Forbes Riley: What it Takes to Generate Over 2 Billion in Sales – Episode 52

April 8, 2016 Anthony Iannarino | Sales coach, Business coach, Sales professional, Author

Over $2 billion in sales. Yes, you read that correctly. Today’s guest, Forbes Riley is an amazing woman and one of the most successful infomercial and product saleswomen on the planet. But ironically, she doesn’t like to think of herself as doing “sales.” Instead, she prefers the word “pitching.” It’s an interesting distinction and she and Anthony get into the differences and similarities on this episode. But that’s just the beginning. You’re going to hear Forbes talk about confidence, mindset, what it takes to be successful in sales, and why people with incredible products often fail when it comes to product sales. There’s lots more, so be sure you make the time to listen. From a “typical” childhood to incredible sales success. Forbes Riley grew up in Brooklyn, New York and sees her childhood and family life as a generally happy one. She saw herself as an “ugly” little girl and at that point in life couldn’t imagine that she had what it took to be successful in life (whatever that meant). But a Dad who thought outside the box and a series of opportunities led her into acting and eventually positioned her to work alongside some of the most successful infomercial product creators ever: Jack LaLanne, Billy Blanks, and others. This conversation unpacks some of the details of Forbes’ journey and gives you some practical ways to think about your own story and how it could be positioning you for success. What does it take to have a successful infomercial (or sales campaign)? Having worked alongside Jack LaLanne (the most successful infomercial product creator of all time) and many others, Forbes Riley has a very unique perspective on what goes into a successful sales campaign. In her thinking, the success you experience has much less to do with the quality of the product and much more to do with the genuineness and passion of the person behind the product. Jack LaLanne sincerely believed in his products, as did Billy Blanks, and it was their conviction that transmitted through the TV screen to generate incredible sales volume for their products. You can glean a lot from Forbes’ insights on this episode, so do yourself the favor of making this 40-minute conversation a priority. What’s behind the most successful sales pitches? When Forbes Riley first realized that she was in the “sales world” at QVC she didn’t like thinking of herself as a salesperson. To her it felt pushy or sleazy to “sell” something and the thing that made the difference to her was a mindset shift. When she realized that a “pitch” was nothing more than a confident explanation of why a product or service was beneficial to real people who were in real need, everything changed. She says that it’s that confidence and conviction that fill a sales pitch with power. On this episode of In the Arena Forbes talks about how she got to that point in her thinking and how it impacted everything she did from that point forward. If you want to change your life, start thinking differently. There are too many books, blog posts, and audio volumes about the issue of “mindset” to count. You’ve heard coaches and professionals in every walk of life tackle the subject. But just because the topic may seem tired or “old” doesn’t mean it’s ready to be discarded. In fact, Anthony’s guest on this episode - Forbes Riley - says that her life changed dramatically when she realized that HOW she thought was determining the boundaries of her success. Hear the story of how Forbes gave herself permission to believe that greater things were possible and how that decision led to over $2 billion in sales over her career, on this episode of In the Arena. Outline of this great episode [3:47] Anthony’s introduction of Forbes Riley (today’s guest) [5:13] Forbes’ background and how she got into acting (she’s been on “24” and others) [9:07] How the feeling that she wasn’t beautiful impacted her life and the direction of her career.

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