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Business, Politics & Society

Sell It

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 20:03 min

A master salesperson who started her career by selling fax machines door-to-door, Sara shares her practical advice for sales, including how to understand your consumers, turn a “no” into a “yes,” and face your fear of sales.

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Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.
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[LIVELY MUSIC] - Everything in life is sales. It's so important that you get comfortable with how to sell. So I guess I'm going to make a sales pitch to you on the importance of sales, because I cannot emphasize enough how much that's helped me in my entrepreneurial journey. If you learn how to sell, you'll become that much better in your business. You'll become that much better as an inventor, because, as an inventor, knowing how to sell gives you that instinct of what's going to work. [LIVELY MUSIC] It's really critical to sell the problem that you're solving, not the product. People are far more emotional about their problems and you being able to offer a solution than they ever will be about your product. So don't go in there and product dump on them and start rattling off all your features and half the features or features they don't need or want. That's a real fast way to just get the glazed look or the wall to come up between you and who you're speaking to. So it's really important to kind of know your customer. So you'd walk in and say these three things are probably going to be the most important about what I have to this kind of consumer or to this buyer. And that's what you should focus on. And then always use humor. Whenever you can use humor or be light and a little bit vulnerable, I find that it relaxes the situation and it helps immensely. So I'll just take my very first invention, footless pantyhose. I would go in and I would start with the problem, because you should always sell the problem that you're solving, not the product. And so what I did was-- I'm just going to go through the checklist-- I'd start with the problem. Has this ever happened to you? Then I offer the solution. Then I describe what the product is, and what's soft, and I'd always say, you know, there's no rubber cord in the waistband and a few details about the product. But then I would then say why it's your best solution, and I would compare it. And what's important is I would be thinking, if I'm the consumer and I'm listening to this person tell me this, I'm thinking, well, there's other options out there that can get rid of a panty line. So I've already anticipated that that objection is happening in their mind. And then that's why I say, and, yes, there are other options out there, but here's what's flawed with them. They all stop on the thigh and they show. And so that's where kind of anticipating what someone might be thinking and offering them even more solution to it all comes together in a really important, concise pitch that helps them understand what's the problem, what's our product, and why is it my best choice. You know if your pitch works if it's successful. It's that simple. Did you get the order? Did you get the business? Are they buying? Are they showing up at your door? And if they're not, here's the beauty of sales and what you're doing-- you iterate. You iterate. What you said may not be quite right, or maybe you...


Find your big idea

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

it was inspiring and helped me to see the brighter side of things!

That was one of the most inspiring, beautiful stories I have ever watched! That was worth the $180 subscription and so much more! I am going to be recommending this to everyone I know!

I have learned that nothing is impossible. Be unique, your way can be special and nothing limits you. Thank you for this great class! Both Sara and Jesse are unique!

Beautiful and Inspiring story, lot of nuggets of wisdom to help support my journey!


Comments

Ioana P.

Loved this!! The best sales advice I've heard in a long time (and I'm coming from a sales background myself).

Seema B.

Love the notion of "sell the problem, not your product." Makes a ton of sense to emotionally connect to people/customers/buyers.

Jorge G.

I just came from watching Sara's Live Masterclass session, and I must say it was pretty good; picked up a couple of pointers to add to her great course here. I also just want to point out that as soon as I made some anti-feminist comments I got shut out from the comments on facebook. So I don't know if it was Sara or the moderators from Masterclass, whoever it was it was wrong to do so, and I'm glad they did it, because this alerts me to some agenda behind all these courses be it Masterclass or otherwise. So the agenda is no freedom of speech; maybe what I said was wrong or a half-truth, but it was not offensive or threatening; it was wrong of whoever banned me from commenting to do so. Using Bayes Theorem I suspect something is going on. Don't believe me? Use the theorem yourselves, if you don't know it learn it in some other platform, because they don't teach it on any of these courses; I already checked, but check for yourselves. Just wanted to point that out, beware!

A fellow student

Love this lessons! Sara you and your story are absolutely amazing and inspiring!

A fellow student

Enjoyable and so true, love this one very much. I just search selling, and click some videos, this one is awesome, simple and to the point. great work, kudos!

Lameen A.

I've never been comfortable with selling being a type of self confessed introvert, but the tips here having given me more confidence in not just how to sell my product but my service too. Monumental. The punchline was "seen the problem, not the solution" I was also in awe of the effort she took to to get where she is, with regards to the stand up comedy gig she did for 2 years, wow!

A fellow student

She is very professional. Her advices make a difference. Thank you, MasterClass, for such a brilliant speaker and motivator.

Birgitte R.

Sara had me at "Sell the Problem." :) Only one note so far to the producers of this class... please, please, please stop switching the camera POV. These classes work best when the instructor is looking directly into the camera. The moment you change the angle, I no longer feel like she's talking to me. I know it's a thing, it's been a thing for a while, but it does. NOT. WORK.

Jeff H.

Great lesson, but it lead me to the PDF which has some typos. It looks like someone changed the text to "Realtor" instead of "Relator". (page 30)

DB J.

Sara, this comment probably will never see, the light of your eyes... What a brilliant master class... "Oh I get it... it's brilliant, I am going to... in seven stores... "Show, will tell... BTW, at 65 I am reinventing myself again... Been successful at business many times on many levels. But tough times never change... they come to all. So, today, after struggling, for days, wrestling with a brand new approach to selling a marketing and sales language development system... Been struggling with doubt... And hearing a word over and over again "Nihilist..." I said I am going to listen to you today and get some inspiration... And what was the first up from where I left off... Dealing with self-talk... All the best, David