Skyrocketing Sales Solutions 
Edition 19, May 19, 2005

"For those Who Want to Sell, Need to Sell, or Should Sell--to Sell More"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      May 2005

Dear Todd,

"Don't define yourself by the roles you play, the groups you belong to, or the profession you are in. You are you. Isn't that enough? It has to be." 

Grow your qualities; Don't change your faults

People can't change. They can only grow. 

I am often asked, "Todd, can you teach anyone sales?" I pause for a moment. I think about my answer. 

When I first started training salespeople -whether in a management role or a sales training role-whether for a company or off on my own-some eight years ago, I used to answer, "Yes and No."

For instance, those outside of our glorious profession, often make naïve comments like, "I can't sell, because I don't have the gift of gab," or "I just can't lie to people!" I chuckle when they say this. I respond, "Really? Me neither!" 

You and I both know if any of us focused on either of these two stereotypes, none of us would have a job. But the larger question is whether anyone can be great at selling. 

Selling is an art, not a science. What is the difference? Science can't be taught. Even the greatest student in the world will not be as intelligent as Albert Einstein. You can't pass along the Theory of Relativity. But an art can be perfected. The issue is that there must be something to perfect. 

Take motivation, for instance. We often ask whether everyone can be motivated. Research has shown the answer to be a resounding, "No." Someone who doesn't want to be motivated won't be. 

It's just like you can't hypnotize someone who doesn't want to be hypnotized. Motivation comes from within. 

But, in my business, I certainly do guide others to achieve their potential. This is the key: Growth is based on fulfilling potential. Everyone has ability. I can't change you, just like I can't change myself. What I can do is uncover areas that were already there. They were just stuck inside, and needed something or someone to bring them out. 

That is my job as a teacher, a sales trainer, and even as a member of humanity. I love sales, in large part because it is reflects the society in which we live: 

When you master the art of selling, you master the art of living. 

Much of living is growing. Is it not? What is boredom? What is depression? It's when we lose hope for what will - and can be. We only get sad and we only get frustrated when we question the future. It's not the present as much as the dismal tomorrow that gets us down. 

If someone told you, "I know now is a tough time for you. But I promise, guarantee you 100% that tomorrow will be spectacular," suddenly the present wouldn't be so bad, would it? 

We've all heard stories of top athletes, business people, actors and actresses who peak too soon in their life. They accomplish too much too quick. They ask themselves at tender ages of 12, 15, or 20, what does it all mean? What's next? 

Top people always strive for more. They must. 

For when we stop having goals, we stop looking forward to tomorrow, and when we stop looking forward to tomorrow, we stop living. 

But at what price? I used to say contentment was the root of all evil. Security is a message for disaster. Is it? Suddenly, I'm not so sure. 

As a teacher, I pride myself on giving my students tons of information, strategies, and knowledge to guide them to increase their income. But I never shy away from telling them, "Hey, this worked for many, but it might not work for you. Let's figure out what helps you the most." 

That's the key to growth. They say maximizing strengths and improving limitations are what development is all about. However, often we get too bogged down on improving our limitations that we forget to emphasize the amazing qualities we have as individuals. 

They are qualities, because they are inside of us and they make us unique.

I recently read a book that was a gift from a friend of mine. It's called Now, Discover your strengths. I highly recommend it.

But whether you read the book, know this: Everyone has the power to grow, but don't ever try to change.

Action Exercise: 

1. Make a list of the top 25 qualities that make you unique 

2. Write it down - pen to paper 

3. Post it so you can see it always: In your office, in your car, and at your home

To be yourself, to be the individual that you are meant to be, is never a weakness. 

Think about those we admire in society. I don't mean the evil that exists in the world, but those whose views we may not have agreed with at one time, but they were true to themselves.

They persevered, held true to principals and today we are all the better for it.

They have names you know: Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.

Happy selling!

See Todd reflect on journalism in Quill

Inspired by the tragic murder of the husband and mother of federal judge in Chicago, Todd reflects on his past journalism career some 11 years ago. Read about it in the March issue of Quill magazine.

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