How to thrive in the cutthroat world of sales

I started out as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman seventeen years ago – it was one of the toughest sales jobs around. Within two years I was one of the top salesman in the country. The thought of selling door-to-door scares the monkeys out of most people. It taught me seven things. Seven golden rules that I would need to survive and thrive in the cutthroat world of sales. I’ve applied these rules throughout my career – they are the foundation of my success.

1. Tell the truth

Let’s face it people can be wary of salesmen. They can also quickly tell if you’re not being honest with them. Never talk nonsense to make a sale! Tell the truth and have integrity.

2. Listen

You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason…to listen more than you speak. We all love talking about ourselves. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can break the ice when you ask clients questions and really listen to their answers. When you listen they will tell you everything you need know to put the right package together for them, it really is as simple as that.

3. Work hard…work really hard!

The harder you work and the more people you see – the more sales you’ll make.

I was always the one calling and seeing clients when my friends were out partying hard on Fridays and Saturdays. To be the best you have to do the things most people aren’t prepared to do. Working hard is vital, there are no short cuts I’m afraid.

4. Never ever give up

Sales is a tough game – especially if you’re having a bad run. You need to push through. If you’re working hard and doing the basics the deals will come. Trust me!

 Most people often start changing things, forget to do the basics or quit just before the sales start to happen – hang in there!


5. Have a positive attitude

If you head into a meeting with a negative attitude – I guarantee you won’t get the deal. Clients want to do business with positive people. You radiate energy and if that energy is positive and upbeat – clients will feel it and buy into it.

Of course, we all have our moments but make them just that – moments.

Don’t let a bad mood dictate how your day rolls. Decide there and then to change it. Have a routine – a mantra – something that gets you amped and gets you in the right state of mind before you start your day– listen to music or exercise.

6. Keep it simple

Make your presentation really simple to understand. Stick to the basics and don’t confuse a potential customer with too much info. If someone says, ‘They need to think about it’ – what they’re really saying is, ‘You’ve confused the heck out of me.’

7. Give Back

Giving back without expecting anything in return is one of the most satisfying things in life. It’s funny – I find even when I help people without expecting anything in return – the universe has a weird way of rewarding me for it anyway. I think it goes back to having a positive outlook. It’s energising and most people want to help those who are genuinely kind.

Final Thought

To me life is too short to be miserable. There is so much to be happy and grateful for and I think many people lose sight of this. Your life can be as ordinary or as extraordinary as you want it to be, at the end of the day the choice is all yours!


Mike Broadbent is the director of Evergreen Life

Read more of Mike’s columns here.