Next time you’re at the gym, think about how you got there. Aside from swearing you’ll lay off the carbs, who was there to greet you when you walked in, wanting to look around? How did they convince you to join? For that matter, look at pretty much everything you have ever bought — product, service, membership. Somewhere in there, you had to decide to make the sale. Kory Angelin a fitness professional and sales guru, could probably tell you a lot about what clinched the deal. Angelin is the author of is #SELLOUT: How a Great Experience Can Help You #SELLOUT of Your Product (Ouskirts Press, 2018). The book is packed with tips and strategies on becoming a better salesperson. It delivers on its promise.
Angelin’s approach is savvy, no-nonsense, and audacious. Holding out a cluster of cash on the cover photograph, he’s making a clear offer to his reader: read this book, and the money will flow. According to him, too many salespeople are pretty awful at their job. There’s one simple reason: they try to sell too much.
In this book, he offers a compelling alternative. Don’t focus on the transaction, focus on the customer and the experience they’re having. “Everyone is willing to spend money on something that is of value,” Angelin writes. They need to believe in a product in order to buy it.
While this in itself isn’t a new assertion, Angelin’s particular method for creating that value is. He’s unflinching, but he wants readers to succeed. Like any top-notch trainer, that means doing the real work to achieve your goals — and then the rewards will come.
To that end, Angelin includes some great examples of companies doing it right, such as Virgin—whose CEO, Richard Branson, declared his airline was in the “experience business,” and created a unique kind of customer experience, which Angelin tested out for himself. The plane, he writes, had pink fluorescent lighting that made the cabin feel like “a club in the Hamptons.”
Then there’s Disney, who created an intentional, four-pronged “guest-ology,” that addresses customer’s needs, wants, stereotypes (as in, overcoming them), and emotions. Cutely, Angelin includes a photo of his own son, delighted to be standing with Mickey Mouse himself. As Angelin relates, that alone made the hundred-dollar ticket and the hour-long line completely worth it. Such is value, in a nutshell.
Angelin has collected plenty of entertaining and inspiring quotes from sales luminaries, as well as a mind-boggling array of statistics on selling — many from the Brevit Group. For instance: 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone, a remarkable fact considering we are now in the age of the internet.
However, there are numbers on this as well: social media is such a powerful tool that 78% of salespeople use to outsell their peers. Email is nearly forty times more effective than facebook or twitter at acquiring new customers. Then there’s this: only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs. That’s not much.
Throughout the rest of the book’s ninety or so pages, there are tactics, tips, steps, exercises, diagrams, scenarios, and questions. There are skill building exercises for active listening — key to really hearing the customer.
There’s a marvelous graph called “The Success Martini” that show how to mix goals, connecting, and product info into one potent, effective cocktail. However, as Angelin cautions, result isn’t about the sale, necessarily. “Do not mistake how powerful making a great connection and giving a great experience is,” he writes.
For anyone in sales, or anyone whose business involves bringing in clients, members, even students, this is a smart book to have on hand. It’s swift-reading, candid, clear and highly focused — as its author seems to be. In this cutthroat economy, with markets continually changing and startups disrupting the game every day, it’s always good to have that kind of player on your team.
For more on Cory Angelin, visit his website