• Making Friends
  • Creating Rapport
  • Principles of Selling
  • The Selling Cycle
  • Entering the home
  • Customer Involvement

Cycle of Excellence (Condition your own self-belief system)



People buy off people they like

People buy from people they like because they feel a sense of trust and connection with the seller. When someone likes you, they tend to have positive feelings toward you, which can influence a decision-making purchase. The first few minutes are critical in making that rapport and a big smile on your face will help. Always be on time.
When you are able to establish a connection with a potential buyer, you build rapport and trust, which can make the buyer more likely to purchase from you. Buyers may also be more willing to pay a higher price for a product or service if they feel a personal connection with you.
In addition, people are often more likely to buy from someone they perceive as being knowledgeable, confident, and credible. When a seller is able to convey these qualities, they can build trust and confidence in their product or service, which can make the buyer more likely to make a purchase.
Overall, building a positive relationship with potential buyers can be an effective strategy for increasing sales and building a loyal customer base.

 It is a known fact that you can make friends and gain rapport by showing interest in others very quickly than you can in interesting others in you. By having a genuine interest in others and asking questions and listening, you will be able to build rapport and persuade others to your suggestion.

Just one important issue on asking questions, you must be careful not to ask too many personal questions where it may seem to be prying.  Words mean different things to different people, never assume that your prospect fully understands your interpretation. Emotions combined with the way you say something will have a bearing on the outcome. This is where asking a question in light of what you are conveying is very important, so you will know if your prospect is on the same wavelength. For example, I will ask the prospect a question based on their internal perception, “How do you feel about it” (Kinesthetic). “Can you see the picture” (Visionary). “Does that sound good to you” (Auditory?  

Creating Rapport

Tips on making a rapport with your prospect

Start with a smile and a friendly greeting. A handshake can go a long way in breaking the ice and showing that you are approachable.  A handshake can provide some clues about a person’s personality or character. Here are a few things that a handshake can potentially reveal:

Confidence: A firm handshake can convey confidence and assertiveness, while a weak or limp handshake can suggest timidity or lack of self-assurance.

Dominance: A handshake that is too firm, aggressive, or prolonged can suggest a desire to dominate or control the other person.

Warmth and openness: A handshake that is accompanied by eye contact, a smile, or a friendly greeting can suggest warmth and openness, and a willingness to connect with others.

Trustworthiness: A handshake that is accompanied by a genuine smile and a sincere tone of voice can suggest trustworthiness and sincerity.

While a handshake can provide some insights into a person’s character or personality, it is important to remember that it is just one small piece of information. To really get to know someone, it is important to engage in conversation, observe their behaviour, and build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Find common ground. Look for shared interests or experiences that you can talk about. This could be anything from the weather or current events to hobbies or favourite TV shows.

Ask questions and listen actively. People love to talk about themselves, so ask open-ended questions and show genuine interest in their responses. Listening actively and responding with empathy and understanding can help build rapport and trust.

Be yourself. Authenticity is key to building a rapport, so be true to yourself and let your personality shine through.

Remember, making rapport takes time and effort, and not everyone will be receptive to your overtures. But by being friendly, open, and approachable, you can increase your chances of making a connection with your prospect and build a rapport.

Dress to succeed,
It is important that you dress the part of which you are conveying. Clothes, hairstyle, frame shape of glasses etc convey what type of person you are, if you are selling or building rapport I strongly suggest that you dress in line with your prospect code of dressing.

Remembering a time I joined a home improvement company and upon arriving at the product and sales training room I joined several new sales representatives, all dressed in their immaculate suits collars, and ties. The very experienced sales trainer said, “Gentlemen before we begin let us remove our ties and take off our suit jackets, we don’t want to alert our prospects that we are salespeople do we?” Understanding this was a very important lesson, as the prospect can easily put up a subconscious barrier, thinking that we are there to sell them something against their wishes. The sales trainer did go on and explain that “We are not salesmen we are surveyors, we are there to help the prospect make a decision” Perhaps I took this great piece of advice to its extreme by turning up at my appointments dressed in a builder’s jacket and builder rubber wellingtons. Nevertheless, the prospects never knew what hit them when it came to closing the sale. Conceivably, the prospect trusted a surveyor more than a salesman.

During my working holiday in New Zealand helping a friend of mine build his fire safety company, I noticed his salesmen wearing conventional smart attire. By teaching them to dress in a blue-collar, black tie, and black trousers, similar to how a fire officer would dress, their sales conversions escalated tenfold. However, It was made clear to the prospect that we were not enlisted by the fire service nonetheless the subconscious would have possibly recognized the similarity and based upon that made the sales presentation far more possible. Ending with a sale. 

Whenever I was employed by a professional company including Insurance and legal products I had to show professionalism by dressing in smart business attire, I would possibly spend a fortune on a new suit paying over £300 for the best pinstripe available. When I was working for a health and nutrition company, the policy was to own and be seen in a red Porsche sports car, at the monthly meeting there were dozens of these cars parked up. The symbol was to show how successful you were within the company, as this was a prestigious car it attracted quite a lot of young salesmen into the company. You portray how successful you are, and other people want the same..

Principles of selling

Before I begin this next chapter on the principle of selling I would like to make a statement.

“Anything or everything you want, whether its money, goods or favours are owned by someone else”!!! 

Your Prospect has your wage packet in his pocket and your future well-being and success depend on whether you could persuade him or her to part with their hard-earned cash for the product or service that you are going to present to them. Visualizing this; I always kept this thought in the back of my mind as I negotiated a sale, I was taught this at a very early stage in my sales career and this thought has never let me down. I believe this is what can separate the standard salesperson from the super salesman, having an attitude and ultimate goal in your mind as you negotiate. When I use the word “negotiate” I mean you must persuade your prospect to the point of you both winning the deal whatever it is you are selling you must both prevail within the final outcome, your prospect gets the product or service they want and you get the money or favour. 

If you narrow down a sale to a money situation or a single principle, then there has to be a winner and a loser. However, for both parties to win in a selling deal, both must feel happy about the outcome, and you must both find common ground. Secondly, you must realise that everybody has a different point of view. 

This is due to our psychological makeup, taking into account our internal perception of our external world. Once we realise this important factor, we can then understand why everybody has a different point of view. A person may strongly believe he or she is correct in their opinion, as they see it. This does not mean that a person is wrong or right, it is how they see and perceive the outer world. So you must never fall into the trap of not understanding the other person’s point of view, you must learn to understand that they may be perceiving your story in a totally different picture and they may want something totally different in the negotiation

A prospect must go through a period of self-discovery before making the decision that your product or service is the right solution. Resistance is pre-programmed, and people don’t like to be told what to do (or buy). Closing a sale successfully is a step-by-step eliminating all objections so that the prospect is convinced in their own mind that they are making the right decision. Don’t talk someone into something, allow them to make their own buying decision.

Your role in the sales process is to present your product in a clear, concise, and truthful manner—with integrity. The best customer is the customer who can make an educated decision based on what is best for them. A loyal customer is an educated customer. You are not in the convincing business; you are in the sharing business. Your job is to ethically offer the product, service, or idea, explain the benefits, and answer questions. Your customer or client will then make a buying decision based on the information they’ve been given. Making the sale is about asking questions, answering questions, and building a trustworthy win-win relationship.

It is very important at this stage to explain that any objection once raised, when presenting your sale, is a hurdle that is best avoided. I would never put my prospect in the position where they must give me an answer, either a yes or no during the main presentation that is left until the very end (More about finalizing the sale later). By taking my time in building rapport, I would not want to destroy my hard work. I would gently probe their internal cognitive system and sell to their subconscious appeal, so it made complete sense to my prospect. Using body language, pacing, and mirroring as mentioned previously, the prospect would become my best friend. When the opportunity to close a sale came I would expect my prospect to ask for it, sometimes beseeching me for the close.

A useful tool to use when facing an objection is agreeing and turning it around close. 

For example, I would say something like this, “I totally agree with you Mr Prospect and understand your view, however, I have found that”. then put your point across again.

This form of turning the objection around works well and puts the prospect back on track with rapport. In a winning rapport I often use a trade-off, in other words, “if I do this for you” or “would you do this for me, this forms an alliance of minds and both parties win.

Having the psychology of the mind, knowing that you are in control of all psychological situations, leads you to greater glory as many salespeople grow a second skin so that objections are like water off a duck’s back. Top salespeople know that objections are really buying signals and when an objection is surmounted then a close is imminent. Never take a spoken objection such as no for an answer, believe in their body language as this tell is telling you the truth

Certainly, you can lay the foundations for the sale by asking leading questions such as “are you in the position to go ahead today” or “is there someone else that you would need to confer with” as these are accepted sales closings. 

Many salespeople use phrases such as “if I can get you this product in the colour or style that you require would you be happy to continue” or “if I can get delivery on such a date you would be happy to go ahead”. 

These sorts of closing comments are fine; however, I believe that by creating the personal rapport first I could close by changing “if” to “when”. How you close your sale is a matter of choice yet if there is one thing I hope you have learned, you must first create rapport. The biggest stumbling block comment of a prospect is “I will think about it” or ” I will let you know”. If you experience this, then you have not built the rapport and the need in your sale. By creating a friendly rapport below the threshold of consciousness and talking on the same wavelength, your prospect would be more than willing to give you an order, based on your successful subconscious suggestion.

To become a super salesperson you must gain knowledge and part of the learning process can be gained by reading and listening to audio tapes and books. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of audio tapes, and seminars and I have read countless books on sales techniques and closing methods, however, I believe that most selling techniques written by so-called experts do not work in reality. Practicing in the real world and gaining real life experiences is the true catalyst. Tricking a prospect into saying yes will never sustain the test of time. Some may work briefly yet in my experience these cheap techniques never last. You can trick people some of the time but tricking them into a yes situation and expecting them to come back for more business is a different kettle of fish.

Some of the sales techniques I have encountered have astonished me; For example, one colleague of mine when I was with a double glazing company used the trick of dropping a money note on a prospect’s front door. He would pick the money up saying to his prospect as they open the door “is this yours sir/madam you must have dropped it”, believing that the prospect thought the salesman was an honest person they would then continue to trust him, it sometimes worked but not all the time. Another colleague of mine would actually cry real tears in front of his prospect hoping to get the sympathy sale. The salesman would say “if he didn’t get the sale, he and his wife and children would go hungry this week.” In these extreme cases of selling, I believe they are at the bottom of the barrel and these so-called salesmen would never achieve the heights in their profession. 

Nevertheless, The ultimate goal for every salesperson is securing the sale, as we all know selling is a winner takes all contest with no prizes for coming second, Coming out on top is critical if you are to win the business,

The Sales Cycle

I will show and explain the very important Sales Circle concluding with closing the sale and very important consolidation in the next module; this is the basic plan nevertheless it is only the beginning of the blueprint to becoming a super salesperson; each step is a link in the chain which is important and the key for your success.

A sales cycle, also known as a selling cycle or a sales process, refers to the series of steps that a salesperson goes through in order to close a sale. The exact steps in the cycle can vary depending on the industry, the product or service being sold, and the individual salesperson’s approach. However, a typical sales cycle may include the following stages:

Prospecting: This is the stage where the salesperson identifies potential customers or leads, and starts to gather information about their needs and pain points.

Qualification: In this stage, the salesperson evaluates the potential customer to determine whether they are a good fit for the product or service they are selling.

Needs assessment: During this stage, the salesperson engages the potential customer in a conversation to understand their needs, pain points, and priorities. This helps the salesperson tailor their pitch to the customer’s specific situation.

Presentation: In this stage, the salesperson presents their product or service to the potential customer, highlighting its features and benefits and how it can meet the customer’s needs.

Objection handling: At this stage, the potential customer may raise objections or concerns about the product or service. The salesperson must address these objections and provide reassurance or additional information as needed.

Closing: This is the final stage of the sales cycle, where the salesperson seeks to close the deal by asking for the sale, negotiating terms, and finalizing the agreement.

Follow-up: After the sale is closed, the salesperson may follow up with the customer to ensure their satisfaction, answer any questions, and explore additional opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.

The correct Selling Circle is very important to follow. If the Captain of a ship had to travel across the vast Sea to a small port on the other side of the World without a compass and only the stars and some luck to find it, then I am sure you agree that it would be an impossibility.

Just like a captain of a ship, you must plan your route, and as a captain of your own ship, and by following a set of rules with the help of a compass doing the same thing every time then you are guaranteed to succeed and you will find your harbour: YOUR SALE!! 

The Presentation

Arrive early: Checkout location, and make a note of similar installations fitted in the area.  neighbours etc.. (If it apply’s to your product)

Only have a single folder with a fact-find sheet inside. No products or sales aids yet. (You do not want them to think you are selling at this point)

Knock and ring Bell twice:

Introduce yourself with a big smile Shake hands with the prospect

Enter house offer to take shoes off: Let the prospect invite you to sit down (Do not go into a sale mode at this point, make an excuse to sit down and if they offer you a refreshment, take it, do not refuse.) Ask what chair they sit in so you can sit opposite. Do not sit in between a couple. Otherwise, you would be straining your neck while observing. They would have the upper hand and could easily communicate with each other, whilst you would be unaware. Look for the signs of who is in charge, usually the female even though the male would appear to be so.

Talk in a friendly conversational manner. Create the rapport

Ice Break: Make a mental note of surroundings that could include their garden or car outside, photos on the wall including family,  Trophies in a cabinet, Fish tank, children, pets including the dog or cat etc…

Do not start by talking about what you are selling under any circumstances; First, create a bonding session and find common ground on any subject ( People buy from people they like) When you get into the conversation remember to listen and work out their internal thought patterns. (NLP)

Use a fact-finding sheet, confirming that both partners are there and the main buyer is present. Do not proceed otherwise. instead, make an excuse and rearrange a time and date when both parties are there. 

Only when you have made the rapport ask these questions. How did we contact you? Was it a Referral, or a recommendation, did you contact us or was it a door canvass?? (Whatever the answer you must ask this important question) What did they say? (Finding their hot button) This is the reason why the prospect invited you to their address.  

Confirming: You are only here today not to sell but to leave a price that will hold for 12 months. (This keeps their defensive barrier down) 


After this set of tasks Ask for another cup of tea/coffee while you go out to the car and get your presentation kit etc..

Present Your Products / Services: Windows/Roof Coatings, Insurance etc..   Time scale etc..

The prospect’s involvement. (import to get the prospect to engage in the presentation)

Window scenario

With the potential customer Measure up and help in design (Get the customer to hold measuring tape get them involved with Product design, colour etc… Point out problem areas, etc..

When completely satisfied with the chosen designs etc.. Price up... (Ask for a glass of water, as this may take a few minutes to work out) The prospect would normally offer tea or coffee. Keep the prospect busy and show them a catalog or pictures of satisfied customers. 

Price Condition: Just before presenting the final cost At this point I would break down the cost of the product into smaller pieces including the price for each item For example the cost of the materials, such as the finest quality glass, the best hinges, the unique locking system available, the cost to make the product etc. Then I would ask how much in their opinion it would cost in total. (It is surprising how the prospect would give a high costing value) This is a prime example of price conditioning, as the prospect starts to build a price in his head. 

Present the prospect with the Price that the company will hold for 12 months (this would normally be the highest price) (Watch their response)

Get their feedback and confirm that the quality is worth the price (If you haven’t then try again harder) Until they agree the cost is worth the quality product. 

The next stage is closing them down into a sale. (This will be shown in the next module Part 4)

The Arrival

Throughout my early days of Direct Sales, I often wondered why the prospect would make an appointment and then upon arriving at their home, find the prospect would either not be there or would not answer the door! However, it dawned on me that Mr or Mrs Prospect was on most occasions in the home, and they would deliberately avoid answering the door to a horrible Salesman. In the trade it is called “post buyer remorse” possibly afraid that they may purchase something they don’t want.

In the hard pressure of direct selling the prospect is often succumbed to agreeing an appointment, sometimes the canvasser or telesales person had put a sufficient amount of pressure to secure an appointment and often the prospect would have thought about the negatives; nevertheless they become embarrassed to cancel the appointment by phone and most prospects find it easier not to answer the door hence relieving the anxiety of apologising to the salesman.

During my time with one of my sales companies, I picked up a very subtle strategy when arriving at a prospect’s home, simply Park the vehicle outside the prospect’s house: and wave at the house as you walk to the Front Door. It is surprising how many times the curtains would flinch and move when I adopted this approach. Hence, my door blowouts reduced considerably, implying that the unanswered doorbell and door knock in the past were indeed prospects trying to avoid answering the door.

The theory is that the prospect will keep a lookout for the salesman to arrive, possibly hiding behind closed or meshed curtains, hence avoiding answering the knock on the door. Nevertheless, the wave to the house as you walk to the door eliminates this possibility tenfold, assuming that the salesman has spotted the prospect through the curtains they will answer the door. It was documented on one occasion that a certain prospect tried to take legal action with the window company who installed their windows as they spent a fortune on installing one-way mirrored glass in the front of their home,  stating that the glass installed into their home didn’t work as the salesman saw through the windows. Of course the salesman didn’t see them, it was this clever strategy that worked a treat.

I learned from an early stage in my sales career never to be late for an appointment, in fact, I was taught to arrive at least 30 minutes before the appointment, not just for the sake of being early and looking good, punctual, and professional but most importantly for checking out the region. It was important to build a picture of the district, the neighborhood, the category of the people working or living in the area, and other installations if that applied also the possibilities of further business and the feasibility of a show home etc.

When approaching the prospect’s front door make sure that you only possess a single notepad or folder and if possible nothing at all, the psychology of this strategy is we do not want to scare off the prospect with anything that may indicate an order form hence keeping the barrier down from the potential customer.  I always knock on the door twice as the doorbell may not be working, and wait for the prospect to answer. If no response then a second hard knock whilst pressing the doorbell, on the occurrence when there is no answer then a call to the office so that they can confirm on the telephone that the prospect is still in. Sometimes they may have been out of hearing range of the doorbell.

(I would always try and be 5 minutes early and often the prospect would be impressed and say “You’re on time or your early”) Upon the door opening, I always greet the prospect by extending my handshake and confirming their name, smiling warmly and looking them straight in the eyes then announcing my full name and the company name I am representing. Quickly building some rapport by saying something complimentary such as “What a lovely Garden” or remarking about the weather?

The next stage follows upon entering the house

Entering and engaging the prospect

showing identification badge or card and always offering to take my shoes off as I enter the house, this is showing respect for the prospect’s home whilst obeying any religious beliefs and relieving them of any doubt about your authenticity. However, removing your shoes may not be appropriate if the home is in a disorderly state. Most prospects would decline your offer yet this is the first step in gaining rapport.

On some occasions, the prospect may want to get down to talking business almost straight away by saying something like “where shall we start to measure up” or some other leading question. This has to be avoided at all costs, as an important rapport has not yet been built. (Remembering that people only buy off people they like) I can’t emphasise how important this is! So use any means to slow the prospect down and use your charm to set the scene  (I must also mention that you will need to ask in the beginning if the prospect has any important engagements pending or intend to leave within the next half hour or more and if in some cases expecting anyone to arrive.  If this is the situation then it is best to rearrange the appointment when they have enough time and won’t be interrupted)

Talking in a friendly conversational manner apologising I would ask if I could just sit down with them to make a few notes and explain that I was given the prospects information over the phone and the exact details weren’t clear. Carefully pick the seat that is not the husband’s main controlling seat but pick a seat that the prospect or prospects can easily observe the demonstration material that you will be producing a little bit later into the presentation. Very important that you don’t choose a seat between both parties, as you must plan to keep them both fixated on your presentation and as mentioned earlier that they don’t communicate subconsciously any negative responses. If possible use the kitchen table for this process as the kitchen is possibly the most used room in the house and the most comfortable area for conversation and building rapport as normally only friends, family and relations would be welcomed into this vicinity.

The next stage as you build your rapport is to engage your prospect in the conversation but without them realising you are doing two major things, firstly building a fact-finding memorandum for you to use when closing later on in the presentation, secondly by asking questions you will get feedback on their personality types and their internal cognition system. Helping you to build a rapport below their threshold of conscious awareness, gently start to mimic their body language and their phrases, looking out for particular signs; such as the words they are talking. Are they using visual words such as “I see” “You See” “I get the picture” etc? Or are they using auditorial words such as “Sounds good to me” “I like the sound of that” etc? Take careful notice of hand gestures and eye movements, are they telling you the truth or fabricating? Are they receptive to your conversation with hands and arms open?
As you build your rapport you must try and avoid selling your product or service; mentioning the weather is always a good strategy to start with, observe any pictures of children, grandkids, trophies, etc.. Try and find a common interest and ask about hobbies, work, other interests,s, etc. If you have a referral or you know somebody that the prospects are acquainted with, then you’re defiantly on to a winner. If you are building a good rapport the conversations can last a long time before the real end of the business presentation begins, and remember that the longer you’re in the prospect’s house the stronger the rapport will become. Remember to listen and not talk too much about your own interests unless they ask in-depth, although I carry photos of my children and grandkids to show, as this could produce a good rapport, if you haven’t any of these photos then I would strongly recommend some for the future.

Adding some humour into the conversation can be rewarding whilst building rapport, If you can make your prospect laugh then this can be a very good rapport-building exercise and a subconscious anchor. Often I would ask if they would like to see my “Pride and Joy” I then produce a picture from my wallet showing a photograph of a bottle of Pride and Joy cleaning fluid, this always creates a good laugh and can break the ice in a conversation.


Metaphors are figures of speech that describe something in terms of something else, in order to create a comparison or association between two different things. They are used to convey meaning and understanding in a more creative and expressive way than literal language.

For example, “life is a journey” is a metaphor that compares life to a journey, suggesting that life is a series of experiences and challenges that we must navigate in order to reach our destination. Another example is “her words were a knife”, which compares the impact of someone’s words to the sharpness of a knife, implying that they were hurtful or cutting.

Metaphors can be found in literature, poetry, everyday conversation, and even in visual art. They can help to deepen our understanding of complex concepts or emotions by linking them to more familiar or tangible experiences.

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