FinanceCrash course in how to sell (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by Rpthrowawayqwerty

Sales often gets brought up here and pumped up as essential but rarely supported by any content. This is a quick crash course to break down the mechanics involved in the selling process

Why Learn Sales

  1. If you're early career you might not view sales as an important skill, but it will become a factor if you progress further in your career. In fact, most career paths progress into some form of sales responsibilities as you climb. Selling isn't just selling a product on a shop floor, it can be selling a multimillion dollar contract of services from business to business. Most industries and corporations are driven by such sales.

  2. If you plan on starting a business, the selling will be 100% on you. It's not good enough to know how to do the job if you can't create the opportunity to do it

  3. Sales skills are highly transferable. You use the same techniques to land jobs during interviews, in persuading others, and with girls too. It shouldn't be surprising that lots of old PUA stuff is picked straight out of sales training.

People love to buy. People hate to be sold to.

How many telemarketers or door to door sales people have you coldly rejected? Being sold to puts up people's defense. In the same way you can't walk up to a girl and convince her why she should fuck you, you have to make her want to fuck you. The buyer has to have agency over the decision.

So Why Do People Buy?

There's lots of buying motivators but I'd say the following 4 capture 90% of situations

1. Price. If it's the cheapest thing that does what it does many will buy it. But don't focus on price. People often mistake this as the most common buying factor but I'd say it's the least common, especially for higher value sales. Why do people use Uber Eats rather than go buy it themselves? Or why do so many people get car finance at the dealer when they can get better if they shop around? Because of...

2. Effort. Most decisions are made to avoid effort. Humans can only handle making so many decisions a day, making decisions, even trivial ones add stress. Studies have shown at a point the brain starts to shut down it's decision making process once you've hit your limit. We are wired to avoid making decisions and it is a conscious effort to not do this

3. Approval. They buy things because of other people. A guy buys a motor bike because he thinks it will make him look cool. He buys a minivan because that's what his wife wants. He buys a house in a certain neighborhood because his family likes the area. They buy a new IPhone because they want to fit in/keep up with their coworkers

4. Quality. Similar to approval but doing it for themselves. They genuinely want a sports car because they like to drive and not because they think others will like it, they buy furniture or artwork because they appreciate the craftsmanship, they buy the golf club that lets them hit further, etc.

How To Have People Communicate Their Buying Motives

Talk to them. duh. From the moment you see a person you should be looking for cues as to what type of person they are and what motivates them. If you're selling a house and they bring their family to the inspection then approval is important. If they are pedantic about every detail then effort is not. If they show up in an expensive car they're probably not buying because it's the cheapest.

A few tips on this though

Open Questions vs Closed Questions. Fact Questions vs Feeling Questions

A little side note on getting information from people. Don't ask closed questions.This isn't just about sales, if you have trouble with conversation flow, you are probably asking too many closed questions. A closed question has a yes/no answer, and open question forces them to put it in their own words.

Closed question: Do you like Summer?

Open question: How do you feel about summer?

This is more for girls than sales but try ask more feeling questions than fact questions otherwise it will turn into an interview

Fact question: You go hiking? Great, where do you hike?

Feeling question: You go hiking? How do you feel when you get out?

Connecting the Dots

So during your time with the person you should have collected enough information to determine their buying motivators. Next step is move it onto how that relates to a product. Your sales pitch has to focus around what THEY think is important, not what you think is.

Using a caryard as an example. If a guy is looking at a sports car because he's in a midlife crises then talk about your young buddy who has one with an awesome lifestyle. If they came in looking for a car with their wife and kids, don't try flog them off a 2 seat coupe. Show them a family car but also talk about how the features have been designed so it can be enjoyed as a family car. If you learned earlier about their concern of budget then talk a lot about how that choice will have a lower insurance premium or save on fuel economy rather than how many HP it has. Your goal is to validate their reasons to buy are good reasons and the product is the best at fitting their reasons. Forget what car you like.


Whether you're selling a cigarette lighter, a house or a billion dollar service contract you need to follow 3 steps

  1. Build rapport

  2. Collect information

  3. Validate their own buying motivation

Finally, same with girls, not all customers or contracts are meant to be, and you might not have the thing that suits them. That is OK. There's not need to plow. Just let it go and move onto the next one.

[–]lorum_ipsum_dolor 114 points115 points  (12 children)

The more I learn about TRP the more I become convinced that potential clients are best treated like women (they both look to you to provide resources). They want to "feel" something. Generating an emotional response is critical and heaven forbid if they become bored during your pitch. Although you've got to have data to back up your offering, you can't rely on logic alone to close the deal.

I'm in a service industry and the first time I read Briffault's Law I thought "Holy shit, this applies to clients!". Here's how it reads when you substitute clients in the place of women:

BRIFFAULT’S LAW: (business edition)

The client, not the vendor, determines all the conditions of the business relationship. Where the client can derive no benefit from association with the vendor, no such association takes place.


  • Past benefit provided by the vendor does not provide for continued or future association.
  • Any agreement where the vendor provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the vendor has provided the benefit (see corollary 1)
  • A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the client trusts the vendor (which is not bloody likely).

Edit: grammar

[–]halfback910 48 points49 points  (2 children)

I do purchasing/negotiation for a living. You're absolutely right about clients behaving like women. In all purchasing/negotiation decisions the buyer is hypergamous and the seller is polygamous. It makes sense, right?

As the purchaser, I don't want ALL vendors. I just want the BEST vendor. All other vendors can go to Hell. It doesn't matter if you had the best price for three years. The second you don't have the best price, I want to ditch you. That's just being good at my job.

As the seller, you want as many customers as you can get! Sure, you'll sell to the customer where you make a 20% margin. But you'll also sell to the customer where you make a 19% margin, a 10% margin, a 9% margin, a 3% margin, and so on.

The client, not the vendor, determines all the conditions of the business relationship. Where the client can derive no benefit from association with the vendor, no such association takes place.

Strong, strong caveat on this: Monopolistic/oligopolistic markets. Don't get me fucking started on propane. APVAB. All Propane Vendors Are Bastards. If you have forklifts, make those motherfuckers switch to electric like your life depends on it.

[–]Proto_Sigma 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Do you have a problem with the king of propane and propane accessories?

[–]halfback910 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Nah, local propane retailers get fucked just as hard. All propane in America and 60% of propane globally essentially comes from two and a half/three companies in the US.

And they're not competitors so much as frienemies.

[–]huhub 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Stocks are equal to AF promising BB then?

[–]chrisname 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Any agreement where the vendor provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the vendor has provided the benefit (

In other words, don't invest too early/give something for nothing.

[–]lorum_ipsum_dolor 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Exactly. We constantly have first-time clients asking us to price the first project based on the promise of lots of projects in the future. It's always a ruse and only a fool takes the bait.

[–]1dongpal 1 point2 points  (2 children)

how would that apply to approaching women?

[–]chrisname 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Being the prize, not getting emotional early on.

[–]jebr0n_lames 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No, you're missing the entire point. That's what she wants. You have to condition customers or women to respect you and give you what you want, whether it is an LTR or a BJ, in order to get what they want.

[–]kaane 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Great analogy. Liked the idea

[–]Endorsed ContributorKeffirLime 23 points24 points  (8 children)

I think an important point in sales and women is you have to be selling a great product, and believe in said product. If you're selling shit, you'll go bust or too many holes will be poked in your pitch.

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (4 children)

On the flip side, you're an amazing salesman if you can sell shit products really well

[–]Endorsed ContributorKeffirLime 23 points24 points  (2 children)

True, but there's no longevity in that approach, sooner or later they'll be exposed

[–]1dongpal 8 points9 points  (1 child)

who cares if they are plates anyway

[–]Psychocist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because a customer scorned is nothing like a woman scorned. Bitches be crazy. No point running around making enemies of them.

[–]DreadMe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a con artist not a good salesperson

[–]Endorsed ContributorThotwrecker 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I mean, that's not really true, that's something people giving seminars say. The most important thing is that you understand how to fit the product's offers to whatever the needs / desires are of the client. If you're selling shit, say a shakeweight, and you can sell it to the human desire to get maximal results while avoiding work in a minimal amount of time, then you will sell like crazy.

Your SMV is the product, your game is marketing, it's how well you sell the product. Great products are easier to sell, great SMVs can fly with shit marketing.

But building a great product / great SMV takes time and effort and may not even be possible for some people. Whereas great marketing of said low SMV (or great marketing of a shit product) will work too, and can work now. Immediately with what you have.

In business, there are ethical and legal concerns to worry about when you're using grey area marketing tactics to sell a shitty product. Generally though, as long as common sense is applied, it doesn't fucking matter - ie most educated people know Arbonne or doterra oils or whatever the fuck is full of shit. But women still buy it like crazy and participate in their MLM bullshit, making themselves the product and the buyer.

Now who are you trying to sell your SMV to? Attractive young women? The same people who ravenously buy every other stupid shitty product on the market that competently marketed to them? See where I'm going with this?

[–]Endorsed ContributorKeffirLime 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think we're pretty much on the same wavelength with this, im not suggesting that just because your product is shit you shouldn't still be doing whatever you can to sell it. We all have bills/dicks to feed. What I'm suggesting is try go to market with the best product possible at all times. Don't open a Mr. Video in 2018 and then be flabbergasted that despite a powerful marketing campaign it still went bust. Always be trying to sell, but strive to sell the best product possible.

[–]velinxs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The only real value is perceived value, essentially.

[–]officerBudWhite 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I'd recommend to anyone to take a summer doing door to door sales/marketing for a pest control company or something similar. You will learn the fundamentals of selling, develop strong interpersonal skills, make a stack of cash, and likely experience a new city. I did it at 19 years old and it has been a huge asset on my resume ever since.

[–]cheekysauce 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I'd disagree on the buying motivators.

When you boil it down, pretty much every purchase is made on emotion, even business transactions.

Identify the pain with the customer, and sell the feeling they'll get from the purchase.

[–]1dongpal 7 points8 points  (0 children)

we need more stuff like this.

[–]SendThotsAndPrayers 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Reading this crash course gave me a whole new meaning of "bare bones" - as in bones thinner than sticks.

At it's core, sales is basically saying that your client wants and NEEDS to hear, it's a manipulative business that requires close to perfect execution. There's more to it than simply "building rapport, collection information and validating buyers".

- You must be high on energy, your tonality needs to be smitting and most importantly of all you must be different (thus someone one can remember).

- You have to be able to work with low attention span. Yea, you can sell cars and have the ability to build rapport, but if you're doing cold calling, you don't really get that kind of luxury, so you must ways to very quickly capture attention - BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

- Frame needs to be spot on. Negative faces, tones, comments should be shrugged off like nothing. The guy buying that car looks like an angry tool? Fuck it - ignore it, play your gameplan. You had a bad day? Fuck it, don't let it get to ya.

- Time management. You ain't got whole with your rapport building, you need to be able to manipulate conversation in a matter where the client does not get offended when you go straight to business, you need to master elegant means to segway.

- CHARM CHARM CHARM. Smile you faggot, be genuine, don't be like everyone else. You're not just selling the product, you're selling your charm.

- Think quick and take chances.

- Instinct. Get out of your head. You can be the greatest theorist since Einstein, it won't help you at all if you can't put that theory into practice. Practice>Theory always.

Honestly, there's so much more to write but I'm typing this from a freaking Iphone, so fuck it, but I'll finish with mindset. If I would could describe key mindset to succeed in sales it would be this;

How do I sell a product to a customer with zero expectation? How would I as a customer be charmed into buying this product? If you're able to ask questions like these, and have the mindset to put yourself into the shoes of your customer - then you will succeed.

[–]1dongpal 1 point2 points  (1 child)

is high energy needed? can you be calm, rather quiet and an awesome seller?

[–]SendThotsAndPrayers 4 points5 points  (0 children)

High energy>Low energy always. Why? Pressure.

You're subtly pressuring your client while you're talking to him, and it just works so much better when you exhibit High energy. And I want to - again, point out that it's subtle pressure, as in you're guiding the conversation. You want to be in control of conversation, and you want to pressure your client (subtly) so that he doesn't get that much time to thoroughly think about it.

There's so much more to it than just that. You have to be charming at the same time while you pressure, you have to drop a bit of validation here and there - my favorite is the classical "compliment, compliment, question". etc

Fuck I had to edit again to better explain the tactic.

Compliment, compliment, question is good because it gives them validation, drops their guard and makes them think that you have them as your best interest.

[–]heartbroken_nerd 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This entire thread is so meta and I love every second of it.

[–]kylerosa21 4 points5 points  (0 children)

One of the sidebar pieces has the idea of making someone jump through hoops - small hoops are the yes/no questions, medium hoops are more open-ended questions, and large hoops are open-ended, but more personal questions. If she jumps through the small hoop and then goes into a more elaborate answer, it’s a sign of potential interest. I see this hoop analogy apply to what you talked about with the various types of questions and I think looking at questions like hoops when it comes to selling may help.

[–]399oly 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think this is a pretty good place to share this story: My family has had way too much junk in the basement for years thus lots of garage sales.

Dude came and bought some snowmobile stands, i help him carry them to his car, ask him what he thought of his Caddy SUV tells me the story of how he got it and how its great for towing his boat. Told him if he has a boat he should come look at the boat safety kits we have and the ski ropes we have. He buys those and then ends up talking to my dad and asking about one of the snowmobiles we are selling. dude buys it.

TLDR: asked guy about his car, sold the guy a snowmobile.

[–]reiduh 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If you plan on starting a business, the selling will be 100% on you. It's not good enough to know how to do the job if you can't create the opportunity to do it

src: can confirm, just started a business (residential electrician). I certainly know my shit (scored 100% on licensing exam and have a decade+ of experience) but without clients it doesn't matter. I've never enjoyed sales but am enjoying servicing clients whom choose to be sold.

My pricing definitely isn't the lowest but having a calm demeanor, and being able to speak with clients' wives/children, really helps close deals. I grew up affluent middle class, so when "dumb ass electrician" opens his mouth and it isn't "redneck," I think that helps homeowners feel more comfortable. I also have a degree from a Top 20 US institution, which helps to namedrop with the lawyer/doctor types (not sure why though — has nothing to do with electricianing).

Ultimately, "word of mouth" reputation has generated more business than any amount of cold calling/advertising. If you take care of your clients ("sales"), they'll take care of you. I usually give clients 10% of my labor fees after completing work they referred to me (which sweetens the deal).

[–]MoarPill 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Rich people dont like associating with poor people. I'm in real estate, happen to be rich, so my even richer clients can open up to me. One example would be talking about poor people. It's similar (but not the same) to how racists feel more comfortable talking to other racists.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Finally, with this, I am now a sales magnate!

[–]woodandsnow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So what about price negotiation?

[–]Hormander 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Very interesting read. Thanks.

[–]Deja_Boom 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This reminds me of the books "The Little Red Book of Selling" and "The little red book of Sales" by Jeffrey Gitomer good reads. You guys are next level, great stuff.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I have an interview for a sales job tomorrow at a local chain gym. Any tips?

[–]DBsix 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Usually while hiring for a sales job, the interviewer reviews you on the following:

  1. How much time/money the company will need to spend in bringing you up to speed and have you performing? So for this you can cite past selling experiences, or you can display a general know how of sales + your enthusiasm for sales + how you were able to learn stuff quickly in the past.

  2. Do you already have some contacts in the industry? Good if you have them. If not, you will have to convince them in some way that its not going to be a problem. You should be able to tell them a plan of how you are going to build contacts.

  3. Tying in from the previous point, How are you going to prospect new clients? You should have a plan for that which you can explain to the interviewer.

  4. Are you a self starter? You should be able to give them a few examples of how you took initiative for something in your school/college/business/social network etc. and how you make things happen without any outside influence. Sales is the kind of job where you need to be self motivated everyday.

  5. Can you represent the company and the product well? This means you have to be presentable, well dressed, well spoken, as charming as you can be, and have social poise and etiquette.

[–]JekaWreka 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Great to see posts about sales.

I plan to make a transition from Generalist IT to sales position.

Could someone provide with more information about sales?

must read books for example, links for great blogs in that matter.

Thank you.

[–]ForteStrength -1 points0 points  (1 child)


As someone who’s been in sales for years, I’m trying to create an ultimate guide (free) for people to read.

[–]JekaWreka 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Insightful from first look, definitely will check this out. Thanks