"Get Your Selling Career Shipshape"
Part Two

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When I visited with a friend, I noticed a picture on his wall entitled Salesmanship. It was a drawing of an old sailing ship with each sail labeled with the traits of a great salesperson. This is the second article in the series where I share the traits with you. Click the link at the end of the article to read the next in the series.

This entire article will be devoted to the main sail - Resilience


Set Sail For A Great Future - Part Two
by Joe Bonura, CSP


Sail Number Five: Resilience

What Is Your Bounce-back Quotient?
In the profession of selling, you sometimes lose more than you win. The secret to success is to keep on keeping on. No one likes to lose or to be rejected; however, the way to move forward in selling is to make calls. Every time you make a call, you are opening the door to rejection or to success.
Three Strikes You Win
Babe Ruth held the record for the most home runs in baseball; he also held the record for the most strikeouts. You cannot hit a home run unless you strike at the ball. Every time you miss, you learn what not to do. You learn how to correct your errors and to move forward. I learn more when I lose a sale, than when I make a sale.
A No Can Put You In The Know
Whenever someone tells me no, I do a personal debriefing to discover what I could have said or done, that would have made a difference in the outcome. Sometimes I find that there is nothing that I could have done, but on other occasions, I find a way to tweak my approach for the next time.
70% Walked Out The Door
In 1978 I was president of one of the largest advertising agencies in Kentucky. There was just one significant problem—70% of my billings came from one client. We did an exceptional job for the client, so there was no reason to fear loss of that major client.
No Thanksgiving
I received a phone call one Friday, just a week before Thanksgiving. I could tell by the tone in the client's voice that the news was not good, and he said, "We would like to visit with you on Monday." When I inquired about the visit, he said, "We will talk about it then." Why do we always seem to get bad news on a weekend, and just before a holiday?
Blue Monday
Sure enough, on Monday morning, I received the news that they would be evaluating other agencies, my competition. We were included in the evaluation process, along with five other advertising agencies. Our presentation was outstanding, and they gave us a standing ovation. We were convinced that the news would be good.
And The Bad News Is
The news was not good! They were going with another advertising agency. In an instant, 70% of my business walked out the door. What to do? I had three choices:
  1. I could stand around and do nothing.
  2. I could run away.
  3. I could take action and change the situation.


Think Tank Time
My first reaction was to run away. I went to real estate school for one night, and when I arrived home, I told my wife that I really didn't want to be a realtor. I was convinced that having devoted my life to the advertising business, our agency would make a comeback. I needed a break, so I took my family on vacation to Walt Disney World®. My wife reminded me that we had not taken a vacation in seven years and that finances would be low. Could we afford a vacation? I insisted that we needed to get away to think and plan.
Up In Smoke
We drove down to Florida with our three children. On the way, we stopped in Atlanta to stay at the Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Thinking about my family responsibilities, I had trouble sleeping. Still awake at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, I looked out over the city of Atlanta, and it dawned on me that the magnificent city of Atlanta had been burned to the ground just 113 years ago. I reasoned with myself that if a whole city could be rebuilt in 113 years, why couldn't I restore my advertising agency to its former strength?
Hocus Focus
I sat down to journal new and bigger goals. I realized that I had been centering on what I was losing, instead of focusing on changing my situation. I began visualizing on a bigger home, driving a luxury car, and increasing billings of my advertising agency.
Take Massive Action
When I returned from Orlando, I made thirty major presentations to potential clients. I began a massive telephone campaign for new business. Within thirty days, we added a new client to our list. It was a positive beginning. Building on that success, we added new business consistently, and by 1989, Bon Advertising was the second largest advertising agency in Louisville, Kentucky, with over 14 million dollars in billings.
Don't Look Down, Look Up
When things are looking down, you must look up. You have to redouble your efforts and strike at the ball more. One swing at a time will lead you to one home run after another.
Row, Row, Row The Boat
Life and business are not always smooth sailing, but if you are willing to row when the wind dies down, there is nothing that can stop you from coming back, except you. In selling, coming back is a daily thing. I often convey to sales people that I am out of work every day of my life. I will continue to get work only if I am willing to work, and each sale is a new job.
Lessons From Rocky
How resilient are you? During my business losses, my favorite movie was Rocky I. A profound moment in the movie occurs before Rocky's big fight with Apollo Creed, when Rocky tells his wife, Adrian, "I don't care whether I win or lose; I just want to be standing on my feet when the fight is over." Although the fight was a draw, and the judges gave the fight to Apollo, Rocky was standing on his feet, creating enthusiastic interest in producing Rocky II Rocky IIIRocky IV, Rocky V, and upcoming Rocky VI. The movie reflected Stallone's real life as a writer at the time because he didn't give up and he reached the stars.

Are you ready to sail (sell) your way to the next port?


Click here for PART THREE of this article



© 1997 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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