I entered into the bustling workplace with business shirts draped over my arm.
“Hi! I’m in the area today carrying what was an oversupply of these Giorgio business shirts. The boss wants us to clear them out and so I’m here today offering them for only $30 each! That’s hundreds off the recommended retail price. You’ve heard of Giorgio right?”
That was the question that we were trained to ask. “You’ve heard of (such and such) right?” The idea was that if you could impress upon people’s minds that they SHOULD have heard of something then they will often tell you, and usually convince themselves, that they have even if that’s not the case. These Giorgio shirts had the added bonus of having a recognisable name. The first half of the famous designer Giorgio Armani. But after selling these shirts for a couple of weeks for some back street, shady importer of cheap products that question was finally answered in a way that had me step back and wonder what the hell I was doing.
“You’ve heard of Giorgio right?”
“Giorgio Armani? Are these actually Armani shirts?”
Of course they weren’t, and I couldn’t lie. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore either. I suddenly woke up to the tricks that were being played by this company and the tricks that they were having me use in order to flog off their crappy, low end, high profit margin product.
I quit that day and promised myself that I would never again sell something that I didn’t believe in.
I also realised something else that day. I realised why I was such an average salesperson. I had been working for about a month for these guys selling different products door to door. I didn’t believe in the products and that denied my self-belief the opportunity to grow.
It works the other way though.
I’ve had Trainers tell me that they don’t feel like they can teach. They’re not confident in their own abilities. What I say to them is –
“But what of the course that you are teaching? Do you believe in that? Do you believe that it can add value to the existence of your students?”
“Yes of course.”
“That’s the foundation that you build on. That matters most. Start by focusing on why you are teaching and the how will improve. Believe in what you’re doing, and your self-belief will grow.”
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