September 14, 2011
The Manual to Success:
“The Manual to Success” is a Must Because We All Must Sell Ourselves
Jennifer Foster is no stranger to success, but only because she has worked at it for years. In her first seven years of selling for Family Heritage Life Insurance, she was the top salesperson every single year. With a record like that, she is someone who definitely knows the secret to great selling. But, surprisingly, her sales techniques are not flashy or full of gimmicks. They are down-to-earth, friendly, and consider the individual’s needs. Now in “The Manual to Success: Twenty-Five Tips to Succeed in Sales and Life,” Jennifer breaks down in simple, easy-to-read format, what she has learned in her sales career to benefit every reader, not just those directly in sales, but everyone—because at some point in our lives, we all must sell ourselves.
What makes “The Manual to Success” user-friendly and extremely useful is its organization. It is divided into Twenty-Five Success Tips, including “Choose a Career in Sales,” “Stop Talking and Listen,” and “People Love to Buy.” Each chapter focuses on a Success Tip and is short and to the point—perfect for reading one each morning, or between sales appointments, or whenever you find yourself waiting for a few minutes. An exercise follows each tip to help the reader think about and apply the tip to his or her own situation. Because the tips are short and can be read in just a few minutes each, they allow for multiple readings, or just turning to the tip that you think will most help you, while going back again and again to earlier tips you might need to refresh yourself on. Every reader is bound to find several, if not all of these tips, applicable to making him or her into a better salesperson.
Early in the book, Jennifer informs us, “No matter who you are, you are (or will be) a salesperson at some point in your life. Whether you’re selling yourself in an interview, selling your speaking abilities, a product, a service, or just trying to get that first date, you’re involved in making a sale.” She also makes it clear that how successful we are is directly the result of how successful we want to be. If we choose to work hard and believe we can succeed, then we will. She clearly states, “If you’ve told yourself, ‘I could never do sales’ or ‘I am not a salesperson,’ then you’re right. Whatever you tell yourself becomes your truth, so be careful about what you say to yourself. I believe you can do anything you truly set your mind to doing.”
Jennifer tells us a bit about herself at the beginning of “The Manual to Success” so we understand her motivation. She does not come from a wealthy family and she did not have Donald Trump or Mary Kay to teach her the secrets of selling. What she had was a typical upbringing where she watched her loving middle class parents struggle to make ends meet and give their children all the opportunities they could. From an early age, Jennifer learned to work hard and save money, beginning with selling Girl Scout cookies. She saved but also had to contribute her savings to the family income, so when it came time to go to college, there was no money for tuition. Rather than take out four years worth of loans, Jennifer went to work, and through determination, she got through college without incurring debt.
Jennifer has applied a similar determination to her sales career for the past twelve years, becoming the top seller in her company as well as coaching many new salespeople to achieve success. Jennifer’s determination to make the sale has never led her to cut-throat techniques with her customers. Rather, she is respectful and listens to her clients, truly seeking to understand their needs and concerns and to provide them with the security and protection they need for their families. This personal touch has resulted in her bringing home more than triple the average annual sales per salesperson for Family Heritage Insurance.
A great deal of the book focuses on your sales prospects, the importance of listening to them, and catering your presentations to individual audiences. Jennifer believes in the value of word-of-mouth referrals, and often one client leads her to another. I especially like how she talked about the importance of listening, which can result in letting clients talk themselves into buying the product. Jennifer also makes sure she gets to know her clients, a tactic she calls “be friendly with a purpose,” reminding us to “establish a relationship with your prospects. People buy from people they like. People refer friends and family to people they like and do future business with them. Ask questions with a purpose in mind.”
Surprisingly, Jennifer doesn’t tell readers not to take “No” for an answer. Instead, she accepts “No” because her time is valuable and she’s not going to spend it on a person who can’t or won’t buy, but at the same time, she reminds salespeople:
One additional aspect I appreciated about the book was the inspirational quotes included with each Success Tip. Just a couple of these great quotes include Vince Lombardi’s “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, nor a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will” and Christopher Morley’s “Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.”
“The Manual to Success” lives up to its name. It has all the tips you need to become better at sales—and better at life. As Jennifer teaches you how to work hard, save money, create residual income, and connect with your sales prospects, you’ll find she has completely sold you on her mode of selling. You couldn’t find a better sales coach.For more information about Jennifer Foster and “The Manual to Success,” visit www.JenniferFosterCoaching.com.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and author of the award-winning “Narrow Lives”
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