The Question Matters


Tales of a Fourth Grade Entrepreneur

Posted in Change,Entrepreneurs,Family,Resources by treyfinley1008 on February 2, 2010

I remember as a pre-teen being asked by my school to participate in a fundraiser.  We were given one of those glossy plastic sheets with a column for names on the left, and a dozen color-coded options for which candy bar our unwitting victims would be purchasing.  I had no intentions of participating.  My parents, being good parents, informed me that I would be doing it anyway.  I did only what was required, and nothing more.  I fought back vomit every time I had to “make the big ask.” After all, it’s completely unfair to expect someone to buy a candy bar from a child.  An impossible task.  And did I mention that I only asked my family members?

Yes, selling has always had a special place in my own personal hell.  My stomach churns at the thought of “making the sell.”  I’ve grown up feeling that selling is self-serving, self-centered, and self-aggrandizing.

Last night, I had the pleasure of listening in on a phone call hosted by the Mannasisters.  In that call, Bob Burg promoted his new book, Go Givers Sell More. Bob Burg is a motivational speaker and personal development guru.  He is, quite possibly, the most personable man on the planet.  Bob’s primary principle is this:  those who are willing to offer the most value will receive the most business.  Even in a tough economy, if you can find ways to give away something of value, you will build trust with others.  There’s no better way to generate credibility with a base of potential clients/customers.

He said something last night that has been true of my journey into entrepreneurship:

“…most of us look at sales backward. We may see it as convincing people to do something they don’t want to do. But it isn’t; it’s about learning what people do want to do and helping them do that. Or, we may think it’s about taking advantage of others—while in fact, it’s about giving other people more advantage.”

I think I can do that, and maybe my stomach will do a few less loops when I do.

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8 Responses to 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Entrepreneur'

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  1. Nathon–thanks for the gracious compliment.

  2. Nathon Hay said,

    Trey, you are right. This quote is absolutely for me:

    “…most of us look at sales backward. We may see it as convincing people to do something they don’t want to do. But it isn’t; it’s about learning what people do want to do and helping them do that. Or, we may think it’s about taking advantage of others—while in fact, it’s about giving other people more advantage.” -Bob Burg

    You’re a Go Giver, simply because I can call you at any time. The value you give is above and beyond the amount I pay for your business coaching services. Thank you.

  3. James Nored said,

    Trey, I will have to check out one of Bob Burb’s books sometime. Anyone who is the most personable man on the planet deserves a look.

    It sounds like you are re-framing your initial distaste for selling, reminding yourself that it is for the other persons’ benefit. This would mean, of course, that to truly have this attitude, we would only sell what would really be beneficial to a person.

    in a pushy sales world filled with sharks, it would seem that a salesman that actually discouraged a person buying a certain product that he or she offered because it did not benefit a person would actually be refreshing and build trust–and lead to sales of genuinely needed products.


  4. […] off and on over the last month about my journey into entrepreneurship.  I’ve written about my self-inflicted pressure to “sell.” I’ve written about the security blanket a paycheck provided.  I’ve written about the […]

  5. Rhesa said,

    Oh, the dreaded fundraiser! And now you get to be the parent on the other side. Ironic isnt it?

    I do love Bob’s take. I have felt manipulative when selling and thinking in those lines means that I am helping, something I love to do, rather than abusing relationships. That is a lot to chew on.

  6. 2mannasisters said,

    I love your vivid reflections of childhood. This makes me all the more excited with you that you have grown SO much and you are now an entrepreneur. God has a sense of humor! 🙂 Did you send this to Bob? I’m sure he’d love to see it. bob@burg.com

    Marla


  7. Thank you, Jane, for reading and commenting.

  8. Jane McNeill said,

    I have to agree with you, that Bob Burg is probably the most personable man on the planet. I love that man. And he teaches what I need to know. Be blessed in your business! Jane


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