Tips, Rips, and Reviews
By Michael Dalton Johnson

Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make. — William Bernbach, American advertising executive

As unlikely as it may seem, research shows that a first impression is made within the first three seconds. That initial impression is confirmed or changed within the next fifteen seconds of a conversation.

There are a lot of factors you should consider in order to make a million dollar first impression. Facial expression, posture, dress, tone of voice, and handshake are significant factors in creating that impression.

I can’t resist relating one of the worst first impressions I’ve ever witnessed. I was running a community newspaper serving a small beach community. I had an appointment with a job applicant for a sales position. Fifteen minutes after the appointed time, the receptionist buzzed me and said, "You’re nine o’clock is here." I detected a strained hysteria in her voice.

The applicant entered my office with a parrot on his shoulder. He was barefoot and had a long red beard down to his waist and was eating an apple which he was sharing with the parrot.

The first words out of my mouth were "Who put you up to this?"

He looked at me blankly and said, "What are you talking about?"

I explained, "I can’t imagine you representing our newspaper to the business community." To which he responded, "Well I’ve done a lot of selling."

I asked him what kind of selling had he done, and he said, "Tending bar and that’s selling, man."

As you can imagine, it was a short interview.

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Believing in Yourself as a Sales Professional
By Tom Hopkins

Believing in yourself is the first step to success in sales. A lack of self-confidence will be evident to others and cause them to hesitate doing business with you.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being "outstanding"), how strongly do you believe in your abilities as a sales professional? I’m going to assume you believe in your product. If you don’t, stop reading and start researching a product that you can believe in. Your own experience with and conviction in the value of your product will impact your sales as much as — if not more than — any selling strategy I can teach you.

Now, back to the original question, do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your abilities, your competence as a sales professional? Really think about this. You probably aren’t equally good in all areas of the sales process. Few are. If you believe yourself to be great at prospecting, yet less-than-great at qualifying, you may be doubling your presentation time (presenting once to the non-decision-maker and again to the real decision-maker). If you’re great at presenting, but hesitant about asking people for their money, your ratios will show it. Any of those things can negatively impact your belief in your ability to succeed.

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