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photo: Andrew Seaman

Think back to when you were a kid when you did something wrong, instead of getting you to fess up, your mom just filled in the blanks for you by saying, “Look, accidents happen all of the time…it happens…you spilled the orange juice on my rug didn’t you?… Honey, you tried to clean it up, but I just need to know what happened…” And what did you do? After a little more coaxing of a few different It’s ok scenarios, you cave in…with eyes watering & mouth quivering, you agree with your psychic mom. In the end, you get to keep your street creds because you never admitted to the wrong doing, all you did was agree with what was already said. Getting children to agree is a psychological superpower that parents have known & used forever, it worked for them and it’ll work for you in sales.

Getting your customer to agree is way easier than getting them to admit. For instance, say I have a customer who seems tense; judging from their body language I can tell there’s something that they’re thinking, but they just won’t say what it is.  Instead pressuring my customer to just come out and say what’s on their mind-which usually makes the situation way worse,  I’ll say what they’re thinking instead by saying something like, “You know a lot of my customers feel they need to shop around in order to make sure that they’re getting the best deal…” and I’ll let my voice fade off.  Here’s the superpower part; if my assumptions are wrong, they’ll correct me and if I’m right, all they have to do is agree and once they agree, the rest of their fears normally come out too. In either case, whether my assumptions were right or wrong, once I can get the conversation out of their heads and into the open, I can then address their fears and concerns.

Customers don’t like to admit because they don’t want to fight…they don’t want to throw out an objection and then have to defend it. Many times they’re objecting because they’re terrified of the consequences of making a mistake or they’ll say No with no real defense to support the rejection, so they’ll keep it inside instead to save themselves from caving in to being sold.

Try getting your customer to agree instead of admitting. It’ll keep the mood light & conversational instead of dark & confrontational.

Check out The Sales Life w Marsh Buicepodcast.  A podcast for the busies that makes a point in less than 10 minutes each day. You can find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

When CNN personality Van Jones was young he asked his dad to give the unfortunate money that way they would no longer be poor. Upon hearing  his plea, Jones’ father leaned forward in his recliner and said, “Son, that may stop ’em from being broke for maybe a day or two, but if a person is still poor in their skills, poor in their education, poor in their self-esteem, & you hand them a bunch of money? They’ll be broke again by tomorrow...every poor kid has got to climb that ladder out of poverty on his or her own efforts. That’s the responsibility you have to develop yourself so that nobody can keep you poor or make you poor again. You have to make it so you know too much; you bring too many skills to the table. Then you can reach down for the next man and help him climb a rung. But no one can do the real climbing but you.”  

 

You can’t have what your first not willing to become.…scratch that…You can’t keep what you’re not willing to become…sure you can manipulate it..you can catch a wave of luck…chance can randomly fall in your lap, but if you don’t become before you have, you’ll never keep what you got because becoming is an embodiment. It’s acquiring the necessary skills, education, and loving yourself in such a way that when “it” happens it’s of no surprise..it doesn’t catch you off-guard because you were already be-ing before come manifested.

Coming up as a salesperson, I caught wind of how much the managers were making so that became my target and within a year I was promoted into management…only by title not by income. Oh I had the new title printed on my new business cards, but I wasn’t making anything close to what the others managers were making-as a matter of fact, I was making less as a manager than I was as a salesperson. When I spoke out of frustration, I was told, “You’re paid for what you know and as a manager, you don’t know very much.” It was hard..I had to do the menial jobs and grunt work-basically  whatever the senior managers didn’t want or feel like doing got passed off to me only to sign their names to the completed works. I had to scrape-many nights of eggs & rice…many weeks of borrowing from one payday loan to pay another and when referrals came in to buy from me, the salesperson inherited the full commission…while I got only a sliver of a percentage…

And you know what…

…it was the best thing that could’ve happened to for me because it caused me to have to go to work on my new level. I had to work on my too’s…becoming too skilled, too educated, to know too much. I realized that too was a mindset not a destination-it’s not a place that I had to get to, it was a direction that I needed to head toward. It was at that point that whatever they handed me I took on and when I finished it, I asked for more.  I stopped trying to prove my worth to others & worked to create value to myselfbecoming in such a way that no one or no-thing can keep me or make me poor again. In retrospect, had they paid me what the senior managers were making, it would’ve destroyed me financially and personally. Becoming is your natural set point which is why you see those who get a windfall of money from an inheritance, settlement, or lottery,  piss right through large sums of money and often end up worse off than they initially were before-erroneously thinking that they had to first have in order to be. Having doesn’t make you, it reveals who you’ve worked toward becoming. 

Be and the have’s will come…

See, when you work first to become, even if they dropped you in a different city with $100 and no cell phone you’d parlay it into success…even if you got wiped out, you’d be the phoenix rising for the ashes of failure.

Don’t wish to have…work to become & even if you’re temporarily broke, you’ll never be poor again.

Catch The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice daily podcast-making a point in less than 10 minutes. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

Actor George Clooney wasn’t always People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive ; in high school he was stricken with rare disorder called Bell’s Palsy which caused his to have partial paralysis on one side of his face. Here he was in high school-the peak age of how we’re worried about how we look to others, and he had to walk around with half of his face drooping as if he’d had a stroke. When asked about how he managed to go through high school with a half dead face, Clooney said that it was hard at first, but it caused him to have to develop a sense of humor. He goes on to say that it’s moments like this that develop your personality. Have you ever thought about where your personality even came from? Your personality is the essential character of You…it’s the embodiment-the sum total of your physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics. Think of your personality as a big ass pot of gumbo & what do you put in gumbo? Everything…whatever you got in the fridge & freezer you throw it in there-shrimp, sausage, tasso, okra, crabs, even eggs-just throw it all in there. That’s you…a collection of everything you are, can be, & has been.

Clooney took one of the most horrific things that could happen to a teenager and owned it-he made it work for him…hiding from it wouldn’t help…acting like it wasn’t there wouldn’t lessen the stares or minimize the sneers…instead of resisting it, Clooney owned it and made light of his situation. And he’s not the only one…you read about others who have faced dire circumstances…some who have gotten shot, lost limbs, become disfigured, and stood face to face with death...they faced loss and found new Life. On the other side of tragedy, they go on to complete Iron Man races and triathlons…they start companies, and become the face of organizations…and when asked if they had to do it all over again, most wouldn’t change a thing, because it was through the pain that they found their purpose. Though in a harsh way, Life awakened them and caused them to break away from the herd & turn inward. To discover the person they truly are today, they had to travail through darkness and developed their personality along the way. They made what happened personal, they didn’t take it personal. See, taking it personal is expressed injustice, but making it personal is making the irrevocable a part of your personality…a patchwork in the quilt of your Life. 

And the “-ity?”

The “-ity” on the end of a noun is an expression, the emphasis of the word it’s attached to. So personality is the expression-the emphasis of who you are…but so is commonality if you allow it.  You may not have the big title or nice ass car…you may live in a 1 bedroom apartment and be barely making it…you may be in school, just starting out, or even fired from your job…you may find yourself bankrupt, 2 months past due, or diagnosed with cancer…but you’re in good company because we all are either going through, coming out of, or heading into another personal battle. How you accept your situation…how you see it for what it is & bend to make it a way for your good makes you uncommon…makes it personal…develops your personality. 

Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice podcast-making an impact in less than 10 minutes each day. Hear it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

Well the season is upon us. The cards are coming in the mail and the envelopes are slid underneath your keyboard the minute you step out of your office for coffee. Some of the kids you watched grow while others you barely even know are graduating high school or college.  A few know where they’re heading but most don’t… & 10, 15, 20 years later many still are trying to figure it out.  They don’t know, hell we didn’t either, because we graduated, but were never educated. Graduation is a way of passing, but Education is a way of Life. We graduated by memorization… we kissed up a little, pulled some all nighters, & wrote 7 paragraphs of answers on sliver of paper…we memorized which blanks to fill in, boxes to check, & chapters to read, but damn, nobody taught us about Life…

Education isn’t about what school you got into…clubs you were sworn into, or team you ended up on- that’s just resume material…that’s the shit they write about in your eulogy…

I’m talking about education…

The word educate comes from the Latin word Educo which means to draw out or develop from within. It’s got nothing to do with what’s out there… it’s what’s developed and drawn out from right in here… from within and you, my friend, are in charge of your own education… not Sally Mae, not Stafford… not Mom and Dad…not Grandma’s trust fund…it’s all on Y-O-U.  It’s free to obtain and priceless once achieved. 

Education isn’t about what’s on your business card or title you hold…that shit comes and goes-one minute you’re in and the next minute you’re bounced out.

Now you’d think education is all about memorizing and if that really is the case, then we’ve got that down to a science. Oh how we’ve mastered the art of memorizing. We took memorizing from Mr. Green &  Coach Lewis’s classes and we still memorize to this day. We’re quick memorize all of the mishaps, mistakes, upset, fights, rejections, embarrassing moments, hurtful words, and disparaging actions. We lock in and endlessly play back all of the bullshit moments in our lives decades after holding up that diploma. It’s not about what you’ve done without, it’s what you’ve developed within. There’s too much free and available  to you to just sit there and rote memorization.

You’ve got to take the spice that Life has handed you & make your own secret sauce…Life’s given you ingredients now you make your own recipe. It’s taking what’s been done to what you must do and the first thing you must do is get your ass out there & stop playing so damn limited.  Where you are in not who you are…it’s just a point on Life’s map. Utilize all of the resources available to you and push forward…get a library card. listen to podcasts, start with TED Talks on YouTube…and ask. Ask people who are where you want to be. I ask all of the time… I ask my customers the how’s, why’s, what’s of their lives. And I never feel like I’m prying-you’re not. People devote most of their lives to a certain field so why would they be bothered about sharing what they do and why they do it. Bring the gas of questions to their spark of knowledge and watch that shit blow up.

So congratulate those who are graduating, but mentor others and yourself to forever be educating…developing & drawing out the vastness from within. Graduating has a shelf life…education is your Life. 

Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice podcast…making an impact in less than 10 minutes each day. You can find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

Most of us would not think of Bad being a good thing…

What the hell’s joyous about losing the one you’ve loved…where in the hell is the silver lining when the company brings you in…the same company that needed you to bail them out of a jam on weekends, holidays-once you even cut your vacation short. When they needed you most, you were always there…today they brought you in to tell you that they’re taking the company in a different direction and you’re not setting sail with them...”But thank you for everything.”

How hard is it to say Bless my soul when you lose your lease…or you only have only one month to pack up and get out of your home that you’ve amassed 2 decades worth of memories…now you have to downsize and feign the look of a fresh new start to the nosy ass neighbors pretending to be working in their yard. Sure they’re doing just fine-you’re the one who’s dying inside.

…the business that you started-first as a side hustle, then you took out a 2nd mortgage, telling your wife that everything’s going to be juuust fine because the contract you signed is huge and all of your struggles will have been worth it….after countless assurances of full speed ahead, the deal falls through and sinks to the bottom of despair. You’re deeply invested-at this point you aint worried about a return, you’re not sure if you can even survive.

We’ve all got a thumbprint on pain. We’re scarred with unfairness and share the commonality of being down and low….but no matter what “it” is…no matter how low, dark, or walled off it may seem…there’s opportunity in bad.

But first you have to look for it…

Mike Massimino, the astronaut tagged by NASA to repair the Hubble telescope-a billion dollar machine that detects other life and environments in outer space-if he doesn’t fix this part, billions of dollars could be lost forever because there is no backup Hubble…it’s one and done and now its future rests solely on his shoulders. Once in outer space, the only thing standing in the way of the repairs was a handle held in place by 4 innocent screws. The first, second, and third screws were removed as planned, but the fourth one was giving Massimino a little trouble, but with a liiiittle extra effort he thought he could….

…he stripped the final bolt.

With billions of dollars at stake…with millions more spent to send a crew to outer space, the screw was stripped…no Home Depot to run to & the supply of both oxygen and options was limited. At first Massimino did what any of us would’ve done…he beat himself up. It took you 4 tries to be an astronaut! You should’ve never made it this far! You shouldn’t have put so much force on that final screw! A mixture of negative emotions pushed to the front of his mind, but he gained his composure saying to himself, “As bad as things are, you can always make it worse.” He settled in…explored his options and fixed the almighty Hubble.

So you’re in a bad situation…remember worse has options and one of your options is opportunity. Find the opportunity in the bad. Massimino’s mantra has always been, “There’s impossible and then there’s improbable…& if it’s not all zeros…even if there’s a .0000001% chance-if there’s a 1 in there, you’re still in the fight.”

Bad can be good because it causes a shakeup..an awakening…sometimes bad cauterizes the shit that’s been lingering on for far too long in your life and now that it’s officially over, it’s time to pivot…push off & make good from the bad.

Opportunity is not found by lamenting in anguish about all of the injustice, unfairness, Why is this always happening to me! kinds of pleas…

The opportunity is found in looking for a crack, a sliver, a speck of light and building-digging you fingers in and clawing out from there.

How you got here has already happened…where you go from here is yet to be determined...you just have to find the opportunities and often they’re found in the bad.

Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice podcast- making an impact in less than 10 minutes each day. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

While on the set of Deliverance, filmmaker John Boorman walked up to actor Burt Reynolds and said, “Stop acting. Just behave…we’ll wait for you because we can’t take our eyes off of you..” Boorman didn’t want an actor…he  wanted Reynolds, first, playing the role of Lewis Medlock.

When we act…when our performance is based on conformance..when we just blend into our environment, we lose ourselves in order to take on the character that we think society, family, or our boss wants.

We act and cease behaving…

As told by Ryan Holiday, George Clooney initially struggled as an actor because he tried so hard to fit the character the producers were looking for until one day he got the realization that he shouldn’t try to fit the role…the role should fit him. It became clear to him that the producers needed him more than he needed them. See, if this audition didn’t pan out, Clooney could go on dozens of other auditions-he had options, while the producers were desperately seeking the one.  Armed with his newfound knowledge, Clooney began showing up to auditions projecting that he was The One for the job. And because he projected so much confidence..because he didn’t walk in there all desperate…because he showed himself approved…filmmakers made a way because Clooney behaved his way into the roles.

Many times we take on or inherit positions and continue playing the position the way that it’s always been played. We run alongside of the way that it’s always been done..we conform…we act…when Life needs you to behave.

When you act you blend in…but when you behave, you stand out. When you act, you’re cast in black, white, & grays of usual…but when you behave..when you bring your “You”…when you bring your flair…your flavor…your uniqueness..your quirks…when you bring your How I do to what you do…when you Be AND Do-not just do…well, you become the red umbrella walking through the gray crowd….

And you know what….

The world…Us…we’ll wait for you because you personify…you embody what we’re looking for. There’s too many actors in this world and not enough Be-ings. Beings behaving in such a way that we can’t help but get out of your way…to clear our schedule..to make room…hell to create a whole other column just for you.

And let me tell you how liberating it’ll be for you…because you cease acting & start behaving, you get to be you & because you’re no longer burning the emotional currency of acting, you’ll feel more complete…more in control of your most valuable asset…

…that asset is You…

So rest easy. Don’t worry about missing out…just behave…we’ll wait for you because we can’t take our eyes off of you.

**Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice podcast-making an impact in less than 10 minute episodes. You can find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform. **

When it comes to our own lives, we pay attention to only 2 letters of the alphabet…we start at A and worry about Z and we totally alienate the other 24 letters of our lives. We want to know how it’ll all pan out before we even move-it’s like we stand at A and have to know the answers to Z. We do it in all areas of our Life-we need to know if this relationship is the one…we need to know that this is a career that we can retire from…we fret in finances, spirituality, health, our day, month, year…hell our whole Life. We have to, have to, have to know how everything plays out first and if we don’t know if “it’s” going to be ok, we’ll catastrophize that too-we just blow shit out of proportion…and we haven’t even moved…we’re still standing on A.

Life’s job is A-Z, but my job is only to get to B & once I get to B get to C, D…G…T; I just have to get to the next step in my Life and once I get there, focus on the next one…that’s all that Life asks of me-to maximize each letter of my Life.

It’s human nature to want to insure our next step with certainty-to know that something’s worth taking on, holding onto, or letting go, but sometimes the answers will not be clear until you take a series of steps. Life’s not revealed, it’s unfolded…we want our answers to be behind Door #3, but instead Life nudges us to just head in that direction and along the way, she’ll whisper what to do. 

Will the next step be clear..will it be certain…will it be a win…will it be what I wished for? No..no it won’t always be. That’s why there’s more than one step…that’s why there’s C,D,E, & F’s in our lives, because along the way, we’ll hit walls..we’ll get blown back..we’ll stumble and fall. Moments that hurt..moments that seem unfair..but they’re moments of transition just the same. And when you hit moments such as divorce, demotion, death, bankruptcy, sickness, and abandonment…as much as they hurt, don’t capitalize them. Don’t give them prominence in your Life-don’t capitalize the A’s B’s, D’s, S’s; don’t let these moments be the reason why you gave up..threw up your hands and sat down. As shitty and fucked up as these moments are, they are still moments of transition that today have no reason but years from now bear deep meaning…moments that have no answer until you take the next steps. It’s hard…I know it is, but there’s healing beginning at the doorstep of next. 

…and resist saying the words, If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve NEVER…..Because you had to go through that now to discover your never…what you’ll never tolerate or put up with again…that you’ll never again not speak up instead of staying silent..that you’ll never be talked to, treated, or abused again…

Now is necessary for Never. 

So has your journey continues today, don’t worry about Z…just get to B…then C…focus on taking just one more step.

And don’t worry… Z will be waiting for you…after whY. 

Don’t miss an episode of  The Sales Life w Marsh Buice Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.