19. Do you feel insecure and worried about sales?
Colonel Sanders owned a restaurant that seated 142 people in Corbin, Kentucky, where he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique that is still used today.
In 1950 a new interstate highway was planned to bypass the town of Corbin. Seeing an end to his business, the Colonel closed his restaurant and auctioned off his equipment. After paying his bills he was broke at the age of 65. He was reduced to living on his $105 Social Security checks.
Confident of the quality of his fried chicken, the Colonel devoted himself to the chicken franchising business that he started in 1952. He traveled across the country by car visiting thousands of restaurants, cooking batches of chicken for the owners and their employees. If the reaction was favorable, he entered into a handshake agreement on a deal that stipulated a payment to him of a nickel for each chicken the restaurant sold.
By 1964, Colonel Sanders had 600 franchised outlets for his chicken in the United States and Canada. That year, he sold his interest in the company for $2 million to a group of investors. The Colonel remained a public spokesman for the company until he died in 1980. In 1976, an independent survey ranked the Colonel as the world's second most recognizable celebrity.
What does Colonel Sanders have to do with you?
I don't care how good a sales person you are, it is unlikely that you will every sell more than 2 out of every 10 prospects on your first call. That is as certain as the sun coming up in the east every morning. It is just the way selling is.
It took Colonel Sanders 12 years to sell 600 people on his "nickel a chicken" concept. Let's do the math.
That is 50 sales per year, or one per week. To sell one per week he would have to make 5 presentations per week. Remember, that's the most anybody can sell on their first call - 20%. If you happen to have a run on sales and sell 30%, you will have a dry spell where you sell only 10%.
Five presentation per week is 250 per year. Over a 12 year period that is a whopping 3,000 presentations! I am sure that after he sold a certain number himself he hired someone to make the presentations. But still, it is one heck of an accomplishment!
And remember, he did this from age 65 to 77.
What do you think was going through his mind when 4 out of 5, or 8 out of 10 prospects turned him down. Knowing people the way I do, I'm sure some thought he was a joke, some told him to get lost, some told him he couldn't be serious. "A NICKLE A CHICKEN? WHERE DID YOU EVER COME UP WITH A CRAZY IDEA LIKE THAT?"
Do you think The Colonel felt insecure and worried about what he was trying to do? Do you think that when he was alone at night in his hotel in some strange town with his cooking equipment and spices, he had doubts about being able to get people to pay him as agreed?
I think you know the answer. And that brings us to you.
One of the hardest things to overcome is the feeling of insecurity when you are selling on commission for a living. Without the security of a guaranteed income your thoughts are continually interrupted by fears of failure, rejection and “what people will think if I don’t make it.”
This is serious for the person going through it. If you are on commission and only get paid when you make a sale, or in your own business and are totally responsible for earning an income, it is easy to have visions of not being able to pay your expenses. And sometimes you CAN'T pay your expenses and you have to deal with that as well.
The obvious solution most people will give you is to control your attitude - easy to say and does not really offer a solution. A positive attitude is the end result you are trying to achieve.
There are many short-term programs that give you a temporary relief such as “self talk”, repeating affirmations and listening to motivation tapes. These activities are helpful, however, they are not dealing with the core of the problem.
The question is; how do you keep moving forward with a positive attitude when you feel insecure and unsure of yourself? This insecure feeling causes you to look into the future with apprehension no matter how hard you try to think positive. You still see negative results from the effort you are putting forth today.
You are not convinced that if you do the right things over and over again you will achieve the results you want. You can try affirmations by saying over and over to yourself, “I will make the sale”, “I will get the new account” and still end up with negative results. Why? Because even as you say the words and visualize the results, you don’t really expect it to happen! You don’t get what you want, what you wish for, what you think about, what you visualize or what you affirm. You get what you expect.
Let’s say you wanted to have a back up cash reserve of $25,000 in the bank. You could affirm to yourself “I have a bank account with $25,000 in it.” You could write it down as a “written goal.” You could think “positive” about it. And still – nothing happens.
Why? Because you really don’t expect it to happen! You don't BELIEVE. You might feel good about it for a short time. But after a few weeks it will fade away. Reality will overtake you and you will file your $25,000 bank account idea away as a wish or a daydream or “it would be nice.”
You have also reinforced the concept that affirmations, goal setting, positive thinking and visualization don’t work. The next time you try to get something you want it becomes even more difficult because you not only have to overcome your current feelings of doubt and fear – you also have to deal with your past. “I’ve tried this before – it didn’t work out – but I’ll give it another shot”. Then, no matter how hard you try, deep down inside you don’t really expect it to happen and you are right - It doesn’t.
You get what you expect. Nothing more - nothing less. If you want to increase your sales you have to really EXPECT IT TO HAPPEN.
There is only ONE THING that builds expectations – ACTION – doing something productive.
I think the secret Colonel Sanders used to overcome the feeling of insecurity that every human being feels was his DECISION TO KEEP GOING. Every morning he got up and presented his "nickel a chicken" concept to another restaurant. AND 4 OUT OF 5 TOLD HIM TO GET LOST!
There is a big lesson that Colonel Sanders taught us. The Colonel's secret to sales is action. Picking up the phone and making the call, asking for the order at the price you want, writing the letter, or sending a follow up card.
That is the secret spice of success - action. Doing it even when you would rather be tossed under a bus.