I first published a version of this article on August 30, 2012. The thought behind the post was to encourage my readers to infuse more value, creativity and inventiveness into their career. This concept is so crucial to happiness, satisfaction and advancement in the workplace, that I felt the topic must be revisited.
Some of my gutsisthekey readers may remember my article that discussed using unusual angles, to accomplish uncommon results, in #Sales. Others may remember the BEAM that revealed how I used a widget from a beer can, to land a 6 figure executive position. This kind of inventive #sales thinking is so powerful, I felt it important to revisit and refreshen it for you, in this post.
We live in a “me too” world. Copy Cat marketing is the most popular style and variety. And don’t get me wrong; I also advocate learning from the competition. There truly is no good reason to re-invent the wheel. If someone is doing something well in the marketplace; I am the first to advise mimic-ing their successful strategies and techniques.
Still, a sales pro who is really proficient in the art is not just ho-hum and dull. Flavor and Flair are the essence of a progressive, producing sales rep. Political correctness is a poor way to build a sales career. It will never substitute for the bold and original souls that infuse their sales livelihoods with zest and zing!
If you flood your business career, especially in the sales arena with enthusiasm, energy and creativity; Your employers will appreciate you, Your colleagues will appreciate you and most importantly, Your customers will appreciate you. In short, it is the clearest method to add value from your life to your career and add value from your career to your life.
I used to dabble in antiques and collectibles. And in my Southern style haggling; I came across a rock crystal. I am a creature of hunches. So I sensed some aura of significance about this rock. So I snagged this rock; thinking that there was something special about it. So after I procured it and cleaned it; I decided to utilize it in my career. I began to take it to important meetings with me. [Yes, I am normally unusual and unorthodox, so this seemed to fit my style🙂 ]. Yet, I must confess; I really did hope that some mysterious positive energy would be transferred from the rock into my business deals and transactions. LOL but really. And since it made me think of Jesus as the rock of my salvation; I did not feel too weird or way out doing this. (Shirley MacLaine I’m not!)
But ironic things began to happen surrounding the rock. There really was an uncanny amount of gain, whenever I used the rock in meetings. So, I began to notice and track the monetary and personal gains that occurred when I used the rock. And as the gains increased, I ascribed more value to the rock. In fact, I began to see a powerful way to explain value to others, particularly sales people; by using the rock. — Then, as the rock saga progressed; At one particular meeting where I expected to lose big money; instead I made $11,000 at that meeting. And yes, I had the rock sitting there on the person’s desk, as we proceeded. We laughed and joked about it the whole meeting. So, from that day forth; it became the $11,000 rock.
So the rock had a value, at least to me………. I was known as a sales leader in a sales position I held not too many years ago. And at a sales meeting; I was asked to give some training and experience to the other reps. in the region to help increase their sales. So, I decided to talk to them about perceived value and YOU GUESSED IT; I brought the rock to the meeting.
In fact, I more than brought it to the meeting. I passed the rock around the room an introduced it as the $11,000 rock, as I began my training. I told the story of how the rock had been present in many deals that proved very and often unexpectedly profitable. When, I was finished with my story; everyone was wanting the rock. My description had transformed their perception of value from seeing it just as a rock, to seeing it as a very valuable and powerful possession. I could see sales rep.’s privately turning the notion “I wish I had that rock,” over in their heads.
To illustrate my point of building value in things. I walked up to a colleague and plucked a hair from his head & after the commotion stopped from people laughing; I asked our colleagues how much they would pay for the hair. They all agreed they would pay to see me pull more of my colleagues hair but would not pay for the hair itself. LOL — But then much to their surprise, I pulled another hair from my pocket and asked them how much they would pay for this hair. I got the same response, it was not perceived as worth very much. But to clarify how Perception Is Value; I asked them how much they would pay for it, if it was Elvis Presley’s hair. As the strand of hair began to increase in value in their eyes. I continued by saying, “how about if this was a strand of Marilyn Monroe’s hair, how much would it be worth to you.” By now, every one in the room was looking very differently at this simple strand of hair.
Then, I seized my moment and drove home my point. It was the perception of value I created that drove the value of the rock up in their eyes. It was the perception of value I created that drove the value of the strand of hair up in their eyes. —- We went on to discuss that perceived value is very real to people and the most successful sales professionals are those who are able create value perceptions. If you are able to create perceived value in the minds of your prospects about your product or service; you will be very successful. But first you must believe in value. First you must have a conviction that you can communicate your sense of worth to others. You must learn to build value in yourself and in your product or service and in your customer; to be continually successful in sales. To me and to others when I was finished; my rock really was worth $11,000.
I could go on to discuss how I gave the rock away at a future date, to someone who was in the room that day to communicate love and belief in them as a brother and a friend. But that is a private story. But my point for mentioning it; is that a real understanding of value is made complete; ONLY when you are willing to share it with others. And so, there you have it. I now shared the value with you.
Points to Ponder:
1- Are you learning from your competitors?
2- How can you add flavor and flair to your work?
3- Do you look for how simple things around you can strengthen your presentations and explanations?
4- How can you build belief and value in yourself?
5- How can you build the perception of value to your customers, in a creative way?
6- How can you increase your value in your sales workplace?
7- When you feel like you are at a “dead-end” with a challenge; have you dared trying something differently than how it has “always been done?” In fact, have you considered trying something that has never been done before?
8- Are you willing to share value with others? Remember: “It is in giving that we receive.” St Francis