Posts Tagged ‘salespeople’

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.

This weekend is absolutely gorgeous- cool temperatures & blue skies…days like this call for a good chicken & sausage gumbo. As I was leaving to run some errands, I saw a guy wiping down his car. Two hours later, he was still out there wiping down his car. He was meticulous about everything- he even wiped the wheel wells, & the trunk and engine compartment- he spent hours to make sure his car was on point.

What I found interesting is he was such a perfectionist on his car, but when it came to his well being, he was not. With chammy in hand, he had a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, 22 oz. Bud off to the side, & his pot belly was an indication he hadn’t worked out in years- if ever at all.

My question is this…what if he was just as concerned-hell, what if he treated himself half as good as his sports car? If he did, I’d venture to say he’d probably be around longer to enjoy it.

To show the world we’ve made it- that we’re “successful,” we’ll give our health up in the process. Marketers know this…they’re constantly hurling messages at us to wear this, drink that, & drive this one, and we fall right into their bait. We’ll sleep and work out less, work longer hours, extra shifts, swipe a few extra times to impress people we don’t even like.

Treat yourself better than the things you want to buy. Don’t treat your well being like a clearance item- foregoing tomorrow’s security for today’s insatiability.

There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, but at the risk of losing yourself emotionally, physically, and financially, ain’t worth it. Just go to a garage sale- look in your attic, closet, garage, and storage units at all the crap you “had to have.” When dissolving my marriage, I had to do a detailed descriptive list of all of the valuables in my home…by the time it was all said and done, thousands of dollars and years of finance charges, those “valuables” wouldn’t even equal a full month’s paycheck.

You’re already a millionaire. Scientists have noted that if they put a price tag on all of your key body parts it would be valued at over $10 million. Sports franchises know this- why do you think they have the best equipment and dietitians? You damn right they’re going to protect and nurture their multi-million dollar investments.

There are some areas of your health, once taken too far, no amount of money will buy it back. Taking care of yourself is cheap- compared to stints, surgeries, rehab, and big and tall sizes. I know a portly guy who spends $300 for each dress shirt- his flesh only touches the fine labels…me? Man I’ll rock a $30 dress shirt with a $10 bow tie and swag it out. I can pull it off because I work my ass off to look & feel better- and because of the investment in myself, I carry myself with more confidence on the cheap cheap.

Your greatest expense should be on the greatest brand ever created…

Brand You.

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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!

janitor

When my daughter MacKenzie says her prayers at night, I let her free flow-whoever and whatever she wants to pray for, I let her roll. One night as she was praying, she prayed for a name that I’d never heard before-his name was “Mr. Vic.” When I asked her who “Mr. Vic” was, she told me that he was the janitor at her school. “I’m praying for him, because he’s always nice to me,” she said. The other day Mack forgot her lunch, so I told her I would drop it off on my way to work. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into her school and placed her Lunchable on the table next to the lunchroom entrance alongside of a half dozen other kids who forgot their lunch too.  As I whirled around a man mopping the school’s floors, stopped swaying the mop from side to side and with a big, toothy grin, asked me how was I doing?  In a rush, I smiled back and told him I was doing fine and in turn, asked him how he was doing, but I didn’t have time nor the inclination to wait for his answer. As I waved goodbye to the ladies in the school’s front office it hit me, the man I had just spoken to in the hallway was Mr. Vic.

Turning around I walked back down the hallway and asked him, “Are you Mr. Vic?” he smiled and said that he was and as I shook his hand I said,  “Thank you for what you do, Mr. Vic.”  Stopping his mop, he pridefully looked around and said, “Oh, I’m just trying to keep it looking good around here.” “No,” I said, “Thank you for what you do while you’re here.”  I went on to tell him how my daughter prayed for him and that I appreciated how nice he was to her. “Sir, I’ve been here a long time, but I’m not here for the money-I’ve been offered opportunities to work at other places for way more money, but I don’t feel like that’s the position I’m supposed to be in. Maybe one day, but right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My position is right here with these kids.”
Life is a blur and then we die. It becomes a blur because, we’re so focused on titles that we give no thought at all to our position in life. We’re so fixated on how the words printed below our name on our business card read; so hellbent on trying to schmooze with certain people, so adamant about rubbing elbows with a certain others, and are so seemingly obsessed with who we can step on, beat out, or crossover in our quest for a title, that we’ve lost sight of the most impactful part of our lives..our position.
If not today, one day you could find yourself wearing a title that you don’t care for-maybe you’re working for someone that you feel is inferior to your skills and expertise; perhaps you’re being asked to shoulder more responsibility with no more pay; or it’s conceivable that you find yourself standing in the ashes of a once promising career-for years you climbed the ladder of success-literally sacrificing everything, only to find yourself today back on the bottom rung having to start all over again.
Ground zero is where most people stall in life and ask, “Why?” Why was I passed over for this promotion? Why am I the one singled out to do more work while others stand around and get the credit? Why did injustice prevail and ruin my life? People who ask why park in life and become bitter; people who ask while move forward in life and become better.
The better question is to ask, “What do I do while I’m in this position?”
  • If you work for someone who you feel is inferior to your level of expertise and knowledge, your job is to make them look better. You have to understand this one position is not the end game in life unless you allow it to be. Use your vantage point to not only shore up their areas of weaknesses but also to gain a bird’s eye education into the pressures and decisions that they must make on a daily basis. If they’re poor at building relationships, you help build it for them; if they’re unorganized, you keep them on task; if they’re short sighted, you help them set the long-term vision. Stop competing for their title and begin completing their position. Not only will you earn her trust, but also you’ll build the morale of the  entire store. Remember, you’re teaching those who work under you how they should think and act. If you want it done to you, do it to others; if you want it done for you, do it for others.
  • If you keep getting volunteered for more work, shut up and do it. It’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Don’t think like those who want to get the most for doing the least. Learning and teaching a new skill keeps you out of your comfort zone, raises your level of expertise, and makes you more valuable. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to occur to decide that you need to raise your game. Stay ready, don’t get ready.
  • If you find yourself back on the bottom rung in life…you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I worked hard and lived fast until in 2008 I lost it all. I was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt and had to start all over again. With my ego stripped, my position removed, and my hope lost I was scorched earth. But out of the ashes come new growth. It was at that time that I had to take responsibility for my life, put my feet back in the stirrups, and ride life’s horse again. I learned how to appreciate the good times and the bad; I realized that I could never be satisfied with what I already knew, and I had to lean on God to remind me that I still had more to give and much more to do. What you’re reading is my position..it is my testimony to let you know that you are not alone.
When you leave a room or leave this world what will be said about you? Obituaries are for titles-all the awards you amassed, all of the boards you sat on; all of the ribbon cutting ceremonies you attended will be printed on that piece of paper. But eulogies are for position. What will your eulogy be? What impact did you make for those you were around? Use your position to friend the porter who eats alone at lunch; use your position to encourage the accounting clerk who can barely pay rent and day care; use your position to develop the salesperson whose last resort is the car business.
Why’s not the question. While is. Use your position to go make an impact. They’re waiting on you…
Thank you, Mr. Vic.

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alone on deck

Showing up today matters.
It matters that you show up on time for work.
It matters-even if it’s 2 words or 2 sentences- that you find something worth writing down today that will help shape you into becoming better than you  were before you captured it.
It matters how quick and how many customers you are willing to get in front of today.
It matters that you are brave enough to pick up the phone and risk hearing a customer reject you instead of hiding behind a text message.
It matters that you ask your customer optimistic building questions instead of pessimistic, narrowing ones.
It matters that your customers demo the vehicle.
It matters that you write your customers up.
It matters that you persistently press forward beyond the 1rst, third, and 4th No.
It matters that you turn your customers over to let a fresh face help you.
It matters that you follow through after the sale-you not only need your clients to make your month, you need them to make your career.
It matters that you remain walking with your customers during the frustrating moments-the moments when the warranty they paid $2500 for won’t cover the repair.
It matters that you follow up and stay in touch with your customers’ lives not their wallets.
It matters that you help others regardless of what’s in it for you.
It matters that you’re willing to be a student of your profession.
You showing up today matters because everything you do (or don’t do) is significant to the outcome of your day, month, year, career, and your life.
(Yes, your life.)
What you do matters, but the emphasis of those matters have the wrong meaning.
When a customer hangs up on you…
When a customer won’t get out of the car and give you a chance to help them…
When a customer gets annoyed because you can’t tell them a price or tell them what their trade is worth in the first 30 seconds of meeting them….
When a customer won’t demo…
When a customer refuses to come inside “for your business card”…
When a customer  jumps across the street and buys from your competitor because you didn’t turn them over…
When a customer goes off on you because you dropped the ball while their car was in service…
When a customer won’t return your phone calls…
When a customer gets cold feet after agreeing to buy…
Failing matters, but it doesn’t give a meaning to what you are worth.
The ill moments-the moments when you screwed up, blew up, got yelled at, or were left standing alone should be tied to matters of the day not meanings of your heart.  What you do has to matter-showing up today, facing the giants in your life, has to be worth it…if it’s not worth it, don’t show up. Pivot and find something worth showing up for. What you do today has got to be so significant- so important to you, that the implications of what you do is higher than the outcome that it may produce. 
 
The outcomes only define how well you did something- they don’t define who you are or what you’re worth.  
 
Rejection is a lesson in self-education not self-worth. Use the losses, defeats, setbacks, and almosts as education not excuses. While circumstances are the banality of most, you forge ahead, working and reworking today’s defeats into tomorrow’s victories.  Sure rejection hurts- we don’t like the sting of hearing NO and the stains that it internally leaves behind;  we don’t like the fact that we poured out two hours of our best efforts only to have our customer go down the road to save a few hundred bucks. Rejection hurts, but you must not let it kill you.
Rejection has matter not meaning- the significance of what you do and how you do it matters. How much you’re willing to give to that matter is what has meaning.
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.

Getting into my truck this weekend, my daughter reminded me that I had not taken the picture that she drew for me to work. “I want you to take this picture to work,” she said, “that way, when you look at it, you’ll think of me.”

This got me to thinking…in sales, have you lost your picture?

image

As of late, the New England Patriots have been under fire for allegedly playing with under-inflated footballs. Playing with under-inflated footballs allows the quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs a better grip. When under-inflated, quarterbacks have more control when throwing and running backs and receivers are able to catch and carry the ball better. (Especially in inclement weather.)

Having an under-inflated ball definitely has its advantages. 

 
For those in the sales profession, I suggest that you always keep your balls under-inflated. From your triumphant highs to your darkest lows; from your string of runs of those who say yes to those who rollback, bought elsewhere, or the deals you have to split. 

You have to keep things in perspective because you’re never as good as you think you are nor as bad as they say. You will have good days and bad, but no matter how high you are sailing or how often you keep failing, keep your moments under-inflated and maintain your grip on life.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.