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These 8 selling tips are the only sales training you'll ever need

You've probably never heard of Joseph Ades. But the man Vanity Fair described as the 'gentleman grafter' was a salesman of supernatural ability.

Here are 8 lessons all salespeople should learn from the late, great Joe Ades.


Joe Ades was an Englishman in New York. Well into his 70s, he sold potato peelers on street corners in the Big Apple.

He was a fascinating character, and the finest salesman you've never seen.

Are you in the business of selling? Send these 8 tips to everybody you work with. It's the only sales training they'll ever need.

1) Prove the product

Joe Ades is over 70 in this clip. Yet here he is, sat on a stool, hunched over a chopping board, gloves on, in full demo mode.

They're made in Switzerland, they're not made in China. They're made of stainless steel, they cannot rust. They're dishwasher safe and, I promise you, they never need sharpening.

It's not any old demonstration either. It's a demonstration of things you'd never think of doing – carrot sunflowers anybody?

2) Be relaxed

Joe's humour is his greatest weapon. Humour relaxes, it softens our naturally suspicious natures. Replace suspicion with a smile, and you're halfway there.

My machine is so gentle, you'll peel asparagus without breaking the tip… I know this is a carrot… You only want one? You've got no friends, like me.

3) Look the part

When was the last time you saw a street vendor dressed in Savile Row suits and Jermyn Street shirts? Never.

Joe's impeccable style matched his British charm perfectly. We can't all have such dashing sophistication, but don't underestimate the power of a well-tied tie.

4) Sell the benefit

Joe's selling peelers, right? Wrong. He's selling French fries that taste great, vegetables your kids will eat, and pineapple with the tough bits removed.

If you wanna make 'em taste great, you leave the skin on the potato. You don't peel it, you wash it. Cook 'em like that with the skin on. And if you cook these yourself without trans fat, you wash 'em down with red wine, you'll never die, you'll live forever.

As Elmer Wheeler so famously said, "You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle."


5) Emphasise quality

Have you ever referred to the potato peeler in your kitchen as a machine? Nobody would. 

They're not cheap. You don't buy them because they're cheap. You buy them because they're good.

Joe uses the word machine to make us think, 'Oh, it's a machine? Well mine is just a peeler, so this one must be better.'

6) Do a deal

Who on earth ever bought 5 potato peelers at once? Nobody. But such is the power of the pitch, people will buy a product that lasts a lifetime in bulk.

They're $5 each. You can buy 4 for $20 and, if you do, you get 1 free. When you buy 5 of these and you give 'em away as gifts, they're not gonna be offended because they only got a peeler. They're gonna be delighted to get the best peeler in the world. And they're gonna think of you every time they go in the kitchen.

7) Involve the customer

When the customer in the clip steps up to pull a peeler across a carrot, you know she's feeling pretty silly.

Pull the handle. Look at that. Go on, do it again.

But when she pulls it, the razor sharp blade cuts through hard carrot like a hot knife through butter.

The product is proven, truth is established, and money is handed over.

8) Practice and perfect

Doesn't Joe sound wonderfully off-the-cuff? That's because he uses the same words, in the same order, every time. Here's a different clip.


Understand why people need your product. Create a pitch around those needs. And practise – over and over – until it sounds natural.

The featured image is taken from Best Salesman in the World, YouTube.

Comments

kivoni - 1/9/2016 6:32 AM

As you've mentioned the sentence: “You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.”
It is exactly what he does. Combining several techniques together starting with the slow-speed British accent and British style implying seriousness, demonstrating proficiency in cutting or peeling both carrots and potatoes, which he refers to the peeler and not his well trained actions, emphasizing that it's not a cheap Chinese stuff, but a quality non-rusting stainless-steel from Switzerland, emphasizing that delicious food can be made with, trying to engage people by letting them try to peel with it, which increases reliability of his claims, then telling that you get two for ten dollars or 4 for twenty, with which you get an extra peeler for free.
Well thought and well performed sales presentation.

www.alloma.ca
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Ray - 11/11/2015 4:34 PM

My office was on 34th Street in Manhattan for more than ten years. Saw him several times a week all around the neighborhood. My sales staff and I would occasionally stop and become mesmerized. It was a cheap hardware store peeler. Even though I already had several different perfectly good peelers at home, I was tempted to buy one simply to say that I did. That was the power of his pitch.


Barry Lyons - 10/24/2015 3:43 AM

I live in New York. I often came across Joseph Ades. I probably saw him selling his wares maybe four or five times. I always enjoyed listening to him. Yes, I bought a peeler from him.


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