Talk is cheap.
Listening, on the other hand, could be the greatest skill a salesperson could employ.
This is some of the advice offered in Shut Up! Stop Talking and Start Making Money, a recently-released book penned by Comox-based sales trainer/business consultant Dave Warawa.
Whether a salesperson, business owner or employee trying to sell an idea to a boss, the book will challenge readers in the way they view the sales industry.
Warawa demonstrates how to change one’s attitude from Always Be Closing to Always Be Connecting. He suggests “consultative selling” is the best way to earn buyer respect.
“Why not establish a relationship with people before they become buyers? Maybe not only will they buy, but maybe they’ll repeat business and refer people to you.”
Warawa, 53, had worked in the media industry before entering the world of sales. At first, he said he was a terrible, but things changed after he read some books by authors such as Zig Ziglar, who ‘told him’ to shut up, stop talking so much and ask people some questions. He eventually became better skilled at helping customers make the right purchase based on their needs.
“Rule number one that I tell all salespeople: Don’t be a jerk. Be a nice person. Don’t look at someone and say, ‘Is that guy willing to buy today?’ Help people. Don’t try to sell people. Educate them.”
The best sales people he’s worked with are not in the vain of Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross or Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, but are the ones who’ve established relationships and were nice people.
“A lot of it is common sense,” Warawa said. “Sales success is a marathon, it’s not a sprint.”
Borrowing a page from entrepreneur Seth Godin, Warawa’s self-published book originated from the amount of blogging he was doing. He figured if he could create valuable information from content, readers would reach out.
The 248-page book contains 46 chapters, including a social media guide for salespeople.
Several chapters are devoted to the five sales success skills — ask questions, actively listen, paraphrase, summarize and personality — that help build relationships with customers, and earn repeat business and referrals.
“It’s a book of common sense,” he said.
Warawa had lived Edmonton before moving to Comox about three years ago with his wife Tammy and their four children. He runs a company called Pro Sales Guy Training.
A trio of locals helped to create the book: Ryan Parton provided the editing, Linda Graceffo created the cover design and provided layout, and Lisa Graham shot the cover photos.
Shut Up! Stop Talking and Start Making Money is available at the Laughing Oyster Bookshop in Courtenay. Warawa will be on hand for a Saturday book signing from 1-2 p.m.
The book can also be ordered online through Amazon.
Warawa’s website is www.prosalesguy.ca.