I bought a book the other day by a sales coach that I’ve followed for years. I’ve read many of his books, and own quite a few of them so I can refer back to them again and again. He’s a great motivator; he can always motivate me to take one more look at my sales process and make a change or two to improve things.
The book is 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer. (Yes, I would highly recommend it if you haven’t read it.)
When I visited Amazon to buy it for my Kindle, I noticed he had mostly top reviews, with one or two hovering near the bottom. I’m always interested in what people have to say, so I scrolled down to take a look. And as expected, I found the negative review to say this:
“Nothing new here. This sales book is like “The Secret” and many other books that are about manifesting what you want. The only difference here is that he’s taken these same principles and applied them to a sales persons perspective on how to succeed.”
Yet along side the one or two negative reviews – reviews that only gave one or two stars – were a couple dozen 5 star reviews. Like this one:
“Great, like all of his books! My revenue increases every time I read one of his books, Jeffrey is a fantastic sales motivator.”
You see this kind of action again and again. And it really is no surprise. In fact, I’ve found this same action myself in the books, infoproducts and training courses I’ve created and sold over the years.
What is the difference?
It’s a case of a person falling into the trap of negativity.
When a person is on the uphill slope, pushing forward knowing they are on the road to success, they can find the positive in everything. They look at everything they do as a way to fill what’s missing at the moment. By putting your attention on how to solve a problem, the solution can be right in front of you, possibly in something you’ve looked at, read, or even learned from before. But this time you’re looking at it through different eyes. You’ve learned. You’ve grown. You’ve experienced a whole lot more since the last time you’ve read a piece of advice. So it means something entirely different to you right now in the moment.
But when you fall into the negative trap and start falling down the hill, nothing goes your way. Everything turns into “been there, done that” advice. And you start telling everyone around you “I’ve tried it all before and it just doesn’t work.” “Pick up a book and reread it – why, I’ve already read it.” Because your mind is closed, nothing gets in to help you turn your current situation around. After all, everything else is the problem, not you … right?
Guess what? Both ways are correct.
From every book on your shelf, every guru you’ve ever trusted, every person that has mentored you, to every teacher you’ve learned from; they all have something to say to inspire you down every road you turn. You just have to be open to learning what they have to say and how it applies to your life right now.
When I find great books, I invest in them and keep them on my shelf close to me. (Or as the case is now, I keep them on my Kindle.) I highlight them. I use stickies to make notes. And I reread them again and again whenever I’m looking for a solution to a new problem.
When you have a great book with advice from someone high up in a field, every time you read it you have the opportunity to learn something new. And if you find someone you enjoy enough that writes book after book, even if the topic is the same, they still approach things from different angles or use different stories to make a point.
When you read it, you are at a different place. You have different “problems”. You need different advice. And when you read or reread advice you found great in the past, you may read it in a slightly different way – and it makes perfect sense for what you need today. It fills in the gap that was missing right now at this point in time.
In Gitomer’s book, he reminded me of a quote I’ve loved over the years:
“If you want things to get better, you have to be better.”
Nothing stays the same if you work on you. It only gets better. But you have to be conscious of what that means.