Courage is the path to Victory
Brent, manager for a Northwest tire store chain, told Session 3B of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“Midafternoon on a hot August Monday in 2006, I walked up to a smiling salesman (Benji) at Hertz Car Sales of Albany, Oregon. As I introduced myself and asked for the sales manager, Benji’s smile turned into a frown. Now he knew why I was there and it wasn’t to buy a car! At the time, I was working for a small tire store and my manager asked me to go make ‘cold calls’ on all the used car lots in Albany. This was not, to say the least, my favorite thing to do. My heart was pounding; I wasn’t very comfortable doing this by any means. It was way out of my comfort zone. I got really nervous and had to push myself to do it.
“Back to Benji. He asked what he could do for me. I presented my sales and service offer. He told me that they were already dealing with another tire store. All I knew to say at the time was my nervous response, ‘Maybe next time you could price me too.’ Benji shot back, ‘What are you going to do, undercut them?’ Anticipating this kind of response was exactly what made me so uncomfortable. I told myself to keep it together and replied, ‘I don’t need to know their price. I’ll just give you my best price. Then you can decide for yourself if we can earn your business.’ That was the end of that. I walked off the lot with little hope of anything ever coming from it. A week later, to my surprise, a shiny red 350z showed up at our shop with Hertz plates on the back and Benji in the driver’s seat. This was the first sale of what became my $10,000 a month car lot account. Benji and I had a great relationship for several years.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to push myself out of my comfort zone. Good things like strengthened self-esteem and healthy self-respect can come from it, not too mention new business, new relationships and new friends. Getting out of my comfort zone adds to the venture, makes life more fun and business more profitable. The action I call you to take is don’t focus on how uncomfortable or nervous you are; look at these stretch moments as a chance to grow. The benefit you will gain when you succeed is true selfconfidence, and next time it will be easier and easier. Your career will be on a upward trajectory.”
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