The Down-low on Direct Sales

Astronomically different from digital or traditional sales approaches, Direct Sales is a beast all of its own. This sales technique has been around the longest, dating back to 1000 B.C. An Egyptian landowner drafted an advertisement on a piece of papyrus offering a gold coin reward for the return of his runaway slave. You can still find this advertisement displayed proudly in the British Museum.

Direct sales have expanded ten fold since then. With the rapidly expanding technological and marketing landscape, it’s important to stay on top of new trends and media channels to communicate with your target public.


However, there are several things that always remain the same: The basics of human behaviour. Tom Hopkins, a connoisseur of sales got into the business at the young age of 19. For years he struggled, thinking he had it all figured out in the beginning. He only succeeded after realizing that selling is truly a learned skill. He studied human behaviour and sales techniques until he succeeded, becoming a millionaire by 27 years old.

He continues to hold the title as one of the most influential salespeople to ever exist. He outlines a series of techniques that can be used to help close your sales that have proven very helpful to many starting out in the business:

People say yes emotionally, and than justify and defend their decision logically.

It’s important to note that people don’t say yes logically. They say yes emotionally, and than try and defend their decision with logic. So if you’re closing deals on a regular basis, it’s important that it is done via emotion. You can recite the benefits of a product or service until you are blue in the face, but until you paint an emotional picture for the prospect, you wont get the answer you’re looking for.

Belief in the product.

Many people in sales get into the business because they want to make money. Money may seem like a great motivator at first, but if you don’t believe in the product, you will never emanate the confidence you need to sell it. Conviction, passion, and enthusiasm about your product will surpass your technical skills any day.

If I say it, they tend to doubt it…If they say it, it’s true.

This is the elephant in the room when it comes to sales…Sales people rarely have credibility, as typically they are getting some sort of commission from the sale. The key to combatting this is to take a true statement and turn it into a question that garners a “yes” answer. That way, you are getting your prospect to answer with “yes” which automatically gives people a positive feeling about your product or service. You really don’t want to overuse this one – sales people already have a reputation of being pushy. Tom’s rule of thumb is to use it no more than twice within an hour-long pitch.

The question with two answers.

This technique is a question with two answers…either answer the prospect chooses is a covert agreement leading towards the “yes” that we’re looking for. Tom gives the following examples in his demonstration:

Say you’re setting up a time to meet someone…people will try and procrastinate meeting you…you’re a salesperson, of course. Combat this by smiling and saying “Dave, I’m available to meet today at 3, or would tomorrow at 9 am work better?”

Now they can’t say yes or no.

The question after a question.

This one is as simple as it sounds: you ask the prospect a question after they have just asked you a question.

For example, the prospect could say, “How soon will our product be up and running?” Instead of the obvious logical answer, which could be along the lines of “First we have to prepare an estimate, etc.” say something like “When would you like to have it up and running”?

When they answer, you’ve essentially closed the deal.

Tom Hopkins consistently talks about the emotions that influence your chances of making a deal. Fear is actually the core emotion that holds a prospect back from making a yes decision. He breaks down how fear can stop prospects from moving forward in a deal.

  • The prospect knows what you do for a living.

They are afraid of you. People love to buy new things, consume and own things. However, they are afraid to be sold. The key is to not come off as a salesperson, but as an expert advisor or an industry specialist. The prospect needs to feel good about you, that you provide value.

  • Making a mistake

We’ve all had buyers regret from time to time. All of us have bought something in the past that doesn’t work the way we thought it would. When selling, you want to ensure that your pitch covers any possible objection the prospect could make, that way there is less back and forth after the presentation, and the prospect can move quickly towards a yes decision.

  • Incurring debt

Unfortunately, debt is not an uncommon thing. It’s important to make your prospect understand the over all value your product will provide them. You need to take them from logical (perceived) feelings of value and bring them to a point where they can experience real feelings of value.

This can be done by telling a story – bringing back that emotional response. If there isn’t enough value, it diminishes the investment you’re asking them to make on your product.

These are some of the most valuable insights on the Internet for landing the seemingly impossible deal. They can even be leveraged in situations that don’t have anything to do with sales. What are your go-to sales techniques that have yet to fail you? We’d love to hear from you!