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Perception IS Reality

By Ryan Sauers

About Ryan

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at

Would You Buy from YOU?

Yes, you read the question correctly. Would you buy from you? At first, you may be thinking—duh, Sauers—of course I would. However, it is amazing how when I drill in on this subject while training, salespeople and owners alike begin to say something like “well, uh, ummm, huh, yeah, I guess.” Really? If you would not buy from yourself, then why would anyone else want to buy from you? 

I have an example of the confidence, not cockiness, it takes to be successful in sales. Take a cornerback in football. (Note: to those who do not follow football, this is not the quarterback). The cornerback, like a salesperson, is an island on to themselves. This means it is a lonely position. A cornerback sometimes makes a big interception and other times gets beaten on a big play. It is easy for the spectators to see both the successes and failures. They are quite visible.

For a cornerback to shake such things off they must have what experts call “athletic arrogance.” What does this mean? It’s an unshakable confidence that they are the best at what they do—even when they have a short-term failure or bad game. This also means that when they have a great game, they do not get “cocky,” instead feeling they were simply living up to their potential and doing their job.

Salespersons are the same, and everyone is watching. Sometimes you make a huge sale or are able to set up a ton of qualified appointments. Other times, you are told no, leave, go away and more. So, what type of confidence does this require? It requires a salesperson to have the same type of “athletic arrogance.” Yes, I know you’re not playing football, but what I am after is the mindset that is required. 

Can you shake things off and bring your top game day after day? When you have great success, can you avoid becoming complacent? Can you always outwork and outthink your competition? By the way, that is virtually everyone these days. 

So, let’s go back to the beginning. Assume, you could call yourself and leave a voicemail message; would you call yourself back? Please be honest. Also, think of whether you view yourself as a valued partner and resource, or as a “sales rep” (vendor) and thus a transactional order taker? Do you have the confidence that lets buyers know your time is valuable and, if they do not meet with you, they will be missing out? Again, I stress confidence not cockiness.

So, would you buy from you? Why or why not?

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