Business Over the Business Card . . .

The building blocks of any business or career is what we put in, not what we get out. What we get out is the byproduct of what we put in. I have noticed too many people enamored over their own business card title. “I am the manager”, I am the boss” or “I run the company” are common statements.

I challenge all who are in leadership positions of any kind to see it differently. And, if there is one or more persons reporting to you, you are in a leadership position, as small as it may feel. So, handle it with care. Who cares what your title is. Who cares how important we may be (even if only in our own minds). If we take care of the business, the business is more likely to take care of us. And if we do not take care of the business, I am positively sure that it is only a matter of time until it ends. Either voluntarily or not.

So remember to build the business wisely. After all, it is the building blocks towards your future. If you put the business over the business card, the sky is the limit.

The Lonely Leaf.

I’ll admit, success can look lonely at times. Sometimes we can even feel that we are the only leaf on the tree. Sometimes, that is because we may be focused on the wrong thing. Success is kind of like climbing a mountain. You’d never climb a mountain with a crowd. Yes, there may be a crowd at first. But then it thins out and you end up climbing with one or two others that climb at your pace. You may look ahead and aspire to be higher at times as well. You also may look below and feel good about your pace in the climb. But once all climbers reach the top, everyone is created equal, no matter how long it takes to get there. Such is our search for the top in our field.

There are two types of people racing toward whatever may be set in their minds as success. The first type only care deeply about the person in the mirror. Yes, the goal is always the top of a particular field, but the ones focused on themselves lose sight of the journey to the top and become hyper focused on “the end”. Sometimes even stepping over people, fracturing relationships, and selling out to whatever gets them there quicker.

The second type, elevate other people to reach their goals, reach back to assist those who need wisdom, and generally encourage those around them to be better. This person enjoys the journey and is enriched in helping others. They also understand, there really isn’t an “end” so to speak. When they reach their objectives, they set new goals to chase after. This keeps them humble and understanding that they still need to be learning to reach for the next set of new goals.

The view from the top is the same for all. It is breathtaking and worth it. No one will care how long it took you to get there. It is certainly more fulfilling if we can help someone else enjoy the view with us. As J.F.K. said “a rising tide raises all boats”. The journey may feel lonely at times, but once you are enjoying the view from the top, you will be in good company. So peak past yourself and see all of the leaves that are working hard to move the wind.

I hate commission . . .

So, I read on LinkedIn from time to time people posting about not liking commission based sales. At all. “I don’t like commission based sales”, “Anyone hiring salaried sales people?”, or “Commissions are not fair”, are some of the comments I see.

To the people posting these, YOU SOLD ME! If you spent an equal or greater amount of time honing your skills, you would sell your customers on the product you offer and actually LOVE commissions. The problem is, you are probably lazy and unwilling to grow. You’re probably unwilling to study your product and study your competition. You would rather sit back and become wealthy without any effort. That is a fantasy. Yes, sales are hard, I’ll agree. No, it’s not fair at times, I’ll agree. Most of what you do seems like it could be a waste of time, I’ll agree. But what I will not agree to is bending an age old principal to meet your unwillingness to work at your craft. Have you considered reading books? Attending seminars? Finding a mentor? Learning from your failures? Let me guess, it is a big fat NO.

So, what you are actually saying is; “I am not willing to grow. I want it easy. I promise, I will sell more if you only give me a salary”. The fundamental problem is, If your earning potential is unlimited from a commission standpoint and you are not chasing it, what makes you think you’ll have greater success if you have a salary instead of being paid on results. Newsflash – Sales is a results position.

Either way you slice it, you’re either selling someone you can do it or selling someone you can’t do. Bother ways, you’re selling.

Integrity Over Feelings

“When we burn a bridge, word travels faster than the flame of the bridge we set on fire”

Doing what is right is never easy; but nevertheless, it is right. I find it interesting the amount of people I hear about that do not meet the basics for integrity. Where did they learn to be disrespectful and inconsiderate. Someone, somewhere, influenced them to believe being unprofessional was completely okay. Remember, bad company corrupts good character. Our character, after all, is a sign that continuously hangs around our neck for all to see. If we do not do what it right, lack responsibility, and lack in ethics, it hangs around our neck. Let’s look at this from the other side of the coin; assuming we have integrity, show responsibility, and have great ethics, it shows as a sign around our neck for all to see as well. We are a never ending personal commercial for all to see (and sometimes hear about. Both positive and negative). When we burn a bridge, word travels faster than the flame of the bridge we set on fire. When we act irresponsibly, the ability for a good reference is lost. When we lack in ethics, we almost become a weird disease that no one wants to come in contact with (except for others with the same ethics issue).

 So, when you come to fork in the road, always do what is right. It may not be convenient. It may not be what you want to choose. But if you choose integrity over feelings, you will never lose.


Quit starting and stopping . . .

Follow me here; nothing is ever accomplished through getting started, slowing down, giving up, and repeating the cycle over and over. People try this with diet and exercise. The last result is usually worse than the first. In sales of any kind and in any field, it happens all the time. Most people do just enough work for it to be painful. They make just enough calls, and only talk to just enough contacts to have discouraging results. Because they are discouraged, they stop for a period of time. Then they start all over again. Pretty soon, they quit or get fired and blame everyone and every thing except themselves. It is totally self inflicted. I always tell sales or service candidates that it will be hard. Very hard. In fact, harder than they can imagine. I never tell them it is a breeze, because it is certainly not. Sales of any kind is not for the weak. It is for the committed, the strong, and the persistent.

So, if you are in sales, just get started and do way more than is required of you. And do it every day and all of the time. You will have outstanding results over a period of time. The hardest part is filling the pipeline with enough activity to create a desired amount of action. Take note; it will take more than you think, so just start by giving all you can . . . and more. When you increase activity levels to an all time high, you will begin to see action. Action leads to appointments or face time in general with a potential sale. Face time leads to closed deals. So, quit starting and stopping. The only one you are fooling is yourself.

It’s all fun and games until . . .

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or is sued. Or something of the sorts. Compliance to legal affairs, and processes upon processes of seemingly wasteful resources, are daunting and most of us come kicking and screaming when it comes to falling in line with all of the guidelines required of us. Until we need it.

I recently was challenged by a customer regarding the purchase of a used vehicle, that was bought two years earlier. She called and threatened that she was told by the sales consultant that the car she purchased was a Certified Pre-Owned and should come with a robust warranty, zero dollar deductible, trip interruption, roadside assistance, and complimentary maintenance.

I took the liberty of pulling her deal from two years prior. All of the documents she signed and initialed stated the car was used. Only the remainder of the factory warranty remained, etc. There was not a whisper of the vehicle being a certified Pre-Owned.

Because the staff at my store did their job, and did it well, this customer has decided to purchase another vehicle, which is a Certified Pre-Owned with all of the benefits mentioned above. It is a win, when it easily could have been a loss. On the original deal, the staff did not pick and choose what “i” to dot or what “t” to cross, and all of the paperwork was bulletproof. There was not a question that our staff “sold” her on something she was not aware of receiving.

So, compliance is not fun and sometimes seems meaningless. It only matters when it matters. The problem is, we never know when it will matter. So, I encourage you to do your job and do the things that are required of you, no matter how mundane. And do it before someone loses an eye.

Full of Hot Air on St. Patrick’s Day?

“The more impossible, the sweeter the victory when you arrive”

Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? Wrong. They want to be Irish but don’t measure up as it relates to DNA. Same goes for success. You either are or are not. You either make excuses and are full of hot air, or you are not.

Successful people have a habit of pushing through the crap. Unsuccessful people never make it through. They quit. The way I see it, you’re either sinking or you’re swimming. Make no mistake about it; you will pay the price. The price of success is seemingly insurmountable. Most people are conditioned to find the easy way out, the path of least resistance, and/or the quickest way. There is no shortcut to the top. It will take sleepless nights, tireless focus, thankless days, long hours, & hard work. It will take a desire to win that is greater than the desire to give up; a willingness to do whatever it takes (legally and morally). It does not matter how long it takes or when you get started. It only matters that you get started and never ever quit moving forward until you reach your goal. Never listen to those who tell you it is impossible. The more impossible, the sweeter the victory when you arrive. Either way you have to go through the crap. Except, the ones who quit, quit in the middle of the crap. The successful still have to go through the junk, but by never quitting and continuously moving forward, they enjoy the victory that quitters thought impossible.

Although it may impossible to be Irish when you are not, success is possible as long as you are full of determination to hit your goals and not just full of hot air.