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
Set Sail For A Great Future - Part
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 problem70% 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
- 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:
- I could stand around and do nothing.
- I could run away.
- 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
- 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
III, Rocky 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?
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 & Associates, Inc.
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY 40245
(502) 553-1746 phone
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
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.
Click here TO
ENGAGE JOE BONURA FOR A TRAINING SEMINAR AT YOUR COMPANY