Remember this week. On Tuesday I shared the single biggest selling lesson of my life. On Thursday I shared the second biggest selling lesson of my life. And today, in my most controversial article ever, I will share the biggest secret of my sales success. Some will undoubtedly call this the Dave went crazy article.
Some of you might be able to sense what my secret is. Some of you won't appreciate how simple it is. But I'm guessing that most of you will love what I share in this article and if not, you don't have to continue reading it. Find something else that resonates for you.
Everyone knows that in business there are three topics that you must not talk about. This year it's been very difficult not to talk about US Politics and it doesn't matter which side of the aisle you side with - you'll be in for an argument if it's the side opposite your lunch companion. While it should be easy to keep sex out of business conversations, we continue to read about scenarios in which sex was not only included, but the focal point. And the third is religion. And I agree that religious beliefs should not be a topic of business conversation. Religious differences cause most wars! But religion is not equal to God. Here's an Algebra equation for you. Religion is to God as Amazon is to Samsung. Think about that for a moment. God is a manufacturer and the various religions are the resellers.
Over the past 10 years and 1,500 articles, I have typed the word God five times. In only one of those occasions did I give God any credit and few people actually read that great article! But today we'll change that.
Those who believe in God say that God will provide. That's a lot like the book, The Secret, where one only needs to make the affirmation known and it will come true. The Secret leaves out the work part - the what you have to do part. Before The Secret, there was Earl Nightingale's The Greatest Secret. The new version was hugely popular but the first book was the real deal. God will provide though - if you do what you're supposed to do. For example, it is a lot easier for God to provide - in this case protect - if you are living indoors or driving a car down the highway as opposed to living on the streets or driving a go-kart on the highway. You can't be passive! There are certain common sense things that you must do for yourself in order for God to provide.
In the case of sales, God will provide too, as long as you have done your part. The sales version of living indoors or driving a car on the highway is having a sales process. A sales process provides the framework, the symbolism, something to believe in, similar to how a Cross, Rosary Beads, Mezuza or Star of David might serve that purpose in some religions.
I want to share two specific examples of when I have always taught the God part of selling without attributing any of it to God.
Faith in God - After providing about a year of sales training, I have always said something along the lines of, "You just need to have faith that when you respond to your prospect and open your mouth the right words will come out." I always positioned it as not having to think about the response, staying in the moment and being present. Back in the early 90's I wrote an entire book about that last sentence, called Mindless Selling. The key word in that sentence, and the way I always meant it though, is faith. Not so much faith in your words, but faith in God - to help you through the conversation and providing you with a good outcome - the right outcome - the outcome that was meant to be.
God Will Provide - When conducting a goal-setting exercise, it is important to get from the personal dream or goal, to the amount of sales required, to the commission required, to the number of sales required, to the daily activity required in order to meet and exceed the goal. The focus then becomes on the activity rather than the goal. This was always a very effective way of getting salespeople to focus on the prospecting required to fill the pipeline. In many cases, it was prospecting that salespeople were not doing nearly enough of. And I always told them that in my experience, when you take responsibility for doing the right things - for yourself - then good things would happen and the universe would reward you in the form of business that drops into your lap. While I had them focusing on activity that would be rewarded, what I really believed was that God will provide if you do what you are supposed to do.
Those are two key things that I have taught and now you know that they were really about God. Here is another key piece to the puzzle.
Gratitude, Asking for Help and Promises - I pray to God almost every night - that is if I don't fall asleep before I can get started. I've been doing this for as long as I can remember and I feel a great sense of peace after my little chat. I always - always - begin with thanks and gratitude. For my God-given talent, life, accomplishments and family. I continue by asking for help where I need it and praying for others. I ask for what I want help with but not without thanking God for what I already have. And this week, I promised that I would write this article if he helped.
The biggest secret of my sales success? My faith in God.