Words of Wisdom: Destiny

To step towards your destiny, you need to step away from your security



Killing the sale … and surviving


Probably the most ominous words I could hope never to hear/read! And yet, here they were…live, in bold black letters, striking at me right before my eyes!

Shock, indignation, hurt!

“What did I do wrong?”

“How could you not be interested?”

“Why are you not interested?”

These emotions, thoughts and a slowly spreading sense of panic and self critique started spreading through my mind. “Surely my pitch was strong enough: I had taken enough time to craft it just right (approx 30 min to be exact), and, after all this was a warm prospect!” I had reached out to a colleague who I had trained in a previous role and they had done an initial introduction on my behalf, had shared/sold who I was and what I did, “so surely the person would be receptive to a conversation with me”

Alas it appeared not. As I scrambled in a fug to find a suitably strong response, a response which would not only help the intended recipient to see the error of their ways but would goad them into warmly invite me to share my incredible business  proposal with them….

Hi, my names Stephan and my business is helping people and organisations flourish through – among-st other brilliant programs – How to sell :0)

Why would somebody, who trains people how to sell be sharing an example of how not to sell?” you might be asking yourself with, I imagine a look of consternation pasted firmly across your face

A valid question, a powerful question. The very question I was hoping you would be asking and the question which I intended to answer through sharing my experience.

As I shared, I help people and organisations flourish and, sales training apart I also empower, enable and equip people to achieve their potential through developing their emotional intelligence, awareness and responsibility and I can think of no better way as a – coach, trainer and speaker to help others on their journey to recognising their brilliance and awesomeness – than to be vulnerable about my own fallibility’s and the lessons that can be learned (and many a lessons there are in this brief experience)

Make yourself a cuppa, grab a note book and a pen (or your ipad/galaxy note or whatever device you use to capture life changing notes), get comfortable and read on

  • Lesson one – Its all about the doing not about the getting

I recently wrote a series of posts on my blog Leadership in Motion called The Ten Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence and Irrefutable Law One states that in order to have a life that is flourishing, You have to communicate what you want!

There are a lot of cool tips in there so worth a read but the reason I draw you to this is the key message, which, in case you missed it, is YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

Why is this my first lesson? Because of two reasons

a) I have been notoriously bad at asking for what I wanted (due to many things which I will spare you from right now) a trait which has meant that I have probably lost out on a huge amount and experienced loads of (self inflicted) disappointment. The fact that I did ask is something I need to remind myself of, and celebrate often! Make a note of this

If you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get! If you don’t get involved, you cannot expect to receive any reward! Don’t expect to win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket! You need to be in it to win it!

b)  A major philosophy of mine is that “It’s not about the getting, but about the doing!”

In all my sales training  sessions my first key message to delegates is “I want you to go out and get as many no’s! as possible. The quicker you get through the No’s! the quicker you get to the Yes’s. You cannot control the response but you can control what and how you say/do what you say/do and ensure there is a response” mmmmmm maybe I need to start using my own stuff :0)

As one of  my mentors wisely remarked “The purpose of a goal (getting a yes) is not achieving the goal. It is who you become on the journey to the goal” Tony Robbins and another reflected “Adversity introduces a man/women to themselves. How you handle it is about growth” Napolean Hill

  • Lesson Two – Watch your inner terrorist

Have you ever noticed the ‘voices’that crop up in your head at various times all giving you advice on how you should be feeling, what you should be thinking. how you should be acting. Have you ever taken a moment to think about how often those voices, although well intended (they are there to ‘protect’ you and do mean well ;), are often completely off key and often if not seriously questioned for sound evidence result in you taking actions which had opposite results to what you had intended?

Let me use this case in point

At the start I read the message and my little terrorist (ego) read it as a solid, nasty No! and wanted to get back at this horrid person for their unfair unfriendly (there is a lot of great insight to be gained by studying up on (attending one of my programs 😉 on personality types and communication) response. Luckily I have gotten to a point where I recognise that what I am seeing/hearing is probably not what is really happening and have taken the the habit of pausing, re-reading and qualifying what I am perceiving. After much further deliberation and nail biting ( yes I do tend to stress about these things and getting it right) .. PAUSE

that brings to mind another philosophy I am working on instilling as a habit (highly recommend you write this down as well

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing…badly! Until it is being done well”

Les Brown

UN-PAUSE … I sent the following message


can you believe it, after all this time I still managed to sabotage myself. This comes from overthinking the situation, second guessing my second guessing and doubting my first RATIONAL response

  • Lesson Three – Less time planning the approach more time taking action

I think lessons one and two explain this one but just incase

spending loads of time writing and re-writing and fretting about your approach response is not going to help how they respond and only wastes a lot of your valuable time.

Does this mean i should just contact people and wing it? No – read Irrefutable Law Two and attend my workshop on connecting with power to give you the greatest chance of a positive results. Put an introduction together and then commit to doing it and as you go make adjustments as required based on the response you get.

But that not the only thing! You also must be prepared for the response (Irrefutable Law Four for tips on this) which brings me to the biggest, most glaring lesson of all. And I mean the most important lesson and biggest mistake of them all – NEVER TOP BE REPEATED AGAIN

Lesson four – Don’t email! PHONE

The biggest objection I receive from new sales people now a days is the following “people don’t want to be called. Nobody calls anymore! They’ll respond better if I email first!”

Let me be absolutely clear – I almost bought into this a few years ago. The reason? BECAUSE I WAS SCARED OF CALLING AND GETTING A NO

Welcome to


Thank you for your patience

That is the only reality! Write this down – Telephone and interpersonal conversations are still very much appreciated and are still and will be – until we all have avatars and robots doing everything for us and we are reduced to mindless bods –  the most powerful way to start conversations (apart from direct contact), build relationships and get what you want!!!

and off the box!

WAIT! before you go off on your own box about how “you have tried making calls and been shot down time and time again and your friend who is a PA to the CEO of a major corporation has repeatedly told you that they never take calls and that calls are a waist of time!”

There are … to this

Your introduction has to add value, it has to be relevant, it has to be genuine and authentic (or at the very least you need to be the kind of person who can forge this) and it has to follow a certain structure and if at all possible it should be expected (warm call). If your call meets all these criteria then i say – my statement still stands, because all that’s happened is you have caught the person at the wrong time of day and in essence “It’s not you, it’s them”

Why is it really valuable to make the call rather than email?

One reason and one reason only! On a call you can ‘handle’ the reaction with an appropriately phrased question. Remember although a Yes is desired and expected, you have little control over this if you are not able to have a conversation. And you will find it exceedingly difficult to have the conversation if you cannot handle the reaction.

The problem with email –

there is no personal connection (tone, pace, volume, inflection) i.e no human touch

You do not have the persons direct attention – they are probably reading your email whilst speaking to someone else

Their mindset and thoughts at the time determine how they perceive and read the message

You cannot respond appropriately/in good time and mirroring their mindset because email is delayed

There is no conversation! which is what is needed to truly connect

You have no control and anything you respond with other than a thank you has a far higher likely-hood of being received as this person is trying to sell/persuade me which creates a bigger barrier

No – it is far better – to call!

Lets take a look then at my key learns and commitments moving forward

  1. Keep approaching and asking
  2. Keep listening for my inner terrorists and keep questioning the validity of the thoughts “is this really the case?”
  3. Once I have decided on a course of action go with it no more second guessing
  4. Make the calls no more email (unless it goes something like “Dear …, I’ve been referred by X who said they had spoken to you… NAH!! Just call! it will save me a whole host of time and allow me to

I hope you found this as useful as I have. if you or somebody you know are looking to help you and/or the business flourish drop me a line

I leave you with these final thoughts

“Courage is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm”

Winston Churchill

and following on from that

“Failure is simply a few errors in judgement…REPEATED every day”

You will only become all you can be by discarding your ego, stepping up, giving it a go and learning from each experience

Be Possible