Rejection is just one of the many topics I’ll be covering in my 90 minute webinar, “Prospecting Skills to Increase Your Sales,” on Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 12 Noon EST.
Amid the growing world financial and credit crisis, the one thing we don’t seem to have a shortage of is finger-pointing. However, with so much blame to go around, nobody (especially politicians) ever seems to point the finger at themselves.
This point was emphasized quite clearly in a September 19th, 2008 Wall Street Journal article.
The article was about the surge in the number of foreclosures of million dollar plus homes. The beginning of the article talked about a man named Robert Provost, who in 2003 purchased a $2.5 million villa with its own boat dock in Sarasota, Fla.
Mr. Provost earned more than $250,000 a year working for an auto-sales chain and had an impeccable credit history.
Then he lost his job and missed one $10,500 mortgage payment, then another. This month, he put his house on the market for $3.4 million, but the listing has attracted very little interest. Mr. Provost expects to receive a notice of default- the first step to foreclosure in the next month or two.
I kept reading the article, looking for some reaction to this, and waiting to see if someone, anyone, was thinking the same thing I was. However, the only two quotes I saw from people trying to explain this phenomenon of million dollar plus foreclosures were an economist from Wellesley College, Karl Case, who said, “If you’ve got a lender who pushed them to the limit and you have some change in supply or demand, you’ll have foreclosures.”
Hmmm, “the lender pushed them to the limit.” Sounds a little like Flip Wilson’s old routine, “The devil made me do it.”
Next we had Tom Lawler, a housing economist in Leesburg, Va. who said, “Loans were unbelievably risky in every category. We’re seeing the results of that lending in the high end.”
Are you seeing where I’m heading with this? No one asked the simple question: What the hell is an employee (not a business owner) who is making $250,000 a year doing buying a $2.5 million house? Plus, the fact that Mr. Provost stopped making mortgage payments right after he lost his job tells me he went into this with no cushion. Whose fault is that?
Oh, and if you’re thinking that some unscrupulous lender talked him into this let me give you one more piece of info that I withheld till now: Mr. Provost’s job with the auto-sales chain was that of finance chief! No wonder he’s out of work.
Let me tell you what happened to too many people. They saw friends, neighbors and people on TV making what looked like “easy money,” just buying, selling and flipping houses. You didn’t need any money or income, because the prices would just keep going up (where, in fantasy land) and all you need to do is sell and use that money for the next purchase, or maybe even buy two. Why work for a living, when there’s such a sure thing staring you in the face?
As you know the bubble burst and many of these people want to be bailed out. What about the vast majority of people who paid and continue to pay their mortgages on time? Nobody was asking for a bailout when they were making money and they certainly weren’t going to share it with the homeowners who weren’t speculating.
Investing is a risk, whether it’s real estate or the stock market (I own 1,000 shares of AIG and you know what? This won’t be the first time I take a beating, nor will it be the last. I bought it. I knew the risk. Hell, life is a risk. If you want to be successful you have to take chances. Success is as much about failing as it is about succeeding. But when those chances blow up in your face (and sometimes they will), stop looking for scapegoats (that’s the job of gutless politicians), just look in the mirror and move on.
There’s an old saying, it goes like this: “Just because you keep on doing what you’ve always done, don’t expect to keep on getting what you’ve always received.” Unfortunately, a lot of business owners and salespeople haven’t figured this one out yet.
In the last few weeks I’ve spoken to three different clients whose business is suffering. Right away you’re probably saying to yourself, “It’s the economy,” and to a certain degree you may be correct.
However, after speaking with these clients and really understanding their sales process, I realized that the economy was only part of their problem; and not necessarily the biggest part.
The real problem is that their salespeople or dealers have been using the same sales process during tough times that worked for them during boom times. They refuse to change; mostly because they either don’t know how or they’re afraid.
Let’s face it; we’ve had it pretty good for the last 26 years. Since 1982 the economy has been in a recession for a grand total of 16 months! At this point, any kind of downturn brings panic because there are literally millions of people out there who have no idea what a real downturn looks like. These same people have mostly sold during good times. They don’t know any other way.
During boom times, many of these salespeople and dealers didn’t sell; they didn’t have to. They just waited for the door to open or the phone to ring and the orders would just pour in. They never had to leave the office and actually drum up business.
Guess what? The phone’s not ringing and the door’s not opening and that’s not good. But what’s worse is that there are too many salespeople, dealers and business owners who are still sitting there waiting for that phone to ring or door to open.
It’s time for a strategic attitude change. If the business is not going to come to you, you have to go to the business. I’m not saying you’ll necessarily do as much business as you did during boom times, but you’ll do a lot more business than you would sitting there waiting for the phone to ring and sucking on the gas pipe.
And I don’t care that you don’t know how to do it because you’ve never done it before: Learn! You have no choice. What’s the alternative? Besides, that’s just your “fear” speaking. Everyone is afraid of doing things they’ve never done before. Also, don’t give me the tired excuse, “That’s not the way things are done in our industry.” Baloney! Times have changed, so that means the rules have changed too. If you don’t change with them, you will be left behind.
Talk to people. Go back to all of your past clients and ask for referrals. Will you hear a lot of NO? Sure you will. But I can tell you from experience, “No,” from a real live person is a much nicer sound than a dead phone.
The age of doing business by accident is over. Clients and customers have so many choices today that you can’t expect to just show up, throw your briefcase on the table, and grab an order.
Now, is this a doom-and-gloom scenario, stating that there’s no more opportunity out there? Of course not. In fact, there’s more opportunity out there today than ever before. I really believe that no matter how successful you are right now, you have an opportunity to be more successful than you’ve ever been before.
There’s just one catch: In today’s competitive world there is no more margin for error.The companies and the people that will succeed today, tomorrow, and on into the future are the ones who will be willing to do everything RIGHT.
I know that as a client, customer, or consumer I can buy almost anything I want from the Internet and I never have to talk to you! So the question now becomes, what is it that you are willing to do for all your clients, customers, and prospects that creates so much extra value that it is more beneficial for them to buy directly from you than to just click on their computers?
Need help selling value? Click here for my online audio program Supercharged Selling, which will give you everything you need to turn customers into clients for life.
In other words, how are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
I think the single biggest question I have for you is this: What are you really selling?
Are you just selling whatever will get you the fastest commission, or are you selling extraordinary quality, service, convenience, and value? Are you just selling the first thing out of your bag, just to get your boss off your back, or are you selling “Save me time and make my life easier”? Are you just selling whatever the customer thinks they want and need, or are you selling knowledge, expertise, information, and education?
Are you just selling stuff? Are you just selling what everyone else is selling? Because if you are, I can click on my computer and I can buy stuff from the cheapest guy in town.
Get out there and sell some value.
Two years ago, I posted a blog article titled, Consequences of the Easy Way Out.
It detailed the experiences of my son, Michael who was 18 at the time. It told how his penchant for taking the easy way out had put him in a position where he had limited his college choices. He ended up at a school he hated and while he did well, academically, in his one year there, his transfer choices were limited, to say the least.
I wrote in the article, “The good news for Michael is that these are not earth shattering or life threatening mistakes, and since he’s only 18 his actions, or lack of it, have become a valuable learning experience.”
Thankfully, I was correct.
Michael decided, since he couldn’t go where he wanted to go, he would take a year off from school and work full-time. Let me tell you something: there is nothing like a dose of the real world to really help you appreciate what it takes to be successful.
Michael worked hard as a Pizza delivery man for the local Pizza Parlor. He made a lot of money and saved a lot money. He invested wisely in the stock market and made a significant profit.
After a year, he decided it was time to go back. Through an acquaintance of ours, he was told about an excellent small private university 45 minutes to the west: Elon University. We checked it out; Michael loved it, applied and was accepted.
If he would have applied right out of high school, no way he gets in. But since he decided to “Do the hard,” his first year of college, those freshman grades got him accepted to a school he really enjoys and where he is not taking the easy way out.
Mistakes, bad judgment, always looking for the easy way out; these are not irrevocable tragedies. You can easily turn these around to your advantage just by realizing “The extra effort I put in up front, will save me far more time and effort in the long run; make my life better overall and assure me a successful future.”