Successful Selling is More Than the Luck of the Irish

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As March brings the celebration of all things Irish on Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish-American who speaks and consults on state-of-the-art selling says that luck, while important, is not the only element determining your sales success. "You don't need the luck of the Irish to be successful in selling, but it may help to think about what makes the Irish personality so engaging," says Lenann McGookey Gardner, author of Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today's Proven Methods for Selling Services (Jarndyce & Jarndyce).

As March brings the celebration of all things Irish on Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish-American who speaks and consults on state-of-the-art selling says that luck, while important, is not the only element that determines sales success.

"You don't need the luck of the Irish to be successful in selling, but it may help to think about what makes the Irish personality so engaging," says Lenann McGookey Gardner, author of Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today's Proven Methods for Selling Services (Jarndyce & Jarndyce).

Consider some of these Irish-inspired characteristics and Saint Patrick's Day activities and how they relate to sales.

When Irish eyes are smiling - "A twinkle in the eye shows your enthusiasm, and that energy can help warm your prospect," says Gardner. "Be positive, upbeat and encouraging as well as knowledgeable of what you have to offer. Think not of closing a deal but of helping this person."

The gift of gab - Turn this one on its ear! "Successful selling is all about getting your prospect to engage in a dialogue with you. Remember The 90-10-90 Rule: Ideally when you're selling, your prospect should be doing ninety percent of the talking. Of the ten percent of the time that you, the seller, are speaking, spend ninety percent of that ten percent asking questions," says Gardner. (The exception to The 90-10-90 Rule: talk as long as one is answering questions the prospect has posed. But if he or she is not asking, don't be talking about your offering, pose more questions to engage the person.) The gift of gab is important -- but not for the seller -- for the prospective client! Get them to talk, and listen closely.

Look for the pot of gold - Usually it's in an obvious place -- with current clients. "So many of us have clients who purchase only one of our services, but who could benefit from more of the work we do," suggests Gardner. "Have a plan to make them aware of all the ways in which you can be of help, and keep in touch regularly."

Drink green beer - "This may not be your favorite beverage, but the spirit of fun it suggests is good sales advice," explains Gardner. "Positive, upbeat networking while avoiding using negative words will help attract more people to you, and to your services."

Leprechauns bring good luck - "Find your own 'lucky charm' -- a sales expert whose background, experience and results impress you -- and get an update on how to sell now," says Gardner. "Selling is changing, and your methods may be out of date. The good news: we have data, now, about what's working in selling. Learn that, use it, and profit!"

Lenann McGookey Gardner, a Harvard MBA and former #1 sales rep at Xerox, offers keynote speeches on state-of-the-art selling and closing skills, as well as sales and client care coaching for organizations of all sizes. Her book Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today's Proven Methods for Selling Services is the one guidebook highlighting all the latest research and data on what's working now in selling. Learn more at http://www.YouCanSell.com.

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GAIL RUBIN

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