Thursday, April 26, 2007


It's interesting how many people tell me, "Oh, I could never be in sales." I understand why they say it, but I find it humorous. Why? Because every person ever born on this earth has been in sales from the day they were born.

A newborn baby cries. Why? To sell its mother on the idea that it needs something -- probably food. How many times does a 2-year old ask for a cookie? Just once and accept no as the answer? Not likely. They ask over and over again until you either give in, or get upset with them. They are trying to sell you on the idea that they should have a cookie.

In the morning when you are lying in bed thinking, "I don't want to get up," but you do anyway, why do you do it? It's because you sold yourself on the idea that it was the thing to do. We sell ourselves to prospective spouses, we sell ourselves to prospective employers, we sell ourselves every day of our lives. Yet, if you mention a career in sales to most people, their eyes bug out and they say, "Oh, I could never be in sales."

Why is that? I believe it is because most people have an inordinate fear of rejection. They are afraid that someone will not buy what they are selling. I like the line from "Dune" that says, "fear is the mind killer." It is true. Most people fail at sales because of fear. It is the fear of rejection.

In sales, if someone says that they don't want your product or service, they usually aren't rejecting you, they're honestly telling you that they don't believe that your product or service fits their needs. If you take it as a personal rejection, you will fail.

For several years, I lead a sales team consisting of 12 salesmen. I taught them to accept rejection as a victory. Why? Because on the average, it takes 9 sales calls to make 1 sale. I told them to start counting. After the first NO, that was one. The second NO was two -- and so forth. Almost without fail, they made a sale before they reached 9 which is the average. They beat the odds because they were looking positively at the experience of being told NO. Each NO brought them one closer to YES. It came down to their attitude.

Isn't it amazing how important attitude is in our life? If we approach each day in a positive fashion, the results are almost always positive. If we start the day with a negative attitude, we usually end the day in the same manner. We see everything that occurs to us in the worst possible light.

One of my favorite poems of all time is called "Attitude", by Chuck Swindoll.

The longer I live,
The more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude to me, is more important than the past,
Than education,
Than money,
Than circumstances,
Than failures,
Than Success,
Than what other people think, or say, or do.
It is more important than appearance,
Giftedness, or skill.
It will make or break an organization,
A school, a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day
Regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past..
We cannot change the fact that people will
Act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do
Is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude....
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me
And 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you....


CDO said...

I have three important sales that I make every day. The first is to sell my self on the idea that I want to get up and go to work and make this the best day of my life!

In my job as a lender, I am constantly trying to sell the idea that my companies money is better than some other companies money.

Third and often, I have to sell what I thought was a prospective client for my money, the idea that it would be in their best interest if they did not take out this loan.

I guess there is one more thought and that is the easy sell that it is quitting time.

Its time to go home and do the things that I enjoy and remember that Hillbilly Willy understands thatThe Rural Life is a Great Life yes it is a Great Life in Arkansas

Incognito said...

Amen Panhandle. Attitude IS everything. And even the negative that happens in our lives can be looked at in a positive manner.

As for rejection... as actors we sell ourselves... so you can imagine what a thick hide one has to develop. It aint easy! And in my biz... average is about 1 in every 25 to 30! :-) Ah well.

Panhandle Poet said...

Start counting Incognito!