This is a sales story. It’s not a typical sales story, but it’s a good one for you to consider. Whether you are in a sales role or not, there are sales principles which will be applicable for anyone. And this will be the last time I mention the concept of sales in this article . . .
Many years ago, I was in an interesting situation. There had been a lot of changes in my personal and professional life at that point. My business was struggling due to severe market conditions and I needed to supplement my income. That opportunity caused me to start reading and start studying new opportunities. As a result, I read an author who was an expert in a particular area of business expertise – and I was impressed.
But not as impressed as my wife. My wife told me in a matter-of-fact tone that we needed to talk to this expert – face-to-face. I thought she was kidding. This expert had just published a New York Times bestselling book and was on a media tour to appear on CNBC, Bloomberg, and other financial media outlets. In addition, this expert was speaking to crowds of thousands, and people were paying her a good amount of money for her advice. It was pretty obvious that this person was busy – very busy. And I wasn’t exactly the richest, most popular businessman out there.
So I told my wife that this wasn’t going to work. This person isn’t going to see anyone that doesn’t have a “name” to them.
Would you believe that my beautiful, smart and sweet wife wasn’t going to take no as an answer from me? What this expert’s schedule happened to be . . . it didn’t matter to her. What mattered to my wife was that we needed the best strategy – and it started with this expert. My wife had studied about as much as she could find, and now it was time to ask questions.
My job was to make this conversation happen.
So I did my research. After four weeks of working on this project, I was standing in the front doorway of this expert’s office, talking to her business manager. We struck up a friendship and a strategic partnership from that initial meeting. And, two weeks later, I was sitting at dinner with my wife, the expert, and the expert’s husband. We were in the restaurant for over three hours as my wife and the expert kept talking and talking and talking . . . and they didn’t want to go home. And what I learned from this expert ended up being worth a lot of money for us – not just in the area of expertise the expert had mastered, but in other income opportunities she did “on the side.”
So what did I do that made the difference?
Lesson #1 – If you want to gain the respect and loyalty of a leader you want on your executive team, always bring something to the relationship.
Zig Ziglar’s most famous quote is this: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” With that philosophy in mind, my focus was completely on this expert. Frankly, I was completely committed to making her life and career a better one. I can’t say that I knew everything about her. With enough information and research, it was pretty clear what her interests were. Just by reviewing her presentations was enough to tell me what I needed to know.
The bottom line was that she wanted was someone who would give her energy and ideas. I studied her business carefully, and I found opportunities where I could help without sounding like I was full of myself. Not only did it get me into the door, it allowed me to get to know her and to find ways to help her. And she returned the favor many times over.
Lesson #2 – If you want something badly enough, focus on what will make it happen.
Have you ever noticed that, when you’re interested in buying a particular car, you end up seeing it more often when you’re on the road? The reason why is because your subconscious mind is thinking about it and looking for it, too. If you make a focused point to be interested and stay interested in a particular goal or objective, you’ll find that you are thinking about it all of the time. As a result, you’ll start thinking of ideas that will allow to attain it. With the focused effort in play, you’ll reach your goal or objective. It just takes a combination of focused thought and plenty of heart.
Lesson #3 – Dream farther than what you can think you can achieve.
When you are facing something that is out of reach, your mind forces you to make a choice to chase it or not. As your brain tries to conserve energy, it will argue with you as a way to save fuel. If you tell your brain that you’re going to chase that dream, your brain will eventually spend the needed energy. You’ll find that you have a lot more “in the tank” than you thought you did and a sense of “I’ve got this” more than you’ve ever felt before. When you achieve your goal or objective, your brain will feel really good and a overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.
It may seem easy for me to share these three lessons. Yes, they are simple to understand, but they are profound to your success. Give these lessons a try and see if you find them to be true.