So if you are in Sales, you are going to get an absolute kick out of this blog…..
and if you’re struggling in sales, reading and applying what I speak of below will change the game for you 🙂
If you have ever heard me speak at a seminar or were mentored by me one-on-one, you will always hear me speak of the M&M analogy when it comes to recruiting or sales. It is a very simple and straight forward way to get emotionally unattached from the sales experience with the customer or client and remember that you are there to do a job, sell stuff.
At the end of the day for most sales people, (especially those who work off of straight commission) if they don’t sell, they don’t eat. We have no time to waste in getting upset about the deal that didn’t close or the ones that got away because we cannot feast off of last weeks bread.
So here is the single most relevant story/experience that ever helped me as a sales person:
It’s a numbers game. If I know 1 out of 5 will buy, then the only way to truly track and measure that is to do the same great high energy pitch exactly the same all 5 times knowing that if the first 4 said no, then number 5 is probably going to go for it, if not #5, then statistically your chances of getting a sale go up every single person after that exponentially as you hit the ratio break.
Making sense? If not I explain in a different way.
I use this analogy about finding the green M&M’s. The Green M&M represents the person who will buy from you, it’s your job to find it! Confused yet? Ok let me explain.
One summer day I was sitting around in between meeting prospects that I was attempting to recruit in to the company I was working for. After being shot down earlier that day by a potential prospect, I was eating a bag of M&M’s waiting for my next appointment. As I poured a couple more out I started to wonder how many I would have to go through before I got a green one out of the bag. I poured a couple more out. It took 6 M&M’s before a green one came. 2 Brown, 2 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 blue and then the green. I thought to myself, “wow, that’s about how many people I have to go through until I find someone who will sign up in my business.” Over time, I would continue to do this with a bag of M&M’s and the ratio continuously stayed the same, about 1 to 5 if looking specifically for a green M&M. Then a light bulb went off in my head, the M&M colors represent the personalities of the person, and the “Green” is the only one who is going to sign up or buy from me. So I developed a methodology around this called “Finding the green M&M.”
Here is the Methodology Explained….
Take a bag of M&M’s, you have Brown, Red, Green, yellow, and blue. Think of them as personality traits. I’ll list them as if they were customer types.
Brown – The “you’re trying to F$%^ me type.” No matter what you do, what logic you try to use with this customer, they don’t believe you. Why? Because they don’t believe anyone or trust anyone, as a result they have probably missed lots of opportunities in life including the one you are about to pitch them, bottom line, no sale! They will beat you up and make you feel like shit, it’s not worth your time, and even on the rarest of occasions where they do buy, the abuse usually isn’t even worth the commission that you will earn on the sale. Don’t take that abuse, be polite, and professional, but never take abuse for no reason, and fire back if necessary! You may not get the deal, but you will walk way with your dignity which is funny because when they realize that you’re not a door mat, they may change their attitude and actually buy something from you 🙂
Red – “The Big Timer.” This person has perfected the art of what I call “big timing.” This larger than life person comes off more like a cartoon character then a human being. They are always trying to tell you what a big deal they are and how lucky you would be to have them as a client or customer. As if they are God’s gift to the earth and everything they touch turns to gold. Truth is, maybe they got lucky once or twice , but they are 95% full of shit, and 5% actually telling the truth. Bottom line is when you start asking the “hard” questions or try to run their credit to get them financing they recede back in to their shell and go on the defensive retracting some earlier statements and trying to explain their situation, and they always have a situation 😉
Yellow – “Mr. Indecisive” This person cannot make a decision if their life depended on it. If you were tied up on the train tracks and the person with the yellow personality was the only person around to save you, it’s highly like you will be run over and killed by a train while you sat there and watched the person pace back and forth weighing the options of saving your life. Will I get hit by the train? What if I try to save him and the people who tied him up come after me? Maybe he/she deserves to get run over by the train? etc. Bottom line is this person is so easily influenced by everyone that it makes it extremely difficult for this person to make a decision about anything, and on the occasion that they do actually make a decision, they are still never sure and will require 10 times more than the time it took to close them to have you re-convince them that they made the right decision after the fact. = Brain damage for you.
Blue – “Mr. Too Cool for School” This person is a control freak. They need to feel like they are in complete control of the situation all of the time. They are not teachable, they are not coachable. They get a crazy idea of the how the experience, product, or service that you are selling should work in their head and then run with it no matter how far from reality it actually is. Trying to use logic to reason with this personality is about as effective as pushing a wet noodle through a tiny hole. If they do buy or sign up with you, they will usually come back pissed off when it doesn’t work out the way they had planned it to in their imaginary world and worst of all, they start talking all kinds of shit about you and your company after the fact to justify their place in the world. You see, if they actually had to take responsibility for their actions, they would have to admit that they were wrong, and that they were unwilling to follow directions or the procedures set in place and failed as a result those actions.
Green – “The perfect sale or client” This person gets it. They are logical, have the ability to reason and negotiate, and most of all they understand that a sale isn’t a situation where someone is getting taken advantage of or “winning’ over the other person, they approach a sales rep knowing that having a good relationship with him or her can add serious value to the product or service they are about to purchase. Bottom line, they just get it, and you will know when you meet people like this when a person doesn’t end up buying from you but you walk away from the situation not pissed off and actually feeling good about the dialogue you had… Seems like that wouldn’t make sense but it actually does because even though you will usually get the sale on a Green M&M personality, on the rare occasion that you don’t you will still walk away from the situation not resenting that person for wasting your time. The only reason they didn’t buy or sign up with you was due to a timing or technicality issue, but keep in touch with that person because they will eventually buy in the future or in the very least refer you business.
Getting upset or thinking that you suck at sales is about as crazy as opening up a bag of M&M’s and when the first one or two come out not being green ones, you say “F%^$ this stupid sales S%^*, I suck at this and I will never sell anything” then you quit and walk away with your tail tucked in between you legs. Sounds crazy right? Well it’s not because that is exactly how I have seen thousands of people get flushed out of a sales position in 2.3 seconds and quit before they ever even get a start.
In the beginning you suck the most. If sales was easy, everyone would be doing it. If you do get lucky the first time, do get a big head because no one is immune to the numbers game or closing ratios. Sales is a craft and skill that you can work on and hone over time. The more time you spend perfecting that skill, the better your closing ratio will become. So keep your head up and always be closing!!!
Now go kick some ass 🙂 Hope this helps, now please enjoy the greatest selling scene off all time.