Few men truly inspire legions. Fewer still inspire not just by word, spoken or written, but by action. One of those great men, Zig Ziglar, passed away Wednesday, November 28. After a career in sales, he turned to helping others with motivational, performance, and life changing training. Whether you’re a salesman, hairdresser, bureaucrat, or beach bum, here’s four reasons why you should further acquaint yourself with this great man and his teachings.
In all my reading pertaining to salesmanship, this one theme stands most prominent. Most on the outside don’t understand how consuming the life of a professional salesman can be; professional being the operative word here.
Salesmanship is a way of life. A successful salesman recognizes this and prioritizes his or her internal attitude. It is that internalization which is emitted to those in contact with the salesman. The most important priority? Love. A salesman must find love in everything; his fellow man, himself, success, failure, sun, rain, and on and on. I have found this idea espoused as a central them to every sales-help material ever read. It is a way of life. Ziglar lived it. His mantra was, “You can have everything you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Every successful salesman will be an expert listener. A salesman shouldn’t talk. A salesman should ask questions and listen. How can one fully address the needs of another any other way? Ziglar spent countless hours focusing on this trait. Without it, a salesman might as well find a job telemarketing. What’s the difference without listening skills? Ziglar understood this must be a way of life. He told us, “Listening is not two people taking turns talking.”
A true salesman understands that making the sale is just the beginning of the relationship between the salesman and the client. Relationships encourage business, new and continuous. My Dad taught me years ago that “it’s hard to say no to someone you know.” Ziglar understood this concept also.
The life of the salesman is one of making friends and building relationships. As such, everything is personal to the salesman. There exist no lines between attitude at work, and attitude at home. Without relationships, little could ever be accomplished. “If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're very scarce." he said. " If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere."
4. Positive Thinking.
Little good is done focusing on the negatives in life, other people, or circumstances. A salesman continuously looks for the positive. In a sea of “no’s,” the salesman must always find encouragement to continue on. A positive view of life, circumstances, and people is therefore paramount. As Ziglar would say,
“Positive thinking will do you better than negative thinking will.”
Zig Ziglar lived a very devout life; devout to multiple concepts essential to happiness and prosperity. He itemized these concepts, put them into practice, and succeeded with them. Afterwards, he spent the entirety of his life sharing these life changing concepts to the world. He dedicated everything to passing this wisdom on. Ziglar embodied the professional salesman. We should all bow our heads and pay reverence to the one who dearly cared for our well being. In his own words, I leave you with Zig Ziglar. “Every choice you make has an end result.”