Listen to Your Heart

Listen to your heart

The last few years have been difficult for salespeople and small business owners. Sometimes you’re working 6 and 7 days a week and wonder if it is really worth all the time, tears, and stress not to mention the feeling of not having a personal life. Balance doesn’t always work when you have rent to pay and food to put on the table.

We’ve all been there. Maybe a little story will help. I’ve been selling something for most of my life which is quickly moving toward 63 years. And, at least 40 of those years you could say I’ve been selling professionally. And, still, when I had already broken every sales record in Copier Products Division of 3M, I almost gave up more than once. The time that really sticks in my mind was after I had accepted a new territory in downtown Pittsburgh. I was moving from a rural area to one where people would sometimes look at me as I walked into the office and say “We don’t need a copier.” Competition was ferocious and I guess we all looked the part with our 3 piece suits and big smiles.

It was also in the middle of the recession of 1979-1981 and while it was not as bad as today, the prime interest rate reached 20 percent during that period. Business expansion and purchases stopped. And, to top it off, I was selling a product that competed with Xerox when that company was at its peak. Heck yeah! I almost quit 5 times a week during those first couple of months.

Then one day, I really did give up – not selling – but I gave up the way I had been trying to sell. I decided if I was going to fail I was going to fail my way. And, that wasn’t going to be knocking on doors and trying to cold call my way into offices that didn’t have the time or the inclination to talk with me. It was at that time that I decided to listen people into buying. I started asking current customers for help but not by throwing down a sheet of paper and asking them to list 10 of their¬†colleagues¬†who I could call on using their name. Instead, I started buying them breakfast or lunch and just talked and listened. Relationships started to form based not on business but friendship and common interests. I focused on providing value for everyone even if that value had nothing to do with copiers. I became a connector of people – a title I relish to this day.

And, an interesting thing happened. People started calling me for information about a copier. People I had never met or had knocked on their door. At the end of that first year in Pittsburgh, I was named one of the Top Ten Sales Representatives nationally for 3M. It was the highest award the company bestowed on their salespeople. They sent my wife and I on an amazing trip to Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics.

None of that would have happened if I wasn’t willing to fail and I wasn’t willing to follow my instincts and listen to my heart.

Are you listening to yours?


If you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, your life will be safe, expedient and thin. – Katharine Butler Hathaway


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People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Since we can’t pick or choose the “type” of person we are most likely to trust and like right away, we need to learn how to effectively with everyone’s personality style.” Learn how in this report and start increasing your sales right away!

Selling To The Four Personality Types

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