Extra Mile

"I love being handled well." This comment was shared with me by a very successful, and now retired, industrial executive. He started his career in sales and told me that as he climbed higher up the professional food chain and made the transition from selling to being sold, there was nothing that he appreciated more than a great sales guy.In my first job after college, I loved selling to sales guys. No fluff, no pleasantries, just the facts. They knew my approach, my pitch, and my close as well as I did, just for a different widget/product. The best part of selling to sales guys is that they will not waste your time and they will most always respect your more the harder you pursue. I have never had a sales guy tell me that I was being too persistent or that they were offended that I had left 8 voice mails for them over the past two months. Persistence is one of the most important mindsets a good salesman, and really a good anything, can develop. I am not sold to nearly as much as the former executive I referenced earlier, but I do get my fair share of pitches every now and then. And, I have to say, I am shocked out quickly people roll over. I pride myself on being direct, but at the first hint of rejection, I have had sales guys ask if they could call me back in a few months. Why? Why call me back in a few months unless you know why I am saying "No" today? In addition to persistence, there is a quote by Bruce Barton that has serve the best salesmen over the years:

"The big rewards come to those who travel the second undemanded mile." The concept of "going the extra mile" dates back to Roman rule. If an officer in the Roman army asked, a commoner was required to carry the pack of the officer for one mile. The actual credit for the term "going the extra mile" can be traced back to the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5:41. When I have received even the slightest acknowledgment that my business wasn't just another cold call or quota that needed to be filled, I am much more inclined to return a call, grant an appointment, or commit my business to the ask that has been made of me. It is in being sold that I have found more wisdom on how to sell than from any other experience. And it is in the extra mile that I have put that wisdom to use and gained more than just another sale but another long term relationship because they were "handled well."