I am currently re-reading Integrity Selling for the 21st Century by Ron Willingham. Every year, I re-read a book or two from the Cameron-Brooks Reading Program. I select a book that will help improve my ability to better serve the junior military officer (JMO) and Cameron-Brooks client companies. As I read Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, I am impressed with Willingham’s advice and how much sense his “AID, Inc. System” makes. For any JMO considering a sales career or starting out in sales, I highly recommend this book. For those JMOs who have not considered sales, I highly recommend this book as well. Willingham will break just about every pre-conceived notion one may have about selling.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the first 1/2 of the book. I will write a second blog in the future after I finish re-reading it.
- “Selling success is more of an issue of who you are than what you know. While knowledge is necessary, sustained success comes to the person who’s driven by strong values and ethics.” My college Marketing Professor, Bob Drevs, told me several times, “It’s not what you do, but who you are that will make you successful.” I am sure someone passed that on to him and I am glad he passed it on to me because I think about his advice just about every day. Success is about the “who” I am, not the “what.”
- “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.“ Willingham quoted William James, a modern-day psychologist. Willingham uses the quote to support the fact that one can overcome fear by facing it head on.
- “People are more apt to trust and open up to you when you listen to them, care about them, and have a sincere desire to understand them.” This is true in selling, leading, parenting, marriage, friendship and more.
- “Your interest in a person’s values, feelings, and business must be 100 percent sincere. That’s why we call it Integrity Selling.“ People buy from people they trust. Trust is built on sincerity.
- “The art of persuasion is paradoxical. The more we attempt to persuade people, the more they tend to resist us. But the more we attempt to understand them and create value for them, the more they tend to persuade themselves.“ And, “People are silently begging, Don’t try to sell stuff to me. Listen to me, value me, understand me, and let me know that you want to help me.” This reminds me of philosophy, the more one gives the more one receives.
- “Integrity selling is doing something for people rather than to them. Its focus is to create value for customers. It’s all about them, not you.“ Mary Lou White, who has been with Cameron-Brooks for 32 years, has a sign on her desk (it looks as if it has been there for all 32 years) that says, “Remember: It’s not about me.” Probably why she has been at Cameron-Brooks for so long.
We are off to the November 2009 Conference this afternoon. Posts will soon follow with an update on the Conference.