Archive for August, 2006

Wacky Dreams, Living Large, Living Long…

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

For my 95th birthday, I want to swim from Catalina Island to Los Angeles underwater (54 miles).

I would use air tanks, and it would take me about 22 hours.

But my wife says she would divorce me if I do it (married 54 years). I’m almost 92 now, so I still have three years to convince her to let me.

Fitness Icon Jack La Lanne
Muscle & Body Magazine August 2006

Wow! This man, heading in age toward the century mark, is still dreaming big.

As a former Mr. America, La Lanne started the fitness craze in 1936. What an influencer he is on our lives today.

What are your dreams? Are they spectacular, dramatic and colorful?

Or are they gray?

When I was young, I would track down authors who inspired me and speak to them. These conversations propelled me to write and influence my peers in the selling world. That dream is being fulfilled today, I have close to 2 million monthly readers.

When I began to get paid to speak at national sales conferences, I began to listen and view world-class speakers. Again I tracked down many of them, like Jeffrey Gitomer, and was further inspired to dream of my potential as a presenter.

What is your dream and what can add fuel to it, so it lights up your life with passion and purpose?

So where will you be in two or three or five decades?

In fact, maybe Jack La Lanne is proof that dreaming big and living long are somehow connected.

Desert vs. Dessert

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Remember way, way back in school when you got the spelling of these words mixed up?

Desert is meant to refer to those vast wastes of sand, where the dry air and heat can suck the life out of you. Sounds a lot like bad prospects, doesn’t it?

Dessert is the prize, the long-awaited happy ending to a meal. Reads a lot like commission time, doesn’t it?

Here’s a truth about selling: Every rep goes through the desert.

We all hit those times that try men’s souls (and women’s souls and both genders’ income statements).

Your ability to save for the future is key to surviving those long, dry spells in the desert (uh, oh is Dan going to talk about personal budgeting? Yes, but not right now).

So how well are you doing, mentally, physically and financially as you prepare for the desert? Do you have a cushion to rest upon when it gets dry and hot and very sunny?

The desert – you might have just gotten out. You could be headed toward it. Or you could, today, be right in the middle of it. Prepare.

You just don’t want to die there and become your competition’s dessert.

Fishin’ & not Selling

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Not only has professional fishing grown so spectacularly that last year’s leading money winner earned $547,000, but popular “fantasy fishing” leagues, resembling fantasy baseball and football, employ elaborate statistical breakdowns of fishing tournaments to help players pick winners, according to a July Wall Street Journal report. “Average weight per fish (caught) over careers,” “margin of victory (in pounds),” and other data points are plotted by players, along with weather reports, depth and temperature of tournament lakes, and intangibles such as “home-lake curse.” The organization FLW Outdoors estimates 40,000 fantasy players, many of whom have never actually fished. [Wall Street Journal, 7-20-06]

In 2005, it was estimated that the U.S. lost over one billion dollars in productivity playing fantasy sports.

But, fantasy fishing? That’s just takes the fishcake.

Great sales pros are disturbed by activities which distract them from making money during selling time. “Selling time” refers to those hours when you have access to prospects and current clients.

So, what waste can you eliminate from your day, in order to to optimize earnings?

You might just discover your fantasy about selling successfully is not just a game you play on paper or in your head.

Sales Theft

Monday, August 14th, 2006

“My grandfather invented the burglar alarm. But someone stole it from him.” – Victor Borge

A paranoia exists in sales training circles. It seeps into the fearful brains of trainers everywhere. “Somebody is going to steal my brilliant idea.”

As a writer who is constantly concerned about properly crediting sources, I’ve had plenty of people “borrow” from me.

One major university professor posted my stories on his web pages,  AS IF THEY WERE HIS OWN, even using my meta tags (hidden keywords for search engines) to get traffic to his site.

Integrity issue aside, your job in selling is to get better faster. So just absorb ideas, put them into play and see how they improve your income – regardless of these idea origins.

Read, listen, attend events.

Adapt, test and improve your selling life. That’s your job within your job.

Zero-based Selling

Friday, August 11th, 2006

In tennis, “love” refers to a score of zero points. Historians believe the term is derived from the French word for “the egg,” “l’oeuf,” referring to the physical appearance of the number zero.

Zero is a good number in selling.

It’s the number you assign to a bad prospect. “This has ZERO chance of closing!”

You can even give out zeroes to more people…

Give them to weak prospects, too;

and mediocre prospects;

even good prospects that take too long to make decisions.

Zero-based selling is about disqualifying time-wasters.

Start to spend less time with Zero quality prospects and become a hero to your company, family and banker.

Fantasy about your skills?

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

News of the Weird ( reported in 1996 on the eccentric, but legitimate contracts sold by British insurance executive Simon Burgess, e.g., the policy that would pay the then-equivalent of about $160,000 in the event the insured were abducted by an alien, with double indemnity if the insured were also impregnated (and since alien powers are unknown, male pregnancy was covered, as well).

In June 2006, three sisters in Scotland revealed that they are renewing their 6-year-old policy from Burgess that would pay them the equivalent of about $1.84 million in the event any of them gives birth to Jesus Christ (should he return), to cover the cost of raising him. [BBC News, 6-22-06]

Okay, sales earthlings of our planet, are you fantasizing about your selling skills?

Or, will you make a real life appraisal of who you are and go get help?

If you want an out of this world sales performance, you’ll have to find a mentor, buy training or work harder, but leave fantasies for light reading away from your sales life.

Guns & Gestures

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

23% of motorists that carry a gun in their car in the US make rude gestures through their windows compared to 16% that do not pack a firearm in their vehicle.
Ref: New Scientist (UK)

I published a sales horror story a few years back about a guy who, on his way to a sales call, angrily flipped off another driver. You can guess the ending. He arrives at the appointment to meet his road warrior opponent across the desk.

We do not, you do not lead anonymous lives.

Whether you believe there’s a God watching you or not, you are always being observed.

Note this; men and women of integrity act with integrity, EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING.

Who are you when you are alone? Are you someone that everyone could do business with?

Be honest with yourself first and that respect you show you will reveal itself in your business life.

Personalized petals

Friday, August 4th, 2006

Speaking Roses is a florist with a difference. The company prints personal messages and even images on roses, flower and plants. Ref: Aquarius (UAE)

Ooh, flowers are very nice gifts. Aha! Wow! Now flowers are spectacular gifts.

Customizing your customer approach is smart because it can make them feel special, even spectacular.

In fact, Harvey Mackay’s book Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition tells you to collect data on your prospects, in order to do just that – honor them by showing them you are interested in what they are interested in.

How to do this? Ask assistants for help, Google them for association and volunteer data, just do some digging, then customize your communication with prospects.

Your selling results could just come out smelling like roses.

Cow, Tree, Branches, Your Brain

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

In April, a dead, decaying cow got caught on a tree branch at a dam near West Milford, W.Va., and remained there for “several weeks,” according to an Associated Press report, grossing out neighbors, while five government jurisdictions declined repeated requests to move it. It was outside West Milford city limits; the state Department of Natural Resources handles only wild animals; the state Environmental Protection people found no ecological danger; the state Agriculture Department called it a local issue; and a regional Water Board also declined. Finally, on May 13, workers from the state Division of Highways, along with local volunteer firefighters, removed it. [ABC News-AP, 5-15-06]

Within the tree branches of your brain are lots of excuses about sales performance.

Bad prospects, bad timing, bad product, bad economy, bad boss, bad sales training, bad ?

As you attempt your climb to the top and outperform reps with whom you compete, you’ll have to ignore all the bad, rotting branches and focus on the good.

Excuses debilitate you, so you’ll want to focus on everything good you can – this builds up the branches of your brain and nourishes healthy thinking.

Good prospects, good skills, good products and more.

Trim excuses from your life and water your performance with a positive outlook.

Like a healthy tree, you’ll grow in both skills and income.

Single Sales Tip

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Being single is really a drag. You wash the dishes, make the bed, clean the condo. Then a month later, you have to do it all again.

Hey salesman, hey saleswoman – what are you putting off that you should just get down to and do?

Completing activities that we procrastinate about can be a huge relief when they no longer hang over our head.

So go wash the dishes off your desk and clean your sales house – to sell smarter and faster.