Seasoned Sales Person Beware!
by Joe Bonura, CSP
Always be Ripe and Ready
What's the next step for an apple on a tree after it ripens?
If no one picks it, it falls to the ground and rots. The same thing
holds true for seasoned sales people. When we get to the point where
we think we know everything there is to know about selling, we may
be ripe and rotting instead of ripe and ready.
The Pro Knows
Some of the best audiences I have worked with were people making
big bucks in selling. My father, who was a butcher, taught me that
a dull knife will cut you faster than a sharp knife. The big money
makers in these audiences knew that they should always be sharpening
their sales skills. Most importantly, they needed to be reminded
of some of the old skills that they were no longer using.
You are Under Arrest
I like to ask my audiences the question, 'If you were arrested
today and accused of being a professional sales person, would they
have enough evidence to convict you?' Let's assume that you are
on trial. Here are some of the questions that you would be asked
to determine your guilt:
1) How many sales books have you read in the past year?
2) How many sales tapes have you listened to in the past year?
3) How many sales magazines do you subscribe to?
4) How many off-site sales training programs have you invested
Would you have surgery by a brain surgeon who did not keep up with
his profession? Then why should your customer allow you to operate
on his wallet, if you are not practicing like a professional?
Even Icons Listen and Learn
Zig Ziglar, an icon in the selling business, can always be seen
taking notes when he sits in an audience as a participant. Zig knows
that even though he is informed, he can always benefit from listening
I received contrasting comments from two different attendees at
one of my seminars. The first comment was:
'I have been in the selling profession for over thirty-five years.
Thank you for the reminders and the cutting-edge information that
you shared with us today.'
The other comment read:
'Nothing new. I was already familiar with the information shared
at today's meeting.'
Just for fun, I checked with the person who engaged me for the
presentation, and I found that the person, who gave the first comment,
was the number one producer in the company while the person, who
gave the second comment, was marginal in his performance evaluation.
It is worse to think you know it all when you don't, than it is
to not know it all. If you do not know it all, and you are aware
of the fact, then you just might do something about your lack of
Always be Green and Growing
If you want to grow in your sales career, develop an attitude of
always being green and growing. Consider your future success a journey
that never ends. Keep an open mind and be willing to listen to what
others have to say. Do not prejudge the presenter or the message
of the presentation.
I attended a meeting for a major association, and the speaker was
scheduled to speak on telephone sales technique. My first reaction
was that I did not need to attend that particular session because
I teach cutting-edge telephone sales techniques. I decided to practice
what I preach and discovered that the first thirty minutes were
good reminders of concepts that I already knew and material that
I teach in my own seminars. However, the presenter changed my thinking
process dramatically when he made me realize that something I had
been teaching needed to be tweaked. The resulting change made an
enormous difference in my message.
Take the Next Step Today
What is your attitude toward continuing your professional development?
Read a sales book or subscribe to a sales magazine, and do it today!
Then when harvest time comes, you will be ripe and ready.
© 2004 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.