Thursday, May 22, 2008


One of the primary sources of concern for sales managers is the attitude of their salespeople. Attitude is a concern for sales managers because most times, the sales person cannot or does not recognize when they have an attitude problem. Identifying weaknesses in approach or closing skills is easier for the individual to recognize, but attitudes can be the result of years or even decades of habit.

Furthermore, it can be really challenging for the sales manager to coach the individual sales person's attitude. Coaching other skills through role playing and like is fairly straightforward. However, a change in attitude must come from within.

What's important is for the sales person to recognize the exceptional value that can be discovered from improving their attitude, not only in terms of sales, but in the rest of their relationships as well.

Truthfully now, who wants to spend time with a negative person? Who wants to purchase something from a negative person? Very, very few prospective buyers will feel comfortable enough in this situation to make it through the sales process attentively. In fact, the reality is that people are attracted to positive people. Positive people exude an aura of personal power, of strength, of assurance, of "can-do-itiveness". As a result of that, people want to be around them. It gives people hope and warm feelings to be around positive people.

So, what's a person with a not so stellar attitude to do?

Well, the first step is to choose to change. You have to understand that you can make a difference in your life just be applying a little focus. Then, you need to begin training yourself to look at the world through a different lens. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of things, start attempting to find the positive. Look for the opportunity.

What I did was to surf the internet looking for inspirational quotes. I just googled inspirational quotes, and surfed the pages that the search returned. I identified specific quotes that resonated with me, and copied and pasted them to a text document on the computer for later use. I ended up with about 4 pages of them.

I believe that the quotes that resonated with me when I first read them were special and should be read and memorized. They resonated because of their inherent truth, and because they spoke to something that I needed to hear. I read them every morning, when I remember. I have noticed, since beginning this exercise, that I've begun memorizing some of the quotes, and they tend to pop up in my mind at times when I could really use them. For example, there are times when I find myself doing something not terribly productive. At those times, I might remember that: "failures do what is tension relieving, while winners do what is goal achieving."
- Dennis Waitley

At the beginning of the day, I find it very helpful to remember that "
every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. Human beings, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice. You can choose to be all or you can choose to be less. Why not stretch up to the full measure of the challenge and see what all you can do?" - (Not sure who said this...)

At any rate, the point is, when you do this every morning before you start the day, you begin to feel different. You begin to feel more motivated, more energized, more positive, and more focused. The key is to have spent some time seeking out the quotes that resonate with you. That process in itself will begin you on a path that has the potential to change your life.

- Happy Selling!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Great Resource for Prospecting Ideas

I've discovered a great resource for prospecting ideas. I need to spend more time reading through this...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Hi there,

The act of selling your product can be either easy or hard. It can be as simple as making a lunch date, or as difficult as convincing your child to eat onions. But imagine how difficult it can be if you don't believe in what it is that you're doing. Simply put, you need to believe in the value of the product. You need to believe that it's the very best product available. Then, you need to get the prospect to agree with you.

Let's go over that again. The necessary components of a successful sale:

- belief in the product
- the ability to share your knowledge

That's it. Belief, and communication skills.

John H. Patterson founded the National Cash Register Company in 1884, and proceeded to revolutionize professional selling. One of the things he did was establish a publication for his sales force to use called "The Primer", which shared scripts and other selling techniques. From Harvard Business School Working Knowledge:

The Primer instructed salesmen to exert pressure in a forceful yet subtle manner. The key was to prevent a prospect from feeling manipulated. "Avoid giving the impression to the merchant that you are trying to force him to buy.... No man likes to feel he is being sold." At the same time, it was important for the salesman to exude confidence and honesty. Chief among the rules of salesmanship at N.C.R. was the ability to demonstrate "sympathy [toward] ... the business and interests of the P.P. [or "Probable Purchaser"] and sincerity in presenting [the] machines to the P.P " These were skills to be honed. After an agent named John T. Watson had given a demonstration at the 1895 sales convention, one audience member praised Watson's "sincerity" and another commented, "The best thing I noticed in the demonstration was that Mr. Watson's manner indicated that he thought he was telling the truth."

Belief. Watson was telling the truth, which is why the audience member believed it so deeply, that he refers to it as "the best thing" in his demonstration. That's pretty powerful.

Now, believing something and convincing others are two very different things. Communication skills are critical, and we'll talk about those another day. The question for right now is, do you believe in your product? Do you believe so deeply that others can't help but feel your conviction?

If not, why not? Are you selling the right product?


Happy Selling!

A Thought Regarding Self Control

I was reading The Power of Concentration, by Theron Q. Dumont and, not too far into it, ran across the following excerpt:
I want you to watch the next person you see that has the reputation of being a strong character, a man of force. Watch and see what a perfect control he has over his body. Then I want you to watch just an ordinary person. Notice how he moves his eyes, arms, fingers; notice the useless expenditure of energy. These movements all break down the vital cells and lessen the person's power in vital and nerve directions. It is just as important for you to conserve your nervous forces as it is the vital forces. As an example we see an engine going along the track very smoothly. Some one opens all the valves and the train stops. It is the same with you. If you want to use your full amount of steam, you must close your valves and direct your power of generating mental steam toward one end. Center your mind on one purpose, one plan, one transaction.
Doesn't that hit like a ton of bricks? I don't know how self aware you are, but I know that I regularly fidget, or allow myself to be distracted by other stimuli when I should be paying attention to what the person I'm conversing with is saying. Furthermore, I had never really considered the way my unconscious fidgeting appeared to others. Truthfully though, when I think about the impression that type of behaviour makes on me, it seems as though this really is something to which I ought pay attention.

Food for thought, anyway.

Happy Selling!

Sharing some thoughts

Hello, friends.

The purpose of this blog is to shed some light on the challenges and joys of being a self employed salesperson. I intend to share my ideas, thoughts, comments, criticisms, strategies, best practices, and methods in order to demonstrate to you, the reader that you're not alone. I'm doing it too.

Perhaps reading this may validate some of your thoughts and ideas. Perhaps it will inspire you to do things differently, better, or more effectively. Let me get one thing straight here, though - I'm no sales master. I'm just going through life with open eyes and ears, learning as best as I can along the way while trying to earn some money.

I sell financial products, but this blog is intended to be generic with regard to product. I don't care what your product is, the fundamental sales techniques and relationship building ideas are all the same. In the end, your prospects need to like you and trust you before they're going to buy anything from you. But you already knew that, right?

Anyway, that's enough of an introduction. If you want to keep reading, subscribe or come back soon. I don't intend to publish according to any specific schedule, it may be more than once a day, or a week may go by between posts. Either way, I hope the content is useful to you.

Happy selling.