold by painting word pictures, especially if the pictures are in the present tense. As I’ve previously stated, we think in pictures and we buy pictures if we are painted into the picture as satisfied customers.”

11- “It’s better to have the no today than tomorrow for the simple reason it clears your mind. You can now pursue new prospects and not count on that one for a future sale. Once you do, you fall into the trap of not prospecting for new prospects and the sale you miss today will cost you sales tomorrow.”

12- “There is one specific point, however, when I throw in the towel and withdraw my efforts to close. That point is when the prospect makes it clear—after seeing the benefits—that he has no interest and cannot or will not buy. Until that point, however, I am going to make an honest effort to close the sale.”

13- “I deal with and use questions in every segment of Secrets of Closing the Sale. There is no doubt in my mind that your career as a salesperson will move forward faster as a direct result of learning how to ask questions and how to use the proper voice inflection than from any other skills you might develop.”

14- “To build a sales career, you need to acquire the knowledge made available through sales trainers, books, recordings, and seminars. With that knowledge you should weave in a poetic philosophy of life which says that “you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” To the knowledge and poetic philosophy, add the common sense of the old farmer which says, “Friend, I don’t care what you do, know you’ve got to work and work hard at seeing new prospects and servicing old customers.” You have a moral obligation to work so hard at building your sales career and becoming truly professional that as my friend John Nevin from Australia says, “If anyone ever sees you coming and says, ‘Here comes a salesman,’ you won’t let him down.'”

Regards,

Omar Halabieh

Zig Ziglar’s Secrets Of Closing The Sale