Thursday, December 22, 2011

Promise Yourself

Recently I had the privilege of selling Christmas trees for my hometown Optimist Club of New Hamburg. It was raining, the tree lot was soaking wet and muddy. The prospects of selling anything that night, I thought, were slim.

But, I was assured by the shift leader that we would move a few trees. Which we did over the next three hours. He had been running this fund raising program for years, and he was the definitive expert on the local Christmas tree market. I should have known better than to doubt his judgement. I should have ignored the weather and the economy and remained optimistic that the results would be there.

After all I was a member of the "Optimist" club wasn't I?

It was then, loading the first tree sold that night, into the back of a pickup truck, in the cold damp rain, that I recalled the Optimist Creed that we would recite at the beginning of each meeting.

Promise Yourself.

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself, you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. by Christian D. Larson

Imagine that! Initially because of the pressure at work during a down economy, I was thinking of just skipping tree duty this year because I couldn't afford the time. Little did I know, that the three hours spent selling Christmas trees that night, was the most valuable time I had invested in my career, all year long.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Integrity Selling for the 21st Century by Ron Willingham

In just under 200 pages Willingham lays out the principles that one needs to follow if you want a long-term successful career in sales. Key to his philosophy is his "Sales Congruence Model" illustrated on page 44. Customer centricity is important to Willingham for he believes that focusing on filling customers' needs and wants will make you far more successful than focusing on your company's product or service features.

A second key concept for Willingham is "Sales Power" which is released to the extent that your desire for the rewards of higher goals excites, energizes and motivates you to learn, grow and stretch. Willingham's book "Integrity Selling for the 21st Century" can help energize anyone's sales career and should be a must read for anyone considering themselves a sales professional.