The Ultimate Salesman.

A second preview of my upcoming book

If people don’t know you or like you, they will not buy anything from you!

  • Did you know… Every human on this earth is a salesperson even if they are just selling their personality. Jack was an amazing man, when it came to sales, he was the “Zig Ziggler” of his day.
  • ‘Jack was the type of guy that when he went fishing. He would bring along the tartar sauce with him because he was that confident he was going to catch a fish.’
  • When he went selling he was just as confident he’d get that fish too.
  • He even brought tarter sauce when he went selling too, but for a different reason.
  • When Jack went selling, he’d carry tarter sauce with him, you know in case he encountered a dog he could open it up and distract the dog long enough to pet them and avoid being bitten.
  • He was pretty smart and crafty too, so what if he didn’t run across a dog? Well, like any of us working a full day, you know he’s going to stop and eat sometime!
  • He was a Newfie, they eat a lot of fish, and he loved tarter sauce. He’d always bought those little packages like you see in restaurants, they were handy and easy to transport.

Those were the days!

  • Born at the perfect time, just before the depression to learn the true value of money and it was 50 years before the gold standard disappeared.
  • Coming of age in the when there was plenty of work and a strong economy Jack was a father first, a husband, and a breadwinner in every sense of the word.
  • This story starts back before the days of hyperinflation.
  • When an honest man who wasn’t too lazy to work could have a modest house, 1200 sq feet, a brand new car (no car payments) and still support a wife and 5 kids all on one salary.
  • He managed all that as a young man and they lived as well as any other middle-class family.
  • They wanted for nothing. They had everything they needed and as many luxuries as any other family back then.
  • It was the American dream but in Canada.
  • Yes is was the era of the late 50s & early 60s and Jack was proud but thrifty.
  • Jack would always say “never buy anything for a dollar if you can get it for 99 cents”.
  • He was a hustler, a real go getter, if there was a buck to be made honestly, he was getting his share of it.
  • For those of you who actually remember it, this was in a time, when money was still backed by gold and “a buck was a buck”, and worth every penny of it because every penny had value.
  • Money wasn’t just currency, you could trade a dollar for a physical gold.
  • It was before money became nothing more than a bunch of fictitious numbers in a computer watered down and devalued.
  • Governments didn’t spend as wastefully as they do today. If you had a nice shiny penny in those days you could still buy things.
  • A dime in the 1950s probably had close to the same value of $5.00 in today’s world.

Jack’s family history:

  • Jack met his wife, married her and ‘then sold her on the idea’ of Immigrating to (Nova Scotia), Canada from Newfoundland.
  • Newfoundland wasn’t part of Canada until 1949 when Canada consumed the piece of paradise in what many believe to be a fixed referendum without so much as a fight.
  • To this day Ted, Jacks son still thinks Newfoundland is Canada’s best-kept secret.
  • As a young man he worked a few odd jobs briefly but wasn’t cut out to work for someone else, he never could.
  • He never liked bosses and wouldn’t take Crap from anyone. In no time he found his niche.
  • He was tearing down old buildings and selling every reusable piece, saving scraps, even straitening nails, which he used in the first houses he built.

The start of a career:

  • A few years later, he had earned his trade, in carpentry and was building homes full time, it was his passion.
  • The only thing he loved more than having a hammer in his hand was a fist full of money.
  • Nonetheless, 3 days a week he would come home clean up put on a suit and tie and do as he always had selling products door to door.
  • He really didn’t need the money but looking back Ted thinks he needed the interaction with the people even more than the sales.
  • Jack was a people person, a real social character. Who knows with 5 kids the truth is… He probably just needed to get out of the house to keep his sanity!
  • If he didn’t sell enough in a week he would sell the rest on Saturday afternoon. If that didn’t work he would raise his personal quota for the following week.
  • He was never pushed to make the sale by the company, it was low pressure, not like it is today.
  • Jack just loved to meet people and talk.
  • Ted wasn’t very old maybe 6 or 7 and wall to wall carpeting was getting very popular.
  • Jack decided everyone needed a vacuum to protect their investment and he was just the man to deliver such a product.
  • The original company slogan for the vacuum was… ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux,’ in the UK but Jack used it all the time.
  • His personal target was 10 a week (part-time) and he didn’t always reach his goal but he was always top salesman winning weekly prizes & several vacations.
  • Strange as it may seem he showed more pride in the rewards and prizes than the actual sale or the commissions.
  • I guess because he loved selling and it was never considered work, all he had to do was meet people and be himself.

Dealing with lost sales

  • If he didn’t make a sale which was extremely rare he would go for a drive, knock on a few doors, stop for a coffee and make some notes in his black book and go again.
  • it never bothered him for more than an hour, not like some salespeople who can actually let it fester until they get into a sales slump and not be able to sell at all.
  • The key is money: Ted thinks, Jack’s two strongest advantages were he didn’t need the money so he didn’t have to rush a sale, he could go back and back again finessing the customer.
  • The second advantage was, he didn’t have to push like some people do.
  • When a salesperson gets desperate because they need money they might as well go get another job.
  • People can almost smell it off it off them and it turns people off. That desperateness is like perfume, I think that’s where the phrase ‘I’m cloaked with failure’ came from.
  • Even people who want to buy the product, won’t buy from that person.
  • You see most people give up, they didn’t get the sale they didn’t get the sale. The customer wasn’t buying, they didn’t want it.
  • The fact is many likely bought it from someone else! When it came to selling Jack was a special kind of stupid right were it counted the most.
  • He would make notes, think what he did wrong and usually they didn’t have the money and he missed the signs.

The second approach:

  • He would wait until he had a better angle or wait for a better time, but he eventually got the sale.
  • If people couldn’t afford what he was selling if they really couldn’t afford it! He understood.
  • He wasn’t a snake going to take their last pennies or take food out of their mouth.
  • He’d come back to see his new friends and prey on them again later.
  • He would try selling them a used unit which he happened to have in the back of his truck or wait for a better financial time.
  • Ted even witnessed Jack giving a free vacuum he took in on trade if they had no means of paying for it. Just so they would have something and he would leave the door open.
  • Jack did so with the intent of cashing in later when the guy got back to work or when things picked up and it worked like a charm.
  • Jack had proven he had more angles than any building you have ever seen!

The right angle & the left angle:

  • Most salespeople would get in front of the customer, do the demo quickly and push for the sale, often ending in arguments and a lot of door knocking.
  • Jack would knock on 1, maybe 2 doors at the most! Sometimes people weren’t home at the first house.
  • He almost always stayed until they bought, Many of them were leads from other customers or encounters but either way he had a 90 – 95% success rate so, Jacks formula worked!

Ted’s experience in sales, as he witnessed it:

  • Ted says; I used to go with my father as a young boy, he’d say I just want to stop here for a minute.
  • When Jack was selling if he paid you by the hour and a simple stop was only a minute you would never have anything except a few candies because his minutes became hours and hours, as a kid, it felt like he was there for days and days. 
  • His minute was an eternity but he always got the sale.  
  • How did he do that?
  • Ted asked himself that question and he wasn’t able to solve it for many years because when he was witnessing it, he wasn’t paying attention but Jack was a master at work.
  • One day the method, hit Ted like a ton of bricks… Jack was the salesman ‘who never asked for a sale.’
  • Interesting concept, if he had to come right out and ask for the sale there was no sale to be made.
  • Even today Ted feels that still, true if you sell door to door.
  • Don’t get me wrong, Jack answered objections and obstacles, but he sold himself, and he was excellent at it.
  • Ted said he heard husbands say we aren’t buying or your wasting your time and Jack sold to all of them.
  • Jack was socializing with his new friends, no big deal to him, ‘he, wasn’t selling.’ He went to visit and he had a product to show the customer.
  • He never went anywhere to (sell)! He’d have a coffee and chat some more, wait for them to drop their guard and he’d say before I forget, let me show you this and he always went back to the product.
  • Not once ever in Ted’s life did he ever hear Jack ask anyone to buy any product.
  • Every time Jack knew he had the sale, he’d always say… Oh and I think you’re going to need this too!
  • He sold what he believed people needed, and he always believed in what he sold!
  • He was using up selling long before McDonald’s became popular, and he always found a way to sell the fry’s, (accessories) with it!
  • Jacks motto was simply picking a product of quality and value, and something that would save the customer time and money.
  • If it made a task easier all the better.
  • Worst case scenario he would use the… If I can show how you are going to pay for this product no matter if you buy it or not, pitch.
  • If you’re going to pay for something anyways why not have the product?

The end game:

  • “Pay me now or pay me later”, or “you can also pay me now and again later”.
  • He always had the biggest bat and his bases were always loaded.
  • People could buy a vacuum to protect their carpeting investment or replace their carpet years sooner and as luck would have it Jack sold carpet too!
  • That’s called the win/win salesman he could profit if they bought product # 1 and he would sell product # 2 no matter what when it wore out.
  •  If he didn’t already sell the people a vacuum before he sold the carpet, he’d sell it when he sold the carpet.
  • If you’re going to make that kind of investment in your home you might as well have something to protect it.
  • If they couldn’t afford a vacuum when buying new carpeting Jack would make notes and come visit those friends again later.
  • The customers already knew Jack, liked him and trusted him.
  • He invested the time in their home to get to know them personally!
  • After the sale he’d always take out a piece of fresh paper and a pen, pass it to the folks and say I enjoyed meeting you so much I need you to do me a favor and write down the names and numbers of the 3 most important people to you so I can go meet them too.
  • He never asked for anyone who would be interested in the product or someone who needed it.
  • He wasn’t a salesman, he just wanted to meet more good friends like the ones he had just met. Buyers!

The difference between the “salesman” and someone who sells.

Picking your battle ground:

  • Jack was no clerk sitting in a store waiting for his prey, you know the people that don’t take the time to get to know you and if you ask a question about something they act like you’re the pain in the butt.
  • No sir, He would pick a random house, way out in the country, preferably an acreage.
  • It would always be early afternoon, he always timed it right. You know, when the husband would be at work and he had all afternoon to work on the wife.

The introduction:

  • He would just jump out of the truck and if someone in the yard or they came to the front door, perfect!
  • In the country, if someone hears a car/truck in the yard they come to the door to see who’s there.
  • He would see someone and clear his throat, loudly, (that was his trademark, that’s how you knew Jack was going to make an announcement even at home).
  • Afterward he would pause for a second, the pause was to see if she would ask if he was alright.
  • If she asked if he was ok, he’d say, I have a tickle in my throat, I couldn’t bother you for a glass of water, could I?
  • If she said yes, he’s in the door!
  • If she didn’t ask if he was alright after the pause, he would shout his name, really loud, like loud enough for the neighbors to hear.  
  • He’d then hold out his hand to shake his opponent’s hand, even if he was a football field away. He was a pro!
  • He’d hold that hand straight out, so it was what they focused on and start walking toward them.
  • It looked stupid but it worked. He kept looking right at the person, making idle chat.
  • He’d never look away and he never missed a step. He was what they call today, speed walking.

Getting in the door:

  • Customers would always be a little cautious but back then you could just walk up to a strangers house and get invited in if you were a good talker.
  • He’d start talking about the weather, then the property, he’d move on and talk about the house, mention he was a carpenter and see if anything needed fixing or repair.
  • Usually, he’d fix something simple or take a look at a problem and give an estimate. Hell, Ted has even seen him talk the people into a brand new house by this stage, he built and sold those too.
  • He was a salesman with an arsenal of tools and products.
  • Somehow he’d always work his way to the coffee table. Usually he took out a pen and piece of paper to figure out what some sort of repair would cost.
  • The people would have no idea he was a salesman yet. He’s just some nice man, who is also a carpenter, that stopped to say hi, and introduce himself, for a (minute) on the way to a neighbors house down the road.
  • If people called him on that, he did this clicking thing with the side of his mouth. like he was trying to remember the name of someone he’d never met.
  • He should have been an actor!
  • Oh gee’s he’d say, you know I can see their face just as clear as mud but I can’t recall the name.
  • Isn’t that the strangest thing, now, you know that bothers me but It will come to me. I’ll think of it!
  • Anyways and he’d start working on the person again. Now that he was in, it would be time to squeeze some tea and bisques out of them, this establishes that he’s visiting and not leaving right away.
  • Ted says I don’t know how got the tea and snacks maybe that was the Newfie in him but it always worked.
  • Newfoundlanders are famous for being hospitable people.
  • Now Jack starts a new conversation, Have you been here long? Oh where are you from? I live in X.y.z.  town but I’m originally from Newfoundland.
  • This takes about 2 hours, and she’s still totally clueless that he’s a salesman! (He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing).

listen don’t talk:

  • After 2 hours, Jack is the wife’s best girlfriend, and has heard all her bitches and problems.
  • Now it’s time to make his move, well to be honest with you I was out for a drive and I thought I’d see if you needed any repairs but I also sell vacuums, I have the latest model in my car, do you mind if I show you?
  • At this point she can’t say no that would be rude. So she says well I should really get some work done and my husbands not home. I can’t buy anything without him home, really it would be pointless.

No big deal:

  • Jack is like no problem, It will only take a few minutes, (TRUST ME). I’m already here, I have the product with me, I might as well show you.
  • Ted always thought “TRUST ME” was Jewish for something bad, whenever Ted hears it he always gets his guard up.
  • At this point, Jack returns to the truck, now, if he has a contract for carpentry work. They would leave because Jack knew he was coming back anyway’s and he’d have all that time to sell them on his personality.  
  • In this case, because he hasn’t made any money yet he brings in the vacuum and he invites Ted in as well, knowing the lady will break out more snacks and that leaves time for yet more chit chat.
  • Yes, if you failed to make the connection although Jack was a good father who loved Ted, he also used his son just a little bit.

The quick demo:

  • After snacks (AGAIN) he does a real quick demo, he never rushed and he never did a full demo like the other salespeople either.
  • He had a system and it was golden, he was a slow salesman and a quick thinker.
  • He never altered from that routine. Stage 1 of his demo was actually just a few (real minutes).
  • It was so quick that often the wife would reply, you didn’t lie that did only take a few minutes!
  • After a while and a few more chit chat breaks he gets her up doing the work as he explains the features.
  • The lady is always like, do I have too, you were doing such a fine job and his response is if you decide you want this machine, I can’t to come over and do the house cleaning for you.
  • I like you but I don’t have that kind of time, I have five kids. The truth is he has to attach her to the product so she can imagine owning it.
  • The quick demo is over and the lady repeats she likes it, but can’t buy it, no problem.
  • When does your husband get home, the lady looks at the clock and says, oh my I have to get supper ready and she makes the mistake of asking if Ted wants a snack which leads to more tea and conversation.
  • The husband shows up mad as hell cause there is a salesman here. Husbands just know if you live in the country and there is a strange car in the driveway… His wife let a salesman in the door, and it’s up to him to get rid of the enemy trying to take their hard earned money.

Supper Time:

  • By this time Jack has been so nice to the woman, she’s going to go to battle for him, if he left without a signed contract, she was probably going to make the sale for him.
  • The wife takes the husband in the other room and he calms down a bit, next thing you know the two men are sitting down over a shot of rum, scotch or whiskey discussing any repairs or future improvements and then back to the product!
  • Jack’s pretty smooth, next thing you know it’s supper time and they are magically we are invited for supper. Ted never could figure out how Jack could squeeze a free meal out of anyone, but it was a talent he had.
  • The husbands pissed about Jack & Ted having supper with them, but Jack has to do the whole reselling thing to the husband.

Demo – Round 2:

  • After dinner, Jack takes the man into his own living room and does a quick demo.
  • He gets the husband up using the machine and says can’t you see how this machine would make your wife’s life so much better?
  • If he comes back with the money reply Jack would ask if I can explain a way that you can afford it and it makes your wife happy would you want it?
  • 90% of the time he left with the sale, Ted used to say the reason they bought was that they wanted to go to bed and didn’t know how else to get rid of him.
  • He had been in the house for so long at that point that he was basically like family.
  • The nice thing was in those days the commission on a vacuum was pretty much a day or a day a half pay for most people, so Jack took his time instead of knocking on lots of doors.
  • The more time he spent, the less he could offer on a trade in or a slight discount, he paid himself well!

Never take no for an answer:

  • If Jack failed to get the deal, he would start to pack everything up and stop, turn, and say I’ll tell you what…
  • I don’t want to be lugging all this stuff in the dark. Why don’t you let me just leave it here with you for a few days and your wife can use it. Just in case you change your mind, save me having to pack it up and lug it back here.
  • Many people change their minds after I leave!
  • He’d always leave without the machine.
  • People were much more honest in those days he never got ripped off.
  • Jack knew if he came back in a few days he would lose the sale and the time he invested. That wasn’t enough time for the wife to either sell the husband or nag him, enough to cave in.
  • After a week Jack would phone when the husband was at work to see if he came around yet. If he did he drove directly there for the quick sale, I’ll be there right after supper!
  • If not he would say listen I won’t be in the area until next week, why don’t you keep it for one more week?
  • If he doesn’t see why you want it or understand how it would make your life better, I’ll come to get it no questions asked.
  • I’ll be up next, Saturday selling in your area, would that be good for you?
  • 99% of the machines he left behind were sold by the wife without Jack even being there!
  • That’s sales, it’s not for everybody but some people live for it.
  • Yet if you rip apart everything Ted wrote so far about sales, you will notice the formulas are very similar to how we do marketing today, we just are not in the home and we usually skip the idle chit chat.
  • It’s just one progressive move after another.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Jack sold vacuums, building supplies and houses he built. He’d always put carpet in every house and if he didn’t sell a vacuum when he sold the house he would make a note in his black book to go back.
  • If he drove by a house where the siding or shingles were blown off, he would nail the brakes and all previous thoughts left his head.
  • He’d disregard whatever he was doing and try and contact the owner for the job.
  • Failing reaching them right away, he’d dig for contact info, make a note and carry on with what he was doing.
  • Every vacuum machine and every house he sold, he kept records so he knew when they would need a service call or a trade in.
  • He kept notes for every house when they would likely need new siding, shingles, carpeting, and renos.
  • Basically, his black book was a multi-lead generator (his bible).
  • If he was selling vacuums and someone mentioned renovations he would ask when they thought they would be ready and he’d be there a month in advance to solicit the sale.
  • He never missed any possibility of a sale selling anything, if there was an honest buck to be made he was getting his share.
  • Ted witnessed him source out products unrelated,  to anything he was selling before.
  • Just because someone needed something and he’d go back and say… You know I did a little digging and I can get that thing you needed, not only that was many years before the days of the internet!
  • Jack never learned how to use a computer. When it came to sales, Jack was a bit of a bloodhound.

Final Thoughts:

  • Jack may have been in the upper portion of the top sales people his day!
  • Ted was very proud of his skills which he mastered long before he was ever born.
  • To sell… You need to be confident and have to a personality, it doesn’t have to be a good personality and it can be charming.
  • It does need to be original or unique and sometimes even a little crazy works too.
  • This has worked for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the world has a lot of salespeople, comedians, and actors!
  • Your personality will likely be just fine, if not, start developing your sales personality today.

Everyone is a salesperson:

  • No matter what we do in life we are always selling ourselves, to our boss, to customers, to love interests, to people we meet on the street, we are selling all the time.
  • Your special someone didn’t pick you out of the clouds because they didn’t think they could do any better.
  • You sold yourself based on your personality, as people always do.
  • I don’t care how cute you are if you have a personality like a wet mop, it’s not going to work.
  • The exception is for some of the grumpy old farts like Jack because He had a personality all of our own, it’s unique but it totally worked for him!

I would like to personally thank you for you’re time and ask that bookmark the site, comment (give your thoughts) as well as share it with friends.

Social media outlets: We use…

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)