The Power of Words

March 5, 2007

Hi everybody, I hope you had a great weekend! It is going to be an exciting week and I thought I would start off the week sharing a story with you that taught me “The Power of Words”, and how, before you say something you always need to think before you blurt out your comments.

By the way even though this story relates to sales as in all my postings you will see the parallel with life in general as well.

I was a young salesman, but fancied myself as the next up and coming golden boy of the sales industry. (I was starting to believe the press clippings) Wrong thing to do! I remember it as if it were yesterday. I sold this military officer and his wife. It was a great sale, so I thought. Then the next day they cancelled. Well most people in the sales industry that do not take their profession seriously just forget it and go on to the next sale. Not me. I went back to that family and humbly asked them why they changed their mind? The man looked at me and said the only reason he would give me the time to explain his actions was because he could tell I cared. Then he explained. (It was ugly and amateurish). There was a part in the presentation where there were subtitles like “sports and games” and we had the latitude of ad-libbing a comment. Well the subtitle in question was the one entitled “The Military”. When I got to that one I just made a one liner that had gotten laughs before and I said “ways to get in and ways to get out”.

Well, to someone that took his profession seriously, and especially during the time of the Vietnam War when the public was so busy slamming the Military, you could see where someone who had a love and passion for his profession could take it the wrong way. This particular gentleman was offended and rightly so. I could have said a million positive things about the military, instead I said something cheesy for a laugh without thinking of the ramifications. He did not want to do business with anyone that made light of his profession.

I learned two important lessons that day. One was to call back on orders that change their mind and even though 90% of them will not tell you the truth…they will make up some excuse, the knowledge you will get from the small percentage that do share their reason with you will be invaluable. The second thing that I learned and that I want to pass on to each and every salesperson and manager out there is once the words are out of your mouth they can never be taken back. By the way, that means things you say to your spouse and children. Mean what you say and say what you mean. When I am in the process of closing someone no matter how natural it looks I assure you every word out of my mouth is carefully measured. Let my experience be a lesson to you all…Never underestimate “The Power of Words”!

I look forward to your comments.

“The Specialist”


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