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Article

Eight Timeless Pearls of Sales Wisdom

How long someone has lived is not nearly as important as how many people are glad that they have lived

Recently a sales mentor of mine from many years ago, named John Tuohy passed away. Mr. Tuohy was an award winning field sales professional in the high tech industry who, had a panoply of tactics and sales strategies that he utilized to sell his products.

I was fortunate to have him take a liking to me as a "green pea sales rep" and although he and I worked on two different sales teams at the time, he was always willing to share his wisdom with me - not only about sales but also about life, when we would attend our monthly sales meetings in Dallas, Texas.

I lost touch with Mr. Tuohy a few years after he'd retired but I have carried the following timeless pearls which he gave me throughout my career.

I. Learn to manage your Finances. Salespeople who manage their money effectively, are able to focus on the needs of their customers better than those who don't and they aren't as likely to risk their integrity to make a sale.

II. Learn to manage your EGO. Salespeople who treat the janitor with the same degree of respect that they give to the CEO will have a better chance of a long-term career than those who don't.

III. Have good manners. High Performance results doesn't give one a license to behave poorly in social settings. Salespeople who realize that the people who may be observing them could either one day be their boss, or perhaps a potential client, will have longer and more rewarding careers than those who don't.

IV. Never mention the competition by name. Great salespeople know better than to bad mouth their competitors, however they also know that referring to their competitors with terms such as "Brand X or the Other Guys" is far better, than mentioning them by their actual company name.

V. Awards are good but creating a Legacy is better. Salespeople who sell with the needs of the client first, are more likely to have more repeat business than those who are attempting to win a trip or an award.

VI. Sell with Passion. Salespeople who convey passion in their company, their products and their craft will be more successful than those who don't. If one can't be passionate -they need to find another profession.

VII. Competing with your fellow associates is secondary to competing with yourself. Successful salespeople realize that their competition is "Brand X" - not their teammates.

VIII. Maintain a good work ethic. Good salespeople understand that working hard doesn't necessarily guarantee success but not working hard guarantees failure.

John Tuohy was a credit to his family, to his craft and to many others just like me. Though his life on earth has now ended, his legacy continues. He truly understood that if we are going to all be in the same boat, we may as well help each other row to the other side. My career and more importantly my life, was enriched because of  the lessons he shared with me as that, "green pea sales rep".  I will forever be grateful to him.  May he Rest in Peace.

Lee can be reached at [email protected] or you can contact him directly at 832 567 8512.

More Stories By Lee Novak

Lee Novak is a twenty-five year Sales Management Executive who uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high performance groups but also who do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance, while working in various Executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for twenty one years - where he was responsible for over $ 600,000,000 in revenue during his tenure. Lee is currently Partner at Novak Enterprise Consulting which focuses on Sales Management Coaching, Associate Development, Improving Sales Performance and Life Enrichment Coaching and he is a respected keynote speaker for corporate and award banquet events.