Published: May 31,2004
Do you love sales? Do you love what you do? Do you love your product? Do you love your company? Do you love your customers?
These are not questions I pulled out of the air. These are questions that directly affect your productivity, your attitude, your income, your success and your fulfillment — not to mention your longevity at your present job.
Many salespeople are reluctant to come to grips with WHY they are in sales and WHY they are in their present job. Some salespeople will respond, “I’m in it for the money.” Some will respond, “I need the money.” Others will respond, “I have bills to pay and debt to overcome.” And even more will say, “I have a family.” What you won’t hear is: “I haven’t saved enough to do what I really want to do.” And, unfortunately, even less are willing to take the risk.
If you don’t love what you do, you’re doing no one a favor by staying in your present position. Your attitude and morale will be negative, you’ll be complaining about everything, and you’ll be blaming everyone else and their dog for your unhappiness and inadequacy.
And there’s a bonus: Your boss will be all over you to increase your numbers. Your customers will be upset about your lack of attention. In general, you will rise to a level of mediocrity.
What are you thinking?
Some salespeople hate their job, but stay because they “make a lot of money.” CLUE: The worst reason to keep a job is because you’re making a lot of money. When money is your motive, it’s all about making the sale without regard to building the relationship — a formula for long-term disaster.
Oh, you may have some short-term success, but when you’re home at night, you’ll be drowning your misery in television, beer and anything but preparation for the next day.
You can get away with this behavior for a short time, but in the end, you’ll be looking in the “Help Wanted” section of the Sunday paper or posting your resume online, hoping for a better opportunity.
It’s most interesting to me that the salespeople looking for a “better opportunity” are the very ones NOT looking in their own backyard. (See Russell Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” for the full lesson.) Most salespeople fail to realize that when they become the best they can be, they will attract the right offers rather than seek them.
Let me flip back to the positive side. The purpose of this article is to give you a formula that you can use to figure out if you’re in the right place or how to find the right place.
Here’s the formula: If you’re in sales and you love sales, first ask yourself, “If I could sell anything, what would I sell?” If the answer to that question is not what you’re currently selling — you have uncovered part of the problem. However, this formula is not about switching jobs immediately. This formula is about becoming the best salesperson you can be in each job you commit to. If you’re going to leave a job for another job, why don’t you set the company record for most sales before you walk out the door?
Selling is a lot like running a road race. You don’t have to win the race, but you do have to achieve your personal best each time you run one.
If your numbers are low or mediocre at one place, what makes you think they will be better someplace else? You see, the formula involves more than simply loving what you do — it’s also about possessing the skills to do what you love (or dedicating yourself to getting them).
Once you’ve determined what you love to do and dedicate yourself to getting the skills, the third part is about believing. You must believe in your company — believe in your product — believe in your service — and believe in yourself. If you believe deeply that everything is “best,” your message will be so enthusiastically delivered that others will catch your passion. A deep self-belief will create enthusiasm, and a deep self-belief will create passion.
The final part is about your attitude. Attitude starts from within. It’s the mood you’re in when you wake up in the morning, the mood you stay in all day long, and the mood you’re in when you go to bed. But attitude is not a feeling. Attitude is a life-long dedication to the study of positive thought and the character/charisma that you display as you interact with others. If it’s not internal, it can never be external.
Now you have the formula. And no, I’m not going to summarize it. If you want it, you’ll read this article again and again.
John Patterson, the founder of the National Cash Register Company, the father of American salesmanship, and the subject of my new book, “The Patterson Principles of Selling,” said it best when he said, “Put your heart into your work.”
Patterson loved cash registers. He couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t love cash registers. Personally, I like cash registers because most of them have cash inside. But you may not like cash registers. You can never put your heart into something you don’t love. And so I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing Patterson by saying, “Love it or leave it.” And here’s the good news: If you love it, it will be ever so easy for you to put your full heart into it. And here is better news: The heart is attached to the wallet.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts online training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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