The Gold Call Blog

Negative People...

Ever spend some time with a negative person? (Wonk-Wonk) Everything is a downer.
The sun may be shining, but to 'negative people' it is pouring rain every day. There are seven days in a week, but to a negative person, every day is Monday.
When speaking to negative people, no matter how much positive spin you put on a story, a negative person will always attach the downside perspective. I wish they would all just shut the heck up!

The big problem with negative people is that you have to live with them, work with them, travel with them, and sometimes wait on the supermarket checkout line with them. Their persistent whining about things they have no control over is worse than the sound of nails scratching on a blackboard.

The bigger problem with negative people is that their 'vinegar' tends to splash all over us whenever they are around. We are a captive audience to their constant pessimism. We hear the negative, and if we're not careful we can join the "boo-hoo choir" and wind up feeling negative ourselves. Not good!

The sounds of Negative People:

"Our product costs too much"

"No sense in making cold calls in July - everyone is on vacation"

"Why can't you be like…"

"You can't do that"

"Why bother"

"That won't work"

There comes a time when you have to turn your 'hearing aid' off and pay no attention to negative people. Negative people tend to assume they can pull friends & co-workers into the negative abyss with them. Misery loves company , but don't let it be you!

Whenever you encounter a negative person simply nod politely and explain that you have to run to a meeting, or jump on a call. No sense sticking around to hear their 'sob story' - you've got a job to do.

The Power of Positive Thinking - Redeux

The Power of Positive Thinking Webinar
When: Thursday, July 17th @ 1:00 PM EDT 10:00 AM PDT

Wanted to let you know that I’m fine tuning my presentation ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’. Looking forward to greeting each of you on the 17th!

I live on Long Island and I occasionally get to the beach. This past weekend it was Jones Beach, and it was mobbed! Having lived here on Long Island all my life I can say without hesitation that the traffic here is unbearable. This past weekend was no exception. As my bad luck would have it, it seemed that everyone else decided to head to Jones Beach at the same time. I was stuck in traffic, and I wasn’t happy about it.

After a few U turns and frustrated waiting times for a parking spot, I was about to throw in the proverbial beach towel and head home for another boring day in the back yard. Then it struck me. Why was I allowing circumstances beyond my control to alter my otherwise joyful frame of mind? Why was I allowing traffic to intrude on a beautiful day with blue skies, and a look at the sandy beach and blue ocean? Why? Because I chose to be miserable instead of thinking about the positive outcome – like putting my toes in the sand, having a cold beer, and a chance to relax and read one of my favorite books, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’.

Often times we focus our attention on the bad, and the good gets very little, if any credit. That’s human nature.
One of the best ways to achieve a more positive life is to start conditioning your mind to prioritize and accent the positive whenever you encounter a negative moment. Rather than over inflate the reality of the problem, why not try and discount it, and try focusing on the other positive aspects of your life?. Easier said than done, but certainly possible if you can train your mind to stop panicking about the stupid stuff and focus your energy on seeing the lighter side of things, and understand that there is a solution to every problem if you can exercise a little patience.

By the way, after taking a deep breath and deciding to take one more lap around the Jones Beach parking lot to find a spot, someone just happened to pull out of a spot in the front row right in front of me. I couldn’t believe my luck! A short walk to the beach later and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for being so ticked off about the traffic and parking. Things really do work themselves out eventually. Oh happy day!

If you looking for some great insight from personal experience on how to re-program your mind to thinking positive, then Join me on Thursday, July 17th @ 1000 PDT, 1:00 PM EDT for a discussion on how to harness the ‘Power of Positive Thinking’

Click Here to Register

Topics of discussion:
* You are luckier than you think!
* Bad sales calls are NOT the end of the world
* Quick ideas for chasing the ‘blues’
* You’re #1 no matter what

You Think You Have Problems?

No matter how bad things may seem there is always someone less fortunate than you. We don't often think of things in this way, and that is the prevailing reason why our thoughts are often negative despite the positive. The strongest people in history have always faced some form of adversity, but they found a way to persevere despite the obstacles. Think of Jackie Robinson. Despite the vitriolic hate spewed from the mouths of racist haters in the stands at Ebbets Field, Jackie Robinson took the field and let his bat and glove do the talking. Jackie was an American hero to say the least. He had the passion to persevere, and he did so with the utmost class.

Another American hero did something similar back on July 4th 1939. Lou Gehrig, in spite of his health, and knowing that he would eventually die from his illness, took to the microphone and let a Yankee Stadium crowd know just how lucky he was despite his "bad break". Could you or I even contemplate doing something similar?
Most people dwell on the negative, and allow it to control their lives, but not Lou! Despite his "bad break" he was greateful for what he had. When the 'chips' are down, be like Lou. When you face adversity, walk tall and proud like Jackie Robinson. Don't let the 'turkeys' bring you down!

THE SPEECH

Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939

"Fans, for the past two weeks, you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift -- that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies -- that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter -- that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body -- it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed -- that's the finest I know.

"So I close in saying . . . that I may have had a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

Happy Memorial Day!

The recent arrest of 13 youths in Iran for publicly dancing to Farrell William's feel-good song 'Happy' should remind us of the true meaning of Memorial Day. Iran has strict laws about what can be broadcast online and on TV, with dancing among a number of banned activities.
In America an arrest such as this is unthinkable. We have freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly, but we take our freedoms for granted because it's all we've ever known. In countries like Iran the suppression of freedom is all they've ever known.
This Memorial Day I hope you will take into account the sacrifices made by our military men and women to protect our individual freedoms. Your rights against unlawful search and seizure, and your right to publicly criticize your government are the prized possessions of a democratic republic, and we should give thanks to those that served and died to preserve our bill of rights.
Happy Memorial Day!

Mastering 'Pattern Interrupt'

Hello Sandler Fans,
The other day I read a comment posted on a LinkedIn discussion group, and read someone's post that presented an example of what he thought was a 'pattern interrupt' based on his interpretation of the Sandler Training principals. The problem was, the example he used wasn't a 'pattern interrupt' at all in the truest sense of the meaning. I've seen this done several times over the years by trainers and salespeople, and so I just had to speak up.

Here's the example the writer used to define a 'pattern interrupt'…
Prospect: "Hello"?
Salesperson:Hi Jim, this is John Smith. Does that name sound familiar?“
This is NOT a 'pattern interrupt'! It's a simple question.

The preceding dialogue exchange is akin to walking up to someone and instead of saying, "Hello, my name is…" You say, "How about a nice Hawaiian Punch"?
There is a certain 'shock factor' when the your prospect hears this question, but does this really do anything to advance the conversation? The answer is no. You also run the risk of sounding like a nut.

Thinking that your prospect is expecting you to say one thing, and then you say something else, may, in your opinion "break the pattern", but that's not the real intent of the 'pattern interrupt'. The goal of the 'pattern interrupt' is to get you more information from a question!

In my humble opinion, and based upon what David Sandler told me himself back in 1988, the proper definition of a 'pattern interrupt' is to go down one path in a conversation, and then abruptly turn the conversation in another direction by asking a 'reversing question'. In doing so you've broken the thought pattern of your prospect on one topic, and now you have your prospect focused on answering another question that requires a more elaborate answer that you hope is closer to the truth.

If you've been exposed to Sandler Training for more than 2 weeks, then you know by now that David Sandler in his infinite wisdom created a sales dialogue that is designed to "take your prospects mind away" and get it pointed in a new direction so that the canned objections of your typical prospects are nullified. Remember the term, "Disarm your prospects"? That's the real benefit of the 'pattern interrupt'.

The "pattern interrupt" is really a form of 'reversing'. In some of the Sandler material you will find 'pattern interrupt' also defined as the 'Start-Stop Reverse'.
Here's how it works…
Prospect Asking: "How much does your service cost"?
Salesperson Answering: "Well, our costs range anywhere from $100 to… -STOP - and then reverse with, "You must have a very good reason for asking how much things cost so quickly in conversation"?
* Now you can advance the conversation and gather the real reason behind the prospect's question.
* Remember the 'Rule of Three'?

Here's another example…
Prospect Asking: "What guarantee do I have that you will deliver on time"?
Salesperson Answering: "Well, given the size of our fleet delivery vehicles… -STOP - and then reverse with, "What does "on time" mean to you"?
* Now you have advanced the conversation and can arrive at a conclusion as to what "on time" means, and not go off course and brag about how many delivery trucks your company has, and how well maintained they are.

Once again, asking a question that you don't think your prospect expects you to ask is NOT a 'pattern interrupt' - it's an attempt at mind reading. I think there's a lesson somewhere in the Green Dollar Sign that speaks out against that sort of thing…

Mastering First Impressions...

In a broadcast of ABC World News Tonight that aired back in February 2004, I learned of a study that Tufts University had conducted that studied how quickly people can draw a first impression conclusion about someone.

What you will read below is a summary of a study about how quickly people, including prospects, can draw a first impression conclusion about someone else in about 2-5 seconds. There’s no margin for error with first impressions.

What we should learn from the study is that before we make a cold call, or any call to a prospect or customer, salespeople should seriously consider the first impression they are giving to their prospects in the opening 2-10 seconds of any cold call. One misspoken word, or the weak sound of your voice can create the wrong first impression, so you have to be careful what you say and how you speak to sales prospects if you want to avoid creating the wrong first impression of yourself and hurt your chances of success. Read on…

Quick Encounters, Lasting Impressions

Research by a Tufts psychologist indicates that humans can form a lasting impression of another person after just a few-second glimpse.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02-17-04] Political candidates, job seekers and public figures take note: first impressions count – and they may be made a lot faster than most people think, according to a Tufts psychologist’s research. In an interview with ABC News, Tufts’ Nalini Ambady said humans can make a lasting judgment about someone after seeing their face for just a few seconds.

“Human brains, says professor Ambady, can decide a lot in [just a few] seconds,” reported ABC News. “So quick impressions matter.”

Ambady proved the point in a unique experiment she designed to test the power of brief encounters.

“She asked students to come to a classroom where she showed them short videos [10 seconds long, without sound] of teachers they’d never met,” reported ABC. “Then the students were asked to rate the teachers in a variety of categories.”

Ambady compared the results with course evaluations submitted by students who took a course from the professors over a full semester.

The results, Ambady told ABC News, were startling.

“Students who saw professors for 10 seconds gave the exact same ratings as students who knew them for months,” reported the news report.

Ambady shortened the clip from 10 seconds to just two seconds in a similar experiment and achieved the same result.

“There was very little difference [in their evaluations],” the associate professor told ABC News. “It was amazing.”

During just a brief encounter (“It passes by fast,” Ambady jokes), humans can make what appear to be quick, but lasting, judgments. The roots of the phenomena may date back to earlier, more primitive times.

“From pre-historic times, we have evolved to look at faces and make snap judgments – is he going to hurt me? Is he going to help me?” reported ABC News. “Even the briefest glimpse makes an impression – a bigger impression than you know.”

The Problem With Gatekeepers

The one question I get asked most often by salespeople is, “How do I get past the gatekeeper“? I usually ask in return, “Why do you talk to gatekeepers in the first place“? With so many options available to salespeople in the information age to get direct dial numbers, and the opportunity to call prospects early morning (0800) or late afternoon (after 5:30), I’m surprised that the ‘Gatekeeper Screen’ continues to be a problem for salespeople around the world. READ MORE...

Cold Calling is NOT Forever (Thank God!)

If you are a salesperson that makes cold calls I need not tell you that it is the hardest part of the profession. Calling complete strangers and trying to make sense and command attention is no easy task. It is also an activity wrought with failure. However, if you can find a way to ‘stomach’ the effort your chances of succeeding in business are much better than someone that never, or hardly ever cold calls. If you really want to succeed bad enough, you’ll find a way to put up with the mundane dialing of that telephone everyday. The pain of failure is far worse than the pain associated with trying to succeed. READ MORE...

A Sales Call in Dallas

Everyone alive on November 22, 1963 remembers when they heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. I was a young ‘tike’, just shy of my 5th birthday. My parents were backing the car out of our long driveway with me in the back seat sitting behind my dad when we were met by a neighbor from across the street. My father rolled down the window and I heard the words, “The president has been shot”!
The assassination of President Kennedy has captured my attention and curiosity ever since. When the Warren Commission report was released, I borrowed a copy from the local library and read the entire book cover to cover. I was only 7! I’m sure that I was not alone. The assassination of President Kennedy has captivated the attention of our nation ever since, and will probably continue indefinitely. That horrible day in Dallas will was a day that will live in infamy.
A few years back, I attended a sales kickoff meeting in Dallas for a client of mine. When I received my plane ticket I was excited to say the least, but the thing that excited me the most was that it would be my first trip to Dallas, and I might have  chance to visit Dealey Plaza.
The sales kickoff conference I attended just outside Dallas took up most of the day. The sun was setting, and I was starting to feel that I would miss my chance to visit Dealey Plaza.
While chatting with people after the conference had ended, I struck up a conversation with one of the other people at the conference, and we began talking about the assassination of President Kennedy. I mentioned that I really wanted to see Dealey Plaza, but it looked like I was going to miss my opportunity because I was leaving for New York the following day, and it was getting dark outside. That’s when my new friend offered to take me right away.
We hurried out of the hotel parking lot and onto the freeway that lead to the city of Dallas. As we drove, I couldn’t help but think of the similar ride that President Kennedy took that fateful day. Our car maneuvered it’s way around the downtown streets of the city of Dallas, and off in the distance I could see the old Texas School Book Depository. I was about to experience history firsthand.
We parked the car, and I got out and walked around the front of the Book Depository building and looked up at the window where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots at the President on November 22nd. I had an eerie feeling. Even more eerie was the fact that there was practically no one on the street, or anyone in Dealey Plaza. It was late evening, the street lights were starting to come on, and the only sounds I heard were those of the cars passing through Dealey Plaza as if nothing special was going on. To me, something special was going on indeed. This was a place of incredible history that will forever etched in the minds of Americans everywhere. Dealey Plaza remains practically unchanged since November 22nd, 1963.
I walked further down the street to the grassy knoll to the right side of where the presidential motorcade passed by, and I examined every inch of that place. I went up to the wooden picket fence where conspiracy theorists claim there was a second gunman. I saw the parking lot behind the fence and then looked out to the street where the president’s limousine drove by. I looked at the line of fire, and saw that it was entirely possible that a second gunman could have shot the president from that vantage point, and could have simply drove away after the fact. Hmmmm. Could there have been a second gunman? We’ll never know for sure, but I doubt it.
After wandering around Dealey Plaza for awhile I could sense that my new friend was anxious to leave, so I handed over my camera and asked to have my picture taken in front of the grassy knoll, and then again in front of the big X that marks the exact spot where President Kennedy suffered his fatal head wound that day. I waited until the passing cars drove by, and out in the street I went to the spot. Posing for my photo felt weird. No… it was creepy!
I’m not sure when a sales call will take me back to Dallas, but I can assure you that I will NOT leave Dallas until I visit Dealey Plaza, and have another chance to take it all in.

No plans to visit Dallas anytime soon? No problem! Check this out – The view of Dealey Plaza from the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building. The exact same view Lee Harvey Oswald had on that fateful day: http://www.earthcam.com/usa/texas/dallas/dealeyplaza/

A Sales Call With Christopher Walken

Many years ago I started my sales career in the beer business. I worked for the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company out of Philadelphia, and our flagship product was Schmidt’s Beer. It was a great job, and I recall joking about how I probably drank more beer than I ever sold. I sold beer to restaurants, delicatessens, bodegas, and the dozens of bars located in Astoria, Queens NY. One of my customers was Glenn Walken, the brother of actor, Christopher Walken. Christopher Walken won an Oscar for best supporting actor in the film, The Deer Hunter.

The company I worked for back in the early 1980′s was a wholesale beer distributorship, owned by the Schmidt’s Brewery. Not only did we sell Schmidt’s beer, but we sold dozens of other brands of beer like Schaefer, Rheingold, Piels, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Ballentine Ale. Unfortunately for me, we did not sell Budweiser, Miller, or Heineken. The company I worked for sold ‘off-brand’, or small market beers. In other words I sold cheap beer.

If you can go back to the early 1980′s when the sale of bottled water was in its infancy, Perrier was the ‘Heineken’ of bottled mineral water. Unfortunately for me, my company didn’t sell Perrier. Instead, we became a distributor for a competitor to Perrier called Ramlosa. Ramlosa was a mineral water imported from Sweden, and they hired tennis star Bjorn Borg to be their company spokesperson to promote the product in advertisements.

Every Wednesday we held our district sales meeting, and 35 or so beer salespeople like myself would come to the main office for the weekly sales meeting to meet with our managers, and learn about new products. This particular Wednesday I came to the office and there was Ramlosa mineral water everywhere. No Bjorn Borg, but plenty of Ramlosa water to drink. As our meeting was called to order, the vice present of sales stood at the front of the large room and shouted at the top of his lungs, “If you don’t ask – you don’t get, so start asking customers to buy Ramlosa”!
We had our marching orders…

Selling beer required me to park my car and walk the avenues and streets of Astoria to take beer orders from customers, and call on other places that did not buy their beer from me. I was always keeping an eye out for new businesses because they were an easier sell if I could get to the decision-maker before my competition did.

One particular day I happened to walk down the street and saw the ‘Grand Opening’ sign for the Walken’s Cafe. A big sign saying ‘Grand Opening’ is a very good prospect for me so I went inside. As I stepped inside I saw a man standing in the rear of the cafe with his back to me. The cafe was closed, and there were no customers today. Just this guy with his back to me. I must have walked in quietly because he didn’t even notice that I had walked in. I waited a few minutes, and then politely cleared my throat  with a polite – “ahem”. Then the person turned around and looked at me with a crazy looking stare that went right through me.

At first glance I thought he looked familiar, but I didn’t say anything. I just stuck out my hand and introduced myself, and explained why I stopped in. About a minute or so into my sales pitch about beer, the man stopped me in mid-sentence and said, “Don’t you know who I am”? I told him that I didn’t, but did say that he looked familiar. Then he continued with, “Have you ever seen a movie called The Deer Hunter”? That’s when it hit me. I said, “Hey – You’re Christopher Walken”! “What are you doing here”? Christopher Walken told me that he came to visit his brother Glenn, and it was he that owned the cafe. I found out later that the entire Walken family is originally from Astoria, and Christopher Walken likes to visit the old neighborhood every now and then.
Search Google: “Walken’s Bakery Astoria”.

Mr. Walken and I finished with some small talk, and then we started talking about beer. That’s when someone came in through the rear door of the Cafe. As he got closer I thought I was seeing double! There I was looking at two identical Christopher Walkens! No I didn’t have double vision, the newcomer was Christopher Walken’s brother Glenn. They looked like twins!
Christopher then turned to Glenn and told him that I had stopped by to sell them beer. “That’s all well and good”, said Glenn, “but we don’t have our liquor license yet”. Remembering what I heard in the sales meeting yesterday about “asking for the order”, I quickly explained that they didn’t need a liquor license to serve mineral water, and with that I pulled out the sample bottle of Ramlosa I had in my overcoat  pocket, and put it on the table. After a bit more back and forth I walked out of Walken’s Cafe that day with a 100 case order of Ramlosa.

I think back about my encounter with the Walken brothers whenever I think about prospecting for new business. Today, I think about cold calling as more of an adventure than anything else. I’m always looking for my next ‘Walken encounter’. How about you? Are you dreading the very idea of picking up the phone and making a cold call, or are you looking for your next adventure like me?

You're Skating on Thin Ice...

Several years ago I was called into the Sales VP's office of the small technology company I worked for. As I entered the office I heard the dreadful words no one wants to hear from their boss, "close the door and have a seat". I knew what was coming next.
The thought of getting fired today or tomorrow is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but it shouldn't be. Somewhere right now there is a good likelihood that someone is making a decision behind closed doors that will affect your job, and ultimately your life. The last thing you should be feeling is a sense of job security in your sales career. These are uncertain times, and things can change suddenly without notice, and leave you in a lurch without a job.
By the way, once you lose your job, few if any employers want to hire you. They only want to hire salespeople that are currently working somewhere else, and they make this quite clear to recruiters, and their HR departments. The big question is where does that leave you if you are let go?
What if you are over 40? How about over 50? Do you actually think you are going to have an easy time of finding another sales job that offers a real chance to earn a decent living? Think again…
The time for you to think about developing a Plan B is right now! Consider the circumstances. If your company is sold, goes out of business, or decides to consolidate, what are you going to do if you lose your job? These days it's smart to have a backup plan thought out well in advance. Don't wait until that VP Sales calls you into the office one morning and asks you to, "close the door and have a seat".

'Baloney' Prospects

In sales you will undoubtedly run into your fair share of prospects that are full of baloney. Your prospect seemed so interested in your product at first, but something happened. Following lengthy sales calls and product demonstrations, your prospect fades into the abyss and disappears. Your emails aren't answered. Your phone calls aren't returned. When you do finally catch up with your prospect on the phone they seem distant, and can't give you a decision. Turns out your prospect is full of baloney.
The telltale signs of baloney prospects should be obvious, but because you want the sale badly you frequently overlook the obvious.
From the very first contact you have with any prospect there should be three distinct things on your checklist of qualifiers: 1) Does your prospect have a problem they are committed to solving? 2) Does your prospect have the ability to make a decision. 3) And most importantly, does your prospect have the money to pay for the product, or have a reasonable means to getting the money to pay for your product?
Often times, given your NEED for the sale, you forget to ask on purpose the critical questions that really determine whether you have a valid prospect, or one that is just full of baloney.
Doesn't it bother you to go through all the effort with product demos, sending literature, following up, sending proposals, and providing references to ultimately find out after the fact that your prospect is full of baloney? If it doesn't it ought to...
To avoid being frustrated by baloney prospects, you've got to have your wits about you when you make the cold call. STOP telling and START asking!  Simply put, if you don't ask you don't get...
The second thing you need to think about with baloney prospects is the need for some personal objectivity. You need to come to terms with the fact that some sales are just not meant to be, and it's far better to find that out sooner rather than later. If you can't take a "NO" you'll never get to "YES".
So, instead of taking your prospect's interest at face value and thinking it's for real, try looking for the things that might be missing from the discourse you had on the phone with your prospects. For example, is your prospect willing to see a demo, but can't give you an answer as to what it would take to do business? Is your prospect fixated on how much your product costs? Does your prospect ask for client references, or sales literature before they'll agree to meet with you? These are all RED FLAGS that need to be dealt with up front. Skipping over the finer details is only going to cost you needless frustration later on.
Baloney prospects are difficult to deal with because they camouflage themselves well. They know the buyer-seller system, and know that an overly eager salesperson will not ask the key questions that qualify their ability to purchase anything. Baloney prospects are hoping that you never ask them a direct question about the problem, or their ability to pay. That way they get to stay in control of the sales call, and lead you around by the nose until they tire of the game, and move on to something else. Game over!

Remembering 9/11

Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the tragic events of 9/11? As for me, I was attending a job interview meeting with a sales manager working for Crystal Decisions. My interview was scheduled for 0830 on 9/11 so I made my way to the Crystal Decisions office located on Lexington Avenue, and was met in the waiting area by the sales manager. We walked through a series of hallways and offices, and made our way to a conference room on the 34th floor. We sat down, shared the usual pleasantries, and just when we were about to start with the interview, someone came into the room and interrupted with, "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!" Shocked as we were, the interview was over before it began, and both the sales manager and I began to try and get out to the Internet for more information. We found we could not access the Internet, and our cell phones could not complete a call. What in the world is going on, we asked ourselves? Whatever happened it must be pretty serious if both Internet and call phone service are no longer working. Suddenly there was a parade of people walking down the hallway. That's when the sales manager looked at me, and said let's go out to the roof and have ourselves a look. So we followed the others and made our way out onto the roof of the building.

The building I was in was on 44th Street and Lexington Avenue, and the view of the World Trade Center downtown was blocked by the Grand Hyatt Hotel. As I made my way across the roof to the Lexington Avenue eastern side of the building I could see a giant pillar of silver-grey smoke moving horizontally at a height of around 1500 ft. from west to east, and covering the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Just from seeing the smoke I could tell that something really terrible had happened.
Not being able to see anything other than the pillar of smoke emanating from the World Trade Center, I decided to head down to Lexington Avenue, and make my way to another part of the city for a better view somewhere else. When I reached the street I began walking, and that's when I met the grim reality of the catastrophic events that happened that day. A woman walking towards me was sobbing uncontrollably. I was frozen in place as I watched her walk by. The image of that woman sobbing is something I will never forget.
Looking back, I can't help but think that it could have been me that perished in the World Trade Center on that terrible day. I can't tell you how many sales calls I've made over the years to companies located in the World Trade Center. I did business with several Japanese banks, Deloitte Touche, Fiduciary Trust, Daiwa Securities, and a host of other companies that occupied the upper floors of the World Trade Center. I came of age in my selling career visiting the World Trade Center. I can draw you a floor plan from the WTC lobby all the way to the 110th floor. I still remember the sound of the creaking as the World Trade Center swayed in the heavy wind. On other occasions while visiting the top floors of the World Trade Center I would look out of the 16 inch wide windows over the Hudson River and see helicopters and small planes flying a few hundred feet below me. The World Trade Center was an architectural marvel to say the least.
Most importantly on this day marking the 12th anniversary of 9/11, I can't help but feel for those poor people who were killed on that dreadful day, along with the first responders that tried in vain to save their lives. I grieve for them and their families. Those that perished were innocent people like you and I going about their daily routines, and minding their own business. The inhumane way in which they lost their lives makes us angry.

How To Avoid The Request For Sales Literature

One of the most popular questions I get asked by students of the Gold Call are the questions about how to get around, or avoid the request to send sales brochures, or literature.  The root problem with the request for sales literature is how the request happened in the first place. Under the weight of hearing too much product information, prospects take the easy way out and ask for literature by default. If you are “pitching” too many features and benefits in your opening dialogue with prospects chances are darn good you are going to be asked to send sales literature.
Step 1: To avoid the request for sales literature you’ve got to focus your dialogue on the problem you solve. (Example: I solve the following problem, for the following people, and for the following reason)

Step 2: Make sure you’re talking to someone that owns the problem!

Step 3: Determine the prospect’s commitment to solving the problem.

Step 4: Find out if your prospect is willing to have a quick conversation based on the premise that you may be able to solve a problem.

When you are the one asking questions about the existence of a problem, the ownership of the problem, and the commitment to solving the problem, you invariably control the course and direction of the conversation. Asking questions puts you in control!

Summary: STOP telling and start asking! When you ask direct questions you will nullify the default reactions of prospects to request sales literature. And we all know what that really means…

Thank You U.S. Soldier!

I guess it's human nature to be focused upon one's self. We carry on each day with our normal daily lives, getting up, having a cup of coffee, driving, taking the train, or bus to work, and go through our regular daily routines, and return home safely each evening to enjoy family, have dinner, and watch TV. We have it so easy as Americans, and we tend to take it for granted. That's human nature...

As citizens of this great land, and for those of us who earn our living in a free enterprise society, we have someone to thank each and very day for the liberties and freedoms we enjoy, and so often take for granted. That person is a U.S. soldier.

If not for our military personnel we'd all be speaking German, Russian, or Japanese, or some other language, and be forced into working government controlled jobs that limit wages, and prevent us from following a career path of our own choosing. Every time you pick up that phone to make a cold call, or take public transportation to attend a sales meeting, I'd like you to pause and have a thought of gratitude for the men and women in our armed forces who have sacrificed their lives so that we can come and go as we please, and enjoy our lives in a free society.

Since 2001, 2,114 U.S. soldiers have paid for our freedom with their lives in Afghanistan. This month our nation lost three more proud U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and I'd like to take a moment to honor their memory.

The latest identifications reported by the military:

_Spc. Anthony R. Maddox, 22, of Port Arthur, Texas, died July 22, in Landstuhl, Germany, of a noncombat-related incident that occurred in Andar, Afghanistan; assigned to the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

_Staff Sgt. Sonny C. Zimmerman, 25, of Waynesfield, Ohio, died July 16, in Mushaka, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Ky.

_ Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Tuttle, 19, of Gentry, Ark., died July 14 at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center following a medical evacuation from the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a scheduled port visit in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility; assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

Our sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those who galantly served our nation and laid down their lives in defense of our own. Thank you U.S. soldier and God Bless America!

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