by Joe Bonura, CSP
It Is A Lifetime Adventure
What we do before the sales call determines how we handle ourselves
during a sales call. Preparation is not a one time eventit
is a lifetime adventure. The adventure begins when you accept your
first job as a sales professional. One of the most well kept secrets
in the selling profession is that preparation is a never ending
Are Your Sales Muscles Lean And Mean?
If two teams were competing for a major championship, and one team
practiced hard all year, but the other team took it easy and waited
for game day. Which team do you think would win the game? Are your
sales muscles fat and flabby, or lean and mean?
Do Not Fly On Broken Wings
A sales call does not change you. It only magnifies what you already
have or don't have. I remember vividly, and with some embarrassment,
how poorly I performed when I served as a loaned executive for United
Way. I figured that selling was selling and that I could walk in
on my first donor call and wing it. Instead of winging it, my wings
were clipped. My call was stiff and unenthusiastic, and the donor
let me know it. He said that I should have had more concern for
what I was doing because of the cause I was representing.
Live And Learn
He was right, and I learned a lesson that I have not forgotten.
Since then, I have had the privilege of working with over twenty
United Way groups all over the United States. I taught loaned executives
to prepare and know their true goal to help people who cannot help
themselves. The effort to prepare may save a life or a family.
Learn From The Masters
One of my mentors, the late Joe Charbonneau, encouraged his audiences
to find someone who is a master at what you want to do, and then
model yourself after that person. Why try to reinvent the wheel
when someone has already done so?
Too Blind To See
We were having the drapes cleaned in our home, and Mike, the drapery
installer, was a master sales person and a super serve person. A
young man in training accompanied Mike on his first visit. When
the young trainee did not return for the installation of the cleaned
draperies, my wife asked about him. Mike said that the young man
had quit the week before. Apparently, he did not want to take orders
from Mike or to learn from an experienced mentor. What a shame!
The trainee will probably go through life wondering why he could
not succeed. He closed the drapes on his future because he was too
blind to see the opportunity he had to grow his career and to increase
his knowledge by following the advice and mentoring of a master.
Junk Yard Mentality
Mental fitness is important, but so is physical fitness. My job
entails a lot of travel, stays in hotels, and eating in airports.
It is easy to fall into a very poor lifestyle as far as my health
is concerned. I must be constantly vigilant in my food choices and
in the exercise that I do to keep myself mentally alert and ready
to sell. Recently, I fell back into some old habits of eating junk
food and neglecting exercise. I used my travel schedule as an excuse.
Today is the DayThe Only Day
Deciding to practice what I preach, I wrote on a 3x5 card to carry
in my pocket: "Today I will take control of my life and my
diet." Notice that I said today; I am not concerned about tomorrow
or the day after. You can control today if you have the right attitude.
The second thing I wrote on the 3x5 card was, "I will be made
new in the attitude of my mind," a Bible verse from Ephesians
4:23. My inner mental attitude will determine my outward actions.
I must be constantly aware of my mental attitude and adjust my thinking
as it becomes necessary.
The Choice Is Up To You
Take control of your sales career by preparing like you have never
prepared before. Give it all you have. Learn something new about
selling (serving your prospects) every day. Role play with your
associates to sharpen your selling reflexes. Find someone at the
top of their game in your business and interview him/her. Subscribe
to industry publications. Commit to read at least one book a month
during the next year. Invest your own money in a sales training
program. Be prepared before you go in to make a call, and you can
be prepared to get the business. Make every day an awesome day!
© 2006 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.