The first book I read on sales was “How to sell anything to anybody” by Joe Jirard. It is a great classic now. I have yet to read anything better than this book on sales. Highly recommended reading.
This book is packed with practical sales tips in the simplest possible language. One advice I never forgot (though not always followed it) was “Don’t join the club”.
Joe Jirard says:
I did learn one important lesson very early in my career: Don’t join the club. Most salesmen learn it on their first day in a new place but soon forget it. What it means is this: Don’t become a part of what we call the “dope ring” or the “bull ring” in the place where you work. That is where all the guys get together in the morning and spend their time discussing what they did last night, or what their wife was complaining about at breakfast, or some other subject that has nothing to do with work.
Everybody knows what I am talking about. A salesman comes up to the crowd and says, “Did you hear about Phil Jones?” Phil Jones was a guy that worked there ten years ago and nobody knows him, but they listen as he tells about how Phil had an accident or won a lottery. What for? How much money does that make you?
Then the coffee wagon comes around and everybody starts flipping quarters to see whose turn it is to pay this morning. The day is going by, and pretty soon it’s getting toward lunch time. Now the question is: Where are we gonna eat? Somebody mentions a place, and then they argue and take a vote and finally they go to lunch, usually at a place where other salesmen go, so they’re not likely to meet anybody who can help them earn a nickel. After lunch there is more time lost with stories and talk about owes whom how much for the meal. Before long the day is gone, and so is any chance to build your business.
Interestingly as we move into our digital life style, we have new ways of “joining the club”. Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites are our new “clubs”.
Ok, I know networking is an important thing but how much of it? Are we concentrated on work when we are “there” or just drifting? Status update-comments-replies-comments-replies thing soon becomes addictive before we notice it.
So Joe’s advice still stands. If you want to get your work done, don’t join the club.