I have never listened to an audiobook with so many quotable lessons. This is both because it is a long book and Zig covers a lot. Zig Ziglar clearly knew how to identify those teachable moments. He openly admits that he takes a lot of ideas from other great people and always tries to give credit where credit is due. He might be the most recognized name in modern sales. For marketers, it is likely that you have never even heard the name. As someone who has been a professional in both marketing and sales I can see why he is so accomplished in the selling arena, and it is because he has amazing marketing skills. He is able to take any individual’s successful selling experience, brand it as a type of sales close, then build a story behind that sales close. If one of your sales colleagues told you that they were able to close a deal you would likely shrug your shoulders and think, well it is your job. When Zig Ziglar describes a sale he builds an entire story from the ground up, makes all of the individuals involved into characters right out of a Dickens novel, and then delivers the story in a way that you walk away more intelligent than when you started. I can’t remember every close but I can definitely remember many of the stories that he told to deliver his insight. Marketers do not need to know about one on one sales techniques, but they do need to understand the personas that they are selling to and what value propositions are going to impact buying decisions. Zig is a master of identifying personas, then adapting his sales approach. Here are just a few quotes from Zig Ziglar’s Secrets Of Closing The Sale.
- “The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.” : If you are not going to take a chance because of fear of failure, then you will never improve and never know what is working or not working. I have seen countless marketing initiatives being delayed or terminated due to the status quo. When there is no leader that promotes new ideas and technologies the entire team falls behind the competition.
- “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” : Help your customers and community even when you are not going to make any money. You can not expect direct reciprocation from an individual, but community-based stories gain ground and will impact the success of your company. Nowadays everything is trackable, so set up ways to test your community support and goodwill.
- “When people ask me, Zig, does that actually work? I reply, it doesn’t work all of the time, but it does work some of the time.”: This is one of my favorite quotes when I hear Zig say it. Not every strategy works for every customer in every scenario, this is true. But if you are willing to intelligently try things in certain situations the attempt can bear fruit. If it does not, make sure you learn from it.
- “It is unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing what it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot . .”: When building your marketing strategy, do it right with the right tools. Companies try to test ideas or quantify the impact on revenue with a CRM. It is not enough, get the tools you need to demonstrate to management that your team is part of the revenue strategy and making an impact on the top line. If your process is connected to revenue, it should not be a problem.
- “You can change everything about your business by changing your thinking about your business.”: It is amazing what a positive attitude can do. Do you want to position your team to make a bigger impact on the business? Then understand the value that you are bringing to the table, maintain the attitude that you are creating a significant impact on the business and bring the numbers.
- “Why settle for the ‘get by’ when in the long run the good costs less?”: Price is always a topic of conversation for the revenue team. Are you a high-value product or service that deserves a premium? Or are you a commodity that can be replaced by any other product at any price. Understanding how your product or service is positioned to create both short and long-term benefits for your customers will help you communicate from a position of value.
- “If you do not believe in your product or service enough to offer it to your own family and friends, then you should question the value of what you are selling.”: I have sold and marketed things that I do not believe in. If you have done it then you know. Waking up in the morning is a challenge when you need to promote something without any real value.
- “You must admit the greatest salesman that ever lived was a carpenter from Galilee, and the best sales trainer that ever lived was Jesus Christ… every time somebody asked him a question he responded either with a question or with a parable.”: Zig Ziglar is a man of faith. I am not necessarily a man of faith but can see his point. You never hear stories about Jesus being overly promotional. He sold Christianity by understanding what was behind each individual and telling them a story that they could remember. Providing a perfect solution for that pesky human problem, sin.