Suggestions for Salespeople

Zig Ziglar on

Arthur Priebe, one of the great insurance salesmen, counsels his colleagues suffering from the common affliction of "doorknob phobia" to hold a debate with themselves.

"Where am I? In the hall."

"Where do I want to be? In that man's office."

"What will happen if I go inside? The worst that could happen is I'll be thrown back into the hall."

"Well, that's where I am now, so what have I got to lose?"

When I entered the business world, I started in and spent 16 years in direct sales. Early on, I had to knock on a lot of doors; we called it "canvassing." The objective was to make appointments for that evening to demonstrate our heavy-duty waterless cookware. I do not ever remember looking forward to knocking on that first door -- or even the second or the third. By about the fourth or fifth door, however, I was getting into the swing of things and actually looked forward to getting to the next door.


The start was by far the most difficult thing for me. I finally took the advice of one of my early mentors, P.C. Merrell, who suggested that I make an appointment with myself to be knocking on the door of my first prospect at exactly the same time each day. He then suggested I put it out of my mind until it was time to go the next day. This approach eliminated procrastination, worry and decision-making. It was some of the best advice I ever received.

Not just for salespeople but for procrastinators in general, if you have anything of a disagreeable nature that you must do, make an appointment with yourself. Forget about it, and then, at the appointed time, start the project. You'll get more done with less worry.

Take that approach, and I'll see you at the top!


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