Common Sense Rules about Sales, Salespeople, Sales Managers and Life-Rule # 1

A friend of mine commented that ‘getting old is about as much fun as putting your mouth over the exhaust of a bus’! I think he was having a bad day or maybe a bad year. Getting older or seeing the bright light at the end of the tunnel will never be fun at least not fun in my lexicon but it can be interesting, filled with opportunities, and a learning experience. My father failed at aging. The man was 80 and he continued to put on a white shirt, a tie, and a suit coat every day. Mind you, he was not working! I think he did it because he did not know what else to do.

Since I flunked retirement in 2010 it dawned on me that I needed to be productive during my remaining X number of years. One of the things I always wanted to do was share a list of common sense rules covering sales, salespeople, sales managers, family, and life. I very definitely do not want these CSR’s to be heavy and humorless. Good Lord, there’s enough of that crap emanating from D.C. and the media. I don’t need to add more negativity. So here goes. There’s about 100 of them so, well, enjoy ’em.

If you can’t accept “NO” then get out of sales. The answer no starts early in life. No touching the stove, cookie jar, drugs, cigarettes (I wasn’t listening that day). I mean really, aren’t we programmed from an early age to “not do” certain things? Don’t bother me, I’m busy. Don’t hang around with….he’s not a nice boy.

Wilbur and Orville Wright really didn’t pay any attention to people who laughed at them. The candle manufacturer’s were having a good belly laugh when Edison talked about electric lights. Successful people do not take the word ‘No” seriously! There is something in their gene pool that dreams louder than the spoken “no”.

So why do salespeople have problems with the word No? One, they take it personally. Two, they have been programmed since diapers that the word “No” was bad, bad, bad! They don’t prepare an initial message that may yield a yes; instead they go into many sales calls on a wing and a prayer. Not enough people reinforced the concept that a no today did not mean a no for all time. And last. With the volume of potential prospects that most salespeople have what difference do nos make in the scheme of things?

If the word No truly makes you sweat through your freshly starched shirt then don’t go into sales! It’s not worth it and you won’t make enough moolah to keep the bank from foreclosing. Do you really want to wake up everyday to fear that someone will say no to you? There is no shame in admitting that a career in sales isn’t the right career path for you.


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