The One Minute Sales Person Review

I recently came across these review notes for a meeting ten short years ago.  The bite-sized book by American Spencer Johnson is widely known. Here’s what I wrote back then:

Over 4 million people have apparently drank from the fountain of this guru’s knowledge. That said, there are things to be irritated about here.

The 1984 notepad that spawned this phenomenon exhibits what I feel is an appalling style of delivery. If you’ve ever read a bedtime story to a toddler, you’ll see the same thing here, following as it does, a conversational journey a one-time winner in a rut undertakes to get back in the groove by visiting successful salesreps (who don’t actually ‘sell’ in the traditional sense anyway).

Also, it is less directly aimed at career sellers, more so at anyone who feels that their general persuasion skills could be fine-tuned. That message is given very early on, probably to ensure extra buy-in from outside the sales community.

The key theme is that many can do the basics, but it’s the little things people do that make the real difference. These vital moments, surprise surprise, take just one minute to do in each sale.

Despite these dumbed down drawbacks, there are some useful tips to be had from the one-minute salesperson. A succession of worthy one-liners crop up around which the book is based.   Here are the pick:

  • The One Minute Sales Person always “Stays On Purpose”, which means not simply aiming for goals, but look for something deeper that provides complete self-fulfilment (I know it sounds a bit passé and, well, American, but the message is clear that there is more to life than your pay packet).
  • “Production minus Sales equals Scrap”
  • You have to genuinely care about customers and their predicaments to get them to buy from you. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Draw out from prospects what they need – don’t tell them.
  • “People buy how using your product will make them feel”
  • There are 4 obstacles to winning business: No Trust, No Need, No Help & No Hurry.
  • You shouldn’t focus your mind on just the sale, but how you will get Referrals once they’ve bought.
  • “People hate to be sold, but they love to buy”
  • Write down your goals. You get this repeated forever since the dawn of time, but we tend to agree that you should jot them down.
  • “You don’t make the sale, they do”
  • Salespeople come a cropper because they focus on what they want (to make the sale) rather than what the prospect wants (their life improved).
  • The One Minute Sales Person uses the word “person” to remind you of the human aspects of selling.

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