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Report #14: How To Keep Yourself And Your Hard-Earned Money Safe From Us Smooth-Talkin’ Salesmen, Selling “Success Stuff”
This is not an Report about selling carpet cleaning. This is an Report about the often unnoticed truth about what separates the winners from the Mediocre Majority in business, in any business, and in life. |
I’ve been at “this” a long time; via speaking, giving seminars, putting out books and tapes, and otherwise trying to inform, inspire and ignite people into action on principles, strategies, ideas and behaviors likely to lead to success in business and in life in general - 29 years to be precise. And I long ago stopped trying to figure out why some people alertly and eagerly grab opportunities and ideas while others are asleep at the switch.
But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned about “reading people.” For example, in a seminar setting, the ones who are first up to invest in something designed to help them be more successful are usually the people in the group who need help the least. The ones who sit, arms folded, cynical, mumbling “heard that before” and grumbling about being sold to, are the ones who need help the most.
Years back, I did 3-hour seminars for doctors where a practice-building system was sold. When I met them before the start of the seminar, I used to ask for their present practice gross and their goal. Virtually without exception, the first few doctors to rush back to buy the practice-building materials already had the highest grosses in the room - and they took their armload of goodies out to Mercedes, Cadillacs, Lincolns and the like to drive home. The last few docs to ever-so-slowly wobble back to buy had lower grosses, except for the few who didn’t buy at all - they had the lowest grosses of all, and drove home in old Chevys. Why was this? Because their behavior reflected their attitudes, and their attitudes controlled their lifestyles, as well as their practice’s level of success or lack thereof. You see, the successful person loves being sold and tries to learn something from that by itself; then he loves to buy, because his experience has been and always is that every time he invests in education, he finds at least one good idea, acts on it, and recoups his investment plus more. The unsuccessful person hates being sold, buys reluctantly, because his experience has been and is that every time he invests in education, he gets nothing out of it and has fewer coins in his pocket afterwards. How can two people in the exact same business in the exact same town experience such dramatically different results?
Clue: the education being sold and bought is the same, so it’s not the causative factor. Clue: in this picture, there is only one difference.
Very early, when I was starting out doing what I do, I got some very, very good advice from a fellow named Joel Weldon, with considerable experience selling how-to “stuff” to sales managers and sales professionals. He told me, “If you want to make money at this, ignore the people who obviously need your information the most and focus on selling to individuals who are already quite successful but eager to do even better.” Here’s what I found out: winners live what’s called THE PRINCIPLE OF THE SLIGHT EDGE; they know that teeny adjustments and refinements yield disproportionately big improvements, so they are always hunting for even one idea that can tweak what they’re doing a smidgen to the good. They’re looking hard, every day, for some information to invest in that might give them a slight edge. Not only don’t they mind being sold, they’re eager to buy. Losers stay losers for three basic reasons: 1) they do not learn from information; 2) they do not act on ideas; so 3) they don’t want more information.
I just had a bunch of custom-built shelves installed in my home, turning two walls of our bedroom into bookshelves. That’s because the other walls of bookshelves are all full of books, but I want to buy more ‘because I’m always looking’ for the next good idea. My friend Jim Rohn* says he’s never visited a wealthy person’s home that didn’t have a big library, and that ought to tell you something. He didn’t say it, but I sure have visited a lot of poor people’s homes where you couldn’t find a book at all. Of course, it’s easy to invest in education now; I’ve got plenty of money. But you see, I behaved this way when I was broke, too. That’s why I didn’t stay broke. To once more quote Jim, he says, “Miss a meal if you must, but don’t miss a book.”
So when I’m up on stage speaking, and I start giving a little commercial about my educational materials, these days I kind of smile and chuckle to myself about how very predictable folks are. Many think, “Uh-oh, he’s about to try and sell me something and take my money, so I’ll close my ears or duck out the back and save my coins. Others think, “Oh, by, he’s about to offer me something I can get to multiply my coins. Bring it on, man, bring it on.” Then I think, “Terrific - that wonderful self-selecting process, the cutting of the herd. The dumb ones who are just trying to hang on and keep the few coins they’ve got, will go away. The smart ones, who are committed to multiplying their pennies and who I’ll enjoy having a relationship with, they’ll become my customers. Couldn’t work out better if I’d designed human behavior myself.
Let me tell you just 3 quick true stories, that may give you a bit of insight. Story #1: Years ago, I was working a booth at a business show, showing off my books and tapes. About 500 people came through that booth over two days. About 400 took catalogs furtively and scurried off hastily, lest I grab them and sell them something. About 99 made small purchases. One guy handed over his credit card and said, “Ship me one of everything you’ve got.” I didn’t know him from Adam’s housecat. But a few weeks later, I was watching a national TV program, and there he was being interviewed. Seems he was one of the most successful chiropractors in America, retiring from having built 3 $1 million a year practices, one right after the other, and now was head of a consulting firm with 600 clients each paying about $3,000 a month for his advice. That’s $1.8 million a month for those of you short on fingers and toes. Story #2: Many years ago, a kid (too young to drive) walked a few miles from his house to a riding stable and pestered the owner for a job, and got hired to clean saddles and scrub buckets and mostly do the real grubby stuff nobody else wanted to do after school for $20 a week. The kids used the $20 to buy a used set of Earl Nightingale self-improvement tapes. The kid was me. Story #3: A guy at a garage sale found a set of my tapes and bought them for $5.00. The fellow selling them told the buyer he guessed they were all right, but they hadn’t done anything for him. In fact, he’d just shut down his business, was selling off all his stuff, and moving to another city to take a job at a relative’s company. He said, “The free enterprise system just didn’t work for little guys anymore.” He said, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and that’s all there is to it. The guy that bought my tapes for $5.00 listened to them, used them, worked with them, and started his own business. When he wrote to me two years later to tell me of making over $200,000 that year in his business, he said, “Funny thing. I was concerned about it at the time, but now I understand - you see, the business I started is exactly the same kind of business that guy I bought your tapes from got out of.”
Now let me finish this long-winded, gas-baggy diatribe with one psychic prediction: some people reading this will say to themselves, “Does Kennedy think I fell off a turnip truck yesterday? Heck, I can see through this as clear as day. This is just a clever ploy to separate me from my coins the next time he gets around me or mails me some literature. I’m not going to fall for it, no sir. I’m keeping my coins.” Some other folks will get it. It’s all kind of fun to watch.
Source: 15 Secret, Money Making Reports!
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