"If I persist, if I continue to try,
if I continue to charge forward,
I will succeed."

The above title is a quote from Og Mandino, the great American writer, sales guru and author of the bestselling book “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” It was the first book I read when I began my sales career more than 25 years ago.

In August of 1982, I answered an ad in the local newspaper for a “management training” position with a company called Townecraft. The ad said the position paid up to $12.00 dollars an hour and training would start immediately if you were hired. One week later, I found myself in the business of “Direct Sales.” My product was 5-ply waterless stainless steel cookware, fine china and cutlery. More commonly referred to as, pots and pans, dishes and knives.

Since this was my first experience selling, I was told to practice my “sales pitch” on my “warm list”, which at 18 years old, was my family, friends and neighbors, everyone who supposedly loved me. After getting rejected by all of “those people” and not making one sale, I was told by management that my training was over and it was time to start selling professionally. That’s why the ad was called “management training”.

I was so bad at selling even my Mom didn’t buy from me. After six months of knocking on doors, hearing the word “no” hundreds of times and failing miserably, I made my first sale. I don’t remember her name but she bought “Package A” for $1,500. From that moment on, I was hooked on sales. I realized that if she saw value in my product, other people would too. I just needed to get better. As my friend, Jeffrey Gitomer says, I just needed to not “suck at sales”.

Warning: It’s no longer 1982. Door-to-door canvassing or cold calling people at their home can get you killed, especially in New Jersey.

Since 1982, I’ve been on thousands of sales calls and have made hundreds of presentations. But, out of all the sales training seminars and workshops I’ve attended or facilitated over the last two decades, my greatest lessons came from selling pots and pans door-to-door. I learned how to sell by being on the front-line. I knocked on doors and immersed myself in the selling process. I did it everyday for two years. Some days I was extremely successful, some days I failed miserably.

Greatest Lesson Learned: I never quit.

You see, I wasn’t protected by the anonymity and facelessness that cold calling on the telephone provides. The feedback was real, it was physical. The interaction on every front doorstep was visible and immediate. I lived and died, sold or didn’t sell, by my ability to gain immediate rapport and engage people in an emotional and intelligent way. I had to be friendly, funny and savvy enough to get as much information as I could. On each block I canvassed, and every door I knocked on, my mission was to get a qualified lead and to make a sale. I wouldn’t end my day until one or both of those objectives were met.

From those early days selling pots and pans door-to-door, I came to understand the importance of what Og Mandino wrote about in “The Greatest Salesman in the World”, self-discipline and persistence.

FYI Takeaway: What was initially scary, intimidating and challenging became one of my favorite things to do. It was fun and I had a blast doing it, and I did it everyday.

My persistence, belief and positive attitude and how I still sell today, began from the experiences, training and philosophies I was taught back in 1982 (Wow, that seems like a long time ago).

FYI Q&A: Are there areas in your personal or professional life where you have decided to settle for less than you want? Have you given up? Have you decided to stop knocking on doors that might provide you with the answer?

My Advice: Don’t quit. You deserve the success you are striving for and it will come if you persist.

My personal challenge to you: Get a 3x5 card. On one side write your biggest, most immediate goal. On the other side, write Og Mandino’s quote. Read it three times a day for the next 90 days.

Law of Diminishing Intent: If you think carrying your goals with you and reviewing them three times a day for 90 days is a good idea – you’re right. It is and it works. So don’t become a victim of the Law of Diminishing Intent. Don’t wait, do it now.

John F. Kennedy didn’t say, “We intend on going to the moon.”
He said this:

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
— U.S. President John F. Kennedy

Make this YOUR Best Year Ever!

Eric Taylor
Chief Inspiration Officer

732.982.8554 - Energized Office


Author's Bio: 

As the founder and president of Empowerment Group International,
Eric Taylor creates and delivers high-energy, content rich seminars that educate and empower business professionals to take decisive action toward personal and professional growth. Speaking over 100 times a year to corporations, organizations and associations, Eric’s high-impact programs on sales, leadership and customer service are designed so the audience gains hands-on knowledge and practical strategies to immediately increase effectiveness and results. Eric’s clients include State Farm Insurance, Verizon, American Express, Tiffany & Company, Met-Life, Sovereign Bank and many more.
Eric’s passion and commitment to working with both corporations and individuals who want to achieve and maintain peak performance was fueled, in part, by the severe panic attacks he experienced as an adolescent. Through formal and self-education, Eric overcame this paralyzing disorder. For over two decades he has studied, observed and shared the human behavior that is needed to build and maintain boundless self-confidence, healthy self-esteem and the self -discipline needed to create extraordinary results.
In January of 2004 Eric was awarded second runner up in the EAS / Body for Life International Fitness Challenge. He not only transformed his physical appearance (lost 28lbs of fat and gained 10lbs of muscle) diet and exercise regime, but shares with his audience how the same focus and commitment can transform every area of ones life.

Eric is the author of “The Energy Passport,” contributing author in the book “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life” with Zig Ziglar , Brian Tracy and Jim Rohn. He is the Co-Creator of “Best Year Ever” - Secrets and Strategies for Unlimited Success.

Eric lives on The Jersey Shore, has four children and his wife is expecting in November.

He can be reached at Eric@EmpowermentGroup.com