How in the world could ONE person sell a billion dollars worth of products?He knew his product – and he knew it well. He also knew and used all 10 of the Communication Qualities. But the one that snagged my attention was how well he knew his product.
Which comes first? Knowledge of your product, or selling a billion dollars worth of it? Obviously knowledge of your product comes first.
Know What You’re Talking About
I was watching a TV infomercial not long ago of a guy who was selling a Ronco Knives Set. I became greatly impressed with the knowledge of the salesperson. By the way he presented his knives, I could tell he really knew everything one can know about knives. I’ll admit, in the beginning I was listening trying to find a hole in what he was talking about.
The more I listened the more I could see and hear, “This man knows about knives!” There wasn’t one part of a knife he didn’t know about. He demonstrated to me why he was right – and he discussed it so clearly that anyone could have understood it!
He did several demonstrations with his knives – everything from cutting a can in half to cutting other knives in half with his knife. He did everything without making me feel stupid for my lack of knowledge about knives. He did this without being too assertive. In fact, the more I watched this man the more I realized he was using all 10 of the Communication Qualities. (If you are not familiar with the ten communication qualities, it is something I teach in the Brilliant communicator course.)
Very rarely, have I seen all the Qualities of Good Communication in one person. Now, I didn’t personally talk to him to see if he was “truly interested in me.” But in the way he delivered his knowledge to me, I could tell that he had researched everything about his knives.
He explained what a good knife was, and then told where the largest cost is in a knife and why you (the listener) didn’t need to have that in your kitchen knives. He gave a “no questions asked, money back guarantee.” That certainly sounded like he was “interested” in me.
I bought the knives – the whole set.
The Story Behind the Man from Ronco
Intrigued, I started researching him. Ha! Guess what I found? He has sold over $1 billion worth of goods! NOT through a downline of thousands of people, or a company with hundreds or thousands of stores, but he personally has sold a billion dollars worth of goods!
His name is Ron Popeil. His parents split up when he was 3. Neither parent wanted him or his brother. So, he grew up on the streets in the Bronx. At 16, he visited his dad in Chicago and got a job working in a small kitchen appliance factory. One day he walked past a place in Chicago called Maxwell Street. It was the equivalent of a dirty flea market today.
The main things sold on Maxwell Street were stolen goods – hub caps, steering wheels, and car radios. As he watched the people selling their stolen goods and people buying them, he got an idea. The next day he bought some of the items from the appliance factory where he worked at wholesale. He then went to Maxwell Street and sold them. As he describes it, “I had never been loved as a kid. I finally found love – It was with my customers. I made a connection with them.”
He then found out about state and county fairs and mastered those. He then volunteered to do live demonstrations inside of stores that carried the manufacturer’s products. He mastered selling products live in stores. He just naturally learned all ten of the communication qualities.
Then, he went in front of cameras on television networks that sold products. You’ve probably heard his company name before; Ronco.
To date, he has personally sold over $1 billion worth of products. And not all were Ronco Products from the 70s.
Lessons We Can Learn from Our Ronco Man
It was THIS quality of “know what you’re talking about” that jumped out and grabbed my attention. When you know what you’re talking about, prospects really admire it because your knowledge can help them get what they want.
Your downline will also greatly admire you if you know what you’re talking about – and they will follow you. If you invent answers to their questions (instead of knowing what you’re talking about) they quickly learn you will say anything (truth or not) to get them to buy the product or sign up in your downline – and they won’t trust you. They certainly won’t do it.
This doesn’t mean you have to work at a manufacturer to know your MLM product. It also doesn’t mean you have to have a master’s degree in nutrition to sell a nutrition product. The thing that impressed me the most was that Ron Popeil talked in such simple language that everyone could understand it. He never tried to impress his audience with big words. He just naturally used all ten communication qualities and got the job done.
He would say things like, “The steel this knife is made out of is tough. Look how tough it is…” and then he would demonstrate it.
He didn’t try to explain the difference between anodizing (pronounced an’a-diz’) and case hardening (two processes used to make steel hard and durable). He instead would demonstrate for you what he wanted to communicate.
A true communicator knows everything about something, but communicates it simply enough for the prospect to make an easy decision. Most of us don’t just naturally “own” those ten communication qualities like Ron did, but that doesn’t mean we can learn them. That’s what I teach in Brilliant Communicator. And if you practice all ten communication qualities in Brilliant Communicator, then you too have the chance to really expand your sales and your downline growth.
Next Steps: Want to learn more about how product knowledge helps you communicate better? Check out Brilliant Communicator.