Posts Tagged ‘success’

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!

What? not Why!

Posted: October 21, 2015 in Sales Success
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The most important question you can ask yourself today is, “What can I learn from this?” As in life, most of your ideas you are selling today are going to get rejected by customers. When we get told No, we take it personally and begin to ask the wrong  questions.  With a defeated mindset, we ask questions such as, “What’s wrong with me?” “Have I lost my touch?” “Is my reign of good fortune over? (Maybe I need to move on)” These questions create chatter in your mind that begin to subtract from your self-confidence and personal growth. 

In no time you’ve kicked yourself down Losers Lane and have to begin a personal crusade to fight back to your ground zero.  Thus the cycle begins- we hack away until we get back to “normal,” then the tides turn- things don’t go our way- we lose our “hot hand,” we doubt, verbally beat ourselves up, feel defeated, and abort our efforts choosing to sit and sulk instead of standing back up and swinging.  Sound familiar? 

When the shift hits the fan and things don’t seem to be going your way- when the reigns of success try to turn cloudy and rain self-doubt and pity, catch yourself and ask, “What can I learn from this: split deal, customer bought elsewhere, deal couldn’t get bought or blew out of finance, or they came back but didn’t ask for me?” Find the lessons and make adjustments not excuses. That line of questioning will keep you in a growth, forward moving mindset. 

No retreat, no surrender- forever I’ll be selling. 
I’m proud of you!  
I’ll see you out there on the Blacktop. 

lonely-old-man1

It’s painful….

  • It’s painful to have the last 4 customers in a row tell you NO.
  • It’s painful to have a deal slip right through your fingers-they agreed to everything only to have a family member show up and queer the deal.
  • It’s painful to believe a customer is “coming right back” only to find their right back was not at your dealership.
  • It’s painful to hear that a customer that you spent 2 hours with yesterday bought elsewhere today.
  • It’s painful to stay late putting a deal together-to miss seeing your children before they go to sleep only to have the deal roll back in the morning.
  • It’s painful to have a customer drive off on you because you couldn’t tell him your “rock bottom price.”
  • It’s painful to have a customer come back, but not want to work with you.
  • It’s painful to see other salespeople selling cars all around you.
  • It’s painful to have second guessed catching that Up that turned into a deal.
  • It’s painful to have a customer hang up in your face.
  • It’s painful to not be able to lure a customer inside with the the “come on in and I’ll get you my business card” close.
  • It’s painful to hear your manager scorn that you’re not demo’ing, writing up, nor convincing enough customers to buy-punctuated up with, “You’d better figure this out real quick” threat.
  • It’s painful to not be able to even sell your best friend.
  • It’s painful to show a customer a note twice as much as what they’re paying now.
  •  It’s painful to hear people tell you that you’ll never make it in this business.
  • It’s painful to wake up in the morning-feet throbbing, back sore, and forehead blistered from standing in the sun all day every day.
  • It’s painful to hear your mind screaming that you’re not cut out for this, that you’ve lost your touch, that you should go to lunch and never come back.
  • It’s painful to have to start at zero every single month!
It’s painful…
I know…
But it’s not experiencing the pain that counts…
It’s not just you, we’ve all experienced these pains.
But it’s what you do with these painful experiences that matter.
They matter because you can either let the pain define why you can’t do, won’t be, and shouldn’t have…
Or you can allow the pain to refine your talents, shape your character, and form your destiny.
Success is painful…
It’s supposed to be-if it weren’t you’d never think; if you didn’t think then you’d never fight; if you never fought, you’d never learn; if you never learned, you’d never grow.
Experiencing pain is temporary-that’s called failure….
Avoiding pain is permanent-that’s called regret. 
Most people get to the end of life recollecting not of their failures…
They reminisce over their regrets.
Don’t ever get to the end saying, “I should’ve…”
Face the pain, saying, “I did.”
I’d rather try and fail than succeed at not trying.
I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.
MB

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If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes in sales, then you’ve likely cried out, “These customers are wasting my time,” more times than you’d like to admit. And you know what? You’re right, they are a waste of your time. Here’s why:

  • You hold a grudge: Newsflash: When you show up to work today (and everyday after that), you will fail more often than you succeed. Now that you know that you will fail 70-80% of the time, what are you so scared of? If you’re going to fail, do it well and do it often. Failures are tragic only when you are unwilling to go out and fail again. What distinguishes great salespeople from the average ones is their ability to move on. Whether you make a sale or you don’t, hold it loosely-when we win we celebrate too often and when we loose, we commiserate too long. As the ancient saying goes, “Pray, but move your feet.”
 
  • You hold a gavel and not a brush: It seems as though we as salespeople attain our professorship in Sales-ology right around the 30 day mark. After about a month of getting screamed at for walking a customer, presenting numbers without a commitment, and sprinkling gallons of be-back dust all over our customers without success (the be-back dust must’ve been expired), we become jaded and cynical. I remember my first month in the car business; I  filled a 3 subject notebook full of customer’s names and phone numbers, their desired vehicle, what they were trading, what they did for a living, their hobbies- I was like a courtroom stenographer; anything I could think of I wrote it down. I thought I was going to be different…wrong! The more customers that didn’t show up, bought elsewhere,  lied to me, or hung up in my face, the more cynical I became. At one time, I was so cynical I didn’t even cover my draw-I couldn’t pay rent nor the day care, and my truck note was already 2 months past due. Athletes, writers, musicians, and yes, even salespeople are artists. Selling is your muse. Not every play will result in a touchdown, not every book is a best seller, not every song is a #1 hit, nor will every Up will result in a sale. Every day, every encounter with a prospect is an opportunity for you to create another masterpiece. Put down the gavel and pick up the brush-use your experience to work with your customers more efficiently, not judgmentally. Navigation systems efficiently follow roads not trails. If you were driving to Disney World, sure you could try to save time by driving though someone’s pasture, but eventually you’ll wind up stuck or in a ditch. If you want to find sustained success, find the disciplined roads and skip the trails. 
 
  • You’ve got to max out: Customer’s are a waste of your time if you don’t maximize their possibilities. Selling cars is physically easy, yet mentally tough. Not asking enough questions to uncover what and why your customer is in the market will lead to you looking like you’re trying to catch chickens in your back yard-before you know it your customers are all over the place leaving you mentally exhausted and frustrated (Which is precisely the time that you throw in the towel and cry to anyone who will listen that they are wasting your time). When you are working with a customer, do not give up until you’ve exhausted every possible opportunity: switching them from New to Used (I know the used car has 60,000 miles but let them say no, not you.), or Used to New (New rebates will help them with their negative equity situation.), more down payment and why (When you ask for [more] down payment, customers think of us as extortionists. Explain to them why more down payment is needed and how it will benefit them in the long run.), or adjust trim levels and option packages (Don’t say, “You need to be on a base model,” instead say, ” We need to adjust the package to get you closer to where you are trying to be.”). Just like exercising, the harder you are willing to push yourself, the greater the gains. 
 
  • You need books not lines: Legendary Coach Paul Brown said, “You can learn a line from a win, and book from a defeat.” The greatest injustice you can give to yourself is not drawing the lessons from your defeats. Instead of eulogizing with a bunch of other salespeople, who are glad it was you who “wasted time” and not them, recycle your defeats for fuel toward the next win. Sure there are people who want you to sell a car for $3000 below invoice; I know you printed out and showed your customers book values and market averages, but they still want retail for their car-stop getting hung up on the ten percenters. Don’t allow 10% of irrational people to screw up the other 90% of people who need your help. You are worth every dollar you ask for-act like it. After every encounter, ask yourself how could you have done better? (Every encounter, sale or no sale, can be improved.)  How could you have handled the phone call, demo, write-up, negotiation, or after sale service call better? Be absolutely honest with yourself to discover the miscues and missteps and make the mental adjustments needed in preparation for the next opportunity.  What the customer didn’t do isn’t the issue; what you could’ve done better is.
 
If you hold on to grudges, aren’t thinking creatively, not exhausting every possible option, nor learning from your mistakes, the customer’s aren’t wasting your time, you’re wasting theirs. 
 
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop. 

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Success isn’t about what you feel like doing, it’s about what you feel like being.

Marsh Buice