Selling: The Greatest Secret of Success
By: J. Marlando
Author of: Succeeding in Business for the Love of It
& The Homeowner’s and Homebuyer’s Guide to Easy Wealth
Everything, at bottom line, is sales—as I write these words we are quickly approaching the presidential election (2012) between Romney and Obama—I listened to both their acceptance speeches and both were selling themselves with as much gusto as they could muster. But after all, in the end, the best “salesman” will win the election.
When a nation or country decides it wants to go to war, the highest priority quickly becomes to “sell” the population on the idea.
Doctors to lawyers, plumbers to politicians are all in sales directly or indirectly! All the workers on the assembly line of the auto industry are dependent on sales just as the chief executives are—without sales Wall Street shuts down and Main Street, in a term, dries up. Without sales, no more football or, for that matter, even footballs! Everyone knows all this because sales are the cornerstone of our civilization. In fact, there would not be one pyramid if somebody hadn’t made a sale.
I began my earliest adult life in sales—I was a Fuller Brush man at age 17, I sold Kirby Vacuum Cleaners after that—this was all door to door and yes, I once sold pots and pans and sewing machines house to house too. You don’t see much of that kind of direct selling anymore but when I was first entering the work force that was a respectable way to make a living. The basic philosophy was that a person will never starve as long as he or she can sell. That philosophy still holds true!
Later in life I used to exchange letters with one of the world’s great salespersons, Og Mandino. Og wrote a great number of books but his best remains, “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” It’s a book that can literally change your life and a book at the very top of my list of “must reads.”
In another book with the title, “The Spellbinder’s Gift,” Og reminds us all that we don’t have to be some kind of genius to succeed. He writes: “You already possess all the tools and materials necessary in order to change your life for the better. In this world the greatest rewards of success, wealth and happiness are usually obtained not through the exercise of special powers such as genius or intellect, but through one’s energetic use of simple means and ordinary qualities.”
This is a vital bit of information for most of us who were not born equipped with some extraordinary gift or at least a stash of money to launch our life with. And, in our world of modernism’s high technology, poverty for a great many is even a more devastating state than it has been historically. Indeed, decreasing jobs in labor is increasing the gap between the haves and have-nots at a sad and frightening pace. And, there is no doubt about it, minimum wage supports poverty (not the poor) …and always will!
With all the above in mind, I am now going to make an outlandish statement—I am going to give you the secrets of succeeding more than you already are no matter if you are presently a custodian or a top executive, if you are selling burgers at McDonalds or perfumes at Macy’s; if your business is gardening, waitressing or selling cars and whether or not you’re a business owner or an employee. I am, in fact, going to promise you that if you actually put what I am about to tell you into practice you will absolutely make positive changes in your life and in a fairly short period of time. Indeed, in a way, I am going to show you how to open up the doors to your world by nothing other than your human thought and action.
Let’s get started.
Grasping the Theorem
What is it that most everyone wants—Good health, happiness, peace of mind and…money! The problem is that in our so-called civilized world money takes precedence because the lack of it can certainly contribute to our health problems, unhappiness and anxiety levels. And, the very cost of living, including mandatory spending is a major challenge for virtually countless people. We do not have to belabor this subject, however, as only a few escapes the harsh reality of needing more.
While very few people realize they “wear” all this doom and gloom in their personalities—this is not to say that people don’t smile during their busy work days or are impolite (although there are those who aren’t very pleasant) but that the pressure and strain of financial struggling surfaces in countless ways even while most people do their best to cover up their personal problems with their professional personas. That is, in general, at least most people try to do their jobs in a positive, productive way as they struggle to get through their day, their week and their year. I say struggle only because so many folks are working from pay check to pay check and that seldom ever makes for a great frame of mind.
Now then, it is essential for us to jump from the “worker” be he or she an executive/owner or employee. We are used to thinking in terms of how workers treat customers but quite often customers can be real pains in the association too. Keep this in mind because it’s a topic we’ll be returning to.
Now then, with the above said, I want to move out of the brick and mortar world and into the world of mind. I want to show you a way of succeeding beyond your wildest dreams or at least to the level that you truly want to succeed. And this is an important observation to make: while nearly all of us claim that we want to be billionaires, few people really do—they wouldn’t want the bother, the demands of time and effort. In other words, a great many people merely want enough money to pay the bills, have a few luxuries; be able to enjoy their lives, lean back and have some fun. There’s nothing wrong with this ambition! After all, there are no rules or regulations that dictate what “ambition” ought to be. My own father worked hard, loved his job and we never had want for virtually anything…he was a coal miner. You know the old saying, different strokes for different folks…my good friend and business partner, Mark Pierce, made a lot of money in the air conditioning business and retired young to do what he loves most to do, fish and sail. And so the point is, you do not have to want to compete with Mitt Romney or Donald Trump in order to have your own vision of what success (for you) is. My dad, for example, was one of the most successful men I have ever known.
Now then, what is this universal secret that I have? Well, first know that all the old, tried and true rules for succeeding apply.
1. You must be conscientious in your work.
2. You can’t be a procrastinator
3. You have to put effort into whatever it is you do
4. You need to maintain a positive attitude
All this goes without saying no matter if you’re a business owner, a top executive or an employee. If you don’t comply to the big-4 basic disciplines of succeeding in the real world…you probably won’t. But how do you “magically” turn struggle and/or mediocrity into your personal success story?
You become a love entrepreneur!
Please, do not let the world “love” scare you and do not stop reading here because the term gives you visions of Pollyannaish mysticisms. I have been writing about (and lecturing this topic) for a great many years—in fact, I began teaching it starting back in the 1970s so I can tell you that what I am about to share will work for you if you give it an honest try: I will attempt to explain how and why.
There are two kinds of love: First, the kind that you target toward your family and friends. This is NOT the kind of love I am talking about. The other kind of love is untargeted, Universal and often called unconditional love. This is the kind of love I am speaking of; the kind of love that is open, unbiased and unlimited. We all have capacity for loving in this way and do as children until we are corrupted by our socialization.
Major reasons why so many people fail to demonstrate their wonderful capacity to love unconditionally is that unconditional love is of the heart and not the mind—the mind possesses ego and therefore wants to profit from its emotions, fears rejection and exists in its own value judgments. Thus to love unconditionally is first to transcend ego opening the self to the heart’s reality of wholeness.
A problem (or challenge) is that loving unconditionally is no easy chore since the odds are that your entire socialization has been in support of self-centeredness. Indeed, you were probably raised being indoctrinated to believe in a divided world that is made up of winners and losers, victims and victors, successes and failures. When I was a young school boy I would now and then poke fun at a neighbor boy who drug his feet as opposed to walking like everyone else. One day my grandmother caught me doing this and gave me a harsh reprimand. She told me that the boy, Albert, who had three sisters and four brothers, was so poor he had to wear his older brother’s hand-me-down-shoes and those shoes were too big for him and that he had to drag his feet to keep them on. I felt terrible of course but this is exactly how most everyone concocts their value judgments as they go through daily life—they judge the surfaces as if it really were the cover that reflects the value of the book.
To stop judging others this way takes more than a change of attitude and calls for a change in worldview: We have been trained to see the world in a “me” and “it” and an “I” and “thou” way. I am here and everything else is there! But this is not the actual case since we are all in a web of relationships—In fact, you have never seen the tree outside your window, only inside your head so you and YOUR world do not exist separately from one another. All this becomes a topic for another article so we’ll summarize by saying that there are NO others at least in the way that you are used to thinking about them—we are ALL the same and it’s only our differences that are apparent.
So when you JUDGE the poor homeless person on the street or the passerby in the big, shiny limousine, the priest, the prostitute or whoever, you are necessarily judging yourself since they ARE YOU only in different circumstances. The wonderful capacity to have empathy is rooted in our connectedness with everyone else, not our ability to merely “feel” for others. Indeed, it is compassion that arrives from this capability!
When we can truly comprehend that we are all the same and that our differences are only apparent we can actually love our neighbors as ourselves, we can actually treat others as we would be treated. Indeed, in business, you can know that the cranky clerk or cranky customer, the cranky boss or cranky employee is responding to the totality of his or her experiences just as you are and so you can LOVE him or her anyway. And, when you simply love someone, you not only create a positive feeling but you actually change the environment.
Imagine if you walked into a store where all the employees were, if you will, love entrepreneurs and you happen to be in a sour mood for any number of reasons. Even if you do not buy anything at the time, you will recall the wonderful service and sincere help you received and will sooner or later return and probably give a lot of word-of-mouth advertising for that store in the interim.
But loving unconditionally works in all arenas of your life—No matter what you do be it make widgets on an assembly line or run a corporation when you permit yourself to loving unconditionally and walk in that mode of being, your life will soon enough start changing for the better—in fact, after only a few days of walking your every path in unconditional love, people will begin asking you questions such as, are you taking vitamins, have you been working out, what’s your secret and so forth.
But how do you really love unconditionally since you have been conditioned to love conditionally and expect reciprocation in the doing?
Learning to Love...Unconditionally
Before diving into the “how to” love openly and without boundaries, I am compelled to talk about why at least some folks reject the entire idea.
When some people think of walking through their lives loving all there is, which is exactly what unconditional love does, they think that being in that state of mind and heart will make them become like the holier-than-thou types who look down their noses at others and speak like they have a mouth full of lemon drops or start speaking in whispers as if they are so sickening sweet that even lifting their voices might crack their virtue.
Well, leave those kinds of worries by the wayside—loving unconditionally frees you and does not restrict you like the fanatics who habitually wear their goodness on their sleeves and sermonize to everyone else. In short, you won’t turn into a Goodie Good Shoes by choosing to love the world unconditionally and have to give up your personality and suddenly become saintly. Loving unconditionally is opening your heart to your world and to all that is in it, not becoming a gooey narrator of goodness.
What loving unconditionally actually does is gives you the experience of oneness not only with other people but with the whole of Nature—if you will, it returns you to yourself in a wholeness that is unwavering. In fact, it gifts you with an inner-joy, an inner-confidence and an inner-strength that perhaps you never believed was possible for you to have. And, as said, good things begin to happen for you.
But how do any of us truly love unconditionally when so many of the experiences of our lives have been outside the conditions of love?
First, you must decide to love YOURSELF unconditionally.
Until you can do this, you will never be able to become a “love entrepreneur.”
This means letting loose of ALL your regrets, all that shames you and that you FORGIVE all those who have in anyway harmed you…including you! It is only after this that you can begin loving the world openly and freely.
A way of reaching this juncture can take time. Thus, you need to make it your practice to say every day to the image in your mirror—you are loving and lovable. It is essential that you know BOTH these things about yourself without any doubt whatsoever.
How will you know when you actually love you—your world will literally turn brighter and you will feel lighter. Wait and see.
Remembering that you can only love others to the extent that you love yourself, you truly must love yourself unconditionally and reaching this state-of-being can take weeks or even months of effort. After all, you’ll probably be deconstructing a lifetime of (unloving) conditioning!
Once you are sure that you love you unconditionally begin taking walks just for the joy of loving other things—not just other people. Get into the habit of going on love walks during which you say silently to yourself, “I love you” to everything you pass and/or greet. Yes, I am talking about the trees and even the grass beneath your feet; not only to the birds but to the sky itself. If you have the courage to do this, I will promise you that in a short time you will feel a connectedness that you might not even have imagined existed and, ironically, that connectedness will set you free.
I’ve composed a confirmation that you may want to copy down to read now and then along your way:
Today I will love the world and by doing so
I will walk the path of love
And walking the path of love, I will be kind.
In kindness there is mercy and so today I will be merciful,
I will also be charitable.
In charity there is tolerance and so today I will be tolerant.
Where there is tolerance there is compassion and so today
I will be compassionate.
Where there is compassion, there is love
And so today I will love the world and in the doing
I will walk the path of love.
On a strictly business level what is most important to business?
Well, yes of course, sales but if sales are the only motivation that business will be most apt to fail. What nearly all business must gain to truly grow themselves into lasting success stories is customer loyalty.
When making the sale becomes the objective as it is in nearly all self-help outlets and, by the way, self-help stores will be increasing in the future not decreasing and so this gives the “service shop” a tremendous advantage in the marketplace. When people become the focus of any business as opposed to profit, that business will be building on a strong foundation and will eventuate into making more profit per-customer than their competitors with their automatics check-outs and minimal employee count who act as if it is a bother to answer your questions.
What then becomes the motivation of the owner, executives, floor managers and salespeople in a love-based business?
1. Every customer is greeted with love-based attentiveness.
2. Every customer is (really) listened to.
3, Every customer is known by name.
4. Every customer is given importance if they make a purchase or not.
5. Every customer is responded to on a personal basis.
In regard to the above Gary Hamel tells us to ask ourselves: What do we actually know about customers? Are we using every opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the customers’ needs and desires? Are we capturing all the date we could? How do we use this knowledge to serve them in new ways? Have we given the customers the need to make empowered and intelligent purchasing decisions? What information would customers like to have?
No matter how friendly or unfriendly a customer is, when you enter your store you want him or her to feel better about themselves and their world when they leave; you want your entire store or plant to be a joyful, loving and so caring environment. Remember businesses too have personalitiesand few—at least these days—are very conscientious much less caring beyond how much you’ve spent at the cash register. In fact, these days the majority of businesses are run by bureaucracies; bureaucracies by their very nature are uncaring and calloused so any business that can honesty offer customer concern and customer care will eventually win over the might of those companies that can underprice you…and do.
Now then, what about the person not directly in sales?
I will repeat, everyone is in sales—even when we ask for a job we are selling; we are selling ourselves when we are working no matter what we do—the musician must sell himself to his audience no less than the politician, mentioned at the top of this article must do. Both the loaner and borrower are selling!
I have told this story before but I will repeat it here in brief because it is so representational of what I am talking about: There was a married man who was married, had a good job and a life that looked bright for the future. Then things began falling apart. He lost his job. He started drinking heavily and ended up losing his wife. He ended up in a cheap apartment and doing gardening work to squeak out a living.
He met my friend, Jim Yates, a motivational speaker and writer, quite by accident and after a short talk Jim promised to give him the greatest secrets of sales and success if he would do exactly what he was told to do. The man desperate to get his life back together quickly made the promise.
Within only a few months the gardener’s customer list grew, he began getting a lot of positive word of mouth advertising and soon enough he had a crew of helpers. Then the big break came, one of his biggest customers backed him in his own Nursery and Landscaping Business and the gardener’s life was changed forever.
What were his secrets?
Very few people have jobs that they love but everyone can CHOOSE to love what they do and this was instruction one: to DECIDE to love the work you do.
2. To love every customer and to say to them “I love you” silently to himself before serving them.
3. At every opportunity to give each customer a little extra caring and extra service.
If you are not directly in sales, you can DECIDE to put love in the spirit of your work just as you can DECIDE to love your fellow employees, your employers (even if they are pompous tyrants to work for) and everyone that you greet during your day. If you have the courage to actually try this, to actually, as is said, give it a shot, you will begin seeing some wonderful changes in your life. Indeed, positive synchronicities will start occurring for you and the more loving energy you give the more you have.
If you can let loose of the ordinary concepts of what love is and, if you will, what love does and begin contemplating love as an empowerment, making service a major action of love, you will soon enough begin seeing—and feeling—not only positive but happy results in your life.
Walk the Path
First, practice loving unconditionally. Loving unconditionally takes away the ego’s desire for reciprocation and eliminates the fear of rejection. When you walk the path without fear or desire everything in your world suddenly seems fulfilled.
In regard to the above all one needs to do, is to give thought to what the Dalai Lama teaches. He tells us, “There are two types of ego, just as there are two types of desire. Of the two types of feeling of ‘I’ the feeling of the ‘strong ‘I’ that forgets about other’s rights and in which one considers oneself more important than others, is wrong. The other type of ego that makes one feel ‘I can do this, I can help, I can serve’ is right.
When these affirmations are put into practice in private life as well as public life the entire world becomes simpler, easier, happier and more productive and so rewarding. Remember that you have enough love in your heart to fill the Universe so you can easily fill your day with love by simply deciding to.
If you happen to be in business for yourself--and we all are to one degree or another--you will want to read, 'Succeeding in Business for the Love of." It is a long time out of print nopw but can still be purchased (for pennies) on Amazon. Go to Amazon Books and write the authors name in.