I had a powerful conversation with a US Marine this week about selling, of all things. He’s the best salesman I know. He’s a US Marine Corp Recruiter.
Being totally honest, I was not initially impressed when my son came home and told me he wanted to be a Marine. It came from left field and left me reeling. What a shock. After a few conversations, which from my side basically said: “not in my lifetime”: I headed off alone to the recruitment office to let them have my opinion! My son was a minor at the time and I was going to assert my rights…. But that’s not quite how it went!
Staff Sergeant Timothy Meehan is a professional, not only a professional warrior, but also a professional recruiter. He was practiced at dealing with my objections and quickly laid them to rest. A few months later, as I waved goodbye to my son, I was acutely aware of the opportunities that he had created for himself and at ease with the decision he had made.
At my request, Timothy Meehan was a guest speaker at a sales seminar that I organized. He was the star of the show! He arrived in his dress blues and began to share his sales philosophy:
- Believe in what you’re selling – Staff Sergeant Timothy Meehan is passionate about the US Marine Corp and believes wholeheartedly that this route offers young men and women every opportunity for a great life.
- Know what you’re selling – Learn your product inside out and upside down. Be able to answer any question (and when you can’t go and find the answer) and any objection. Understand your competitive advantage and know what you do best.
- Understand your competitor – What do they offer? How can we compete?
- Know your customer – Listen to understand. What are their goals? Dig deeper, ask the hard questions. Help them to find their hidden aspirations. Watch their body language and recognize what makes them tick.
- Trust – Staff Sergeant Meehan brought depth to the relationship conversation when he said: “sales are built on trust, not friendship.” Always be honest: “be brutally honest.”
- Be open – My seminar participants were most impressed with Tim’s personal testimonies.
- Know yourself – “Know yourself and seek self-improvement.” This is a foundational principle of leadership in the Marine Corp. From a sales perspective it would certainly keep us ahead of the pack. Tim goes on to say: “challenge yourself daily”, which I have to agree is another strong cornerstone of success.
- Do things you don’t want to do – Don’t be driven by your thoughts and feelings, be driven by your values and your goals.
- Do what it takes – Tim works long and hard. He gets up early and stays late, not every day, but enough to get the results that he needs.
It’s no wonder that Staff Sergeant Meehan is a very successful Marine Recruiter. We can all follow these guidelines and have increased business success.