The concept for The Reluctant Salesman sales process came about because when I started selling I never saw myself as a natural salesperson and in fact I only entered the profession by accident.
In my early career, I worked as a carpenter. I enjoyed the work and was pretty good at it. One day the owner of the kitchen company I was working for asked me to make a sales call. Like many people, I had a natural resistance to the idea of selling. I assumed that I would need to know all the techniques and tricks that sales people use to achieve success, but there was no time and no training, and so I went out to do my best.
To everyone’s surprise, not least my own, I soon became the top salesperson in the company. I wasn’t using any of the ‘usual’ tricks, pressuring people or flattering. I was simply going to see people who needed kitchens and helping them to get what they wanted. In some cases I even behaved in ways that most sales people would find shocking — suggesting to one lady that her kitchen was already beautiful and she didn’t need another. Being honest and natural it seems, is a sure fire way to win people over, lady ignore my advice and bought a very expensive kitchen from me regardless.
I went on to become the top sales person in every business I worked for, along the way I began to look at the things I was doing to better understand why they were working so well. I realised that my approach, if written into simple processes, was a way to help all those people who don’t see themselves as ‘natural’ salespeople and resisted the idea selling to make sales.
This remains at the heart of The Reluctant Salesman method today. It is a way of selling that demystifies the whole process and really does makes selling simple.