I did several part-time jobs while in college but the only part-time job that I held for all the four years of my degree was as a salesman in a jewelry store. The managing partner of the store and still like an elder brother to me, Haresh, gave me this book, How to sell anything to anybody by Joe Girard. Haresh considered this book to be his bible on sales, and once I read it, it was my sales bible too. However, this book is not about sales.
This book is about creating a systematic approach to
- Recruiting new customers without burning a hole in your pocket
- Getting your customers to like you
- Getting your customers emotionally attached to the product
- Attaining (and maintaining) a high closing percentage
- Engaging with your customers even if they don’t buy right away
- Engaging with your customers after you have made the sale
- Getting referrals from customers, friends, family and service providers (including your barber!) to grow your business
- Creating a team around you to ensure you get the highest return for your own time
Joe Girard sold 13,001 cars in his sales career. That is a staggering number because his sales career ended in 1978 i.e. way before the internet; WhatsApp or Facebook made it easy to reach out to a customer.
Joe was profiling his customers, listening to their needs, adjusting his approach to sell his customer. He also made several sales by reaching out to his customer just at the time that their car was ready to be replaced!
How did he know when to call? He kept all this valuable information on his customer in a physical CRM i.e., way before Salesforce, Dynamics, PipeDrive, etc. made record-keeping infinitesimally easier.
It is for these reasons that this book is a must-read for all founders whether they handle the sales function or not because as I had mentioned before this is a book about creating systems. Therefore I recommend that every founder know how to support the sales function whether they sit in tech, operations, HR, or fundraising.
I have re-read this book several times in my career. Most recently, I re-read this book to create a system to approach, engage, and recruit LPs for my fund. The system ensured that only 13% of the 115 crores we have in commitments came from distribution relationships. Therefore, in the remaining 87% of the cases, I utilized Joe’s system to recruit, involve, and close LPs. My team used a CRM to manage follow-ups and we created new content to reach out to our LPs.
This approach saved us almost one crore a year in paying out fees to distributors, which is a massive cost saving for a MicroVC fund like ours. What is the investment?
You don’t require a finance degree to explain that these are fantastic returns on your investment and time.
Now it’s up to you…