I started out in the business world as a self-employed salesman.
When I began working as a door-to-door, commission only salesman for Everest, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
The sales training I got at Everest was the “sink or swim” style.
In other words, you worked it out yourself or you failed.
I remember my father once told me that I would never amount to anything.
And I used to think I couldn’t sell because when I went to get a job selling insurance, the first thing they did was to have me take a personality profile.
They used the D.I.S.C. model to profile me with.
According to their analysis I wasn’t suited to sales.
Those two things played on my mind. It took me a whole month before I sold anything.
And my first sale gave me a measly £200 in commission.
When you have a wife, two kids and bills and a mortgage to pay £200 doesn’t go far even in 1986.
First sales book.
The first book I ever read on sales was in 1987. And it was “The one minute salesman.”
It helped a little.
The next month I made just over £1,000.
My income was up one week and down the next.
So I left Everest in pursuit of a better future.
I began studying sales methods and my income became steady at around £2,000 a month.
Which meant we could survive, but no money for luxuries like holidays, etc.
I did have time and some money to pursue a hobby.
In fact, I even started my own chess club.
That was one of the best moves I ever made.
Excuse the pun.
In the early days of my chess club we lost most games.
Then out of the blue a strong chess player turned up.
My first mentor.
His name was John Davies.
He asked me if he could join my chess club.
I said “yes” straight away.
That night John told me he was a “Behavioural Scientist.”
“What’s one of those?” I asked.
We give you a questionnaire and your answers tell us your real character.
“Can I take the quiz please.”
“Sure, come by my office tomorrow.”
His office was massive.
I had just made friends with a director of human resources at BICC Vero.
John was tasked with training around 200 people in his personality style methodology.
This man was in a class of his own.
At that time he was considered by his peers to be the best behavioural scientist in the world.
John analysed my profile.
Long story short, it turns out that I was the ideal salesperson under time pressure.
And the ideal entrepreneur when I was relaxed and being my normal self.
And John proved it to me with the science behind his personality profiling tool.
That personality profile reading changed me forever.
For the first time in my life I started believing in me.
A few weeks later I went from worst to best in the company.
I earned more money that month than I made all year.
I’ve never looked back.
Over the years John and I became good friends.
John spent hours proving to me that my profile was accurate.
I didn’t know it at the time, but John had his own hidden agenda.
Because I was one of the best “sales profiles” he had ever seen he wanted me to go out and sell his profiling system to big businesses.
But it turns out my personal agenda was bigger than his.
And over the years my belief in myself was so strong I went from being a salesman in person to a salesman on paper.
Because I was good at selling I was a natural at copywriting.
Which is of course, “salesmanship with the written word.”
Here’s how much my natural sales talent showed in my writing.
The first sales letter I wrote made over £100,000!
During my first three years as a copywriter, I helped one company go from zero to almost one million a year turnover.
That was during the recession in the early 90’s.
I thought if I could do this for someone else, I could do it for me.
Mail order maverick.
So the next thing I did was I started a mail-order business on the side.
The first month I made £8,000.
The first year I made £97,000.
That was when I decided to go full time in my business.
One letter I wrote trebled my business and I was making £24,000 a month.
But every now and then I still had this hankering to go back out selling home improvement products.
Even though I was doing well financially.
Because of my unwavering belief in my sales ability I would look in the Daily Mail on a Thursday.
That’s when direct, commission only sales jobs are advertised.
One of them was a Kitchen makeover company based in Manchester.
I was told that if I made £15,000 in sales that week I would get all of my commission the following week.
While all the other trainees bragged about how they will be number one, I kept quiet.
End of the week my sales were almost £20,000.
And I took £7,500 in deposits from total strangers.
I was the top salesman in that company.
At the same time as being number 1 in the UK I came up with the idea of teaching other direct salespeople how to sell.
It didn’t go as planned because no one believed my results.
They had never heard of me.
And cold-calling to business owners doesn’t go down well.
Sales to sales training.
So I relied on my writing skills once more.
I wrote a letter to Apple Conservatories and to my surprise I got a reply.
“Come and talk to us.”
That lead to a day’s training and being paid £6,000.
After that I decided to look for another challenge.
This time it was selling solar.
My first three weeks I sold £46,000 worth of solar panels.
These were the type that just heated your water.
So that was a lot of panels sold.
Then I sold conservatories.
It took me four weeks to become the top salesman with £62,000 in sales.
They even offered me the national sales managers job.
I turned it down of course, as selling was just a side line for me.
After that I sold conservatory roofs.
My lowest sale was for £7,500 and my highest was £20,000.
Keep in mind this was just for a conservatory roof!
My first month I did £66,000 in sales.
And that was part time.
The penny had finally dropped.
What John Davies showed me with his profiling tool was that I had a natural talent for selling and I didn’t know it until he showed up in my life.
Looking back I realise now that all the time I’d spent face-to-face, commission only selling was THE number one strategy that turned me into a world-class copywriter.
And it was the reason for my conversion rates.
Over the years ranged from the lowest 7% to the highest 66%.
And these response rates were to cold prospects.
The first client I worked for called me his “secret weapon.”
Probably because I helped his business to go from nothing to just under £1 million.
If you’d like me to be your secret weapon for increased sales through copywriting book a call with me below.