The Street-Smart Salesman: How Growing Up Poor Helped Make Me Rich

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9781118313190: The Street-Smart Salesman: How Growing Up Poor Helped Make Me Rich
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"The benefit to my own company's fortunes, having worked with Anthony,has been a steadily expanding client roster, a leg up on my competition, and the ability to comfortably walk through any door knowing that the prospect who sits in judgment of my service needs me at least as much as I need them."—Rob Katz, CEO, Medical Eyeglass Center

"My time with Anthony Belli played an immeasurably important role in mytransformation from an engineer to hardcore, street-smart sales professional. Countless milestones later, I received [my company's] highest lifetime career achievement honor. Thank you, Anthony, for helping me write my own script in life."—Michael Burton, Principal Technical Consultant, St. Jude Medical Cardiac Rhythm Management

"Having myself grown up in an ethnic, blue-collar Boston community,the legitimacy of a 'street-smart' way of doing things intrigued me. Anthonycreates in the customer's mind a perceived value beyond product features,benefits, and price while building a sustainable relationship that few othersalespeople successfully accomplish . . . The lessons he teaches can, inmany instances, be applied to any profession, whether in sales or not."—From the Foreword by Joe Mandato, DM, Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initiative, Harvard University

When you start out with nothing in life, each and every mistake, misplay, andmissed opportunity can cost you dearly. But that lack of a safety net can hone your judgment and create precision radar for opportunity in a way that no cushy upbringing can. The Street-Smart Salesman shows how growing up poor teaches pricelesslessons that can make you a fortune in sales and business. Strategies include:

  • Channeling fear and stress into high-performance sales

  • Creating irresistible value propositions: Blazing a trail from the head to the heart to the wallet

  • Understanding that all prospects lie—and how to get to the truth

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From the Inside Flap:

Growing up in poverty, every day is a battle with fear, stress, and anxiety. Mistakes, misreads, misplays, miscalculations: all can end in missed opportunities that may never come again. The struggles of the poor demand courage, stamina, constant re-ordering of priorities, and the need for winning strategies. Salespeople—from entry-level cold callers to wily veterans—suffer much the same anxieties but lack the street-smart skills that a deeply deprived childhood demands: adapt or die,while still having fun!

Author Anthony Belli is a millionaire high-performance salesman and sales force manager who grew up dirt poor in East Harlem, New York. Often hungry and without a cent in his pocket,as a child, Belli became expert in the highlycreative art of person-to-person negotiationusing a variety of risk-managed, cash-producing techniques to underwrite his next slice of pizza, tactics he describes as "eating without stealing." The Street-Smart Salesman imparts Belli's hard-earned wisdom and advice to the lasting benefitof a salesperson's bottom line and ability to sleep at night.

Populated with real-life characters from Belli's old neighborhood—deadbeat landlord, hooker with a heart, mobbed-up candy store owner, countless junkies, winos, and wiseguys—this unflinching memoir teaches how the survival skills of the honest poor can be used to maximize success in sales. Belli's wholly unconventional, ghetto-tested strategies include:

  • Minimize cold-calling: Using customers' networks to supply your pipeline

  • Recognition that sales are driven by emotions—not logic, and not price

  • Playing dumb: When to talk and when to shut up

  • Why hope is your enemy—and reality your friend

  • Ways to play a last-minute balky customer

  • Prioritizing for profit

  • And more!

Belli's hard-earned insights defy conventional sales training wisdom by valuing humility, creativity,attention, and improvisation over the vaunted one-two punch of ceaseless script recitation accompanied by free samples. Take his advice to heart, and watch your anxiety recede as your fortunes grow.

About the Author:

ANTHONY BELLI, a high-income sales and sales management professional and marketing entrepreneur, was born in Italian East Harlem in New York City in 1953, into one of the poorest families in one of the city's worst slums. A chronic truant, in 1971 he was accepted into the SEEK program for disadvantaged students at the City College of New York. There he earned bachelor's and master's degrees with honors, followed by an Advanced Certificate in Marketing from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. In recent years, he also has been a popular visiting professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Belli began his sales career with Metropolitan Life in 1978, making the company's Million-Dollar Club in his first year. As a sales representative specializing in high-tech goods, he has consistently performed in the highest ranks, winning dozens of company, regional, and national sales awards for his employers and earning millions in commissions.

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