This Place Couldn’t Survive Without Me… Not.

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Couldn't Survive Without Me

When I was 19, my dad made me production manager of his 75 employee kitchen cabinet manufacturing factory. Before I officially took the job I worked in the shop at each job, and set production standards based on what I could produce at each station.

On my first official day as boss, Ozzie, our superstar cabinet assembler (main guy in the most important position), came to me and asked for a 25¢ per hour raise. I went to my dad for advice and he said, “Give it to him, son.” So I did.

A week later Ozzie returned and demanded another 25¢ raise, and he said he would quit if he didn’t get it. I went back to my dad for advice and he said, “Fire him, son.” I went nuclear, “You can’t fire Ozzie,” I pleaded, “the place will fall apart.” “Fire him, son,” he repeated. So I did.

I dreaded the next day. But to my everlasting surprise, four guys came forward to claim Ozzie’s position. We had a contest to see who would get it. Production was up 25% and “Mr. Irreplaceable” was replaced in less than 24 hours — and was never missed.

How irreplaceable do you think you are, Ozzie?

I have heard salespeople boast on hundreds of occasions:

  • If it wasn’t for me this place would fold.
  • If it wasn’t for me we’d be out of business.
  • This place couldn’t survive without me.
  • I do all the selling so this place can operate.
  • My sales built this place.

Those are warning chants that the end is near.

Here are 9.5 early warning signals that your sales brain has stopped functioning.

  1. You think sales reports are a waste of time.
  2. Everyone else does wrong things except you.
  3. You get blamed for things you’re certain are someone else’s fault.
  4. You think your sales production could be better – if you just got a few breaks.
  5. You don’t listen to sales information in the car, or do anything to further your sales education.
  6. You’re way too cocky, cynical, and critical.
  7. At night you socialize or watch TV instead of read and plan your next day.
  8. You go to sales calls unprepared (no personalized ideas for the prospect or information about the prospect).
  9. You think most prospects and customers are dumb (or at least not as smart as you).

9.5 You think your boss is stupid.

Many salespeople are failing or doing poorly and claim they don’t know why, or blame everyone and their dog. Many more salespeople get fired and claim or blame the same way. Truth is they can’t or won’t face themselves. They blame others and things instead of taking personal responsibility.

If you’re doing poorly and you blame “circumstances,” — take a look in the bathroom mirror.
If you get fired  and you leave thinking it’s someone else’s fault – you’ll likely repeat the process at your next job.
If you get blamed  and you think it’s someone else’s fault – think again.

It may take one face down spill in the gutter to wake you up. But it’s a whole lot easier (and less costly) to catch yourself before you fall.

Success Strategies: Here are a few positive steps that will lead to better personal and team responsibility.

  • Look at your belief system. To succeed at sales you must believe that you’re the best, your company is the best, and that your product is the best. All three are needed to succeed.
  • Rededicate yourself to be more customer focused — not me focused. Customer dedication eliminates a lot of the ego problems. When you’re busy helping customers, your time to brag and complain diminishes.
  • Rededicate yourself to get more educated. Listen to attitude and sales information an hour a day.
  • Work longer hours. Get there an hour before everyone else. People who struggle to get to work “on-time” never seem to make it.
  • Get more “help” oriented. Help others get sales. Help others succeed. Help customers get what they want and need.
  • Transition from cocky to self-confident. Show it with deeds, not words.
  • Transition from blaming others to taking responsibility. Most of the time when things go wrong, you could have done something to prevent it. Admit fault. Take the hit without a bunch of defensive whining.
  • Read (re-read) How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, and Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. The two bibles of business and sales success. Rededicate yourself to those success principles.
  • Admit the truth to yourself. Admit fault. Then document what you could have done to have prevented the problem or made things better. Then make a daily (morning) plan to make a change for the better.

In order for the things and circumstances of your life to change — you must change first. Not much will happen without a change in your thought process, your attitude, and maybe eating a piece of humble pie. Admit it — it starts with you.

FREE GitBit. I have one more piece of secret about job success. Something to think about and act on everyday. Go to, register if you’re a first time user, then enter YOUYOU in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude, and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at For information about training and seminars visit or, or email Jeffrey personally at

© 2016 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer • 704/333-1112

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Sales Strategy? Yes! Sales Approach? Yes! Sales System? NO!

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Sales Strategy

I’m against all systems of selling. So are all salespeople.

Oh, sales systems are taught all the time. In fact, almost every salesperson has learned one along the way. I ask every audience I’m in front of, “How many of you have learned some “system of selling?” About two thirds of the hands go up. “Keep your hand in the air if you use that system every time you go on a sales call.” All hands go down. All.

“Why?” I challenge them. “Too manipulative.” “Round hole square peg.” “Doesn’t always fit.” “Not comfortable using it.” They scream.

Now, it’s not fair for me to mention systems individually by name. The reason I’m against systems of selling is that they’re all manipulative. They’re all “me-based.” Too rigid. And worse, they force the salesperson to think, where-am-I-in-the-system, vs. how am I helping this person in their desire to purchase what I’ve got.

Where’s my perceived value vs. where’s my place in the pitch?

So what is a salesperson to do? And the answer is develop a strategy, develop an approach, and develop an ability to engage the other person in a way that gains their interest and you don’t have to worry about systematizing it. A structure, not a system.

Please understand that I’m not saying learning a system is all bad. I’m saying learning a system and trying to follow it on every sales call is wrong. Anything you learn about selling will help you. Either in what to do or what not to do. In all systems there’s always something that you can take away and put into your sales arsenal. There’s always something that will help you get better.

By using a “structure” rather than a “system,” you make the process more flexible to the situation at hand (better known as: real-world). By structuring it, you put things in order, you develop methodology, you create tools, and then you go about the engagement process in order to create an atmosphere in which people will want to buy from you.

Systems of selling require the salesperson to think: am I following the system? Or worse: where am I in the system? This is particularly horrible when the salesperson is in the middle of the sales presentation. Instead of thinking “how can I help,” they are thinking “am I on step two or step three?” Crazy when you think about it.

Do you have a structure? And if you have one how flexible is it? The key to your structure is that it has to center around the needs and desires of your potential customer, and focus in on their motive of buying rather than your skill of selling. Ask, not tell. Help, not sell.

If you think about the logical sequential order of a sales structure it would involve making a connection of some kind, making an appointment, getting ready for the sale, engaging the prospect in a way that you gain their interest, proving the value of your offer, coming to some kind of an agreement, delivering what you promise, servicing after the sale, and creating an environment and a relationship all the way through the process that’s so phenomenal, the customer is compelled to buy from you again, refer other people to you, and speak about you positively in the marketplace… the social marketplace.

Master those elements, and the world is your commission.

Now that seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Add two words to this formula and you’ll become a billionaire. Have you guessed the two words yet? They’re two words that most salespeople don’t want to hear: HARD WORK.

No ultra successful salesperson has become ultra successful without ultra hard work.

Let me take this process one step higher. The process of approach, strategy, and structure is driven by philosophy. Your philosophy will determine your structure. How you think about, feel about, live the practices of your sales life will be reflected in your philosophy.

My philosophy of sales is:

  1. I give value first.
  2. I help other people.
  3. I strive to do my best at what I love to do.
  4. I establish long-term relationships with everyone.
  5. I have fun, and I do that every day.

This philosophy has set the stage for my success. Living my philosophy has made me a better salesperson and a better person.

Do you have a philosophy? Do you have a structure? Create both and you set the stage for a quantum leap forward.

If you’d like a nice copy of my sales philosophy go to — register if you’re a first time user — and enter the word PHILOSOPHY in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude, and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at For information about training and seminars visit or, or email Jeffrey personally at

© 2016 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer • 704/333-1112

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Uncovering your own secret of selling…Why YOU buy!

Why YOU Buy

Think about the last few things you purchased. They hold the secrets to increasing your sales. Giving a seminar, I was in a stream-of-conscience talking about buying motives and why people buy. As usual I was focused on the customer side, the … [Continue reading]

Time is on Your Side, as Long as you Understand it.

Time is on your side

“Time is money.” You’ve heard that expression a thousand times or more. And as many times as you’ve heard it,  you have universally ignored it. Every year I get hundreds of requests for a course in “time management.” And every year I give my … [Continue reading]

Dream your way to sales success… all day long.

Dream your way to success

Daydream is the BEGINNING of a journey, an act, a goal, a fantasy. The most important part of daydream is to do it. And take note of it. Not just as whimsical, but as a possibility of what might be. What could be. When should you daydream? Well, … [Continue reading]

Show Me the Value, or I’ll Show You the Door.


  How do you make a sales presentation? No I don’t mean warm up, probe, present, over come objections, close. I mean what’s the big picture of your sales presentation? What’s the content of your sales presentation? And most important … [Continue reading]

The Opportunity of Business Social Media

Business Social Media

Social media has become a phenomenon beyond words. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world have joined the party. In a millisecond, millions of people can know everything about everything and everyone. You knew it couldn’t be long before … [Continue reading]

I’m satisfied with my present source… Why?


Knowing the reasons why an existing relationship is satisfactory will help you understand how to proceed. Here are the top 12.5 reasons your prospect likes the vendor he’s currently using... 1. Price or great deal (perceived value). 2. Quality … [Continue reading]