I know what you’re thinking. How can I isolate, hands-down, the single most glaring error a professional can make in the field of salesmanship? You are probably wondering right now about the myriad possibilities to choose from, including lack of follow-up, talking too much, inconsistency, failure to listen, and a hundred more sales-related snafus – as well as the more obvious business-killing turn-offs.
But there is one mistake that stands head and shoulders above the rest. In my 35-plus years of “carrying the bag,” I have yet to uncover a sales mistake that even comes close to the “deadliest mistake.” The irony is that this mistake, along with most of the others, does not have to be made. In fact, they all can be prevented with just a little understanding coupled with some emotional intelligence.
Are you ready for this career-changing, life-altering, blinding flash of the obvious? Then here it is: Stop being boring!
Decide once and for all to never again be misconstrued as a bore. It is high-time to pump a little positive personality into your game.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this topic. What exactly is a bore? Any behavior that smacks of whining, negative complaining, people-bashing, crying, whimpering, or fault-finding can be construed as boring. In other words, avoid the normal everyday behavior of many, if not most of the people walking around our country these days.
Most of us are tired of hearing about your personal war stories and would rather spend our limited time licking our own wounds and tending to our own personal baggage. Feeling sorry for “me” is a lot more appealing than being expected to feel sad about your problems. That’s why I’m now going to introduce you to five preventive strategies designed to put you back on the high road to future success.
Know how the game is played.
I call it a game because at times in life it will appear there’s a winner and a loser. This is my way of reminding you that some days will be better than others. On some days you will be the windshield, while on others you may be the bug. Get it?
Be an idea generator.
Your ideas may not all be million-dollar classics like the Pet Rock, the Hula-Hoop or the Frisbee, but one thing is for sure: Ideas, regardless of their shape or size, are never boring. I challenge you to walk up to anybody enthusiastically proclaiming you have a great idea. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that what you will not hear in return is this: “Oh, that’s nice. Stop being such a bore.”
Be an idea supporter.
The sad truth is that most people feel it’s their God-given responsibility to burst other people’s balloons. Don’t be one of these people. Instead, respond to their idea with, “That sounds interesting. How are you planning to pull that baby off?” In other words, help them get excited about their brainchild by showing interest and support. Offer to help the cause by stimulating their thought processes.
Learn to laugh at yourself.
When push comes to shove, we’re all pretty pathetic little creatures running hither and yon trying to figure out how life “is suppose” to work. Admit it: We all believe we’re better looking than we are, smarter than we are, more creative, better drivers, more understanding, and more loving. Get over it and start looking at yourself through realistic lenses. Know it’s okay to look at yourself in the mirror and laugh your a$$ off.
Appreciate and applaud others.
This one is a “keeper” and worth the time you’ve invested in reading this column so far. Follow this tip and you will position yourself as anything but a bore in your immediate world. Notice, appreciate, and applaud the good work and efforts of others, and you will shoot to the head of the class.
We all read the same newspapers filled with the same bad news. We all struggle with the same daily problems and concerns. We’re all grossly overworked and pathetically underpaid. We were all victimized by our parents’ shortcomings and we feel persecuted in some way or another at some time or another. Some people are better at playing this game than others. As Cher tersely stated in the movie Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!”
But here’s where an opportunity presents itself. If you can manage to distance yourself from the general rank and file and avoid boring, unappreciative behavior, you will position yourself as the one and only person to do business with.
What have you got to lose? Become the exception. Stop being boring. Start acting like the winner you can be! Put a little bounce back in your step. Appreciate what you have and recognize that the sky really can be the limit.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.