To Thine Own Self Be True

Let me tell you about a fascinating week I had a few months ago.  It included introductory telephone conversations with five people, including the most affable man I’ve ever spoken to, John Cousineau, who’s developed a revolutionary statistical sales-training concept, AMACUS, which I think has the potential to be a game-changer for millions of salespeople; he asked me to give him some feedback on his creation, which turned out to be an exhilarating experience .  I also enjoyed a fabulous get-together with Anthony Iannarino (pronounced “an-a-reno”), a friend and colleague in the sales training business.  If you’re not following Anthony, you should be!

Two of those telephone calls are the inspiration for today’s blog.  They were with salesmen struggling to succeed.  One, we’ll call him Jim, is 26, single, an American; the other, we’ll call him Rick, is 38, married, father of two, a Canadian.  Both men sought my help and, as I’ve stated multiple times, that’s what my retirement career is all about—helping people, especially salespeople.  It brings me untold Joy to see people change their lives for the better, soar.

The main issue for both Jim and Rick is that they were hiding the truth from themselves.  Oh, they knew they had issues and had reached out to me to get help solving those issues, but deep down they didn’t want to get in touch with them, face the truth about their own personal shortcomings.  They were vague, beating around the bush, instead of being specific when I asked questions—ergo Shakespeare’s famous quote as the title of this blog.  I had to dig the truth out, but that wasn’t too difficult—I’ve seen the same story unfold hundreds of times over the last 40-plus years.

What are those issues that both Jim and Rick—to say nothing of millions of other salespeople—have been struggling with?  Poor mental attitude, work habits, and an acute lack of salesmanship/knowledge; a complete collapse of the Sales Triangle.  I pointed out to both men that they had to become mentally strong, start working hard enough to get in the 10 presentations a week their companies expected of them, instead of the 3, 4 Jim was putting in and the 5, 6 Rick said he was putting in (actually, I suggested they get in 12 presentations a week, three a day Monday through Thursday, then give themselves Friday off as a gift to themselves and their families).  In both cases, I told them they needed to go back to “school,” study their businesses so they knew them backwards, forwards, and sideways; that they knew every objection possible and memorized a rebuttal for each one of those objections; that they spoke with power and confidence.

I told them to take full responsibility for every aspect of their lives, including their professional lives; that they never again blame an external for what isn’t working for them and take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to them; that they stop kidding themselves and make a commitment made out of titanium to change.

I told them how sweet success is, that’s it’s a decision, not an accident or a piece of luck; that it was theirs for the taking and to get off their dead asses and make it happen.  Yeah, I gave them a ton of tough love.  I heard a lot of dead silence, as both men swallowed hard, absorbing the shocking truths they’d been hiding from themselves and yours truly.

In the end, both Jim and Rick vowed to do what was necessary to become top-tier pros, make the changes which would turn their professional lives around (and therefore personal lives, too!).  I told them I hoped so.  When they said thank you, I said, “If you really want your thank you to have meaning to me, do it, make it happen!  Don’t make my time investment in you a waste of time.”

They promised they would make it happen; we’ll see.

How about you? Do you need a kick in the ass, too?  Are you kidding yourself about what’s going on in your career?  Are you hiding from yourself?  Are you spouting a mess of excuses that are a lot of hooey?  Is your mental attitude made out of mush?  Are you working at half-speed, getting in nowhere near the amount of presentations you should be?  Are you fully equipped with the knowledge necessary to answer every question, rebut every objection?  Do you present with power, real enthusiasm?  Are you living in reality or la la land?  Remember, “To Thine Own Self Be True.”

Do you need help?  Call me!  That’s what I’m here for!