November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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14 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 Selling Smart by Jeffrey Gitomer Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless Customer Loyalty Is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connec- tions, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Get- ting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at | | | | A s the commercialism of Thanksgiving fades into the commercialism of Christmas or whatever you're allowed to call it these days, several thoughts have occurred to me that will impact you as a person, you as a salesperson, and your business. People try so hard to express good cheer in the holiday season that they often miss the mark. "Don't eat too much turkey," or "Don't drink too much eggnog," is admitting that you have nothing new to say. My bet is your "thank you" is somewhat like your mission statement. It's there, but it's relatively meaningless, and no one can recite it. Most employees, even executives, can't recite their own mission statement, even under penalty of death. It's time to ask yourself these hard questions: • Why is this the only season we give thanks? • How sincere is your message, really? • Why do you find it necessary to thank your customers at the same time everyone else is thanking their customers? • If you're thanking customers, what are you offering besides words to show them you value and care about them? • Why do you have a shiny card with a printed message and foil-stamped company signa- ture—and nothing personal? THANK YOURSELF Here's an idea: Why not start by thanking yourself? Thank yourself for your success, your good fortune, your health, your family, your library, your attitude, your fun times, your friends, and all the cool things that make you a happy person. If you have trouble thanking yourself, it may indicate that your situation isn't going as well as it could. In that case, any thanks you give to others is perceived somewhere between "less than whole" and "totally insincere." You can't become sincerely thankful to others until you become fully thankful to and for yourself. Once you realize who you are, your message of thanks becomes more real and passionate to others. The good news is this is the holiday season. The bad news is it's so full of retail shopping incentives, mobs of people, and today-only deals that the festivity of Thanksgiving is some- what lost in the shuffle. Black Friday and Cyber Monday—or, wait, is it Cyber Tuesday, Small-Business Saturday, or Throwback Thursday? Whatever it is, it's a strategy for advertising and promoting. And I'm all right with it, totally all right with the free enterprise system. I just think the hype of it has become more dominant than the giving of thanks and the meaning of the season. Call me old fashioned or traditional, but I don't think you can call me wrong. I want our economy to be strong but not at the expense of celebration, family time, and personal time to thank yourself for who you have become and who you are becoming. SHARE YOUR THANKS As you sit around your dinner table this Thanksgiving, ask everyone to say what they are grateful for and to whom they give thanks. Then, have everyone express thanks about one of their personal attributes. Ask every- one to recall their best Thanksgiving, the person they miss the most, or the most important thing they've learned as a fam- ily member—and to be thankful for that memory, person, or lesson. This simple ac- tion creates a sense of reality around your table that is both revealing and education- al. It also wipes away all of the superficial undertones often associated with family holidays. Sit down and make a list of your best qualities—your personal assets, not your money or property. These are the assets that you believe have created the person you are: your humor, friendliness, help- fulness, approachability, trustworthiness, honesty, ethics, and maybe even your mo- rality. Tough list, eh? As you head deeper into this holiday season, perhaps next year's intentions and focus—not goals and resolutions—will be more about building personal assets and capabilities for which you can be thankful. For those wondering where the sales tip is, wake up and smell the leftovers. I'm trying to sell you on yourself. Once you make that sale and become the best you can be for yourself, it's easy to become the best you can be for others and present yourself in a way that others will buy. It's the holidays, baby. Go out and thank yourself. a Different Kind of thanks Take a moment to thank yourself this holiday season pw

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