One of the best biographies on an all time businessman that has shaped the us and global economies. Walton started in small town Rogers, Arkansas and grew up during the Great Depression giving him an appreciation for money. From the get go Walton was always experimenting and tinkering especially with ideas that were cleverly used by the competition. For example, Walton took the idea of calling his employees associates from another store. His curiosity and thirst led him to push the boundaries and even got him arrested in Brazil! Walton loved competing especially against bigger chains like K mart as he got started with his business. His one goal was to keep prices lower than his competitors. This was done through ideas taken from competitors like keeping metal shelves instead of wooden ones and only having two cashiers at the front of the store. The low prices attracted shoppers from near and far to purchase his goods.
One of Walton's great ideas was putting the customer first. Now, its a common used strategy that has been adopted by the likes of Amazon but Walton was an early adopter and put actions behind his words by taking out an $1,800 loan to purchase an ice cream machine for his customers. He was also well known for being frugal but was famous for letting his employees participate in a profit sharing plane to reap the rewards of the Walmart success. Some have amassed small fortunes during their time at Walmart as the stock has increased in value. He lived his life by rules and discipline and reaped the rewards as Walmart's are still a mainstay accross the country and still known for their competitive prices!
How this relates to sales: Sam scrutinized every aspect of his business and was continuously tinkering. One example is when he opened one of his first stores he watched families drive into town on the weekends to shop only to find that many specialty stores were already closed. Walton decided to open a wider selection of goods to create a one stop shop as well as longer hours. Many sales reps are going through the motions and not taking a deeper look at their own business. The successful sales reps are constantly learning and making tweaks to their pitches and objections. Stealing is the name of the game. You hear a great line from your colleague? Work that into your pitch. Whens the last time you took a look at. your own methods? Have you ever recorded yourself or listened to a Gong call? Similar to how Walton observed exactly what his customers like and didn't like, you should as well. When you lose a deal reach out and ask what could have been better and when you are fortunate to win a deal, ask what made the prospect go with you and go deeper down that route.
Walton won because his relentless drive to succeed fueled by curiosity. All skills that are paramount to a strong sales person.
Read more: Home