Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Keep it Consistent - or I'm Off!

Aside from the hours that I spend behind the microphone every day, I always top up the payments on my private jet by working in a sales environment. It comes in very handy when putting myself forward for corporate work, as twenty five years in sales has given me a natural tone which people find reassuring. I don’t know about you but I personally hate being screamed at by some children’s presenter in a suit. People just don’t like being sold to, but they do love to buy. Those aren’t my words, they’re the words of one of my favourite sales gurus - Jeffrey Gitomer.

Jeffrey has written loads of books and given talks and seminars around the globe that have helped bad sales people become good, and good sales people become unstoppable. He has an enthusiasm which is truly infectious. if you’re in sales, I highly recommend checking him out. 

He also produces a weekly newsletter, as indeed many sales training people do, and that’s what’s inspired this week’s blog.

You see, I subscribe to a number of these newsletters and eZines - seriously, how is that even a word anyway? Week by week I receive what I consider to be good guidance from sales professionals whose experience and knowledge I respect. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve heard before and that’s fine, but as long as it’s useful, I’ll read it.

Today, that all went wrong. Now I won’t name the sales person in question because it would not be fair to them (I’m saying them instead of him or her so there are no clues). For the past few weeks I’ve been reading what this person had to say with great interest. They had some great tips and even turned me on to a new type of service which I think could do wonders for my business. I became excited about receiving the next installment, because a simple five minutes out of my day to read something could really bolster my figures right? WRONG.

Today, this person started going on about the Laws of Attraction, and how visualising something can make it real. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a great believer in that sort of thing. I’m all for a positive mental attitude and I am often amazed at how someone who I haven’t thought about for 10 years will pop into my head and then come back into my life within a week. This stuff does happen - I’ve read The Secret. Well, I say read, I’ve got the audio book on my iPod but it’s just not the right thing to listen to on a 5 mile run.

What annoyed me is that this ‘guru’ had taken the basic elements of The Secret, changed a few words without changing the message, and then put it out there as their own wisdom. I don’t have too much of an issue with their blatant copying - we do it all the time. What bugged me is that this person went in a totally different direction with his training, and it was totally without warning too.

If I want a bunch of crystal wearing, naked chanting, tree hugging, vegetarian, soul searching sentiment then there are plenty of places that I can go. If you want to market yourself in that space then that’s fine. Perhaps you can offer a free yoga session to everyone who buys your book - no doubt printed on recycled paper by farmers who are happy to be paid in love rather than actual money. But if you want to teach people how to succeed in business, telling them to smile and be positive is simply not good enough.

They tell me that ‘Whatever I believe, will be reality’. Interesting, I believe you’re about to lose a subscriber.....incredible...this stuff actually works!

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