Are You a “But” Person?
I am a “but” person. Always have been. Put aside, for a moment, the play on words. I am being totally serious and offer no apologies. As a matter of fact, being a “but” person has made me and many others highly successful.
Are you a “but” person? I find that most people are. What’s really important is to identify what type of “but” person you are. Are you the type of “but” person whose “buts” keep you on your butt or do your “buts” get you off your butt?
Early in my selling career I was taught and quickly learned, that I did not need to reinvent the wheel. Many had come before me in the selling profession and had developed and designed processes that worked. Just as important, those professionals identified what did not work. All I had to do was follow the road map established by those who came before me and I too, would be slated to enjoy a fruitful career.
At the same time, I was also exposed to the other side of the equation because I was a rebel. There was a time when I resisted learning from those who came before me. I was determined to chart my own course. My idea was to take the easiest and most comfortable path. I would sit back and wait for the leads to come to me and then do and say what I felt was best. I was relying on the business to advertise and identify prospects.
I quickly discovered, through some hard-learned experience, that following those who came before me was by far the better way to conduct my business. It was the best way because those individuals wanted for nothing. Through smart business practices they provided a life for themselves and their families that I wanted. They created consistent streams of prospects and relied on their skill to maximize each opportunity. They had job security. I wanted that.
The professionals that I chose to emulate did not talk to as many prospects, but the ones that they did talk to bought and bought big. They established relationships with customers so that they could count on repeat business. Their customers returned over and over, to buy more and more. Not only did they make more money, but they did so consistently, with little or no peaks and valleys. They always had someone to talk and work with. Although this group of sales professionals was small, they were the most successful and that is where I wanted to be.
To join this elite group requires tremendous discipline. The greatest challenges will be presented by those who choose not to be in this group. These people will do everything they can to prevent you from reaching your goals. They are sly and tricky. In my early career, when I was young and naïve, I would find myself falling for their tricks and wind up at a bar or a concert, instead of being where I needed to be, which was perfecting my craft. I needed a way to identify those who were excellent at sidetracking me and that is the magical moment when I became a “but” man.
I learned quickly that people pulled me away from my work with their “buts.”
… “but” it’s two for one drink night.
… “but” it’s the concert of the century.
… “but” it’s the game of the week.
… “but” how many times are you going to be offered something like this?
When I was young and less focused, it was easy to fall for their “buts” However, falling for their “buts” always resulted in lower and lost sale numbers. Their “buts” kept me on my butt.
My solution was to commit to the other side. I wanted to be with the pros. I was determined to come up with my own “buts.” Instead of following and being led by a bunch of buttheads, I became a leader and took charge of my career and ultimately, my future.
… “but” if I finish sending out my thank you notes, I will make more and not have to worry about drink prices.
… “but” if I role-play and practice my presentation, I will increase sales and make more money. I will then be able to have a great dinner, see the concert, stay in a nice hotel, and treat my wife to a fabulous weekend.
… “but” if I learn and practice more closes, I will close more sales and be able to buy season tickets next year.
… “but” by perfecting my ability to handle objections, I will increase my closing ratio and make more money. This will generate more invites or allow me to be the one offering the invites.
So, you see, it’s okay to be a “but” person. The secret is to stop following buttheads and stop falling prey to other people’s “buts.” Start developing and strengthening your own “buts” so that you can see other’s “buts” for what they truly are- weak. These “buts” sag. If you are experiencing meager sales, chances are, it is a direct result from you sitting too much on your own butt.
In the end, you can either keep butting your head against the wall, experiencing the effects of being a lazy butt and the butt of jokes on your sales team. Or, you can take control of your “buts” and put your butt at the top of the sales charts.