In Sales, Nothing is Impossible

I am always looking for noteworthy selling success stories. Usually, I find these in newspaper and magazine articles. The one I’m about to share with you, however, landed in my email inbox.

One of my newsletter subscribers, Greg Bradshaw, sent me an email about his father Max, who is an extraordinary sales professional.

Max, 78, sold cookware for Rena Ware, a very prestigious cookware company. At the time, they employed more than 13,000 sales representatives. The Rena Ware Company had a Consistency Club, and to get into the club you would have to sell four sets of cookware in a week.

Max had heard about a sales representative who had sold four units for 12 consecutive weeks. “How in the world had he accomplished this?” he wondered.

Two more sales reps achieved the 12-week record, but then quit. Max decided to beat the 12-week goal. Once he got there, he decided there was no reason to stop. He also decided to continue in the Consistency Club for the rest of his career. He stayed in the Consistency Club for more than 17 years.

Greg sent me a clipping about his father and the four-unit Consistency Club. In the article, it showed Max at 833 weeks. The second place sales rep had 309.

So how did Max do it? How did he achieve this remarkable consistency and selling success?

In a way, it was fairly easy. He truly believed that in sales, nothing is impossible. What he did is something every sales professional can do—all he did was establish a goal. His goal was to be in the four-unit Consistency Club every week for the rest of his career.

Before he went on vacation, he would sell eight units to maintain his Consistency Club status.

So here’s what Max thinks about goal setting:

“I stayed in the Consistency Club for more than 17 years. Doing so, I not only provided for my family, but captured the respect of my peers and senior management. It also allowed me to win trips all over the world every year. Setting that goal was the best thing I ever did. We had a great life and without setting that goal, I would have never accomplished many things that accompany it. However, not only was I blessed beyond my wildest dreams, I even set a record that will probably stand forever.”

The Consistency Club isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the people who would rather whine than shine. Learning about Max reminded me of an Air Force quote: “The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.”

A lot of sales professionals will view what Max did as impossible. But why settle for less when you can be the best you can be every minute, every hour, every day, every week and every year?

And to Max, we salute you and your accomplishments. Thanks for reminding us that in sales, nothing is impossible.

The Best Financial Tip I’VE EVER HEARD

Want to know the best financial tip I’ve ever heard?

Save 10 percent of your annual income for your retirement.

I know it’s hard to do. You’re saving for a house, you have two kids in college and your daughter is getting married next August. Who can think about saving for retirement if you’re dealing with any of this?

Let’s say you’re dealing with some of these right now.

Do you still write a check to make your mortgage payment? Do you still write a check to pay your electricity bill? Do you still write a check to pay your telephone bill?

Of course you do.

Now consider this: When you retire, it takes about $960,000 (excluding the equity in your home) to fund a $4,000 a month retirement income.

Saving $960,000 when you’re 62 years old is next to impossible. You’re left with (maybe) a Social Security disbursement and a part-time job driving an airport shuttle bus.

The keys to a wonderful retirement include savings and compounding, and it’s never too early to start saving. In fact, when most people start to think about their retirement, it’s usually too late. I’ll never forget what my Uncle Charlie said after he retired: “If only I would have saved more.”

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