“That’s easy for you to say! You’re already a great salesman and a successful author and speaker,” someone yelled from the audience as I was answering a question about how to brand yourself and position yourself to create the law of attraction.
Now the audience was waiting for my answer. It wasn’t a time for humor. Every person was looking for the bridge between where I am and where they are. And not just an answer – a path to get there.
I began by telling them of a book I had just purchased called Every Great Chess Player Was Once A Beginner. The title rocked my entire thought process.
Although it was obvious that everyone starts someplace, it’s hard to imagine A-Rod playing Little League, or Bret Favre playing Pop Warner football. Hard to imagine Bill Gates in his dorm room cooking mac and cheese on a hotplate as he struggles with his 128k computer to create the future of software. But they all did.
Then I gave them a glimpse of my beginning and my renaissance.
The reality is that it’s not easy for me to say or do anything.
Yes, I’m somewhat successful now, but I didn’t start with nine best-selling books. I started by writing one 750-word column. Actually, I started studying sales in 1972. And made sales for 35 years. I had no idea I would write. I just loved sales and wanted to be the best salesman in the world. When the opportunity to write about sales appeared, I jumped on it. Now I write about my personal experiences, observations and thoughts.
When I moved to Charlotte in 1988 I was starting over. I knew no one, and had limited capital (definition: broke). I joined the Charlotte Chamber.
I subscribed to the local business journal. I networked my butt off. And I tried to get business for others. I connected and made connections. I became known as a person of value. I took a leadership position at the Chamber.
Here are the insights that drove me:
As a beginner you have to trust your instincts, and you have to “BE.”
• Be willing to risk.
• Be a constant student.
• Be a consistent performer, even in a losing cause.
• Be a value provider.
• Be friendly and likeable.
• Be passionate about your product or service.
• Be willing to dedicate the time it takes to become great.
And you must believe you can do it; your mental strength is more important than your skill and your product knowledge. Mental strength stems from your attitude, your enthusiasm and your willingness to work hard. It’s a struggle, but struggle is part of greatness. So is hard work. TV is not.
Here’s the good news: Your earnings in sales and business are only limited by your ability to convince others to buy.
You do have to read, study, and practice.
Cold calls are a lousy place to make a sale, but they’re a great place to learn how to sell. Rejection is part of the game – all sports have winners and losers.
But if you can win 30 percent of the time, you’ll win awards, make president’s club and earn a fortune – that means you’ll get rejected seven out of 10 times. Get used to it and get over it.
Think of it this way: Every “no” gets you closer to a “yes.” There, that feels better now, doesn’t it?
Where do you “begin” becoming great?
What is your beginning?