When was the last time you read the classic book: “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens? If it’s been a while, I highly recommend it. Dickens is a superb storyteller, and there is a reason this is a “classic.”
While reading this, it reminded me of an encounter I had that was a chilling reminder of the bad “Ghost of Christmas Future” I narrowly avoided all those years ago. Here’s what happened:
I was on my way to work with a new client one day when I stopped at my local Starbucks for a cup of coffee.
As I stood in line, I saw a city bus stop and a bunch of people get off. One guy—mid 40’s, tall and lanky—started walking towards the Starbucks, and there was something about the way he was walking that was familiar to me.
When he entered the store, I recognized him from many years before when we were both struggling inside sales reps trying to sell investments over the phone.
His name was John. After I got my coffee, and he got his, he came up to me and said, “You’re Mike Brooks, right?” “Yes” I said. “Hey, we used to work together!” he said. “I remember,” I said.
He asked me what I was up to these days, and I told him I had become a consultant in inside sales, and that I was off to work with a new client. I asked him what he was up to and this is when the chill hit me.
He said he was starting a new sales job today, and then he rolled his eyes as if to say, “And this one will suck, too.” I gave him my card and offered to help with any scripting he may need, but he rolled his eyes again as if to say: “Scripts don’t work.” I had heard him say this before…
We walked out of the store together and said goodbye and went our separate ways. He went to wait at the next bus bench, and I got into my Mercedes and drove away.
As I sipped my coffee and listened to the tunes in my plush car, I thought about how different our lives had turned out and wondered what happened to make them so different. As I did, I knew exactly what it was.
During our time together, the owners of the company brought in a sales trainer to motivate us. He spoke to us for an hour about what makes the difference between the top money earners in sales versus all the other sales reps.
He said that you have a choice to either commit to learning and using proven scripts and sales techniques that would double or triple your income, or you could just keep doing what you were doing (ad-libbing), and then you’d just keep getting what you had been getting.
He said: “If you are willing to do what most sales reps aren’t willing to do, then soon you’ll be able to enjoy the things, the lifestyle, and the future that most sales reps will never be able to enjoy.”
I was sold. John wasn’t.
I invested in this sales trainer’s cassette series, “Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone.” I committed to learning, practicing, and doing what he suggested.
Soon afterwards, my sales and income soared.
John thought what the trainer taught was just a bunch of old sales techniques that wouldn’t work.
John thought he knew better.
John didn’t believe in using scripts.
“I’ll sound like a telemarketer,” he said. “I have to go with the flow because each prospect is different,” he persisted.
John didn’t believe in putting in the time, energy, or money to get better.
So, he didn’t.
Fast forward to our Starbucks encounter. Over 20 years had passed between that sales trainer’s talk, and I realized, that seminar was the moment I made the decision to change my life.
When John showed up that day, he was the Ghost of Christmas Past that could have become my Ghost of Christmas Future .
My life has changed because of other sales trainer’s material, and my commitment to consistently learning and using it.
My life is infinitely better because I did, and I have no doubt that had I not invested, learned, and used proven selling techniques, it would have been me that was taking a bus to my next job.
It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.
The moral here is that you, too, can avoid the Ghost of Christmas Past from becoming your future. There are a lot of great sales training books, CD’s, and courses you and your team can take advantage of to get better.
One of the best (in my humble opinion) is my book “Power Phone Scripts.” Over 500 word-for-word phrases, questions, and scripts that will make you better in just about any situation you find yourself in.
So why not give yourself (and your sales team) a gift this season?
If you don’t want to invest in my material, no problem. Find someone else you respect and invest in theirs.
Make this best holiday season you’ve ever had and give yourself a gift that will repay you for the rest of your career.Related: How Do You React to Adversity?