Posts Tagged ‘Sales Strategies’

When Dr. Howard Thurman- philosopher, educator, minister, & mentor to Martin Luther King & Mahatma Gandhi, took his young children back to his hometown of Daytona Beach, his girls saw a nearby playground and asked to go swing. “You can’t swing on those swings,” said Thurman.

He promised them that he would explain more once they got home…Dr. Thurman had to buy some time because he was at a crossroads- a moment that I’m sure every black parent faced during those times (& still in some respects today)…

….how do you tell your children they can’t play on a “White’s only” playground.

Later he sat his girls down and told them that they were important…so important in fact that they couldn’t swing on those “public swings,” because the “public”only consisted of white children. He said, “You’re so important that it takes the state legislature, courts, sheriffs, white churches, bankers, & businesses-it takes the majority of the white people in Florida to keep 2 little black girls from swinging on those swings.”

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Dr. Thurman reframed the racial inequality he and his family were facing. He reframed the hatred and racism and made it a bridge instead of a barrier. He calibrated his daughters to-yes, see the injustice for what it is, but encouraged them to keep on going- to not let someone else’s opinions, narrow-mindedness, and blatant ignorance be the force of limitation for their lives.

Yes… there will be opposition, but maybe you’re facing opposition because what you are doing is of such magnitude- of such great importance, that those who oppose you are so fearful of you reaching your pinnacle, that they’ll stop at almost nothing to see you not succeed.

Importance is not some, Life’s good…I have no problems…kind of seance- no, Importance is recognizing the significance & impact that you are making and not letting up, giving in, throwing the towel, nor raising the flag.

It’s passages like this that remind me that I need to tell my children how important they are- not just to me, but to the whole world. My son is going through his first love breakup and while it’s incredibly painful to watch, I have to sit on the foot of his bed, rub his back, and remind him that maybe his boo can’t handle all of his awesomeness. His importance is irrelevant to the opinions of others.

We’ve got to remind salespeople, coworkers, & family members that some wrinkles in time are due to the fact that Life chose you…not because you’re weak, but because you are strong… Life deemed you worthy to enough-competent enough to fight this war you’re in. Not everyone can handle it…. but you can.

Whatever you face today, never underestimate your importance. The greater the opposition the greater your importance.

….Keep going.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

I remember defensively saying on the playground, “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”

Well…that’s a lie!

We can recover from the accidental sprains, tears, and breaks, but someone’s negative words toward you seem unrecoverable. Ill spoken words stain the soul- they kill your hopes, dreams, and lofty ambitions.

I’ve had loved ones, family members, and so-called “friends,” say things to me that recounting even decades later, my body’s physiology changes-altering to a perceived reality, my heart pounds, blood pressure rises, and cold sweats break out.

Whether un or intentional, we’ve all had someone mentally tear us down. They told you that you can’t make it, that you won’t achieve it, that it’s impossible, that you’re too short, too fat, too dumb, too black- that you’re from the wrong side of town and you’re just like your daddy – someone, somewhere, sometime along the way spoke those ill fated words and tried to limit you…

…one day you began to believe those words. You got tired- you grew weary and those words delivered a blow that knocked you down to life’s canvas.

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It’s hard to get up – Adversity hits you six times to your one flailing punch. It takes six positive statements to counter that one negative comment and that’s just 1…God knows I’ve had more than one negative Molotov cocktail hurled at me. And words are sneaky, one minute you’re slapping the ignorance aside and the next minute those words take its toll- like dryer sheets, those hurtful words begin to cling to your psyche and weigh you down. Battered and weary, you fall in line retorting to others when asked, Oh, I’m just hangin’ in there!

Here’s what is the truth…I believe in you….you’re a work in progress, not regress…you’re a priceless original…you’re equipped with everything you need to be successful…you can-you must…you didn’t come this far just to come this far….

There’s your 6…your six positive comments to start your day. Now while you’re dropping a load of negativity, drop the guilt, shame, & regret too. There are things I wish I would’ve done differently as a man, father, & husband- things I’m ashamed and embarrassed of but I can’t…I can’t go back and change those days, but I can change my approach to the days to come. The only thing useful about the past are the lessons I’ve learned.

There are words people spoke into your life that you can’t seem to shake….letting go is a process…it’s released through action not hollowed words. Whatever’s holding you back, chances are it’s built by others and enforced by you.You are the one holding you back, not others. Others may have said it, but it’s up to you if you choose to believe it.  Their belief doesn’t have to be your truth. Surround yourself with the right people pulling in the same direction as you…educate and empower new beliefs by immersing yourself in tons of free blogs, books, videos, & podcasts out there. Don’t waste your currency of time buying off on other’s bullshit beliefs.

You can’t take back words nor time…but you can choose what you receive and how you invest it.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

 Have you ever noticed that all head football coaches seem to say the same thing at a press conference? When boiled down, they invariably say something like “They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; we’ll be ready to play.”  That’s it! It makes you wonder why there are press conferences anyway-they give no insight into the challenges, weaknesses, fears, injuries, nor conflicts they may be internally facing. The only sound bite we get is ”They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; and we’ll be ready to play.” They do this simply because they don’t want to reveal any distinct area that could give their opponent the advantage to win. 

As a sales professional, you need to hold your own press conference every morning. You are the head coach, captain, and member of a team of 1. When you hit the ground this morning,  give yourself a sound bite that there will be opportunities mixed with challenges; effort in the face of complacency; and execution due to preparation. Stop holding press conferences for yourself and others- offering insights of your frustrations, insecurities, aggravations, and injustices-for one: your audience (i.e. other salespeople) are glad it’s you and not them and two: negative speech = negative action = negative results. Stop griping and start grinding. 
  • “They’re a good team.” Respect the fact that there will be opportunities today that will be laced with rejection, negativity, defeats, and setbacks. Don’t avoid making a mistake today-you can’t win a game in a clean uniform, instead go out there and get dirty by failing early and often-that’s where the greatest growth and opportunities are found. Ironically, at the first stain of rejection, most of your fellow salespeople will turn back and sit on the bench of mediocrity. Opportunities are only revealed to those who are willing to keep showing up. 
  • “We have our work cutout for us today.” Your opponent isn’t your customer-it’s you. It’s who you were yesterday; your choices; what you allow; what you did and didn’t do-you took a 2 hour lunch, hid in a van and watched movies, and hung out in service all day when you could’ve caught up on product knowledge, perfected your walk-arounds, and followed up with sold and unsold customers. Say to yourself, “I have met the enemy and the enemy is me-the me who says it’s good enough, maybe tomorrow, I’m going to.” 
  • “We’ll be ready to play.” Stay ready-don’t get ready. Stop reacting to your day, be your own “whether” man. Most salespeople react to the traffic (or lack thereof), weather, or the attitudes of others. Find an alternative route to your day-while they’re standing around waiting for something to happen, you go out there and make it happen. Talk to service customers who are waiting to get their oil changed; introduce yourself to the guy standing in line at the gas station, call EVERY-nice, rude, or indifferent customer you’ve worked with recently. Just like you used to throw the football up in the air and catch it in mid-stride, hurl common objections at yourself and practice smoothly overcoming them. Learn the art of persistence-most salespeople stop at the customer’s first No-practice finesse by pulling the layers of No’s back hearing the intent behind their objection so that you can offer other, more suitable alternatives. 
Sound bites are for others-insight is for you. Huddle up.
 

If you’ve ever sent a text message or an email from your smart-phone, chances are you’ve had a run in (or 10) with the power of Autosuggestion. In an effort to save you time in today’s hectic pace, computer programmers have programmed your phone to anticipate what you are about to say. Unfortunately, the programmed suggestion brought you the wrong result, because what you sent was not what you meant to say- now you’ve got to stop everything and send another email or text clarifying what you meant to say the first time. 
When you first got into sales, Autosuggestion was a benefit to you…today it’s a barricade. It was a benefit to you in the early days because you, the programmer, programmed your mind-which correlated into action, that you were going to be successful. And you were.  Every customer was worth your time-every day you had multiple appointments, you believed in your product, the dealership, and your management. You didn’t totally understand the product, process, or paradigms-you just anticipated that you would do well and you did.
Did that is… 
Today, you believe the management, customers, and products are the ones barricading your success. And you know what? You are 100% correct! They are the ones stopping you because YOU, the programmer, have programmed your mind to believe that they are barricades to your success. YOU have programmed your operating system (aka effort) to anticipate negative results. With each keystroke of negativity- the management is out of touch and unfair, customers are liars, upside down, and idiots, the Internet has taken the fun out of the selling cars, the service department can’t ever get it right, and the manufacturers are idiots because you can’t get  leather and 20” wheels on a 26C package, you are getting everything you have anticipated. 
The people, product, and processes aren’t your problem-the programming is. Change your program and you’ll change your production. 
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!
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“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” Friedrich Nietzsche German Philosopher
How many times have you set a goal only to let loose of the idea the minute adversity hits you? As Nietzche relates, the reason why you don’t accomplish your goal is because you’re inflexible in your path yet flexible on your goal. For instance, let’s say your goal is to break out of your 8 car shell and sell 15 cars this month- a few days later you  find yourself backing back into your 8 car garage again. Like putting your hand on a hot stove, the reason why you’re stuck in your career is because you’re inflexible to your comfort zone-the minute you feel the discomfort,  pain, and setbacks, you immediately drop the notion of doubling your sales output and fall back into the warmth of familiarity.  
If you want the taste of success, then you must become dyslexic in the way that you eat it- flip your inflexible/flexible mindset around. Be tenacious and lock into your goal, yet remain adaptively flexible to the adversity that comes against you. Like everyone, you’ll have setbacks, rollbacks, turndowns, rejections, and misfortunes this month-every month for that matter, but what separates extraordinary salespeople from ordinary ones is that EXTRAordinary salespeople don’t allow adversities to have any permanence in their career. Ordinary salespeople hold onto unforeseen, uncontrollable circumstances-thus letting go of their goals and sinking their month, while extraordinary salespeople handle the adversities by learning how to manage the setbacks (flexible) while still moving forward toward their goal (inflexible).
Don’t adapt the goal to the path; adapt the path to the goal. 
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!
  

Today’s Treasure Is Tomorrow’s Trash

Most people fill a position, punch a clock, and collect a paycheck. Salespeople face the fear, find the opportunity, and earn a commission. I’m glad I ain’t like most….