“Selling Baggage” in the Grand Canyon

Grand CanyonYears ago I hiked down and up the Grand Canyon with five other women carrying a 40-pound backpack. Some people don’t think a one-night stay at the bottom of the Canyon warrants a forty pounds of gear, and others don’t think a hair dryer is an essential component of that gear—but at the time, I did.

Along the trail, we encountered several park employees who worked at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon for two- or three-day stretches, and who hiked to work carrying only small fanny packs. As I watched them fly past us, waving in a particularly carefree way, I thought, “I wonder what it would be like to do this hike without forty pounds on my back.”

That is the essential issue of Soul of Selling Step #1: Put down your baggage and fix what you can.

Selling is a hero’s journey. You are serving others, managing your own mental chatter, and balancing a selling conversation that includes many elements: telling people about what you offer, eliciting what value they want to get from it, hearing their concerns without buying those considerations, closing the sale, and staying connected with people—whether or not they buy.

That’s quite enough to have on your plate, without adding mental or emotional baggage about selling, thoughts like:

  • I just don’t have the hard core to takes to sell.
  • People are too cheap to buy my high-end service.
  • With the economy like this, nobody can afford this.
  • Selling is hard, and I’m tired.
  • Selling is a crap shoot; I should have studied auto mechanics.
  • I’ll never make any money unless I manipulate and bully people.

I think it’s smarter to carry a 40-pound pack down and up the Grand Canyon than it is to go out selling with this kind of negative chatter going on—and there’s really no reason to do either!

Exercises in The Soul of Selling take you systematically through the process of putting down that 40-pound pack, and letting you fly down the Selling Grand Canyon with ease and grace. Among the questions we pose in Step #1 are:

  1. Write down all your negative mental chatter about selling in general, yourself as a seller, the product or service you offer, and the people with whom you will make contact.
  2. Is there any truth to any of this mental chatter?
  3. If there is something you can do to correct a situation that is bothering you, make a list of those “to dos” and do them.

“No pain, no gain” does not apply to selling. In fact, the more you can put yourself out of “40-pound backpack misery,” the more you will enjoy selling and the better your results will be.

What do you do to lighten your backpack?



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