Direct Response Copywriting

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Learning Sales

My first exposure to sales was selling computers at a Gateway Country Store.  I made mistakes that many untrained salesmen make.  I talked about the computer’s video card, the hard drive, and processor speed.  In other words, I talked about the features.

But I didn’t understand something crucial.  Customers wanted to know what the computer and software would do for them.  Would he be able to play games?  Would her computer have a printer?  Would he be able to watch a movie?  Would she be able to send email?

I learned to ask better questions and then listen.  The knowledge that came from listening to my customer was crucial. With better information, I could recommend a computer with the features that mattered.  (For instance, I wouldn’t want to sell a gaming computer that came with an integrated video card).  I could show how those features gave the customer what he was looking for.  And how the customer would benefit.​

My next exposure to sales was door-to-door sales.  I sold high end pressure washing and house painting work.

Leaving an advertising flier in a paper box or on a door mat was a waste of time and money.  People don’t read fliers, door hangers, or other advertising left at their houses.  Instead, I knocked on the door, introduced myself, and handed the owner a flier.  This often resulted in a warm sales lead.

I believe this worked for three reasons.

  1.  The personal interaction.
  2.  The homeowner was already interested in having the work done.  I was tapping into that desire.
  3.  I happened to show up at the right place at the right time.

I’ve written a short book about this.  The book targets blue collar professions.  People who are in door-to-door sale might also benefit.   It is available through Amazon as How I Went From Failure To Success In Selling.