Published March 2006
hold of the ‘big picture’
to sales success
reader recently submitted this: “I have a personal question for you that
may help other subscribers deal with the ups and downs of being in the
sales profession. Honestly, how long did it take YOU to become a “good”
salesman?” — William.
The answer to this
question has many parts (subjects of which can be found online at www.gitomer.com):
the genetic, environmental and family situations that helped build the
foundation for me to become a salesperson; the evolution of my selling
skills; and the beginning of my emergence through speaking and writing.
The last part of
the answer deals with the “big picture” elements of success.
and most entrepreneurs, get bogged down in wallet-size issues. Their failure
to see the big picture prevents them from hitting the big time. Below
are strategic “big picture” elements that must be mastered in order to
make the wallet-size pictures visible:
- Book or business
card? I’ve always had a cool business card. Either the design, or
my title — there has been something that set me apart from the others.
For the last eight years I have used a coin. But in November 1994, everything
changed. My business card plays a secondary role as an introduction
tool to my book. Every time a new one comes out (and there have been
five), I bring autographed copies with me on a sales call and give them
out to all those in attendance. I don’t just autograph them. I personalize
them. The recipients are always grateful, thankful, impressed and happy.
a student. Because I’m constantly writing and speaking, by definition
I’m constantly learning. Fortunately, I “knew everything” before the
age of 21. It wasn’t until 22 that I realized how stupid I was and that
I needed to study more. My goal at 22 was very simple: learn something
new every day. That has been a subconscious focus of mine for 37 years.
and failing. I was taught early on by my father, Max, the philosophy:
“Son, if you want to succeed in business, you have to fail a few times.”
At first I didn’t get it. Better stated, I began to get it after I failed
the first time, and really got it after I failed the second time. Those
failures, coupled with my positive attitude toward them, have led me
mentors and finding role models. All along my road to success I
have always sought out, and taken, the advice of wise people who have
already succeeded. Remaining a student is not only a book-oriented process.
If you seek to become successful, then it’s evident that you must study
the success of others. To this day, mentors have made a significant
contribution to my understanding of what I need to do to continue to
grow. Quick Tip: Looking for a mentor? All you have to do is earn the
respect of one, and presto.
- Loving myself.
I don’t have “bad days.” Partially because I love what I do, but
mostly because I’m enthusiastic about what I can become. Pride of accomplishment
combined with a continuous desire to achieve has created within me a
permanent smile. I drive myself to excellence, but I love myself while
I’m doing it.
- Loving my
family. My parents are gone. My brother is my only sibling. My three
daughters, their husbands and my three granddaughters make up the rest
of my immediate family. I try to call them all every day. They know
that I love them, that I support them and that I’m there for them in
every way. I neither argue with them nor pass judgment on them. I am
open with them. I try to ask questions rather than make statements.
The combination of those actions creates love. And I tell them all that
I love them every chance that I get.
- Selling everyday
(the .5). There’s an element that keeps me growing. Personal development
gurus might call it staying focused. I don’t. I think focus is automatic
when you’re doing what you love. My secret weapon is staying sharp.
I don’t mean “sharpening my saw” sharp, I mean scalpel sharp. Alert,
open, looking for opportunity and communicating value to everyone I
come into contact with. Oh, yeah, I try to make a sale every day. Not
consciously, but when it occurs, I know it. I smile to myself and move
I have some final
words of instruction. As you read, or reread, my own path to excellence,
don’t take it as a story. Rather, look at it as a comparative lesson.
What can you learn from what I’ve achieved? And how can that help make
you a better person as a result? Keep in mind the immortal words of my
mentor, Mel Green: “Hard work makes luck.”
Jeffrey Gitomer, author
of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling,” is president
of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer. He can be reached at 704-333-1112
or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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