My Dad’s Top Ten Sales Lessons

My biggest sales lessons came from my dad, a boat and yacht salesman with over 30 years of experience. Dad taught me sales is not about what you are selling or to who, but about making friends and about getting someone to see the world the way you do. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place.

Locating is tough, and I’ve written about my sales experience before on here, but I thought I would give you a few tips my Dad and my other mentors have taught me. So here are my top 10 sales tips, all of which have served me well over the years.

  • You can sell only if you yourself are convinced: If you are not sold on the product or service, it will be an uphill battle to sell someone else. Your lack of conviction will scream through.
  • It’s all about the presentation: Building a collection of answers to possible questions and scenarios is critical to the sales process. Practice it, memorize it and be prepared to shift your emphasis based on how the energy changes when you give your presentation. Internally, we always ask ourselves: “Is the flow of this pitch right? Will it convince?”
  • Be clear and direct: Don’t use complicated or confusing phrases when locating. Pride yourself instead on being able to explain the concept as quickly, clearly and simply as possible. This is important because the biggest problem in sales is client confusion. Confusion does not get you a Yes.
  • Be passionate, engaging and excited: Most people hear some sort of sales pitch every day, and most are BORING! So create a pitch that shows excitement and passion. Excitement is contagious – just like a yawn.
  • Know your clients: Make sure to examine your potential locations, know their challenges and their needs. One size hardly ever fits all, and you look much stronger if you care about the business enough to consider carefully the clientele and needs of the owner. It will lead to easier placement for you and higher sales on location.
  • Pressure is an art: Creating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in your client’s mind can be a good thing because it will lead to serious consideration of your pitch. I often need to tell potential clients that their competition is already using us and taking advantage to the benefits I offer. The trick is to mention this once and to NOT rub it in, which is likely to anger them. No one is angered into saying yes.
  • If you don’t know the answer, do not guess: People will ask you tough questions, and you may not always know the answer. The person asking you may be testing you, knowing the answer full well. And if you fumble, it’s very hard to rebuild credibility. Do not guess.
  • Answer questions directly and clearly: If you are asked a question and you give a “politician’s answer” – in other words, if you don’t answer the question – your credibility will decline and you will hurt your chances of getting your machine on location.
  • Humor is a great lubricator: Funny stories or a good clean joke, always break the ice. It’s also much harder to say no to someone who makes you laugh so try and work a little humor into your pitch.
  • You can always be better: Locating is an art, not a science. Which means it’s never perfect and can always improve, so hone your art and get more locations with less effort.


  1. Shane D says:

    great advice and will be trying adding some of this to my locating pitch asap!

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