Kids! (and how they can help you sell)

September 7th, 2006

Bekah, my youngest, has a loose tooth. My faithful readers might recall my poor, but amusing, parenting blunder “Forgetting the Tooth Fairy” from and earlier post (

So last night we heard that Bekah got advice from school friends on how to rid herself of the tooth. I have no idea if this is true, but a couple kids said they tied a shoelace to the tooth, then threw the shoe across the room!

There’s an image that’ll stay in your mind’s sight for a while.

You have to love how kids think. They’re creative and every idea is met with joy, enthusiasm and laughter. “Really, Dad! They really threw the shoe.” Big grin follows the words.

Younger brains and bodies can refresh your soul. I love the blend of salespeople at every conference to which I present. From the young rookies to the grumpy old men pros, the blend of personalities play off one another – the newbies adding excitement, while the older reps tossing wisdom and skill into the mix.

You and I both need to hang out with a kid a couple times a week, just to lighten our spirits. Watch how they do things wrong, while learning, and laugh. For example, ever see six year olds playing soccer? Twelve little bodies clustered within three feet of the ball, kicking each other more than the object they’re meant to move.

Little ones in action can lift our spirits and that calms our souls, making us better salespeople and just better people.

Go, interact with or observe a little one today. And get your fix of refreshment.

Sales Special Today Only (really!)

September 6th, 2006

SOMETHING SPECIAL FROM Jeffrey Gitomer! This prolific, funny, wild sales expert has a new book that comes, TODAY ONLY, with some very cool additional product offerings. Details here: for The Little Black Book of Connections.
Buy it and you’ll get, FIRST TIME EVER OFFERED, printable high quality digital images from The Sales Comic Book.

Learn from friend and fellow sales authority Jeffrey Gitomer today!

Crocodile Hunter Lost

September 5th, 2006

Steve Irwin, globally known as The Crocodile Hunter died in a tragic and bizarre accident when, while snorkeling, a sting ray struck up at him. The sharp barb at the end of a ray’s tail can grow to 10 inches in length and are often poisonous as well. The animal hit Irwin in the ribs where the barb pierced his heart. Attempts to revive him were futile.

This is the first time in my life I was upset by the death of a celebrity.

The Crocodile Hunter was an Australian icon who embodied the best in selling skills. He was charismatic. He knew, intimately, everything about every creature he dealt with. He pointed all of us to the uniqueness and diversity that surrounds us.

His single word catchphrase, “Crikey!” became a brand identifier as strong as any logo or television commercial.

I’m a huge nature lover. Growing up on the beaches of California burned into me an awe and appreciation for the wonders of the sea. And nature included the mountains and the desert, each a mere 60 minutes away as well.

Please learn to handle everyone you interact with respectfully. Treat them as unique individuals. Learn to ask great questions that further reinforce how special they are. As systematic as your sales approach might be, no two experiences with prospects are alike. Great sales pros are as flexible as the man who could wrestle an alligator and grab a cobra.

And please join me in offering prayers for strength for Steve Irwin’s wife, Terri and their two children.

Look into your Sales Mirror

September 4th, 2006

In a new study, psychologists claim that looking at skinny models in magazines makes women feel better about their bodies whereas looking at images of moderately plump models makes them feel fat. Ref: Journal of Consumer Research (US)

What do you see, what do you think, when you look at other sales reps?

Do you feel better about yourself when you’re around successful pros?

Do you wallow in angst when you’re about medicore salespeople?

Regardless of how you feel, REALITY stands alone.

Who you are is independent of who they are.

You can be inspired or motivated by others, but you have to decide whether you need to improve a lot or a little.

Look into your mirror, are you sales skills keeping you skinny?

What will you do about the answer?

Dealing with Wedding Stress

September 1st, 2006

Real Grooms Tell All (#3 is a classic)

“I always had to remember that I had been planning the wedding since we got engaged, while she had been planning it since birth. When push comes to shove, let her know that you support her ideas, even if you really don’t care.”
— Preston, Dallas

“It’s important to involve each other’s families in the wedding preparation (notice I didn’t say wedding decisions). We enlisted the help of my wife’s parents with decorating the tent (her dad and mom are experts in that area). But we didn’t ask them to choose which decorations we would have.”
— Matthew, Pelham Manor

“I responded to the worst stress by playing Madden NFL against really easy teams.”
— Nikolas, Ann Arbor

How are you handling stress?

Are you taking time to be selfish, taking time for the things you want to do, things that build you up?

Every sales pro encounters stress, with a fair amount of frequency.

Forget the job, the prospects, the boss and go mentally and physically hide – on a regular basis.

Your ability to handle stress can keep you married to the best career on the planet.

Noise vs. No Noise

August 31st, 2006

Have you ever heard a song of silence?

In 1952, 4’33”, a piece by avant-garde composer John Cage in which the performer’s silence elevated the incidental noise of the concert hall to the status of music, had its debut in New York.

So a composer’s orchestra sits silently for four minutes and thirty-three seconds and that’s music? That’s art? Strange, but useful, if you think about it…

When do you STOP and let silence work on your head?

A great practice for all business professionals is to take time daily to get away from work, reading, watching and listening and just sit in silence.

You’ll find creative thoughts begin to move about your brain. Solutions to problems can surface. You’ll recover strength and energy for the rest of the day.

So take 4’33” sometime today and see how it nourishes you.

Marriage Mentoring Moment

August 30th, 2006

The bride says, “Are you going to love me when I’m old and gray?”

The groom replies, “Not only am I going to love you… I’m going to write you every day.”

First, let me say I’m a big fan of marriage. I have that old-fashioned approach that you mate for life, like eagles, swans and black vultures (90% of bird species mate for life. Only 3% of mammals do so).
However, in the sales world, you have to cut loose with some customers that are too demanding – high capacity clients, you might say. They take time and attention from others you need to attend to, whether the others are customers or good prospects.

Who is paying you to drain you dry of your products, services and attention? End that relationship and find an eagle to sell to.

Who can you rid yourself of today?

Come on, have the guts to do the right thing and see how good you feel about it later.

10 Key Reasons why Entrepreneurs Flop

August 29th, 2006

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 10 main reasons why budding entrepreneurs like you flop:

1. Lack of experience
2. Insufficient capital
3. Poor business location
4. Bad inventory management
5. Overinvesting in fixed assets
6. Making bad credit arrangements
7. Mixing personal and business funds
8. Mismanaging growth
9. Failing to respond to competition
10. Lack of sales

Actually, you could take #10 and move it to the top of the list.

If you sell well, your other business practices forgive you because you provide cash flow.

Look at the list again. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you “run your own sales business” as a corporate rep, can you improve on any of these concerns?

Learn to ask for help or research for help, but find out where to get better, then how to do so.

You could be the next Microsoft or Google or Cisco. Somebody will be, why not you?


August 28th, 2006

(don’t tell my wife I’m writing on this)

Our house needs painting.

In fact, the wood looks like real wood, rather than blue, the color the previous owners intended.

I’m lying in bed one morning and wham! a construction crew seems to have begun work outside the wall, right by my head.

It’s actually a neighborhood woodpecker who is hammering away at the house, looking to move in, I assume.

What does it take to get you to get out of bed and get better at your craft?

My mission in these blog posts is to have these thoughts serve as a flock of woodpeckers, hammering away at your brain, hoping to motivate you to improve your performance, skills and income.

Which one idea hits the hardest?

What will you do about it?

Hiring? Prefer Men vs. Women?

August 25th, 2006

Boss: Rick, Mary is right about her complaint that she deserves as much money as you. So I’m cutting your salary in half.

This gender argument should never occur in the sales world. We control our income!

Many readers are laughing anyway at the salary, thinking “When was the last time I had a salary?”

A sales job is like the epitome of democracy; freedom from the oppression of horrible wages, freedom from gender bias, freedom to control your future and more.

And if you’re reading this as a sales manager or an entrepreneur who hires reps, remember this: Hiring someone smarter than you proves that you are smarter than them.