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Tennessean Column- Sunday, January 11th

Posted on: January 12

Author: Tom Black
Tennessean Column- Sunday, January 11th

The List

I have had “to do” lists since I was seven.  That is how old I was when my mother gave me a “to do” list every Saturday before I could go outside and play with the neighbor kids.  Still, to this day I have a “to do” list every day.  However, today I want to show you a different kind of “to do” list.  It is a list you should remind yourself of every day.  I will go so far as to say you should copy this list and put it in your car, on your desk, or by your bathroom sink.  Just make sure you see it every day.

  1. I will be enthusiastic.  Nothing sells like enthusiasm.  Selling is a transference of feeling about a product or service.  Unenthusiastic salespeople have skinny kids.  Zig Ziglar said, “For every sale you lose because you are too enthusiastic you will lose 100 because you were not enthusiastic enough.”
  2. I will be honest.  I will not hide the truth or give vague answers.  Your product or service cannot do everything.  So do not stretch the truth.  You aren’t much of a salesperson if you can’t look your prospect in the eye after they have bought your product or service.
  3. I will be prepared.  I was an Eagle Scout and I ask myself what was the most valuable lesson I learned.  I would have to say that it is, “A scout is always prepared.”  No more winging it!  Wings are for birds.  I am not a bird.  However, if you are prepared you can soar like an eagle.
  4. I will leave my comfort zone.  When you are green you grow; when you are ripe you rot.  A rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out.  The single biggest thing holding salespeople back isn’t not knowing what to do; it is doing what they know.  Here is a trick of thought that I have used for 30 years to push through call reluctance, closing reluctance and follow-up reluctance.  “I hate the price.  I love the prize.”
  5. I will maximize my time.  The most valuable asset I have is my time.  Try living each day as if it were your last.  Treasure each hour, for they can never be returned.  Avoid with passion the killers of your time.  Do not let those people steal your most precious prize.
  6. I will control my attitude.  Everybody has circumstances, problems and obstacles.  It’s not just you.  However, despite your circumstances, problems and obstacles you can control your attitude.  Do not let your thoughts control your actions.  Make your actions control your thoughts.  When you have a bad attitude, refocus on your purpose.  85% of the impact of circumstances, problems and obstacles can be controlled by your attitude and you control your attitude.
  7. I will learn something new.  How can you increase your value unless you are always learning?  At the end of the day ask yourself, “What did I learn new today?”  Go to seminars, read books, listen to CD’s.  In our profession one new idea can be worth thousands of dollars.  Ask the best of your profession what they do.  Learn from them.
  8. I will be a team player.  The company does not exist for you.  Nor do you exist for the company.  The greatest salespeople realize that they earn more and create more opportunity for themselves by supporting the team.  Without regard to reward or recognition commit to the success of the whole team.  No, you do not have to like every player on the team to play as a team.  That is bad thinking.

Use this to do list for at least 30 days and you will begin to see changes in your results.  After all, isn’t that why we are in sales to earn more to put in our jeans to spend on ourselves and our family and to give back to the community?


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