Requiring Everything be Perfect Before You Start Selling

SamLevensonIt was late Monday afternoon after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and I limped my way into the Emergency Room at Florida Hospital with Richard by my side. A few tests later, I was being wheeled into surgery for an appendectomy.

“So how are you doing?” the surgeon asked me when he walked into the pre-op room.

“Forget about me, how are you doing? Feeling up to this?” I asked. My surgeon chuckled, “yeah I’m good.”
Before I walked in that afternoon, I’m guessing my surgeon was thinking he was going to go home, enjoy dinner and relax. Nope.  Or maybe he needed to get back to his office, check emails, return patient calls, or fill out paperwork from an overflowing inbox.
I have no idea the conditions that this surgeon found himself – but this was an emergency so he was doing this surgery. And quite frankly, while all that stuff is really important, he’s a surgeon. This is what it’s all about, right?  It really does not matter that everything in this man’s life and practice be ideal and ‘perfect’ before he takes out my appendix.
What does all this have to do with you?  I bring this up because more entrepreneurs and salespeople need to be ‘operating’ this way. Because I’ve noticed for many people, when it comes to selling, the conditions around them must be perfect to begin.  The problem, of course, is that rarely can we get all our conditions met:
Clean desk.
Empty in-box.
To do list checked off.
Social media all updated.
Think again.
Trying to ensure that everything is in perfect order before you start selling is the fastest way to never start selling.
So what’s the answer? Mark Cuban has been quoted as saying, Sales Cure All.
My advice – and what I’ve learned to do is to turn off your awareness to all of it and focus. Get rid of this notion that everything must be ‘perfect’ for you to engage in the most fundamental and critical of all business tasks: selling.
All the stuff you want to handle will be there later. And when you start selling, some of those pesky issues you feel you need to handle now will be handled by bringing in more revenue. I’ve done sales and marketing with a clean desk and a messy one and I don’t recall the clean one ever getting me better results!
Ask yourself, what conditions do you find yourself insisting be met before you start on sales and business building activities?
Be like my surgeon was that day and just get focused on handling your most critical tasks… like sales. Before it really is an emergency.
I originally wrote this for our monthly NOtivational ezine.

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

An Obvious Yet Powerful Business Building Mantra

Richard tells a great story about his fleet sales legend father, Don Fenton to whom we dedicated our book, Go for No! The story goes…GFN-Unseen-FINAL

“When I first started in the car business, I noticed that my father had a piece of masking tape stuck to the back of his telephone receiver. On it, he had written three words:  Unseen. Untold. Unsold.

Being new to the business I asked my dad what it meant. He said, “Selling is nothing more than telling your story to as many people as you can… as fast as you can. If the prospect remains unseen and untold… they will forever remain unsold.”

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

When you get back to most basic elements of your business, this is what it is all about.

Unseen. Untold. Unsold.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer. Prefer the audio version, listen to our books on Audible!

Top 3 Reasons People are Destroyed by Rejection

0001-85616748The top 3 reasons people are destroyed by rejection are pretty simple.

  1. They take ‘no’ personally and feel bad, which then causes them to slow down or stop and give up altogether.
  2. They don’t know what to do or what to say after getting a ‘no’ from someone.
  3. They assume that ‘no’ means never so they spend a lot of time that never pays off in the end.

People can be dealing with one or all three of these issues. To learn more about how to deal with these three challenges, please check out the following additional posts:

Are You Handling No Well?

Persistence Requires You Be Creative

The Ideal Time to be Rejected

Fixing Lazy Follow Up

Have you read the book, Go for No! yet? Grab it on Amazon here or visit our store.
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Opportunity May Knock (and Say NO!)

GFN-breakfastspreadAround 2005, after help from an agent, we had a very close call with a book publisher – a REALLY big one in NYC. A BIG ONE! They were literally about to sign us and our book, “Go for No!”

In fact, we expected an offer to be faxed over with a day or two. However… they had just a couple more questions for us – how big was our “platform” and how big were our audiences, and oh yes — how many books would we buy?… well, back then even though we had sold somewhere around 30,000 copies of the book, it wasn’t quite good enough and at that time we still weren’t quite “big” enough for them to take the risk on us. So they passed.

That was a BIG NO! We were pretty disappointed but we did not give up on our mission to spread the power of NO!

Now as it turns out, this was just the beginning for our little book.

Because although it took another 5 years, we made it to #1 on the Amazon best seller list (in the Sales & Selling niche) on December 31st, 2010 and have hovered on the list in the top 10 for the last six years. And as of now, early 2016, we have over  300,000 copies in print and multiple foreign language translations.  It was through the support and encouragement of some key people + fantastic word of mouth + relentlessly getting known and getting the word out.

Contrary to what you’ve heard, opportunity does not knock. YOU knock… and opportunity answers. Unfortunately, it often says, “NO!” Don’t give up.

Don’t let those NO’s – even the “BIG” ones, deter you from doing what you believe you were meant to do!

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer. Prefer the audio version, listen to our books on Audible!

The Worst Feeling in Sales

Haddon RobinsonThere are plenty of emotions to deal with in sales but there is one that does an excellent job at slowing you down. And it’s not fear, although fear does a fantastic job at ruining plenty of things.

This feeling is far more subtle than fear.

It’s Doubt.

Doubt is slippery. It sneaks in before you realize it – leans against the wall of your mind, in a black leather jacket, like a gangster from the 1950’s, cigarette dangling, asking you, “Who do you think you are?”  Doubt knows that it doesn’t have to work that hard.  It only needs to suggest things, in a subtle way, and then saunter off leaving you feeling uncertain; your confidence bullied out of the way.

And that is what makes adapting a  ‘Go for No’ mindset so powerful. It’s not about proving yourself or pressuring yourself for perfection – and by the way, those are the perfect conditions for doubt to spring up.

It’s a new way to think so when Doubt comes around you can say, “Oh I know – it’s crazy that I think I can do this. It’s okay I’m just going for No anyway. You can go now.”

And Doubt slinks away, head shaking, wondering how it lost it’s grip on you.

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Are You Handling Rejection Well?

Roller coaster trackWe talk a lot about feelings around the words yes and no and rejection. We teach people to get off the ’emotional roller coaster’ when they hear both yes and no, so that they don’t have wild emotional swings based on whether people say yes, or no.

That said, your customer or prospect also doesn’t want to climb onto the ’emotional roller coaster’ with you!  Remember that ‘no’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. Therefore, your initial first reaction to getting a ‘no’ has got to be positive or at least neutral.  You can’t react poorly.  All types of bad reactions must be avoided! Like…

  • Pressuring someone: “What?? No?? Are you out of your mind?!”
  • Pouting: “Wow, so much for my bonus this month, thanks a lot.”
  • Begging: “I really need you to say yes. Are you sure? You seemed like you’d say yes. I was counting on this.”
  • Bartering: “Buy today and if you still don’t want it, return it for a full refund next month!”

And those are just a few examples. Its embarrassing for everyone and short term thinking too.

If you act in such a way that makes someone uncomfortable and regret dealing with you then getting referrals from that person and  getting the future yes that may well be there will be very difficult.

What should you do?

Despite whatever emotion you may have, stay professional. When you get a ‘no’ respond positively with enthusiasm. Even if you choose to dig into the reason why they said no, stay calm and collected.

Bottom line: help your customer or prospect see that for you, it’s about service and asking… and that they will not be penalized for saying ‘no’ to you.

Do this enough, and not only will keep yourself off the emotional roller coaster, you will have a better chance later on to turn that ‘no’ into a yes!

Have you read the book, Go for No! yet? Grab it on Amazon here or visit our store.
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Women’s Secrets to Failing Greatly

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to share a little bit about what a ‘Go for No!’ Woman means.  Here are her keys for success.
She…
Gives herself the opportunity to pursue her goals and dreams.
Owns her failures knowing that failures are part of her journey to success.
Focuses on being assertive and stops worrying about being perceived as pushy.
Obtains and increases her ‘no’s’ ultimately increasing her yeses and building her business.
Remembers that she is on a mission and uses that as fuel to ‘go for no.’
Neutralizes her emotional reaction not allowing it to define her or ruin her day.
Opens her mind, always learning, knowing that her growth is key to her achievement.
Works through fear, doing things that are outside her comfort zone.
Overcomes inertia and takes action when she sees opportunity.
Manages her time so that she can ‘go for no’ and also take personal time for herself.
Allows herself to be who she is without internal criticism of who she thinks she should be.
Notices (even if it takes a while) that she is – as it turns out – a pretty awesome woman who deserves all life has to offer and that she has the power to make those things happen!

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW (Originally posted October, 2013 and re-posted for International Women’s Day!)

Persistence Requires You Be Creative

loonapix_14531389441902243421People often ask us, when it comes to going for no – do you just keep going at people over and over in the exact same way?

Of course not.

When it comes to selling – and Go for No! you need to be creative.  Obviously, you don’t want to approach the same person over and over again in the exact same way.  But when you ‘go for no’ you aren’t giving up on someone just because you got one ‘no’ one time. To do so would be a huge waste of invested time (finding the prospect) not to mention the fact that people often say ‘no’ 3, 4, and 5+ times before making a decision.

So start thinking, how can you get creative?

Try this simple exercise: create a list of at least 12 ways you can go back to the same person/prospect in a new or different way. For example: sending an email, calling/leaving a message, in-person meeting, sending a card or gift, and sending a text are just a few ways.  In addition, each time you do this, focus on creating value for example:

  • Pose an interesting question
  • Make them laugh (use humor)
  • Share a new fact or bit of information
  • Offer professional advice
  • Give a sample, gift or item to remember you

If you come up with 12 ways to stay top of mind with your prospect – and you check in with them every 2-3 months – you just created a two year follow up plan! Not bad.

That is how you’ll turn no’s into yeses.

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Time Creates Opportunities to Succeed

At the beginning of the year, we had a series of memes we created: The Dozen Best Thoughts to Kick Off 2016 and this one from Ray Higdon was one of them.

“You will GFN-HigdonQuotegrossly overestimate what you can do in 90 days but way underestimate what you can do in five years. “ – Ray Higdon

Why is this quote so powerful?

Inherent in the quote is the idea that people want everything fast and now. Most great things take WAY longer than 90 days.

Granted, 90 days is a great way to batch the year in segments to get some intense, focused, actual work done.  But, listen, you are not going to achieve all your goals (i.e. World Domination) in 90 days. It just won’t happen.  Things always take longer than you think they will.

When I did time management training, I would always tell the group what Stephen Covey’s Time Management course suggested: plan your day for about 65% of your time. What about the other 35%? You set that aside for all the stuff that will pop up that you did not expect or plan for.

So, from a global perspective: stay focused on your ultimate goal without allowing the fact that your plans might not happen in the time frame that you imagine.  Make it a matter of WHEN, never IF.

Our goals have always been, WHEN goals.  IF we start a business was WHEN. IF we write a book was WHEN. IF we hit the best seller list was WHEN. And even today, IF we sell a million copies of Go for No! is simply, WHEN.

Ray is right about five years too. After launching our business in 1998, and five years later we looked back to see we had gotten amazing clients, traveled extensively, and wrote and published not one but three books. As it turned out, we would need another five years to hit the best seller list.

So be patient.  If the goal is worth working for, it’s worth waiting for.

Have you NOticed? Our newest book, The Diamond Line is now available  (the foreword is from Eric Worre, author of the best-selling book, Go Pro) Prefer books on audio? You can get The Diamond Line on Audible too.
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Can Rejection Be Opportunity?

OpportunityfilmCan rejection be opportunity?

For people living only in a ‘Go for Yes’ world, rejection is shameful, embarrassing, and a failure.

If you are looking at rejection in the right way, it is an opportunity. As VC investor Sam Hogg said in Entrepreneur Magazine (Reflections on Rejections, 1/16) and I quote…

“Even though I spend a lot of my time turning people down, my ultimate goal is to say yes. Usually the startups we fund are the persistent ones who kept us aware of their progress after I said no at least once. The lesson here: if one of my VC brothers or sisters or I tell you no, take it in stride, stay the course and keep in touch. No one can say no to that.” 

See a ‘no’ as a place to build from or run from. Your choice.

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW