Do You Suck at Sales and Marketing? Here’s How Not to Get Bitten in the Butt!

“Let’s face it. You’re brilliant at what you do, but you SUCK at marketing,” said my business mentor when we first started working together. “You’re going to need to fall in love with it.”

“And pigs have wings.” I thought, while nodding in pretend agreement. I was paying him so I at least needed to show willing.

Back then, marketing and sales was something I wanted nothing to do with. I wanted to do the fun stuff, the change agent stuff: retreats, workshops, deep transformation stuff.

Sales was for people with toothy smiles, perfect hair and pin stripe suits who said things like; “But wait, there’s more!’ or “So, Mr. Jones, would you like to buy your policy on Tuesday or Thursday?”

Other people were good at it. Not me. Silly, I know. All exaggerated projection. I didn’t want to admit it, but it scared me.

Which is kind of weird given my life up to that point. I’ve travelled to the world alone, lived in all sorts of exotic places, climbed remote Thai mountains with freedom fighters brandishing AK47′s, scuba dived in the dark, jumped out of airplanes, spoken in front of hundreds. And here I am afraid to close a $2000 deal? Really?

I know it sounds silly but the rejection piece was more potent than the physical safety thing. And therein lay a solution. I just needed to translate the skill set.

This is a silly, but potent example. I remember when I first moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, back in my twenties, I rode a bicycle around the city. On occasion I became a moving target for rabid looking stray dogs. They would chase me, fangs a flaring. I knew not to flee (I tried, unsuccessfully several times) as they could always outpace me.

Very quickly I figured out what to do instead. I would stop in my tracks, get off my bike, stare directly into their eyes and start walking menacingly towards them. It worked like a charm every time. Off they would skulk, tail between their legs. It actually became quite a game.

After a while I found myself actively looking for dogs who had the foolish audacity to come after me.

Lesson: Turn and face what you’re afraid of, look it right in the eyes and start moving towards it. If you run away it will keep chasing you and bite you in the butt.

I simply had forgotten to apply that to sales.

Now, facing a challenging dip in business and no longer having someone else doing the sales bit for me, I had to finally turn and look this snarling beast in the eye.

What I didn’t expect was that it would become so much fun. You see, in reality, marketing and sales is all about psychology. And I’ve always been fascinated by people and what makes us tick. And that’s sales all over – why do people do what they do? What makes them buy? What makes them run away?

In fact, for many years when I lived in Asia, I was a freelance writer, writing feature articles about travel, and people. People who did interesting things. I just hadn’t translated that into the sales arena yet.

Now, necessity was the mother of my reinvention.

I began to have a blast. I started creating videos, writing blogs, doing tele-classes, creating campaigns. All the things I’d been dancing around and never quite doing. And not only was I applying my new-found passion for sales into my own business, but showing others how to do the same too.

I found that my niche is in fact messengers and change agents, entrepreneurs, who are amazing at what they do, but who generally suck at sales and need to get out of their own way. By the end of my courses, they are gutsy, out there and owning it in a powerful way. It’s a pleasure to behold.

Not only that, but we have a LOT of fun.

So, if you’re feeling a little queasy at the thought of sales and marketing here are a couple of things you can explore. Get a notebook and answer the following questions (colored pens will help):

1. What are you really afraid of? Be honest. (Rejection? Looking stupid?)

2. Where in your life are you courageous or audacious? (e.g. Have you bungee jumped? How are your karaoke skills? Are you un-squeamish at the sight of blood? Do you ride a Harley? Is your hair pink?)

Find ways to translate that courage into sales and marketing. Be creative.

And most of all, stop taking yourself so seriously. Sales can actually be fun. And the more fun you’re having, the easier your clients will feel in your presence. Which means, when you get to the conversation about money, they will barely notice the close because they were converted to you a long time ago.

A smart phone with a camera helps too, because videos are among the most powerful tools you can use – if you know how.

That’s for another blog. For now, my parting thought is, if you do suck at sales all you need is a bicycle and an attitude and you’re off to a great start.

And remember, only when you walk towards your fear will you find your greatness.

So tell me, do your pigs have wings too? Chime in below and let me know if you’re about to take flight.

Old Magazine Craft Ideas For You and Your Children – 3 Ways to Reuse Old Magazines

Most everybody I know has a ton of old magazines lying around their home. These magazines collect dust and take up valuable space. If you want to clean up, you can recycle them, or you can use them to do some pretty cool crafts with your children.

When I was clearing out all of my old magazines, I did a little of both, I went through each magazine and tore out pages I thought I’d use in the future, and recycled the rest of the magazine. Just going through the magazines is something you can with your children. When I was going through my magazines, I tore pages out and placed them in a cardboard box, I turned 30 stacks of magazines into two cardboard boxes full of future craft supplies.

Once you’re sorted through the magazines and decided what you want to keep, it’s time to get crafting.

One thing I really enjoy doing with magazine clippings is making comic books/story books. Writing stories is fun by itself, but using magazine clippings and crayons to illustrate the story is awesome. I usually cut out heads and paste them on bodies I’ve drawn. I also like to use things for the background, trees, cars, houses, animals, etc… No matter what you choose to do, you’re guaranteed to have a great time doing it. Try finding pictures first and writing your story to match the pictures.

Another fun thing you can do with magazine cut-outs is create a giant collage of pictures you like. This is the easiest way to use up old magazines, due to the sheer volume of pictures you’ll be using. Grab a giant piece of cardboard, some scissors, and a few glue sticks and you’re ready to go. Decide on a theme before you start, or just start pasting pictures wherever you feel like. Half the fun is wondering how it’s going to turn out. Have fun and don’t worry too much if you make a mistake, you can always paste over a picture you don’t like.

The final thing I really enjoy doing, is cutting out words and letters and writing notes or telling stories. The best thing about doing this is the fact that it saves a lot of the page for future use as you are usually only cutting a couple words or letters out. Doing this will depend on your child’s reading/writing level, but you can still do this with young children by asking them what they want it to say.

No matter what you decide to do with old magazines, the best thing to do is take full advantage of everything they have to offer before you toss them in the recycle bin.

How to Find the Best Collector Car Club For You and Your Ride

If you are trying to find a good car club and you cannot find one it may not be an easy task at all. Finding a good collector car club may be harder then finding anything else that you may need to find. There are probably tons of collector car clubs in your area you just need to get online or get your nose in the newspapers to find out what is going on.

The first thing that you can do is go to an auto parts store and see if there is anyone there with a collectible car. If there is then you can ask them if they are in any car clubs and if they say yes then there you go you are in. that’s all you need to do is talk to people and then you will find out info that you didn’t even know was around. All you do is just go find a bunch of collectible cars and then start talking to the guys if you drive a collectible car.

Another good place to find a good organization is to go to car shows. There are usually a bunch of people there with collectible cars that would love to talk to you about your car and if you wanted in on the car club. If you cannot find anyone to talk to at a car show then you just need to go online or in a chat room forum and talk to some people and try to meet some people around your area that are in car clubs.

If you do not want to leave your house to find a good club then you can either make some phone calls or get on the internet and start looking up some on Google. If you cannot find any car shows on the internet then you just need to go on a car club website and email some of the people asking where they are located and if they know of any collector’s car clubs around. There are many around you just have to find them.

If you ever seen those car magazines that is another good way to find yourself a good club if you are still looking for one. You just go buy a few antique car magazines and there should be numbers of the sellers of the cars in there all you need to do is pick up the phone and call someone about the same car that you have and start talking to them about it and then ask them about the car clubs.

Even though finding a good organization can be hard it will be worth all the work once you have found what you are looking for. You will be able to talk to people about all the same things and not have to repeat yourself. It will be worth all the work that you had to go through.