Saturday, August 25, 2012

Selling Copiers and MFPs "Earning Mental Toughness"

For those of us that have been selling copiers for 20-30 plus years (yes there's still a few of us around) the month to month and then quarter to quarter grinding quota cycles can take their toll on your mental toughness. 

Yes, there was once a time even for me when I hesitated to make the next cold call on the phone, then praying that someone did not answer the phone when I called, and even turned tail performing an in person cold call because I was afraid that I would be rejected when I opened the door.  I'm sure if I had these feeling that there are many of us that have struggled with rejection in our sales career. 

You can't buy mental toughness, and someone can't teach you mental toughness.  Mental toughness is something you earn, and you can earn it in a variety of ways.  In my teens I worked for a "family" produce company in NJ, I was the only employee who was not related to "the family".  At 16 years old it was a learning experience that I'll never forget.  I was hired to lift, sort and stack trailers and produce racks with produce.   Since I was not in "the family" whenever I thought about doing it my way, it turned out to be the "wrong way".  When I was asked what happened with this or that, I replied "I thought....blah blah", I was reminded by screaming family members that I was not paid to think. I was paid to do what I was told. At 16-19 (I did that job for 3 years) years old it was my introduction into the world of business. It seemed I was always making mistakes, fouling things up , dropping things or trying to do something that I thought was a better way.  However, I hung in and took my lumps, I learned that I was not going to get fired, and after sometime the screaming was something that I got use to. I learned not to take it personally and and to let things go.   I earned the mental toughness to stay with the job, because I went on with my work after a screaming episode and went back to work the next day.

When I started in copier sales, let me back up a minute I was actually hired as a technician first.  After six months I had my review and the owner of the company gave me outstanding marks on my ability to take copiers apart, to say the least he was not impressed with the way I put them back together and wanted to lay me off.  He did state, that if I wanted to stay on, I could try my hand at sales.  I took the sales job and never looked back.

I've had those days where every it seems like everyone is hanging up on you, or how about the cold calls when the receptionist states "you're the 4th copier person that stopped in today", better yet, you were told by the owner of the company you cold called to "get the F out"!  These were all learning experiences that earned me mental toughness and in the long run I learned that there are far worse things that can happen in your life than having someone hang up on you, or tell you to get out and even state tell you that we bought from the cute sales person.  Eh, we've all been thrown of better places that yours right (was a line I would repeat to my self).

The attitude to take forward every day is that I have a great product, an awesome solution, excellent product knowledge and a great support company. If someone hangs up, doesn't want to listen and cuts me off or tells me we're not interested, my attitude turns to "that person or company is missing out on the most important thing that I bring to the table", which is ME.  Then in my own mind I recall a great line my father always stated, "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt" and with that I'm off to my next phone call or appointment!

Go out and earn your mental toughness and you'll become a superstar sales person.

-=Good Selling=-

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