Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do…

A brilliant piece of copy writing for an Apple ad campaign that has transcended its original purpose and become something of real meaning to lots of people. Steve Jobs recent sad passing has obviously given it extra poignancy, but it had managed to take on a life of its own before that sad event. Parents of autistic children, it may surprise you to learn, are among just some of the people who this mantra has given comfort too, their children being the very definition of ’round pegs in square holes’.

But there are lessons for everyone. And in the context of my blog, most of all sales people!

The power of your typical sales persons mind has never ceased to amaze me. I don’t mean in a superior mental toughness sort of way (though that too!) I mean in how strongly their view of the universe influences what they do and how well they do it.

A sales person that is convinced of the suitability of a product for a client is almost unstoppable! If I provide a discount on a product for a short time for instance, I see sales people move heaven and earth to get the message to their client.

In my business, radio sales, I’m pretty sure if I told a sales person when I first employed them that the rate they could sell at is non negotiable, and that there was a minimum sales order value, that’s precisely what they would sell at. Without exception! Its only the fact their colleagues would give the game away that prevents me from doing it. On the opposite end of the scale, take the person that works on a check out at the local supermarket. They would not understand what on earth you were talking about if you asked them to negotiate on the purchase price of your shopping in the way that the radio sales person negotiates on the order for airtime.

Why? The checkout operator ‘knows’ that negotiation is not permitted. Just as the radio seller knows that it is. They way both these people think determines they way they sell. It’s where the principle that you have to ‘believe in your product’ before you can sell it comes from.

Ready for a bit of a tongue twister? Buyers only buy when buyers believe. And if they don’t believe? They won’t buy.

As sales people what do we do next? Well, the buyer may believe that we believe! That’s selling, and it’s so much easier when that belief is genuine and sincere right? And if they don’t believe, there’s every chance it’s because you didn’t believe in the first place.

More than that though, If a seller thinks that they can hit a target, they will. If they think that this quarters number in un-do-able, they won’t. It’s that simple. And that complicated.

If you think you can, you can. (Or at least might.) If you think you cannot – you won’t. THAT’S how much power we are talking about here. And it’s often the sales persons enemy as much as their friend.

The above examples are obvious enough. But what if a seller thinks the market is slow? Or thinks that appointments are hard to get. What if they think that no-one is buying right now, or that the product they are selling is too expensive. What if they think that the presentation they have on file doesn’t make sense. Or they think that there are better products out there? Or they think any number of negative and ultimately defeating thoughts?

I’ll tell you what happens, those things become that sales persons absolute concrete reality, that’s what happens! To the extent that the sales person cannot distinguish between their own discernment of a set of circumstances and some kind of official, arbitrated truth. By arbitrated truth I mean that most of us, when we believe something is the truth, believe that everyone believes that thing is the truth. We believe that some kind of conclave has met to decide on that particular truth, and then published the details so that we can all partake in that particular reality. These truths that we hold so tightly are called our paradigms. They may be extremely important paradigms about right and wrong or even up and down, or they may be less important, like whether we believe something is cheap or expensive, or whether we can hit a target or not, but either way, once we have them, they are extremely hard to shift.

Paradigm shifts occur when something we have believed up to that point to be one thing, in fact, turns out to be another. When this happens, it can actually shake the very foundations of a person’s reality, as paradigms are so profound and so deeply held.

German postcard

Do you see the picture of the young woman? Or do you see a picture of an old crone? Can you ‘flip’ from what you first saw, to the ‘other’ version? That feeling is a paradigm shift. It’s an uncomfortable and amazing feeling when all that is involved is a picture! Imagine what happens when it’s something important.

And this is why I advise you to ‘Think Different’ Its so easy to get stuck in your though processes and stuck in a way of thinking. It’s so easy to believe a thing, may be something that you have always believed, without so much as a question. No matter what that thing is, as sales people, and as thinking human beings, we should as a matter of discipline and habit, attempt to shift our paradigms about it at least once a day(!) It keeps things fresh. It ensures rigorous thought and honesty about all things, even the market place and how hard it is to make appointments.

And as Apple once said, it will change your world. Thinking Different is the only thing that will.

  1. mrsmoti
    mrsmoti says:

    I love this! And such great writing…have you thought of taking a sabbatical from being a sales guru and writing a racy thriller set in media land maybe…

  2. duanechristensen
    duanechristensen says:

    Great stuff!

    It took me a few years to get over the tendency to lower my ad rates when a business owner scoffed. But once I gained the confidence in myself and my product…I don’t ever budge on rates. I know I’m worth it. I know my product is worth it. It’s not even an issue any more.

    And if I ever sold something where I questioned the pricing and the value of the product or service, I wouldn’t be selling it very long.

    Thinking differently is a MUST in business…whether it’s with employees, marketing, etc.