John Lennon said that George Martin, the Beatles’ producer, was always more Paul McCartney’s producer than his. He felt that his songs were just thrown together by Martin in retrospect. This was unfair.
To illustrate why, let me give two examples using McCartney and Lennon. On the song, “Yesterday,” Paul McCartney worked on every note with Martin. It was McCartney who put the blues notes into the string quartet music. Now, contrast this to Lennon.
On the song, “Strawberry Fields,” Lennon decided that he wanted an outside orchestra used for the song after the song had been done with the Beatles playing instruments. Now, when he heard the end results he told Martin that he liked the first half of one and the second half of the other and wanted them joined up. Martin told him that it couldn’t be done. The songs were in different keys. Lennon told him basically, “That’s Ok, you’ll figure it out.” as Lennon left for the weekend. Martin did get if figured out by slowing one part down to lower the key.
The moral? In retrospect it is easy to believe that we would be better if only this didn’t happen or that. And too many salespeople whom I have seen want to blame this or that and not themselves when they can’t sell. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen salespeople who blamed the fact that they had a bad product which held them back or even a bad boss. The truth is that good salespeople sell, period. And this is an important idea you have to put into your attitude because you have to sell the product to a customer. So how do you find a way to do this?
Well, an old adage holds true in selling. Everyone has steak, so you have to sell the sizzle. And since in sales you sell people on you, you are the sizzle. Let me give you a personal example:
I once worked at a lumberyard. At this store we stressed individual selling because we got commissions on our store totals. And it was a lot of money for a 28 year old. Now I was the top salesperson. I was the top seller I believe because I am honest. Therefore, I didn’t push products in a direct way because it added to this feel.
Well, on a critical weekend for our store, I made a huge sale and we made our quota for commission. I was loading a customer's truck from a small sale when out of the man said,” You know, I always have people trying to push lumber on me, but I like you. You never do that. I want to preorder $ 5,000 worth of lumber.”
So, what just happened here? I sold msyef! Of course, everyone has a different way of selling, and you have to learn yours. Still, what was always important to me when I sold was that I knew I was a good salesman, and I had confidence in this. You need to have that confidence because people don’t want to buy from someone who is unsure of themselves or unsure of their product.
You can’t sell you without confidence. In fact, the word conman comes from the fact that a crook sells confidence to you in the fact that he or she is not a crook. A good, honest salesperson doesn’t sell this kind of confidence. He or she has it. It is, forgive the pun, within you, without you.