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Selling In Tough Times

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Help! I Need To Find Good Employees

If you're going to achieve high levels of success in selling, you've gotta be able to get positive results under negative circumstances.

Just about every sales field cyclically overpopulates during boom times and thins out during tough times. The consistent, secure high performer can get results regardless of circumstances. And I find that much of this is purely attitudinal.

Many salespeople eagerly look for circumstantial excuses for poor results. Then if they happen to have a good day, week, or month, “great”. But if they don't, they've set up their excuse safety net unfortunately by focusing thought on the excuses. They virtually preclude experiencing successful results.

Anytime you offer your subconscious system a choice of goals, one positive - one negative, the negative one is perversely most likely to dominate. The exceptional achiever correctly ignores things like talk of recession, distractions like wars or whatever comes next, his own ego and other emotions, and difficult selling environments. He ignores all of that and has consistent confidence in his story, his selling skills, and his batting average.

I've often sold in negative conditions of one sort or another. The only time I can think of when I was unable to prevail was in a seminar, a group sales presentation about 50 miles from Cape Canaveral the night of the Challenger Shuttle disaster. People showed up physically but just were not there mentally or emotionally. After about 20 minutes, that felt like slogging through a swamp, I gave up, gave everybody a gift, and sent 'em home. But other than that, no set of circumstances has ever derailed me.

I began my selling career calling on badly neglected accounts in an abandoned territory where I was met with open hostility about half the time. I sold to people who started out our meetings by calling me and the company I represented everything imaginable. I later had a successful sales event in a city with a prolonged 35% unemployment rate.

I believe that through the force of will, personality, confidence, and concentration, you can triumph over virtually any and all circumstances. And the biggest negative selling circumstances incidentally occur in or are magnified in our own minds.

This brings us to Rejection versus Refusal.

If you feel rejected, you cannot achieve exceptional results in selling. I believe the number one reason for mediocre performance and failure in selling is ego. Because a person with a falsely inflated forcibly pumped up and therefore fragile ego just cannot stand being told “NO”.

When somebody says “No” to such a person, he or she takes it very personally, and as a result, selling becomes very painful because even under the best of circumstances, there are more “No’s” than “Yeses”. And we will naturally, instinctively, and subconsciously do anything to avoid pain.

If you're this type of person, you'll settle for “Maybes” to avoid pain, you'll hide in paperwork to avoid pain, you'll avoid the tough prospect, you'll become a procrastinator and an avoider.

My friend and colleague Bill Brooks, who created The Brooks Group, helped sales-oriented companies and managers deal with this in hiring, with an assessment device that goes far beyond optimism. It measures not only selling aptitudes but also selling attitudes. And it determines, “Can he sell?” “Will he sell?” and “Will he sell here with these products, this clientele, in this environment?”

You see, there are lots of people who certainly can sell, but won't. Or can and will, but won't in a particular situation. A person can, for example, have all the skills, know-how, and even natural talent to sell, but still fails simply by avoiding opportunities to sell. If this person cannot resolve the emotional issues causing avoider behavior, no amount of sales skills or skills training will help this person. So rejection or refusal is a big issue.

When you're told that you've presented a dumb idea, do you translate that to being called or perceived as a dumb person? Can you debate the merits and demerits of your idea without viewing its acceptance or rejection as a personal triumph or defeat?

In my career, there’s two types of selling situations where I get lots and lots of refusal. In one, I represent clients, projects, products, and ideas to the infomercial industry in situations where a big corporate parent is desired, and maybe 99 out of 100 such pitches go nowhere. I’d get told “No,” just about daily. Once one company said no to me over 60 times in a year, but the following year said yes twice. And just one of those could have been worth a mid-to-high five figures in royalties.

In the other situation, I used to sell my books and cassettes from the stage at big events where I'm usually the last of 6 to as many as 10 speakers working with a tired audience. I typically averaged $15 to $20 per person, which by the way, in our industry is very good.

And in an hour, I may sell $25,000 to as much as $75,000 of my products, which certainly sounds very good, but here's the other side; 900 out of the 1000 people who are listening to me at my very best for an hour, then turning their backs on me saying no and walking away. If I take any of that personally, I'm dead in the water.

And by the way, at about a dozen really big events where I'm the very last speaker, usually after a final famous person, the crowd has been waiting all day to hear that other person like President Bush or Coach Holtz. And as I take the stage and start talking, thousands of people are walking out because it is so late in the day. All during my presentation, people are bailing out. If there are 10,000 people at the event, I may get to speak to 3000 of them, and 7,000 reject me.

But I cannot think about that. I have to be focused on selling to those that stay.

The most powerful edge you can give yourself in selling is control over your own emotional responses to refusal. When someone fails to accept an offer that I've presented, it very rarely has anything to do with me as a person, so it just doesn't warrant an emotional response.

Now if you want to learn how to deal with refusal, and transform it into a yes while having the force of will, personality, confidence, and concentration, I provide all of the tools in multiple courses and monthly updates in my NO BS Newsletter. If you’re still not a member, may I recommend you take the time now to become fortified and ready today, I’ll give you access to all 6 courses and more for you just saying, “maybe” right now.

Dedicated To Multiplying Your Income,

Dan Kennedy
Magnetic Marketing

P.S. Don’t forget, whoever can spend the most money to acquire a customer wins.

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