The Psychology of Selling, by Brian Tracy

This classic text outlines essential sales techniques and provides a framework for understanding the sales process. Much of Tracy's analysis will be familiar to any martial arts school owner who has invested a reasonable amount of time learning how best to enroll and upgrade students.

For example: Selling is a "transfer of enthusiasm." This means the person doing the selling needs to believe in the product or service passionately enough to make the buyer share that belief. Tracy also identifies a virtuous cycle: self-esteem increases enthusiasm, which makes selling easier; and each successful sale increases the seller's self-esteem. This leads to advice on become a confident sales person, which aligns with much of what we teach as martial artists: Plan your day around specific professional goals. Set personal and family goals. Visualize success.

Tracy analyzes why people buy—and why they don't. He points out that people buy for their own reasons, not for ours, so an effective sales process identifies their needs and responds to them. It also needs to address the reasons they might hesitate, such as fear of regret (buyer's remorse). Before the concept of loss aversion was popularized by behavioral economists, Tracy already knew that people are motivated not only by desire for gain but also by fear of loss. The goal, he argues, is to shift the buyer's focus from how they will be worse off by committing to the sale to how they will be better off by having the product or service.