Several weeks ago I conducted a sales and product knowledge training in Burlington, Vermont for Mohawk Industries. In the front row was a rather petite, attractive and outspoken young woman named Marion Posluszny. Marion is part of the management team at Wholesale Flooring in North Hampton, NH.
Marion was extremely sharp and when I mentioned exercising, she stated, “You just don’t know.” The statement stirred my curiosity and I went on Facebook to find that Marion is a body builder. As a dedicated gym rat, I’m aware of what someone has to do to be successful at body building. I decided to give Marion a call.
Marion, tell me a little about body building, how did you get interested in it and why do you like it?
I was always fascinated by the “look” of these super fit athletes. I just never knew how to get involved in it. I met my trainer Laura through the referral of a mutual friend. I like the ever-changing challenge that comes with it. It is always evolving, and it’s a continual process that has to be constantly worked on.
How does it relate to sales success?
I would say it relates to success in the way that you need to combine drive, work ethic, attention to detail and letting go of the fear of failing. It’s ok to fail; I look at it as a lesson learned. It paves the way to getting it right. What keeps you motivated to be a good manager or salesperson? I love people that I come into contact every day. I love the creative aspect of designing a project alongside them. I believe it is very helpful to continue to branch out and seek information, be it conventions, sales seminars or trade shows. I always like to see what other’s perspective is. It gets the creativity going. I have gotten some of the best ideas form other people. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that “The only way to be a champion is by going through these forced reps and the torture and pain.” Although he called it pain, he still said he loves it. How do you feel about this?
Well funny you should mention him; I refer to his “Six Rules of Success” often. His story is just amazing, he says, “Never be afraid to fail.”
The amount of drive he possesses is amazing.
He recounts when he was first competing and was in the Austrian Army, he had to sneak onto a freight train to get to Germany to compete. The point is he stopped at nothing.
I love the” just go out there and get it attitude.” His attitude is ‘anything is possible,’ and so far I think he’s right!
I’m assuming like sales, you don’t “win” all the time. How do you stay focused?
If you let negative thoughts run through your mind it’s time wasted towards your goal. There will always be days that self-doubt gets the better of you. I don’t focus on self-doubt: I focus on being positive and winning. I’ve realized it’s easier to move forward by having this type of attitude.
The only thing a negative attitude does is erode yourself-esteem. There have been times when I didn’t place in a competition; instead of letting it bother me, but I used the information to develop a plan to improve my skills.
What advice do you have for anyone in sales who want to be above average?
- Pressure will help you stay focused. Remember, everyone else is out to win your customer.
- Don’t procrastinate; you must get out and do it. Procrastination makes your task harder and longer.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. This way, you can support each other.
- Keep yourself invigorated by staying on top of what your industry has to offer and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing helps you evaluate your technique and make changes.
- Always keep educating yourself on communication and building relationships.
- Taking part in trade shows will build confidence and keep your approach fresh and creative.
- Always deliver more than you promise—and promise a lot!
- If it’s what you really want, never give up. Giving up is just an excuse for “not wanting it bad enough.”
- Believe in yourself and what you’re doing is good for yourself and your customers. Everything comes from your values and what’s important in life.
And lastly, “I personally like this one the best, “Be excited and passionate; no one can take that away from you!