Why Sales Should Matter to You

Sales 101

Too many people have a negative connotation about the term sales. Some think that engaging in sales in unimportant or even dishonest. I would like to clear the air about what sales really is and why it matters to you. This may blow your mind, but every single person is engaged in selling. Everyone. Sales or selling is simply the ability to communicate the value of whatever you are doing. When you were interviewed for a job, you were selling your abilities. If you started a company, you had to sell prospects on the value of your ideas or products. If you are a parent, you must persuade or sell your children on the importance of doing things a certain way. Even if your job is cleaning, or something not directly associated with sales, you must still sell the idea that what you are doing is useful to your bosses and keep your performance of a high caliber if you want to retain your position. We are all salespeople.

Most of us think that only those involved in direct sales, like selling a product or service and overseeing the transaction of money, is sales. But the truth is that in the marketplace, we are all salespeople. Christopher Columbus was a great salesman because he persuaded the Queen of Spain to give him three ships so that he may find a faster route to the East by sailing West. He didn’t offer any guarantees, but his expedition turned out to be more profitable for the Spain than he or the Queen ever imagined. It’s very important to remember that persuasion is sales. Nothing sells itself. One must be persuaded to buy something, or join something, or hire someone. That is why I believe sales is the most underestimated skill that one can have.

Of course, there are good and bad salespeople. If you’re not where you want to be, it’s because you haven’t sold enough people, or the right people, on the value of what you bring to the marketplace. You can be bad at sales through lack of communication, lack of confidence and lack of empathy for the other party. You can also be a bad salesperson by being an outright liar, but that relates back partially to not having empathy. Take note: the three keys to being a successful salesperson are 1. Having incredible confidence in yourself and your product. 2. The ability to communicate value so that others are persuaded into agreeing with you. 3. Having empathy for the other party so that you can properly meet their needs. The last key is the most important because it ensures that you are meeting the customers needs in a way that benefits both parties. This will lead to many more sales and clients coming your way. Having all three is what leads to becoming a great salesperson. The best part is that all of these skills can be learned. No one is born a salesperson. They must develop the skills to persuade.

As the marketplace changes and more jobs and workplaces are becoming automated, sales will be the one skill set that will continue to be needed by all companies. As I mentioned earlier, nothing sells itself. So the people that are able to meet client needs by communicating the value of a product or service will always be in demand. I’m always looking for incredible sales people. I love people who have so much confidence in themselves and the product that they believe not selling someone on the product is actually a disservice to that person because nothing else will meet their needs as well! I hope that this cleared up the air on sales. You are in sales. I am in sales. The kid who convinces his parents to let him eat candy is in sales. Everyone is in sales! Now go out and show others how you can meet their needs the best.

In health,

Sean

The Problem With Passion

We are often told to find something we are passionate about to do for our work because it will make us happy. I think this is terrible advice. How many people tried out their passion in the marketplace and ended up on unemployment and food stamps? Where do you think the term “starving artist” comes from? Don’t get me wrong, if you can find something you’re passionate about and also make a good living doing, that’s fantastic! But first and foremost, making money is about providing value to others in the marketplace. Finding an occupation that others value and are willing to pay for is the fastest way for most people to produce income. You may not be passionate about what you are doing, but at least you can fulfill financial needs. After you accumulate some savings, you may be able to start a side business based around something you are really passionate about and make it flourish. However, there are a couple of warnings that I would offer regarding mixing passion and work…

1. What you are passionate about today may change in the future. I can tell you from personal experience that what I was really passionate about in the past, I no longer have any interest in. Some things I believe I will always be passionate about–fitness, business, and writing. But some things, like Magic the Gathering and wrestling, which I used to be very passionate about, no longer do it for me. If I had decided out of high school to start a business selling comics and playing cards, or becoming a wrestler, I imagine that I’d be wildly unhappy today. I’d probably also be struggling to make ends meat.

2. Work and business have a tendency to make you question whether you are really passionate about something. In other words, it can lead some people to actually hate what they used to be passionate about. For example, I learned very quickly after I opened a health club, that my passion for bodybuilding and fitness had nothing to do whatsoever with actually owning and running a health club. My skills as a bodybuilder did not translate into increased revenues, decreased business expenses, higher employee morale, or anything necessary to make my businesses a success. Also, as some members of my clubs will tell you, I have a problem with buying too much new equipment because I personally want it, rather than examining whether it truly adds value to the customer experience or the value of the business as a whole. If I’m being totally honest, my passion for fitness has faded at times because now I associate many new problems and stresses with something that is my passion. That is a very difficult thing for most people to handle emotionally. It has taken me many years to figure out how to separate training with the realities of owning a training facility.

3. Being passionate about something does not necessarily mean that you will be good at doing it for a living, nor does it mean that you were meant to do it. What I’m trying to hint at here is that your purpose in this life may not be what you believe you are passionate about. If you are very lucky, you will find passion in your purpose. If this is the case, you will be one of the few who can produce income, by doing what you like and also by helping others (purpose). I suggest that you look for purpose first, and then try to find what it is about fulfilling your purpose that you can be passionate about. For instance, as a bodybuilder and health club owner with autoimmune disease, I can build businesses for others to become healthy and transform themselves, and also serve as an example for overcoming certain disabilities. I can’t do that only by lifting weights though. No one is going to pay me for lifting weights and doing cardio. (I wish they would!) I can, however use my passion for lifting and mix it with my purpose (helping others overcome obstacles). This is why I continue to own health clubs as opposed to doing all passive investing in things like real estate.

4. Passion often does not mix with logic. The Stoics advised us to always use reason instead of emotion, because they understood that our emotions could deceive us. Have you ever been in an argument and said some atrocious things? Looking back you may realize that saying those things were not useful in the least and you regret not thinking before speaking. This is an example of letting passion overcome reason. Eleanor Roosevelt was once complimented on her “passion” for getting social legislation passed. She responded, “I hardly think the word passion applies to me.” The First Lady understood that she was driven by something more important than passion. She was driven by purpose. If she let herself become too passionate about anything, she may have forgotten reason to ensure that her purpose was realized. Eleanor Roosevelt understood that purpose is more useful and longer lasting than passion.

So beware of any advice suggesting that if you always follow your passion, you’ll be happy. You may not. Passions fade. Passions confuse our ability to reason. What we are passionate about today may change. Perhaps no one will pay us to engage in our passion. Instead, focus on mixing purpose with passion. Finding your purpose and then finding areas where you can be passionate about that purpose will lead to far more fulfillment and likely far more income than choosing to follow a career based on passion alone.

In health,
Sean

Blueprint for an Incredible Workplace and Business

What follows are the notes I delivered to my staff. I think they are worth sharing and I’d like to give people some insight into my life as and entrepreneur and owner. If you can learn something as a staff member, manager or partner, I’ve done my job. For my clients, I’d like to even give you all a behind the scenes sneak peak of the philosophies that go into the business.

Fitness System meetings are anything but normal. I take pride in that. I don’t want there to be anything normal about us as a company. I want us to be remarkable. Incredible. Outstanding. Therefore, here are the notes from the last meeting. Follow these principles and we will all thrive and have an incredible workplace and life!

A. Outcome: It’s imperative that all associates know and work toward achieving their desired outcome every single day, every single shift. Outcome based work will yield immense results, while focusing on trivialities will destroy morale. (Example: Clean toilets = incredible environment. So cleaning the toilet is done with the outcome of providing an incredible experience.)

B. Focus: Most people focus on their problems and what is wrong. They focus on themselves and their own needs. I would suggest that focusing on how to deliver more value to others will give everyone a greater sense of accomplishment and well being.

C. Values and Adding Value: What are your values as a person? What is your personal philosophy? What are you doing to add value to others? WE DON’T GET PAID FOR OUR TIME. WE GET PAID FOR THE VALUE WE PROVIDE TO THE MARKETPLACE.

D. 3 Triads That Drive Everything in Life and Business:

1. Character, Positive Attitude and Willingness to Learn—These are the 3 traits of an excellent coworker

2. State Story and Strategy—The story you tell yourself about your job, your coworkers and your clients along with the physical state you bring to work and the strategies you employ will determine how successful and fulfilled you are.

3. Confidence Energy and Enthusiasm—All three are necessary to provide MAKE-YOU-HAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE.

All of the above require all three parts of the triad to work. Without one, they are a two-legged stool. With all three triads working, you will be living in an incredible state and have and incredible work experience and life. You will also be adding incredible value to everyone around you.

E. Operating by the Golden Rule Principle: Who you are and what you do to provide the value to your coworkers, managers and customers that you wish they would reciprocate to you. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Don’t expect your co-workers to perform if you are not willing to step up for them.

F. What Destroys a Workplace: Negativity, Gossip, Focusing on Problems, Lack of Harmony, Lack of Discipline among ALL staff, AND ABOVE ALL—not getting enough leverage on yourself to make sure you do what you say you will do. In other words, what are the consequences for not achieving something? Those with massive leverage accomplish a great deal.

“The path of least resistance makes all rivers and most men crooked.” Most take the easy road. These choices lead to a lack of self-discipline that begins to destroy a person’s humanity.

Words to Know:

Entropy: a lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. All businesses, relationships and people will naturally turn to disorder and chaos unless there is deliberate action to avoid it.

Habituation: the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus. Whatever we do repeatedly we get used to and we get bored or tired of. This is true for most people in a workplace, a relationship or even with something like driving a car. Habituation causes us to stop paying close attention to things and allow entropy to ensue.

15 Ways to Add Value in the World

People love lists, and for me personally they work to keep my mind steady and in proper working condition. However most lists are not useful to us as we don’t usually follow them, but certain lists belong in every human’s operating manual. The most important thing we can do with our time is to add value to another’s life. Nothing will yield more satisfaction in life than by contributing to the brotherhood of man. Likewise, nothing can yield you more money in the marketplace than figuring out how to add value to another’s life. So, without further ado: 15 Ways To Add Value in the World…

  1. Always do more than you get paid for. Go the extra mile so that people speak nicely of you always.
  2. Make people feel special whenever possible.
  3. Focus on complimenting everyone you meet and spend time with by sharing something you admire about them.
  4. Figure out their needs and try to deliver what they need. This is the foundation of both a fulfilling life and the free market.
  5. Look them in the eye and smile often.
  6. Keep fresh memories about all the positive aspects of that person and relay that information often.
  7. Be lavish with praise and slow to criticize.
  8. Think about life from their perspective and try to alleviate pain when possible.
  9. Touch them physically or with words to communicate your love for them.
  10. Let them know you think of them often.
  11. Take a tone of voice that communicates respect and understanding.
  12. Do something nice without expecting anything in return.
  13. Go out of your way to deliver a moment of happiness whenever possible.
  14. Do not let your imagination go wild with false, negative thoughts the person may have.
  15. Silently say, “Thank you, I love you,” in your head before speaking with another human. Everyone is fighting a battle you may not know about. Remember that and you’ll always operate from a place of compassion and not fear.