“The One Minute Sales Person” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. & Larry Wilson – Summary & Review


Take the time to focus on: purpose, people, an the most beneficial parts of what you do.

Selling is always about helping people get what they want.

During the sales process, 1. imagine success, 2. build trust, establish need, show how you help, and find if there’s urgency, and 3. ask for referrals.

To establish need, ask “have” questions and “want” questions. What do you have now? What do you want? Establish the gap between the two and see if you can fill it.

Follow up with your clients often to make sure that what you sold them is actually helping them. This follow up reminds them of this help, and more importantly, allows you to fix things if they need to be fixed. Either way, you’ll be earning referrals.

It takes time to remember to do this and to actually do it. But it’s valuable.

Also valuable is taking the time to figure out what is most valuable – and then doing only those things. I’ll often think I need to do everything that’s worth doing, when in fact, I need to isolate the best of what should be done and do only this.

What I Learned (Or Was Reminded Of)

Being intentional with my time is a sure way to feel like I’ve accomplished what I meant to instead of feeling like I just need to keep going to do more. Focus. The emotional and physical results of this (completing strategically decided-upon tasks) are immense and stress-killers. This rest and focus can, in turn, help provide clarity in deciding the next set of actions to take to maintain the cycle.

Other Major Points, Whether I Agree with Them or Not

  • Take special note of when you do something right – even approximately right. Don’t just see what you’re not doing, or not doing well.
  • Goals begin behaviors. Consequences maintain behaviors.” Likewise, I need to self-manage myself to have consequences for my behaviors. Specifically, I ought to try to create a positive feedback loop for the things I do that I like.
  • Do the most important stuff.


The Search

  • [my margin note: selling is a transfer of emotion = inspiration]
  • “Marketing… was about doing research to learn what people wanted, creating the products and services that people wanted, pricing them competitively, and then making it easy for people to buy.”

The One Minute Sales Person

  • “Behind every sale is a PERSON”
  • “…start helping other people get what they want.”

Selling on Purpose

  • “What would you think of a person who sat in front of a cold stove and said, ‘As soon as you give me heat, I’ll put in some wood’?”
  • “…first fulfill their purpose and then they will make money.”
  • “…people  go on chasing goals to prove something that doesn’t have to be proved: that they’re already worthwhile. Of course, goals are very important in helping us get what we want. But too often we run around using them to get what we already have—our worth.”
  • “…the Tombstone Test…can help you figure out your purpose. … What would I like to have written on my tombstone?”
  • “The fastest ways to achieve your goals…is to stay on purpose.”
  • “…with a product or service you believe in, selling is inherently purposeful.”
  • “…it comes down to caring about your customers…”
  • [my margin note: It’s not what you say. It’s not how you’re saying it. It’s why you’re saying it.]

The Key Minutes Before the Sale

  • “…take a minute…to see the entire encounter running smoothly from beginning to end…The One Minute Rehearsal.”
  • “The first part…is A Walk in the Other Person’s Shoes—seeing things from his side. The second part is The Advantages—how the features of my product combine to solve his problem. And the third part, as corny as it may sound, is The Happy Ending—seeing the other person using and benefiting from what he buys—and feeling good about it.”
  • “Before I can walk in another person’s shoes, I must first take off my own.”
  • “…the key hero of your rehearsal is the other person.”

The Key Minutes During the Sale

  • “…people hate to be sold, but they love to buy.
  • “…people resist any salesperson.”
  • “People buy for their reasons, not ours.”
  • “Sales people exist to help buyers buy. But if buyers don’t trust the sales person, don’t feel a need for our service, don’t believe the product offers more help than a competitor’s, and aren’t in any hurry to buy, they won’t accept our assistance.”
  • “To help people feel trust, I remember my purpose.”
  • [example:] “Sir, in thinking about this call it occurred to me that most of the people I’ve worked with on the past have had some questions they wanted answered before we ever got started. They wanted to know the purpose of our getting together, the process they could expect if they chose to look into our service, and finally their payoff for the time they might invest with me. If those questions have crossed your mind, I’d like to answer them.”
  • **”I ask ‘have’ questions like ‘What do you like most about what you already have?’ And then ‘want’ questions like ‘What do you want that you don’t have?'”
  • “…I take a minute to summarize the key points, repeating them back to let them know I’ve listened and understood…I very clearly point out the difference between what they’ve got and what they want…”
  • “…tell them about another person, much like themselves, who benefited from buying what I have to offer…”
  • [my margin note: social proof, 3rd party story]
  • “…mention…specific feelings my customer wants and that another person experienced…”
  • “People don’t buy our services, products, or ideas. They buy how they imagine using them will make them feel.”
  • “If he feels he doesn’t have a need, I get out of the person’s office. I never create a need, since that is not in the other person’s best interest. It would also rob me of eighty percent of my time and get only twenty percent of my results.”
  • [my margin note: Do I agree? Create demand?]
  • “…it’s the other person’s fear that is the cause of ‘no hurry.’ The idea then is to suggest a course of action that will result in maximum opportunity for them to gain with the minimum risk.”

The Key Minutes After the Sale

  • “…the key minutes in a sale and the most important work I do come after people buy from me. These minutes pay the highest rewards.”
  • “…people don’t just do [referrals] for you, but because it makes them feel good to help their friends.”
  • ** [my margin note: DO THIS] “After people have bought, I telephone them several times. I let them know that the purpose of my calls is to find out if they are enjoying and benefitting from using what they bought from me.”
  • “After I’ve praised them, I tell them about a gift that I’m sending them. Usually it’s an inexpensive feature they could have bought but didn’t…”
  • “Then I ask them if they know other people who would appreciate my help.”
  • “What if the news is bad after the sale and things aren’t working?…First, I don’t see it as bad news. … It’s only information. …any information I get get gives me an opportunity to help…”
  • “These bad experiences usually provide my best referrals later.”
  • “After the Sale: A Summary
  1. I contact people after the sale to be sure that people are feeling good about what they bought and about themselves for buying.
  2. If they are not happy, I take the opportunity to help make things right for the other person.
  3. When they are pleased, I praise their buying decision and specifically point out something the did that helped that action come about.
  4. I exceed their expectations by providing some form of added value.
  5. When they are feeling good, I ask people for active referrals. I ask for the names of people they know whom I can contact, using the buyer’s name as a recommendation.”
  • ** “I frequently follow up to make sure people are actually feeling good about owning what they bought from me.”

Self-Managed Selling

  • “When people see that they are doing something for themselves, they are more apt to actually do it—and without being constantly managed.”

My One-Minute Sales Goals

  • ** “…about twenty percent of what I do during the day gives me about eighty percent of my payoff. // So, the first thing I do is sort out what that important twenty percent is , and then I concentrate only on that. I choose not to do the eighty percent—the unnecessary.”
  • [my margin note: important lesson for me. selling is not binary. (some is worth more than others)
  • “We become what we think about.”
  • I look at my goals. I look at my behavior (e.g. my appointments). I see if my behavior matches my goals.

My One Minute Praisings

  • Goals begin behaviors. Consequences maintain behaviors.
  • “The better I feel about myself, the better I work.”
  • “I’m afraid I spend too much of my time catching myself doing something wrong. Like thinking of what I could have said during the sale but failed to, or how I should be making more cold calls, or…”
  • “As soon as I realize I’ve done something I like, I tell myself specifically what I did right. …approximately right.”

My One Minute Reprimands

  • “You never reprimand your self. You reprimand only your behavior.”
  • “Do you want someone else to manage you? … Or do you want to manage yourself?”

The One Minute Sales Person Explains

  • [my margin note: Be Aware. Be Intentional.]
  • “One Minute Goals help reduce anxiety, one of the greatest causes of stress. Anxiety is simply fear of the unknown.”
  • “One Minute Praisings—catching yourself doing something right—reduce stress because they reduce fatigue.”
  • “…One Minute Reprimands…clear away your own obstructive behavior. …you rid yourself of a major source of stress.”
  • You don’t make the sale. They do.
  • ** “The didn’t sell a product; they sold what the person really wanted.”
  • [my margin note: This principle can be abused in advertising.]
  • ** “…you remember that effective ad because you have been thinking about what really works for a long time.”

A Gift to Myself

  • “…he didn’t experience the daily emotional and physical stress other people subjected themselves to. // He was living and working On Purpose.”


Gravatar Image

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!