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Monday, April 27, 2015

The Best Job In The World!

I have the best and most rewarding career in the world.  Helping others become more successful.  I have been a full time speaker and sales trainer since 1992.  My paycheck is not only the money I am paid, but more importantly, the gratitude, testimonials and success stories I receive as a result of my training, encouragement and services.

I have had sales people take me aside at some of my seminars and tell me the only reason they stayed in sales was because of something they heard at one of my seminars 10, 15, or even 20 years ago.  I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me.  I can't begin to tell you how much that motivates me to keep going.  Selling has never been an easy road for anyone to travel.  You have to be able to keep going in the face of setbacks, uncertainties, fears and doubts.

After years and years of working with some of the most successful sales people in the country, I boiled selling down to the skills required for success.

If I had to choose one - the single most important skill is attitude.  The majority of sales people have a pretty good attitude, but only the top performers know that selling is a state of mind.  And once you realize that your state of mind is totally under your control, things will start to happen.

I am going to share with you the secret of top performing sales professionals.  Many people don’t want you to know this secret because it is so powerful.  This secret has been used all through history by kings, presidents, religious leaders, big companies, TV shows, advertisers, politicians, parents, coaches and teachers.  It is also used by gang leaders, drug pushers, criminals, bullies, thieves and even the friends you hang out with.

Here it is...

Nearly every minute of the day you are being motivated to do things.  How?  By the words and pictures you put in your mind or allow people to put in your mind.

The repetition of positive or negative words and pictures day after day begins to affect you, for good or for bad.  Your mind motivates you do the things that the words and pictures represent.

The Boy Scout Oath, the Girl Scout oath, the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, the prayers, quotes and affirmations you are taught are all forms of putting words and images in your mind.

Marketing companies who motivate you to buy things use words, pictures and commercials that make you want to buy them.  Politicians use words and pictures to make you want to vote for them.  Drug pushers use words and pictures to make you buy drugs and get high.

Once these words and pictures are used to motivate you to do certain things, and you continue to do them, they become habits and you become controlled by them.  Once the habit becomes stronger and stronger it becomes very difficult to change.   Maybe someone can make you do things, and maybe they can’t.  But one thing is for certain.  You will “DO THINGS” and whether you end up a great success, or you end up "average," it will be because of the things you motivated yourself to do with the images and words you used to program your mind and attitude.

When your order and read the More Gross Profit book you will be taking the first step to program your mind for success in sales.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Sunday, April 19, 2015

You have to be 9 times better...

If you are trying to sell a new prospect who has been loyal to a competitor and buying from them for years, you have to be 9 times better than their current supplier. 

But wait, it is not as hard as it sounds.

There are nine things customers consider buying before buying from a new vendor.  If you can show your customer that you are 2 or 3 percent better in each area you stand a much better chance of getting your foot in the door.

If you are not sure how you stand, research each item on the list and make a camparison grid with you and your competitors.  Similar to what you might find on a software box.

(1) Consistency
(2) Arrives in Good Condition
(3) Problems Fixed Quickly
(4) Operating Cost Savings
(5) Company Stability
(6) Fewer Headaches
(7) Knowledgeable Sales Rep
(8) Company with a good Reputation
(9) You have to be likeable

What does this mean? 

When you have reached the point in the development of a new prospect to make a presentation, include these 9 "reasons why" and show how you are better in each one.

PS: Did you know there is a More Gross Profit audio program?  It has three times the amount of information that is in the book.  It is divided into 13 audio files that you can download and listen on your smart phone.  The normal price is $59, but you can download it right now for only $29. 

Click here to purchase the More Gross Profit audio program.

CAUTION - If you do purchase the audio program don't listen to it all at once.  It should be spaced out over 13 weeks, listening to one mp3 file per week.  You will make 100 times your money back in 90 days.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Monday, April 13, 2015

When you lower your price - try this...

Don't keep lowering your price without asking for something in return.  You will make it too easy for the buyer to keep asking.   When you give in to one of the requests such as price reduction, marketing money, extra services, etc., what should go through your mind? "If I do that for the customer, what can I ask the customer to do for me?” 

This is your attitude, not your actual statement. Negotiating as a seller is not the same as negotiating as a buyer.  If you get tough and walk away, at the end of the day you haven't sold anything.  Most of the negotiating strategies are designed for buyers and must be adjusted if used by a person trying to make a sale.

Many people complain that customers today have no loyalty.  "Show a customer how to save money on a certain item and they will shop around to see if it can be purchased cheaper from a competitor."  If customers are not loyal, perhaps it is because when you give everything you have, you don't ask for anything in return. Trading builds a relationship.  Giving and taking are part of selling; they are part of the process and not a sign of weakness! 

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

1.  Don't be shy about asking for something in return when a customer asks you for a price discount.  If it is done in a spirit of cooperation they will not take offence.  You are not doing anybody favors by giving away something for nothing - the customer will not respect you and you hurt your own self respect. 

2.  Never give up anything without getting something in return even if what you get seems trivial.  The customer offers to buy the floor model of the coffee machine at a reduced price.  You, instead of lowering the price, offer a one year free service agreement. 

3.  The customer requests a lower price on a specific item. You offer a 3% discount if they double their order. 

4.  The customer complains that the price is too high.  You offer to sell your higher quality product line at a slightly lower price.  Explain to the customer that the higher quality is an investment in their customer satisfaction.

5.  Whenever lowering your price, never go down in equal increments. Each time you go down on your price ask for an additional line item or something in return.

If customers are not loyal, perhaps it is because when you give everything you have, you don't ask for anything in return. Trading builds a relationship.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What is the best approach to problems?

"You don't understand - my company has some big problems and it makes my job really tough!" Pick up the Sunday paper or go on line, go to the classified section and find a job that has no problems. If it is there - they don't need you. A company with problems is a company with opportunities!

A problem is a chance for you to show your best. There are people who spend all their time reinforcing obstacles. Office politics. Perceived defects in the product or service. Impossibly tough competition. Endless personal problems. Unfair commission schedules. We all have problems.

A persistent negative outlook will not only make it difficult for coworkers and supervisors to work with you--it will make it difficult for customers to work with you.

It's common to hear a salesperson complain, "you don't understand how much is expected of us here."

The goals of most sales managers are usually pretty clear-cut: get good results from the staff. If you're not making sales, complaining about everything is only going to compound the problem. Not only will you be wasting valuable time you could be using to talk to new customers, but you'll also lose the perspective you need to identify and resolve the problems you're having.

Many companies have had the experience of having a salesperson perform poorly in a certain territory, complaining that "the market is saturated". Take that person off the territory, put someone else on it, and sales take off.

Usually, the first salesperson focuses on limitations, while the new sales person brings no preconceptions to the territory, and sees fresh opportunities as a result.

The best approach to problems is to become part of the solution. Leaving one company because of problems and going to another is a trade off for new problems. No one likes to be around someone with a negative attitude. Carrying around negativity drags you down and keeps you from moving full speed ahead. A persistent positive attitude can cancel the negative one's.

It takes much more work to remain positive than negative. Negativity in the work environment can spread like a cancer. It starts with one member and quickly moves to other members until the whole office or company is infected. Obstacles will always be a permanent fixture of everyday life, but the bright side is there are ways around them. Satisfaction comes from being victorious over those obstacles.

Years ago I had a customer tell me that he was going to leave and go to a competitor.   When I asked why he told me all the things that were wrong with my company.   After he told me I realized that I was the one who told him all those things.   A good lesson about saying something negative about your own company - it will always come back to bite you.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Your customers are smart

Your customers are smarter than you think they are. They realize that you can't be all things to all people.  When you are honest about what you can't do the trust they have in you goes up.

Here is an example.

A test was conducted on the advertising of five products. They ran two ads - one that said they had superiority in all five products and another ad that claimed superiority in three of the five.  Which one do you think did better?  The advertisement that exposed their weakness did much better.

Why?  Customers have become numb to selling pitches and marketing that promises miracle cures. When you make a statement like "this may not be the product for you" your credibility has increased.  The customer has more trust in you.

I know.  I know.  This sounds like the old joke about the sales person who says "you don't want to buy anything today, do you?"  This is different.  This is admitting that you can't deliver the moon.  This is being honest.  This is building trust.  And people will only buy from people they trust!

When you honestly state a weakness, you are actually helping your customer make a good decision.  They will believe you when you tell them what you CAN do.

The advertisement used by Chevy a while ago is a good example.  Chevy compares itself with Honda and says they are superior in five models except one.  Chevy does not make lawn mowers and Honda does.  In their example they use it with humor, however, I don't think they realize how powerful the technique could be if they used it with a tone of seriousness.  The fact that Chevy could be big enough to admit that they are highly superior in certain models while admitting that they are not the leader in one or two categories (with justifiable reasons) their believability would be higher. 

When there is even a small doubt in your mind about whether the product is right for them, let your customer know.  Let the customer know you will be personally checking to make sure that your product does the job and the customer is happy with the purchase.

Remember, you can't sell anybody anything.  The harder you try the more the resistance goes up.  What you CAN do is help them make a good decision. You want your customer for the long haul, not just the immediate sale that will come back to bite you.  Especially if you over promise and under deliver.

As a professional speaker, I have turned down plenty of opportunities because I didn't feel I was the right fit.  Of course I had to learn this the hard way.  I teach sales negotiating.  How to make more money by giving more value.  I once accepted a speaking engagement for a government agency that really didn't understand the profit concept.  Needless to say, I didn't connect with the audience.  I now know better.  It is not worth the paycheck when you leave knowing that you blew it. 

So when something comes along that is not a good fit, I let them know and they have much more faith and trust in me. Somehow turning it down always seems to come back in good way. 

I can't teach the government how to make better deals, but I can sure teach YOU how to increase your sales and profits in these challenging times.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

The secret spice of success

Colonel Sanders owned a restaurant that seated 142 people in Corbin, Kentucky, where he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique that is still used today.

In 1950 a new interstate highway was planned to bypass the town of Corbin. Seeing an end to his business, the Colonel closed his restaurant and auctioned off his equipment. After paying his bills he was broke at the age of 65.  He was reduced to living on his $105 Social Security checks.

Confident of the quality of his fried chicken, the Colonel devoted himself to the chicken franchising business that he started in 1952. He traveled across the country by car visiting thousands of restaurants, cooking batches of chicken for the owners and their employees. If the reaction was favorable, he entered into a handshake agreement on a deal that stipulated a payment to him of a nickel for each chicken the restaurant sold.

By 1964, Colonel Sanders had 600 franchised outlets for his chicken in the United States and Canada. That year, he sold his interest in the company for $2 million to a group of investors. The Colonel remained a public spokesman for the company until he died in 1980.  In 1976, an independent survey ranked the Colonel as the world's second most recognizable celebrity.

What does Colonel Sanders have to do with you? 

Everything!

It took Colonel Sanders 12 years to sell 600 people on his "nickel a chicken" concept.  Let's do the math.

That is 50 sales per year, or one per week.  To sell one per week he would have to make 5 presentations per week.  Remember, that's the most anybody can sell on their first call - 20%.  If you happen to have a run on sales and sell 30%, you will have a dry spell where you sell only 10%.

Five presentation per week is 250 per year.  Over a 12 year period that is a whopping 3,000 presentations!  I am sure that after he sold a certain number himself he hired someone to make the presentations.  But still, it is one heck of an accomplishment!

And remember, he did this from age 65 to 77.

What do you think was going through his mind when 4 out of 5, or 8 out of 10 prospects turned him down.  Knowing people the way I do, I'm sure some thought he was a joke, some told him to get lost, some told him he couldn't be serious.  "A NICKLE A CHICKEN? WHERE DID YOU EVER COME UP WITH A CRAZY IDEA LIKE THAT?"

Do you think The Colonel felt insecure and worried about what he was trying to do?  Do you think that when he was alone at night in his hotel in some strange town with his cooking equipment and spices, he had doubts about being able to get people to pay him as agreed?

I think you know the answer.  And that brings us to you.

One of the hardest things to overcome is the feeling of insecurity when you are selling on commission for a living.  Without the security of a guaranteed income your thoughts are continually interrupted by fears of failure, rejection and “what people will think if I don’t make it.”

This is serious for the person going through it.  If you are on commission and only get paid when you make a sale, or in your own business and are totally responsible for earning an income, it is easy to have visions of not being able to pay your expenses.  And sometimes you CAN'T pay your expenses and you have to deal with that as well.

The obvious solution most people will give you is to control your attitude - easy to say and does not really offer a solution.  A positive attitude is the end result you are trying to achieve.

There are many short-term programs that give you a temporary relief such as “self talk”, repeating affirmations and listening to motivation tapes.  These activities are helpful, however, they are not dealing with the core of the problem.

The question is; how do you keep moving forward with a positive attitude when you feel insecure and unsure of yourself?  This insecure feeling causes you to look into the future with apprehension no matter how hard you try to think positive.  You still see negative results from the effort you are putting forth today.

You are not convinced that if you do the right things over and over again you will achieve the results you want.  You can try affirmations by saying over and over to yourself, “I will make the sale”, “I will get the new account” and still end up with negative results.  Why?  Because even as you say the words and visualize the results, you don’t really expect it to happen!   You don’t get what you want, what you wish for, what you think about, what you visualize or what you affirm.  You get what you expect.

Let’s say you wanted to have a back up cash reserve of $25,000 in the bank.  You could affirm to yourself “I have a bank account with $25,000 in it.”  You could write it down as a “written goal.”  You could think “positive” about it.  And still – nothing happens.

Why?   Because you really don’t expect it to happen!  You don't BELIEVE.  You might feel good about it for a short time.  But after a few weeks it will fade away. Reality will overtake you and you will file your $25,000 bank account idea away as a wish or a daydream or “it would be nice.”

You have also reinforced the concept that affirmations, goal setting, positive thinking and visualization don’t work.   The next time you try to get something you want it becomes even more difficult because you not only have to overcome your current feelings of doubt and fear – you also have to deal with your past.  “I’ve tried this before – it didn’t work out – but I’ll give it another shot”. Then, no matter how hard you try, deep down inside you don’t really expect it to happen and you are right - It doesn't.

You get what you expect.  Nothing more - nothing less.  If you want to increase your sales you have to really EXPECT IT TO HAPPEN.

There is only ONE THING that builds expectations – ACTION – doing something productive.

I think the secret Colonel Sanders used to overcome the feeling of insecurity that every human being feels was his DECISION TO KEEP GOING.  Every morning he got up and presented his "nickel a chicken" concept to another restaurant.  AND 4 OUT OF 5 TOLD HIM TO GET LOST!

There is a big lesson that Colonel Sanders taught us. The Colonel's secret to sales is action.  Picking up the phone and making the call, asking for the order at the price you want, writing the letter, or sending a follow up card.

That is the secret spice of success - action.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com


Sunday, April 5, 2015

How long does it take to become a success in sales

Why do I feel like telling them to take this job and shove it?  Why am I all stressed out at the end of each selling day? More than likely it is because you haven't done your time. You haven't done your three years.

After three years in sales you will begin to feel confident.  After five years it is very unlikely that you will ever want to do anything else for a living.

Take a walk through any bookstore - look at the success section. Most of the titles hint on the idea that your success is guaranteed instantly if you follow their formula.

Turn on the TV. During a commercial break notice how fast you can lose your headache - 15 seconds!  These fast results create an unrealistic time frame for success in sales. When it doesn’t happen instantly you get stressed out. You begin to think you are not cut out for selling. You get a bad attitude. You think about quitting.

Ask yourself this question. “How long do I think it will take to become a true professional in sales?"  See how close you come to three years.

How do you make it through those long three years? It takes short term and long term planning to be successful at anything. Careful planning will develop persistence.

Start now. Commit yourself to a daily schedule. Do it one day at a time. Plan tomorrow the evening before. Prioritize your daily objectives. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish. Rank them in the order of their importance.  Be persistent with this excersize.

Set a 90 day sales goal.  Work towards it every day.  Don't look beyond 90 days - just focus on your first step.  After you reach it - set another 90 day sales goal.  Once you repeat the process 12 times you will be there.

Focus on today. On Friday evening or Saturday morning, prepare your schedule for the week to come. Don't feel you have to account for every minute of every one of the next five days. Block out your scheduled appointments and meetings so you have a good solid overview of what you are doing.

Prepare for each call you are going to make.  By attending to daily scheduling matters you will have more confidence. Your self-esteem will go up. By comparing your actual results with your plan, you'll increase your time-effectiveness. At the end of the day you will feel great.

You won't feel like telling them to take this job and shove it! You will actually start having a good time.

For more information visit www.BobOros.com

Goal setting - What's the point

What is the one thing that keeps you from making sales, keeps you worrying about business, and keeps you feeling insecure?

I am going to identify it but first, let me assure you, everyone is affected by it.  Regardless of how long you have been in sales or how many setbacks you have to face.

Here is the hardest thing you have to do.  You have to see in your mind not the way things are, but the way things can become.

This is easy to do when things are going along smooth.  When customers are buying, progress is being made and things are looking pretty good.  When you are in the "success frame of mind" it is easy to see all the possibilities.  However, when you are up against tough times is when you are tested.  That is when you really find out how difficult it is to see things the way you want them to become.  Especially when you look around and you are in a seemingly impossible situation.

The law of nature insists that you grow.  When you are growing and improving you are naturally positive and excited about what you are doing.  However, when you run into an obstacle and you go backwards, just the opposite takes place.  All of a sudden you see yourself filled with apprehension and failure.

Lets see how good of a sales person you really are.  Lets see if you can make a sale to yourself.  Let's see if you can design and present a program to yourself that will get you excited about sales in spite of what everyone is saying about the economy.

Here is a common mistake most people make when they lay out a program for themselves, which you may be guilty of as well.  You have been focusing on the FEATURES when you set your goals.  The FEATURES are boring.  The FEATURES will never get you excited. You have to give yourself a BENEFIT presentation!

In case you are not clear on the difference between a FEATURE and a BENEFIT, a feature is a fact about the product or service, a benefit is what it does.

For example the feature of a Ford Truck is that it has a V10 450 horse power engine. The benefit is that it will pull a 10,000 pound trailer up a steep hill with ease.  The BENEFIT is SEEING yourself driving the truck and pulling your RV or boat up the hill without any trouble.

Personal goal setting is important.  What is even more important are the BENEFITS you will personally receive once your objectives are reached.

Here's what I mean.  Owning your home free and clear is not a goal, but a benefit of reaching your sales and commission objective.

The extra money you want to put in your retirement account is not a goal, it is the benefit of reaching your sales objective.

Paying off your credit cards is not a goal, but a benefit of reaching your sales objective.

You talk to your customers about the benefits of your products and services - why not make the same case for selling yourself on your own personal success?  Why do you want to be successful?

Lack of goal setting is rarely a problem. You either set them yourself, or your company sets them for you. Goals in themselves rarely have enough power to motivate you.

What will motivate you are the personal BENEFITS you get from accomplishing your goal. Your goal as a sales person is simple: Exceed your sales plan.  If you have identified the BENEFITS you really want badly enough to take action you will be motivated.  If you have not clearly identified your beneifits you will not be motivated.

Exceeding your sales plan is a FEATURE not a BENEFIT.  What are benefits you receive when you exceed your sales objective?

Once the benefits are listed, you will have your "reason why."   You will find the personal motivation that gets you out the door early. The motivation to overcome call reluctance. The motivation to make the extra call.  The motivation to ask for the additional business.

Your single goal is to exceed your sales plan. Stop now.  Take out a piece of paper.   Make a list of the BENEFITS you will enjoy by exceeding your sales plan.  List all the BENEFITS you will receive once you exceed this goal.  Better yet, get some pictures that represent the benefits and picture yourself as already having achieved them.

Growth is the purpose of life.  If you are not growing you are simply taking up space.  To make progress you have to grow until you become larger than your current situation.

This attitude of GROWTH in a sales person is imperative.  You MUST have it.  You MUST want more.  You MUST be aggressive with your actions and demand a lot from yourself.  You must be able to "see" things the way they can become, not the way they are.

This is the key of a motivated sales person.  A believer.  A person who knows what they want.  A person who is willing to pay the price.  A person who has a "reason why."

For more information visit www.BobOros.com



Why most sales people fail.

You are parked behind a restaurant sitting in your car waiting for your appointment time.  The person you are going to see is probably much older and more experienced than you. He is more than likely going to ask you something about your product line that you can’t answer or don’t know.  As you are waiting, the anxiety grows. It is the middle of summer and the August sun is beating down on the pavement. As you get out of the car the heat and humidity are so thick you can cut it with a knife.
You walk past the dumpster and the smell practically makes you sick.  As you open the door the heat from the kitchen hits you like a blast furnace. The person you are going to talk to is busy working. You know he sees you but he does not make eye contact with you.  He is making you stand there as if you are invisible.  At this moment in time the truth will reveal itself

– are you, or are you not, going to succeed in a business with such a high failure rate? At this moment you will know how well you understand the principles and psychology of the buyer/seller relationship, or simply “The Principles of Selling.”

If you do not understand the principles your reaction is predictable. You get humiliated. Upset. Embarrassed. Mad. You take the prospects rudeness as a personal insult.

Your ego gets wounded and your mind starts filling up with negative thoughts. When he finally turns to talk to you, your attitude is reflected in your face.  You try to get control of your attitude – but it’s too late.  The prospect won in the first round!

If you do understand the principles your reaction is also predictable.  You understand that you are a sales person and the prospect is on the defensive. They are afraid you are going talk them into something they don’t want.

They are afraid you have a certain power over them and that is why they are ignoring you.  By understanding the principles you know that the customer is simply setting the stage and sending you a message – a message that says he is important, his time is valuable, he is in control of this meeting. By understanding the principles you do not let the situation turn negative. By managing your attitude you can take control of the situation.

Not just having a positive attitude – but managing your attitude under all the various selling situations. Programming your mind to react in a certain way in a specific situation. It does no good to read about something as important as attitude management and then do nothing about it. To manage your attitude you must monitor you thoughts and feelings under every selling situation. Approach it as if you were doing a scientific study.  When you find that you are reacting negatively to a specific situation, you have found an opportunity to sharpen your skill. 

Your customer's biggest fear...

"You want me to drop my current vendor and you want me to buy from you!  How do I know you are who you say you are?  How do I know you have my interest at heart?  How do I know you will deliver what you say you will?"  

Trying to sell in today's business climate without first earning trust is like having the most powerful computer in the world and not knowing that you have to plug it in to make it work!  
Non-performance by the company or sales person is the customer's biggest fear.   Another way of saying it is OPUD.  It stands for Over Promise Under Deliver.  A deadly sin committed by overly aggressive sales people.  They have made it difficult for the rest of us.

To make a change requires assurances that you will be able to handle their business. Many times in the customer's mind it is easier to stay with their current supplier even if the prices and delivery are not exactly as they would like.

That is why there are so many objections you must overcome before they feel comfortable enough to give you their business.  If you can't overcome the objections, chances are they will not trust you enough to buy from you.

Every night on the news you hear about another way someone was taken advantage of, lost their money, lost their house, lost their business, etc. More and more reasons not to trust anyone. 

Let me help you overcome those dreadful objections you face everyday and earn the trust of your prospects. Put all 37 More Gross Profit strategies to work and you will have an insurance policy against losing your customers to competitors whose only strategy is to cut prices.

Are your sales people under or over 40

If you are under 40 and are making a good living as a distributor sales rep, you are becoming a rare breed.  You never have to worry about making a good living.

Why?

Because most of the people today in distributor sales or selling for manufacturers are well beyond 40 years old. Younger folks are just not attracted to working face to face with customers. They prefer to text, email or contact them on Facebook.  All great tools, but hardly something you can develop a close personal relationship with and close sales.

This is too bad because they are missing out on the most exciting things in life.  They are missing out on all the confidence, self gratification and self esteem that go along with closing a sale (in person) and building a working relationship with a customer (in person).  Not to mention the freedom of working out of your home office or the excitement of being on the road visiting customers.

Do you have any sales people who are new, not making their numbers, or have become complacent? 

Do you have any sales people who are having a difficult time dealing with the rising prices?  
Everything is going up.  The only thing saving us at the moment is low fuel prices.  What happens when fuel jumps back up?  

The "perfect storm" is approaching.  Everything is pointing to high inflation. We have to help our front line sales people deal with the upcoming price increases, especially our newer sales people.  If we don't, they simply won't make it.  And we can't afford to lose them.

Here's a clear sign that sales people need help. On a recent sales call a sales rep for a large company was asked; "Why should I buy from your company?" His response; "I have a wife and two kids! Do you have any kids?"  The prospect answered "No!"  Obviously this poor sales rep needed some training. If I told you who the company was, you would be shocked.

I never knew blood was so slippery!

Several years ago I returned home after six years in the military. I had my plan in place to go to school on the GI Bill and worked as a night manager for a communications company. I carefully chose the communications field because it had the potential to really take off as a growth industry.  The office I managed was on a back street in Brockton, Mass. I never thought about being robbed because the police officers who were walking the streets at night always came in and sat in our back office. 
 
It was about 9:00 PM when a guy came in the door with a gun, a paper bag and mask over his face. He pointed the gun right in my face as he came behind the counter and told me to fill the bag with all the money in the safe. I took the bag and filled it with about $800. Just as I was giving him the bag a police officer walked out from the back office and before I knew what was happening the two of them were fighting. The gun fired twice and the police officer fell to the floor with blood gushing out of his midsection. During the struggle the police officer had pulled the mask off the guy and I got a good look at his face. Just as he started to run out the door he stopped, turned around as if remembering that I saw his face, pointed the gun at me and fired. 
 
The second he pointed the gun at me I took a step back, slipped on the blood, and fell on top of the police officer. He missed. The police officer's face was purple, a sight you don't soon forget. I thought he was dead. The thief must have thought he hit me because he left. As soon as I started to get up I fell again because the floor was covered in slippery blood. I was covered in blood from head to foot. I immediately called the police and they showed up within minutes along with TV cameras and news reporters. The next day I was all over the TV and on the front page of the newspaper. There were dozens of pictures of me covered in blood! 
 
The police officer lived; they caught the guy and gave him 25 years based on my eye witness testimony.  My career with that company ended that night. I went home and my wife, who was asleep, woke up and asked how my night went. I turned on the light and when she saw me covered in blood you cannot imagine the look on her face. 
 
That's how fast things can change. One minute I was happy and content with the future I had mapped out for myself and the next minute everything was different. And that's how it is with business, the economy and life. 
 
Although you may be focusing on the 40,000 ft. view down the road, don't forget to come back to the 40 ft. view so you can interact on the status of "today" as well.
 
As a sales person and professional leader what can you do when things like the economy make your customers worried and defensive? 
 
Here are three things you can do that will make a huge difference RIGHT NOW: 
 
1. Attitude. You have to be the purveyor of good news. You have to have a positive outlook and help your customers believe that things can change for the better in an instant. Nothing is permanent, everything changes and usually for the best. I have had a book on my shelf for years written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. I only have to read the title to get the message: "When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going." We don't grow when things are soft and easy, we grow when we have to reach down for the best that is in us. 
 
2. Action. Nothing happens until someone actually does something. You can have a great amount of knowledge, read all types of positive thinking books, listen to motivation and self help recordings, write down big impressive goals and plans and be no farther ahead than a year ago unless you take action! Make a list of all the actions you can take today, right now, and leave the 40,000 ft. view to those who are being paid to predict the future. Our job is not to focus on what lies dimly in the future, but to do what lies clearly in front of us! 
 
3. Appreciation. You have something to be grateful for right now! You have customers, family, friends as well as people you have a casual acquaintance with. Now is the time to tell them how much you appreciate their business, their friendship, or simply their service when you buy something. Carry a gratitude list with you and take a few minutes to send a thank you email, a thank you card, or make a thank you phone call. Make it a mission that everyone who comes in contact with you feels better because of your presence and positive attitude. An attitude of gratitude will get you a lot farther than complaining about the circumstances beyond your control to anyone who will listen. 
 
You can't do anything about the "economy" but you can do something to affect the economy of your life and the life of those you come in contact with every day. 
 
One person can actually make a difference in the lives of 250 people. Why 250? When someone dies the funeral director prints up 250 cards because that's the average number of people one person influences.
 

So just imagine if you passed this concept along to 250 people and they in turn passed it along to 250 people. That would result in millions and millions of people having a better attitude, taking action and appreciating the people in their lives. Just like looking down the barrel of a gun changes everything in a heartbeat, someone changing their attitude can have an equal or even greater effect.