From a sales point of view, I admired his ability to create new products that people didn’t even realise they needed until he released them! At which point they became must-buys for a lot of people - and that is a statment from the owner of an iPod, iPhone, Macbook Pro and iPad 2!
So what sales lessons can we learn from him?
Sales Lesson No 1 – Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different
Steve Jobs was never afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd, or pursue ways of doing things that other people thought were stupid. It was only after all of the doubt and Steve produced something spectacular that people stood back and applauded.
In a sales context, what aren’t you doing right now because other people think it’s stupid?
Sales Lesson No 2 – Love What You Do
One of Steve’s favourite sayings was “love what you do”. My question to you is “do you love what you do?”
The answer for most salespeople, and most people in general, is “yes, when things are going well”. I’ve always said that in my opinion, sales can be the best job in the world when things are going well…. And the worst job in the world when things are going badly!
So for those of you that don’t currently love what you do, you need a more compelling reason or outcome for doing what you do.
Sales Lesson No 3 – Turn Your TV Off!
I remember Steve saying: “People think that you watch television to switch your brain OFF, and work on a computer when you want to turn your brain ON”.
I’ve always loved that saying. When I ask most salespeople “how much time do you spend on trying to improve your sales or your sales career against how much time do you spend watching TV?” guess which one is normally most popular?
Most salespeople I meet rarely work on their sales career outside of work and even inside of work they rarely work on improving it. It is more that they just end up doing it.
Sales Lesson No 4 – Create A ‘Buying Experience’
Steve Jobs and Apple were fantastic at creating a ‘buying experience’ every time you bought one of their products. Pretty much anyone who’s bought from Apple will confirm this! Whether it’s been an iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac or anything else in their product line, if you’ve bought one you’ll know that it’s a bit different to the usual buying experience, for example.
An Apple store experience is just that – an experience! The majority of people on the shop floor know exactly how to answer your query, or find someone who does in a minute. Does that have any impact on how many people buy more products from Apple? Of course it does!
Sales Lesson No 5 – Don’t Fear Failure
The majority of people I speak to, at some point, have to deal with failure. So therefore most people also have to deal with a fear of failure. Something that happens in advance of an event that they think will mean failure for them.
So one of the things that I do when I work with an individual or sales team is to look at what failures they’re afraid of. Number one on this list is usually cold calling, or in some cases, any kind of sales calls at all!
How many of you or your team are putting off calling a prospect that could be a really good source of income for you, because you feel like you’re not ready?
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar!
About Andy Preston
Sales expert Andy Preston (www.andypreston.com). Andy is the leading authority on cold calling and new business sales techniques. With an extensive history in professional buying, Andy set up Stand Out Selling seven years ago, which trains companies and their sales teams on how to improve sales performance and results. Previous work includes several blue chip companies such as BMW, HSBC and Nissan.