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The Investors Blog/Realtors/8 Lessons To Become A Master Salesperson

8 Lessons To Become A Master Salesperson

Monday, May 13, 2024

Secrets of a master salesman

Napoleon Hill started as a young 'mountain reporter' in rural Virginia and ended up influencing millions. His life was a testament to his own teachings: “what the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Despite the loss of his parents at a young age and having to drop out of law school due to financial constraints, Hill's passion for writing opened doors to a world of influential figures.

One pivotal moment came when he interviewed Andrew Carnegie, leading to a 20-year quest of unraveling the principles of success by interviewing over 500 successful people. This experience culminated in his famous work "Think and Grow Rich," a book that remains a bestseller decades after its publication.

But what you might not know is that Napoleon Hill also trained thousands of salespeople.

And in “Secrets of Master Salesmanship” he reveals timeless strategies that turned ordinary individuals into masters of sales and achievement.

​Here’s my favourite 8 lessons from this book!

Lesson #1: Understanding and Utilizing the Nine Basic Motives

To sell anything, including real estate, you need to understand why people buy in the first place.

In "Secrets of Master Salesmanship," Napoleon Hill identifies nine basic motives that drive human behaviour.

These motives are: love, sex, desire for monetary gain, self-preservation, desire for freedom of body and mind, desire for self-expression, desire for perpetuation of life after death, emotion of anger, and emotion of fear.

For instance, Hill points out the power of love as a motivating force, stating, "The man who can recall how he used this motive to sell himself to the woman of his choice will have an excellent example of Master Salesmanship." Similarly, the desire for monetary gain is a universally powerful driver, relevant in various sales contexts.

​The key takeaway for here is to identify which of these motives your product or service aligns with… and tailor your approach accordingly.

Lesson #2: Mind Conditioning and Positive Mental Attitude

The goal is to enter every sales situation with an expectation of success.  Develop a routine that nurtures a positive mental state before entering into a sale. This might include affirmations, visualization exercises, breathing, or studying motivational material.

​Hill goes so far as to suggest that the salesman’s attitude can telepathically influence the buyer.  This rehearsal isn't just strategic or theoretical; it’s about fostering a mindset of success and positivity, which influences the customer’s mindset as well.

​Envision the sales process, anticipate potential objections, and mentally prepare responses.  You need to cultivate a mindset that not only expects success but also actively visualizes and believes in it!  Hill writes, “The first requirement of a master salesman is the necessary self-discipline to enable him to control his own mental attitude and keep it positive at all times when he is engaged in selling.”

​Because monkey see, monkey do!  ​
Napoleon Hill’s second lesson in "Secrets of Master Salesmanship" revolves around the concept of mind conditioning and maintaining a positive mental attitude.

Lesson #3: The Principle of 'Going the Extra Mile'

This lesson is exactly what it sounds like.  It means doing more than what's typically expected, providing extraordinary service and value.

Hill says, “The master salesman must adopt and strictly adhere to the habit of going the extra mile, rendering some sort of service he is not expected to render in all of his relationships with his customers.”

It's not just about fulfilling basic expectations; it's about surpassing them to create a memorable experience for the customer.  When you go the extra mile, you're not just selling a product or service; you're offering an exceptional experience that can foster loyalty and generate word-of-mouth referrals.

The key is to actively look for opportunities to provide more value than the customer expects to receive...Use our CMA lesson as an example, don't wait until a seller reaches out to you for a valuation on their house, create the valuation, send it to a homeowner whether they are interested in selling or not, they will appreciate the effort.

Lesson #4: Importance of Self-Belief

To sell anything, including real estate, you need to understand why people buy in the first place.

In "Secrets of Master Salesmanship," Napoleon Hill identifies nine basic motives that drive human behaviour.

These motives are: love, sex, desire for monetary gain, self-preservation, desire for freedom of body and mind, desire for self-expression, desire for perpetuation of life after death, emotion of anger, and emotion of fear.

For instance, Hill points out the power of love as a motivating force, stating, "The man who can recall how he used this motive to sell himself to the woman of his choice will have an excellent example of Master Salesmanship." Similarly, the desire for monetary gain is a universally powerful driver, relevant in various sales contexts.

​The key takeaway for here is to identify which of these motives your product or service aligns with… and tailor your approach accordingly.

Lesson #5: The Art of Turning Setbacks into Opportunities

In sales, like in life, you’re bound to hit some roadblocks.  Napoleon Hill teaches us to view these not just as setbacks, but as opportunities. He advises, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

A rejected sales pitch could reveal a vital aspect of your approach that needs refining. Or maybe a failed deal opens the door to a more profitable opportunity down the road. It's all about perspective.

Start seeing setbacks as a chance to grow and innovate.  For example, you pitch to a potential client, and they turn you down. Instead of mulling over the loss, analyze it. 

What went wrong?

Was there something missing in your presentation?

Maybe the client gave you feedback that could help tailor your approach for future pitches.

And remember, it’s not just about bouncing back; it’s about bouncing forward. Use your experiences to build resilience and adaptability. Each setback is a learning moment, steering you toward a better strategy, a more refined pitch, or a stronger connection with your next client.

Lesson #6: Personal Initiative and Creative Vision

In sales, just going through the motions isn’t enough.  Napoleon Hill stresses the importance of taking personal initiative and having a creative vision. This means not waiting for opportunities to come to you, but creating them yourself through innovative thinking and proactive actions.

Every successful salesperson you know probably has a story about how they saw an opportunity where others didn't.  They didn't just follow the standard protocols; they brought something new to the table, something uniquely theirs.

It could be a novel way of presenting a product, a fresh approach to connecting with clients, or even a completely new avenue for sales that no one had considered before.

Hill puts it succinctly: “Even the beginner in selling must use his imagination or sales would be lean and far between…” It’s about more than just setting goals; it’s about imagining new possibilities and then having the drive to turn those ideas into reality.

So, don't shy away from trying something new or different in your sales approach. Whether it's a unique marketing tactic or an unconventional sales pitch, your personal initiative and creative vision could very well be the factors that set you apart in a crowded market.

Lesson #7: Developing a Magnetic Personality

In sales, you've probably noticed how some people just naturally draw others in.  Napoleon Hill highlights this trait as a magnetic personality. He suggests, “The salesman who develops a pleasing personality makes his job infinitely easier.”

But what makes a personality magnetic?

It's a combination of traits like enthusiasm, empathy, sincerity, and the ability to listen actively. These qualities don't just help in making a sale; they help in building lasting relationships with clients.

Think about the salespeople you've encountered who've made a positive impact on you. Chances are, they were genuinely interested in your needs, communicated effectively, and made you feel valued. They likely had a positive outlook, a friendly demeanor, and an approachable nature. These are the elements of a magnetic personality.

Start by focusing on your interpersonal skills. Practice active listening, where you really pay attention to what your clients are saying. Show empathy by understanding their needs and perspectives. Be genuine in your interactions – people can usually tell when you're being sincere.

Remember, a magnetic personality isn't about being the most outgoing or the life of the party. It's about making those you interact with feel heard, understood, and important..


Lesson #8: Mastering the Art of Persuasion

Sales isn’t just about presenting facts and features; it’s about connecting those facts to the needs, desires, and emotions of your clients.  Hill advises, “The ability to sell one's ideas to others is the basic skill required for achieving any form of success.”

Persuasion in sales is a subtle art. It involves understanding your client’s perspective, and then guiding them to see how what you're offering aligns with their needs or desires. This doesn’t mean being pushy or manipulative; it’s about being empathetic, attentive, and solution-focused.

A key element in persuasion is the ability to tell a compelling story.  People are naturally drawn to stories because they can see themselves within them. When presenting your product or service, frame it within a narrative that resonates with your client's experiences or aspirations.

Mastering persuasion is about skillfully guiding the conversation in a way that aligns your product’s benefits with what the client values or needs, all while maintaining integrity and building a relationship based on trust and respect.

Want To Learn More?

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​It's Time To Elevate Your Sales

​Until Next Time...

​~Stephen Young

The Investor coach podcast

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