Key Lessons From The 5 Greatest Sales Guys of Our Time

  1. Ray Kroc – This is the guy who took McDonalds from a weak, local joint into a world-domination corporation. He is the quintessential salesman-CEO who defined sales as “the gentle art of letting the customer have it your way”. He helped create the “Roland McDonald” mascot that is now ubiquitous across the world. He understood the changing food needs of the customers and gave them a food that is cheap, easy to take and fast to quench the hunger.
  2. Steve Jobs – Jobs was a master of understanding customer’s minds. He never listened to market research or customer requirements, but had an intuitive understanding of the real needs of the customer, that is often unverbalised. Other things one could learn from Jobs include dramatic presentation skills and keeping the concept simple & choices low. Jobs understood the “paradox of choice” better than most of his competitors.
  3. Zig Ziglar – Ziglar is one of the most influential salesmen in America and has written nearly 25 books in the subject of sales. He helped created a lot of the vocabulary that the sales guys use now. Among his most famous quotes involve the 5 impediments to complete a sale. Some of key learnings from him include the art of closing a sale. He emphasizes on the problem solving aspect of sales and about making the profession more transparent & honest.
  4. Larry Ellison – The founder of Oracle is also a king when it comes to enterprise sales. Although some of his strategies – willing to do or say anything to get the business – are controversial, there is also plenty to learn from him. He aggressively pushed the database product to enterprises and was known for its compelling pricing strategies to acquire sales. He has a built an image of trust and quality for Oracle using his own personal image. Many customers see Oracle in the image of Ellison.
  5. Barack Obama – Although some people might be offended by calling the President as a sales person, the roles of a President is no different from a sales person who has to sell ideas and policies to people. Although one could disagree with his ideas, his sales skills during the 2008 Presidential campaign is not disputable. His tagline – “Yes, we can” immediately captured the imagination of millions and he directly reached his customers (voters) cutting out the middle layers. Key learnings from Obama include quick wittiness, ability to smile easily, creating a simple idea that easily reach the masses and never losing temper publicly.