13 rules from Joe Girard - the world‘s top salesman

Between 1963 and 1979, Joe Girard sold 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership in Detroit, a feat that got him recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the “world‘s greatest retail salesman.“ Today, the 86-year-old is a sought-after speaker. To inspire you, here are his best 13 tips for success.  

Rule no. 1: Have a positive attitude 

Mix with positive people and stay away from complainers who might pull you down to their level. If you have problems, keep them to yourself when you‘re selling. 

Rule no. 2: Organise your life 

Before you leave the office in the evening, plan your work for the next day. At the end of each day, think about what you did or didn‘t do, so you can learn from what went well and what went wrong. 

Rule no. 3: Work when you work 

Don‘t take long lunch breaks, and don‘t lunch with other salespeople. Eat only with people who can “help your cause.“ Don‘t sneak out of work early. 

Rule no. 4: Observe Girard‘s no-nos 

Don‘t smoke, don‘t chew gum, don‘t use strong cologne, don‘t swear, don‘t tell dirty jokes, don‘t have alcohol on your breath and (for men only) don‘t wear earrings when you‘re working. Turn off your phone and never be late. Some of Girard‘s rules may sound slightly old-fashioned – but it‘s better to be safe than sorry!  

Rule no. 5: Dress the part 

If you‘re dealing with blue-collar workers, don‘t wear expensive clothes, shoes or watches. 

Rule no. 6: Listen 

The longer you listen, the more obligated people will feel towards you, and the more they are likely to do business with you. 

Rule no. 7: Smile 

If you smile, your customers feel happy and want to do business with you. Plus: smiling is great for your health! 

Rule no. 8: Return all phone calls and emails 

Return all calls and emails as soon as possible. 

Rule no. 9: Tell the truth 

If you get caught telling just one lie, you will always be thought of as a liar. Even if you tell the truth for the rest of your life, you won‘t be trusted or believed ever again. 

Rule no. 10: Don‘t overcharge 

If you overcharge and the customer compares your deal with somebody else, you have lost that customer. 

Rule no. 11: Stand in front of your product or services 

The most important thing to do for your customer is SERVICE them, and they will do business with you again and again. 

Rule no. 12: Lock up every sale 

After you have closed the sale, ask your customers why they bought from you. If they tell you why, they are reinforcing their trust in you. 

Rule no. 13: Reward yourself 

If you‘ve been successful, don‘t forget to reward yourself somehow. You deserve it!