"Be Prepared"

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Be Prepared
by Joe Bonura, CSP


It Is A Lifetime Adventure

What we do before the sales call determines how we handle ourselves during a sales call. Preparation is not a one time event—it is a lifetime adventure. The adventure begins when you accept your first job as a sales professional. One of the most well kept secrets in the selling profession is that preparation is a never ending process.

Are Your Sales Muscles Lean And Mean?

If two teams were competing for a major championship, and one team practiced hard all year, but the other team took it easy and waited for game day. Which team do you think would win the game? Are your sales muscles fat and flabby, or lean and mean?

Do Not Fly On Broken Wings

A sales call does not change you. It only magnifies what you already have or don't have. I remember vividly, and with some embarrassment, how poorly I performed when I served as a loaned executive for United Way. I figured that selling was selling and that I could walk in on my first donor call and wing it. Instead of winging it, my wings were clipped. My call was stiff and unenthusiastic, and the donor let me know it. He said that I should have had more concern for what I was doing because of the cause I was representing.

Live And Learn

He was right, and I learned a lesson that I have not forgotten. Since then, I have had the privilege of working with over twenty United Way groups all over the United States. I taught loaned executives to prepare and know their true goal to help people who cannot help themselves. The effort to prepare may save a life or a family.

Learn From The Masters

One of my mentors, the late Joe Charbonneau, encouraged his audiences to find someone who is a master at what you want to do, and then model yourself after that person. Why try to reinvent the wheel when someone has already done so?

Too Blind To See

We were having the drapes cleaned in our home, and Mike, the drapery installer, was a master sales person and a super serve person. A young man in training accompanied Mike on his first visit. When the young trainee did not return for the installation of the cleaned draperies, my wife asked about him. Mike said that the young man had quit the week before. Apparently, he did not want to take orders from Mike or to learn from an experienced mentor. What a shame! The trainee will probably go through life wondering why he could not succeed. He closed the drapes on his future because he was too blind to see the opportunity he had to grow his career and to increase his knowledge by following the advice and mentoring of a master.

Junk Yard Mentality

Mental fitness is important, but so is physical fitness. My job entails a lot of travel, stays in hotels, and eating in airports. It is easy to fall into a very poor lifestyle as far as my health is concerned. I must be constantly vigilant in my food choices and in the exercise that I do to keep myself mentally alert and ready to sell. Recently, I fell back into some old habits of eating junk food and neglecting exercise. I used my travel schedule as an excuse.

Today is the Day—The Only Day

Deciding to practice what I preach, I wrote on a 3x5 card to carry in my pocket: "Today I will take control of my life and my diet." Notice that I said today; I am not concerned about tomorrow or the day after. You can control today if you have the right attitude. The second thing I wrote on the 3x5 card was, "I will be made new in the attitude of my mind," a Bible verse from Ephesians 4:23. My inner mental attitude will determine my outward actions. I must be constantly aware of my mental attitude and adjust my thinking as it becomes necessary.

The Choice Is Up To You

Take control of your sales career by preparing like you have never prepared before. Give it all you have. Learn something new about selling (serving your prospects) every day. Role play with your associates to sharpen your selling reflexes. Find someone at the top of their game in your business and interview him/her. Subscribe to industry publications. Commit to read at least one book a month during the next year. Invest your own money in a sales training program. Be prepared before you go in to make a call, and you can be prepared to get the business. Make every day an awesome day!


© 2006 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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