Stop Making it Complicated—it Isn’t!

Robert Terson

I talk to salespeople almost every day; they call me seeking help, advice. One of the things that strikes me about all these people is how complicated they’re all making the process of what I’ll call the selling condition (you’ve heard of the human condition; well, now you know there’s a selling condition).

They buy and study books, tapes, and CDs; they attend webinars, seminars, workshops, and go listen to people speak, sometimes furiously taking notes (I recall one man who had gone to listen to Anthony Robbins; he spoke of that experience as though that alone should have turned him into a great success; I remember rolling my eyes when he said that); they read material on the internet every day, at times for hours on end; they join sales groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, absorbing every ounce of information they can.

Now, all of this education they’re spending their time and money on is a wonderful thing; I’m not saying it isn’t. (I didn’t write my book and create this site to soothe my ego; I did it/do it to help you.) But…it also makes the selling condition so much more complicated than it really is. In one blog I mentioned helping a former client of mine in Oregon who needed some direction in procuring more business. I stated that I gave him a plan of action that, if implemented, would solve his problem.

I told him he needed to be mentally strong, work hard, and start applying all that he’s learned. I told him it’s time to stop all the studying and philosophizing he was spending his “downtime” on (time he wasn’t in the field performing his service) and go to work selling! I told him to create an approach he’d have command of backwards, forwards, and sideways, and then start making calls for at least four hours a day; that he needed to talk to 20 to 30 people a day, and if he did that relentlessly every day, he’d wind up with more business than he could handle.

That’s it! That’s the great Secret. Make calls and talk to 20 to 30 people a day and present your heart out. Let’s see, in a five-day week, that’d be 100 to 150 people a week, 5,200 to 7,800 a year! Let me tell you, folks, if you know your stuff and you’re fully prepared, and you make that many calls and talk to that many people, you’re going to succeed. Everything else is fluff. I’ve said this numerous times on this site: A salesperson makes calls, sets appointments, gives presentations, and sells. Anything that takes precedence is delusional hogwash.

So stop making this business of selling so complicated, it isn’t! Just start talking to a lot of people and “miracles” will happen. But don’t do it sporadically; don’t do it for a while; do it every day! Do it every single day of your selling career! And never forget that every other aspect of selling is secondary to that—making calls, talking to people.

Here’s a true story from Selling Fearlessly, which I used before in another blog; it illustrates the point I’m trying to stress to you:

Responsibility Begets Initiative

Thirty-five years ago I called on two service stations across the street from each other; the road they were on was under reconstruction, hardhats and heavy equipment everywhere—it looked like a gravel pit. I found the owner of the first station sitting dejectedly on a stoop, not another soul in sight. When I gave him my approach, he laughed bitterly and said, “Advertising? Are you kidding? Take a look at what they’ve done to me, man; my business is down to zilch because of all this lousy construction. I’ll be forced out in about a month; know anybody who needs a good mechanic?”

When I went across the street, the owner came out from a repair bay holding a transmission dipstick, his uniform covered in grease. His response to my approach was 180 degrees different from the guy’s across the street: “Advertising? Can’t use any; can’t get all the work done we’ve got now.” He indicated the slew of cars parked outside awaiting service. “When I found out about all this construction and that it was gonna take a year and a half to complete, I went around the neighborhood knocking on doors, offering a bunch of specials to get enough business so we could get through this fiasco.” He grinned like the Cheshire Cat, said, “Like I said, I’ve got more than I can handle. You can leave your card, though; if things ever slow up I’ll give you a call.”

Two men, two complete opposite levels of responsibility and initiative: one just accepted his fate; the other refused to. Keep them in mind when you face what seems like inevitable defeat. Maybe all you’ll need to do is go knock on a few doors.


I’m 69 today, my friends. Time to celebrate; hope your day is going to be as sweet as mine…


On December 21st, I published a guest post from my friend Dave Brock entitled “Making A Difference In 2013: Help 1000’s Get Access To Clean Water!” I hope you’ll take a moment to reread it:′s-get-access-to-clean-water-by-david-brock/ I know you’re inundated by charity requests this time of year, but I hope you’ll pay attention to this one, even if it’s only for a few dollars, because it’s a great cause and it means a lot to a terrific guy–Dave Brock. Here’s a post Dave put up recently on his site; I hope you’ll take a moment to read it, too: Again, even if it’s only a few dollars–it’ll mean a lot!