"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
The Boxer ~ Simon & Garfunkel.
The young salesman looked his manager square in the eye and said:
"What do you do when you can't go on any more? What do you think about when you really just want to quit? ~ How do you keep going?
The old sales manager smiled and replied ~ "Let me tell you a story."
When I first came to America I was a very young boy. I got off the boat in New York and found that it was a brutally cold place for a child who didn't know a soul. I had no money, no friends, and every single day I wanted to go home. To get away from this hostile, and challenging, new place where every thing was uncomfortable, difficult, and foreign.
The voices in my head were telling me to quit and go home with my tail between my legs. But those voices made me feel sick and ashamed.
"I had to play mind games with myself", the sales manager said.
Movies and music helped. I found that I had to convince myself that I wasn't a quitter. That I was a fighter. A boxer who would keep getting up ~ No matter what. ~ You see... It's all about what we tell ourselves.
Every day we choose songs, voices and people to listen to. When things get tough these songs, voices, and people, don't whisper - They scream. Who do you want to listen to? ~ What do you want to hear?
"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ~ G.K. Chesterton.
They are just a couple of little words. But when the sun goes down, And the day is finally done. ~ We all have so many reasons to say
Be Grateful ~ Say Thank You.
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
~ Henry Ford.
There comes a time when we're used as a reference. What do we say? Do we stick to the safe stuff? Do we just go with the dates and duties?
All of us have got things we need to work on - stuff we can do better. None of us are perfect. If we've worked with anyone for some time we know what their weaknesses are - and we know their strengths. Do we go with the soft "really nice guy" and a few generic kudos or elaborate?
We want to do the right thing - for both the candidate and the company asking. So each of us ends up making our own decisions on what, and how much, we say about the good, the bad and the ugly. But really every reference call comes down to one simple question doesn't it?
One question that could cut through all the crap. Quiet Professionals ask it all the time. Most others don't. ~ Why? ~ Because the question puts us on the line much more than the person we're talking about.
So what's that question?
"Is He Any Good?"
References aren't about the candidate - they're about us.
"Silence is a source of great strength" ~ Lao Tzu.
It has to be one of the most admirable qualities of human beings. The internal strength that a few stoic souls share. The willingness to learn and grow through immense challenge and adversity whilst others complain and whine about their most trivial discomforts. They are the embodiment of still waters that run deep. Maybe it's simply black and white. Some choose to whine and complain while others recognize that
"Silence is a source of great strength."
"A man is as free as he chooses to make himself."
~ George MacDonald.
The young salesman was frustrated. He wasn't doing as well as he wanted and the sales just weren't happening. Our prices are too high he thought ~ Maybe I should go into another business ~ Should I find a different company? ~ Move to a new place? ~ Perhaps I shouldn't be a salesperson at all? ~ I'm just not free to...Thoughts of greener pastures bounced around in his mind. He felt that all the problems were things beyond his control. So he went to speak to his boss.
Now his boss was an old soldier, and he understood frustration, so he told the young man a story. "You know sales is a lot like soldiering" he said ~ "You've got to win hearts and minds to be successful". But you know the very first thing you've got to do? ~ What's that? He asked.
The first thing you have to do is win your own heart and mind.
Because ~ Wherever you go, whatever you do, there you are.
A man is as free as he chooses to make himself.
"Sleep in peace." ~ Suo Gan.
What's the most valuable thing any human being can give to another? What does a parent strive to give their child ~ A salesperson to their customer ~ A soldier to his brothers ~ An employee to their boss?
What do people really want?
Peace Of Mind.
Put aside all the other tips for a moment and focus on just one thing. Give someone the confidence and comfort of being able to sleep knowing you've got things covered and you will also ~ Sleep In Peace.
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau.
We all have dreams. I'm not talking about the dreams we have at night. I mean the aspiration type dreams. The dreams we have of becoming, experiencing, having and being. Some call them goals, others wishes, but they're all dreams. When we talk about our dreams, goals, or wishes we reveal a lot about ourselves. We reveal what kind of person we are. Dreams define dreamers and doers. We either drift into warm, gentle, amusement, entertainment, fantasy and wishful thinking or...
We visualize, plan, and act upon our dreams. Our dreams drive
Amusement or Action.
About the only thing better than accomplishing ones dreams is to help someone else accomplish theirs. The visualization, sharing, pursuit and realization of a dream is a priceless experience. Supporting someone we care about in that endeavor is truly one of lifes joys.
But recognize the dream shared for amusement. The fantasy of these dreams is like wanting to win the lottery without buying a ticket.
A dream without action is like a warm, comfortable, bed ~ It's easy to fall into and hard to get out of. Without Action ~ It's Just A Dream.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams ~ Take Action.
"Past accomplishments are the refuge of the weak."
~ Winston Churchill.
For anyone of us in business ~ Of all the things he said ~ All the quotes, insights and words of wisdom, this one is the most relevant. "Past accomplishments are the refuge of the weak." Think what we did yesterday, or do tomorrow, really matters? ~ Wake up.
It's What We Do Today That Matters.
The business landscape is littered with individuals, companies, and organizations, who pathetically cry out for an appreciation for what they've done in the past. The awards hanging on our walls, things we've done, and stuff we are proud of can be anchors if we let them. Don't fall into the putrid pity potty of those petulant children that whimper... "I'm not appreciated". ~ Do Something Today To Be Proud Of.
The accomplishments and actions of our past are shadows.
They are behind us. Move On.~ Do Good Now. ~ Do It Today.
Because ~ Past accomplishments are the refuge of the weak.
"We all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence."
~ Dag Hammarskjold.
You need to build a perfect white box in your mind the old man said.
A box that contains quiet images and memories. A place where you've been that resonates serenity, calm, happiness and contentment. It's your own perfect place. ~ A simple, solitary, refuge from any storm.
Allow me to share my simple white box.
"Appreciate talent and admire character".
What do we try to impress upon our children? ~ Many more lessons than a simple blog post can illustrate ~ but if I could sum it all up it would be "Appreciate talent and admire character." ~ Rhapsody occurs when the two come together. We don't have a lot to say about the talent we have been given ~ but character... Now that takes work.
Character is about choices, decisions, drive and discipline. It's about doing what others can't or won't. It's about persevering through the times when it's unbearable, uncomfortable or unpopular. It's about dedication, selfless acts, and honest humility. Character is beautiful.
We've all been given talent. Character makes the most of it. When we see the dedication ~ The conscientious combination of character and talent applied ~ It truly inspires us and we feel ~ Rhapsody.
"We kind of put ourselves behind the eight ball here". ~ Lucky Wurtz.
What are 8 things that keep salespeople behind the eight ball?
What are the eight things that hinder even the best professionals from making more sales, money and getting better and better every day?
This is by far the most important on the list. The biggest holdback to making more sales is our response to coaching. If we get input and go back to doing what we have always done – We get what we‘ve always got. ~ We can’t move forward unless we learn and apply coaching.
2. Self Talk / Accountability.
Self talk determines our success. If you can’t wait to get away from something you will convince yourself of ways to avoid doing what it takes to succeed and will find reasons outside of yourself for not being as successful as you can. You determine your success –period. Every day is an opportunity – what you do with it is essentially up to you.
3. Comfort Zone / Average.
Once we have established an average and a comfort zone it takes a very strong person not to coast each day and stay in that area. Often we are not even aware that is what is happening. We can deny it - but the numbers will always tell us the truth. ~ Comfort Zones Kill Sales.
4. Lack of Urgency.
Nothing you do tomorrow will help you get results today.
5. Distractions / Issues / Personal.
Allowing stuff that is not productive to affect your production is a matter of mental discipline. It’s easy to give reasons instead of results. Poor production is often the primary trait of a person who focuses more on reasons instead of results. Everyone has reasons - Few get results.
6. Opportunity / Close Ratio.
The very worst salesperson has a 10% opportunity ratio to calls or appointments in any business sale. The difference between the successful and not so successful is what we do with that 10%. The better you are the higher your opportunity percentage ratio will be and the harder you work the more opportunities you will get. Simple.
7. Time Management.
This one is a killer for those that take the first hour of the day to get going, need to get back in the swing of things after lunch or breaks and are looking at the clock at the end of the day. The amount of focused, productive time in any person’s day varies on what is going on in their mind. We all have the same day to make money and get things done.
8. Duplicate Effort.
Do you duplicate efforts? Does it take two or three calls to get a no when you could have gotten that up front and moved on? Do you justify duplicate effort because every now and again it works ~ regardless of the number of times it didn’t. Duplicate effort is all about doing things right the first time so you don’t have to do it again whether it is the call, the order or any administrative detail. Get it done right the first time.
"Man is a perpetually wanting animal." ~ Abraham Maslow.
What do we really need? ~ I guess we all have different ideas on what we really need. ~ Maslow suggests that we all have five basic needs:
I humbly submit we really need only two things in life:
- Someone To Love.
- Something To Believe In.
"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something."
~ Thomas Edison.
Sometimes you've just got to laugh don't you? All the great advice out there on how to run a business, be a better salesperson and "succeed"
Some really insightful stuff like:
Listen ~ Be Yourself ~ Focus ~ Set Goals ~ Prioritize ~ Think out of the box ~ Build a better mousetrap ~ Care a little more ~ etc, etc...
Now don't get me wrong I've been guilty of dishing out my own fair share of this stuff myself. It's easy to deal in fluff. People like it. It's warm and comfy. Like a kitten. It's cuddly. But ultimately it's all...
Want to know what we really need to do in business to succeed?
We need to do stuff better than the next guy. ~ Plain and simple. We've just got to be better. Yes ~ We've got to listen and learn. Provide a better value proposition, service and sometimes price. But in the end it all comes down to ~ We have to do, and give, better stuff.
Even if it's ~ Better Fluff.
"Strength does not come from physical ability. It comes from an indomitable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi.
We've all heard the stories, watched the movies, read the books, and been inspired by them. We stand in awe of the men, and women, who overcome tremendous adversity in life. The stories of those brave souls who strive and beat the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are invaluable to us. They teach us more than anything else can. ~ They teach us that we can also overcome adversity. If we apply the full force of our indomitable will ~ We can overcome anything life throws at us.
A child, Ludwig Van Beethoven, who was beaten unmercifully by his father, would lose his hearing and yet, in his deafness, become the greatest music composer of all time. An inspiring genius.
A King who could barely speak. Every stammering word of his was ridiculed in public. Yet his indomitable will, his honor, and sense of duty overcame it all to rally a nation over the radio during time of war.
A man, Nick Vujicic, born with no arms or legs challenges us to be positive and smile through life. Throughout history, and to this day, the power of the human will inspires us all to incredible achievements.
The human will is the most powerful force on earth.
Dig Deep ~ Summon Up Your Will ~ You Can Also Inspire.
~ Albert Camus.
Let's put this whole "Meaning Of Life" thing in perspective.
How about we simply do the best we can. ~ Be Thankful.~ Strive to be a positive example ~ and try not to take ourselves too seriously?
The meaning of life? ~ Here we go...
“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman - not the attitude of the prospect.” ~ W. Clement Stone.
If you've ever sold anything, to anyone for a living, you will know how important it is to have a sense of humor. It will get you through those zero revenue days when ... Well it will get you through those days.
Enjoy this my friends ~ Because You Can Handle The Truth.
"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." ~ Ernest Hemingway.
Trust is a touchy subject isn't it? ~ We give, and get, it in degrees. It depends on the situation and rarely, very rarely, is unconditional. The word is thrown around in business, and life, a lot. Trust to return a call, be on time, deliver as promised, or give exceptional service is all very nice ~ Yet many people seem to fall short of even that low a bar.
Trust is one of those things that people look at as situational. But ultimate, unconditional, trust? Well that's a whole different story.
Some give it up to the big guy. Some to a select few friends, or family. But when we are asked what determines who we trust - unconditionally. What's our answer? How do we decide? ~ It's good to know this - if only for ourselves. To know what our guidelines are.
So how do we decide who we trust unconditionally? My answer is:
If I could trust you to raise my child. ~ Or cover my back in war.
Then that is ultimate trust. Everything else is a matter of degrees.