Recently I interviewed Harvey Mackay, the internationally recognized sales expert (and Inc.com columnist).
Here are some of the key nuggets that came out in our conversation:
Old school vs. new school. Although technology has dramatically changed the tools of the professional salesperson, the old-school skills are timeless. To be successful, you still need to be a self-starter, a communicator, a listener and having persistence.
Every person sells. From our earliest day we are communicating, influencing and persuading–regardless of our career. Selling may be a biological imperative, but success requires a lifetime of learning. As Mackay says, "You don't go to school once for a lifetime; you're in school all of your life."
Buyers have changed ... a lot. Buyers today are more knowledgeable and sophisticated. That savvy shows up in what they ask, how they negotiate and an everpresent want-more-for-less mentality. What that means for you: It takes commitment to constantly improve, to keep up and then prevail in the market.
Raising effective children. Mackay has three children who are all successful. He should probably write his next book on the principles of how to raise effective kids. A couple of his beliefs include:
- Be the example in all things that you want your children to follow.
- Surround them with great people and teach them to surround themselves similarly.
- Raise them with trust and to be trusting, but not naïve.
- Engage in continuous education.
- Teach them to get along with all types of people.
Thriving in a down economy. Everyone has setbacks, but they only become permanent if you let allow them to. You have to expect those setbacks and persevere; learn something and then keep moving. Forward action is one of the great ways to get out of a temporary setback.
What would go on Harvey Mackay's tombstone. "He couldn't sleep fast enough." Life's adventure is exciting. Like so many things, excitement is a choice you make. Mackay chooses to be excited every day, thinks he might have even been born excited.
- Read more: See all of Harvey Mackay's columns on Inc.com
To listen to my full conversation with Harvey Mackay, click here.