A recent addition to my professional development is both old and new. Tom Hopkins’ “How To Master The Art of Selling Anything” is proving to be a very valuable training program. Although first recorded in 1979, his principles and strategies are timeless.
Its 24 sessions offer a comprehensive review of the selling process. Topics include handling objections, leading with questions, proper telephone techniques and goal setting. My favorite section is tie-down questions. There are several versions, but the basic one entails ending a statement with an affirmative question. The objective is to get a ‘yes’ or to draw out the objection. Some examples:
“Quality is important today, isn’t it?”
“You would like to retire and enjoy the better things in life, wouldn’t you?”
“This will add nicely to your investment portfolio, won’t it?”
Adapt this technique to your product or service, and you’ll improve your presentations immensely. Hopkins introduces us to six powerful techniques in this section alone. I’ve begun crafting versions of these for my vacation club business, and look forward to rewarding discussions with prospects.
As the title of his program indicates, Tom Hopkins’ strategies apply to any product or service. Among the audience members in his studio were a copier salesperson, a sales associate at an appliance store, and a rep for corporate jet manufacturer.
Professional development an ongoing process
I was introduced to Hopkins’ material in the early 1990s. Back then I was a sales rep for a suburban Milwaukee newspaper. In addition to attending one of his seminars, I purchased his “Psychology of Selling” program. A series of cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes!), this training provides many fundamentals of selling. “Selling Anything” contains a significant amount of material I haven’t heard before.
Listening to “Selling Anything” is a part of my daily routine that includes reading books by Jack Canfield and other masters. This is all part of an ongoing professional development regimen. Good salespeople understand this. They know that learning never stops. Even those with decades of experience continue to invest in themselves. That’s what keeps them sharp and successful.
The owner of my vacation club purchased “How To Master The Art Selling Anything,” and made it available to her associates. As our manager, she understands the value of regular sales training. Having spent tens of thousands of dollars on her own training, she is eager to invest in her team.
Though some of the language Hopkins uses and items he mentions (tape player, for example) are dated, the principles are sound. The key with this or any training is to apply the material. You will gain nothing by merely listening to the audio program.
“How To Master The Art Of Selling Anything” and Hopkins’ other programs can be purchased from his website. (Incidentally, I don’t earn anything from this recommendation.) There are many good sales trainers to learn and prosper from. If you haven’t done so already, begin to invest in your professional development.
For additional valuable reading, see “5 traits of a good leader” and “Small steps can lead to big success.”
Is any of Tom Hopkins’ material in your library? (If not from Hopkins, perhaps other sales trainers.) How has it helped you? Feel free to leave a comment below. If you found value in this post, please share it so others may benefit from what you and I have written. You may use any of the following buttons. To contact me, send an email.
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