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CHAPTER 6

THE MYSTICISM OF PEDDLERY

All mystics speak the same language, for they come from the same country.
—Louis Claude de St. Martin

Buckle up, boys and girls! You are about to glimpse the mystical dimension of peddlery. A realm where intuition, vision, belief, energy, and magical power rule the day. A space where peddlers transcend the concrete world of dialing for dollars, making presentations, and slamming deals together to another, higher level, where what you can’t see and can’t measure reign.
       Have I lost you? OK, let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever made anything happen by chapter 6sheer desire? Have you ever made anything happen by force of will? Has a solution to a problem ever come to you in a dream? Have you ever conjured up a scenario and then breathed life into it? Do you believe that great things will happen to you and that peddling is your destiny? Do you believe there are unseen forces that impact what you do? Do you believe you can tap into those metaphysical forces?
       If you didn’t answer yes to most of these questions, WHY THE HELL NOT? What’s wrong with you? Get with the program, for the love of Pete! You need to feel the force Mr. or Ms. Skywalker! Where the material and metaphysical worlds intersect is where the great peddler stands.
       Peddlers fall into one of two camps: those who believe in the wellspring of magic and their power to tap it, and those who don’t. You need to know which camp you are in. Do you accept that other dimensions exist, or is there only the hard-core reality of the everyday present? Are there spirits, angels, and mystical forces that help and guide you? Can you channel that energy into all you do?
       I believe I can. I believe all great peddlers do. The great peddlers are the mystics of the corporate world.

Peddler’s Prerogative #23
It is your peddler’s prerogative to be a mystic of the corporate world!

Unknown Knowing
If you stick with peddling, eventually you develop a sixth sense for people and situations. It just comes with the territory. You get tons of experience and, all of a sudden, you are sizing things up in a nanosecond. You are reading people and situations like nobody’s business. You walk in to a room and, WHAM!, you get this hit. You sit in front of a person and, BLAM!, you got ’em. You immediately know who’s cool and who’s not; who’s going to help you and who’s going to get in the way; who’s a future friend, a bureaucrat or, God forbid, a fiend: “This person’s evil. I’m in front of the devil!” Somehow you know. You just freakin’ know! You are hyperaware, hyperintuitive.
        The first time this happens, it’s pretty amusing. Then, you get comfortable with it. Then, you start to use it. You’re in a meeting, hyperaware of everything around you, tuned in to everyone. Folks are making presentations, asking questions, going through the motions, when you have clarity. You see it: the straightest line to the goal. You look around. Blank faces, every one. Not an ounce of recognition. You decide to take the bold stroke, make the bold statement.

          You: “Excuse me. Are we focusing on the right issue? Processing a huge number of requests, and doing it in real-time, 24/7— those are tactical issues. Our product and all our competitors’ products routinely handle them.”
          Them: “Right?”
          You: “It seems to me that the real and bigger issue is that your CEO wants a system up and running ASAP.”
          Them: “That’s true.”
          You: “Well, we can pretty much guarantee that we’ll have a work ing prototype up and running in a few months. It’s what we do for most of our customers. Our software is designed for rapid rototyping, unlike our competitors. So, let’s get the deal done, and concentrate on bringing the system in early and making everyone happy.”
          Them: “Agreed.”
          You: “Great! Here’s what we do.”

Whenever I do something like this, people invariably come up to me afterwards and say, “How did you know where he was headed? He didn’t even finish his presentation!” To them, it seems like unknown knowing. And in a way it is. But when you peddle for as long as I have, and you’ve seen so many people in so many situations, some things are just obvious. You just know where people and situations are headed long before your colleagues, fellow peddlers—even the prospects or customers themselves.
       Once you know, then you must act. Jump on the opportunity. Seize the pivotal moment! There are countless ones, and they mean life or death to your deal. Catch the right one, step up to the plate at just the right time, and you have the power to alter the course of events, turn the tide in your favor, change your fate. Pretty heady stuff. To do this, however, you have to be present in the moment. You can’t be wrapped up in the past or dreaming about the future. The here and now is where you have to be. Jacked in, engines humming, gears engaged. Then, just before you peel out, take a nanosecond to put the proverbial finger under your chin and consider how to best use the moment to push your deal forward or get it back on track. Ask yourself, What if . . .? Then, channel the cosmic energy around you and usher everyone down the better path.

The Art of Dot Connectingchapter 62
I like to think of myself as a peddler who has a specialty in dot connecting—that is, I can see a scenario or result given only a few pieces of information. All great peddlers are phenomenal dot connec tors. They connect the dots faster and better than anyone else—fellow peddlers included. And they do it with such skill and grace that they transform it into an art. The term dot connecting comes from the game, Connect the Dots, which we all played as kids. If you remember, you are given a piece of paper with a bunch of dots, and next to each one is a number. You draw a line from dot 1 to dot 2, dot 2 to dot 3, and so on. As you do, a picture begins to emerge. If you correctly guess what the picture is with the fewest connected dots, you win.
       To be a great peddler—heck, even to be a good peddler—you must connect the dots. Beginning with my first call on a company, I start collecting information and seeing it as dots on a page. I immediately try connecting them in various ways. (The difference between the game and life is that in life the dots aren’t numbered.) If a picture doesn’t emerge, I proceed to gather more information, more dots. Usually, it isn’t too long before I know whether or not there’s a fit. If there is, I proceed to collect more dots, such as who I need to pitch and who I need to sell. Soon the image of the deal starts to emerge.
       Listen up! Before you can connect some dots, you have to find some dots. The easiest way to do this is to ask questions. It is truly amazing how much you can learn by asking simple, open questions. Questions such as: So, tell me, what do you do? and How long have you worked here? Then look the prospect or customer in the eye, put on your most sincere, engaging smile, and silently start to count. Smiling one, smiling two, smiling with bright eyes three, smiling with curiosity four . . . until they start talking. When you hear the words start to flow, move to nodding and active listening. If the person has an ounce of showmanship, they will be off and running. After all, most of us love to talk about who we are and what we do.
     Another simple question is: So what do you think? I like to ask this right after I finish a presentation or demonstration. I also often ask, So, how am I doing? Do you think we are competitive? These questions never fail to get the prospect or customer talking, which gives you more dots.
       Remember, selling isn’t a chess match or a 12-step program. It’s a ongoing dialogue. There are times when you have to discuss difficult matters, but great peddlers make every interaction an easy conversation!

Peddler’s Prerogative #24
It is your prerogative to remind yourself and your management that selling isn’t a chess match or a 12-step program. It’s an ongoing dialogue, an easy conversation.


       You are trying to solve a problem for your prospect or customer. You need to understand all the issues as well as how to sell to them. Ask simple, open questions and you’ll be astounded at the answers you receive.
          “Mr. Prospect, what is the best way to sell to you and your company?”
          “You don’t have to sell me, you have to sell Bill!”
          “Thank you very much! Where can I find Bill?”
       
       Back to dot connecting. So you talk to a prospect or customer, get a few dots, begin to see a fit. Talk to some other folks in the company, get some more dots. Find the person who can map how to sell into the company, lots more dots. A rough outline of how the deal gets done begins to surface. Any guesses yet? If so, it’s time to round up support by showing it to everyone else involved.
       This is crucial to winning the deal. Many times, I have seen peddlers get run over by their manager or some other corporate tyrant who also has connected the dots but sees a different deal image. After you earn your stripes this happens less, as folks are more willing to follow your lead or, if they see it differently, give you the benefit of the doubt. But before then, take time to convince everyone that what you see is true, or watch out!
       Once you build a consensus around your image, the deal sprouts some legs and starts hobbling around. Then it starts to morph. It can morph and disappear. It can morph and turn into a three-headed monster. It can morph and turn into the deal of a lifetime. You never know. So watch it closely, see how it moves and where it turns. Keep connecting the dots. If all of a sudden a different picture begins to emerge, go back and build a consensus for the new image.
       The thing is, you probably already are a dot connector—but only in your assigned universe. If you want to be a great peddler, you have to think outside the box. Think big. Create a vision!

Vision It!
Great peddlers are not afraid to dream. They open their minds, let the forces guide them, and, SHAZAM!, they have an image in their mind’s eye of a smashing, off-the-charts, runaway success. Highly tuned to people and situations, and lightning fast at connecting the dots, all it takes is a creative spark to ignite one hell of an idea.
       Every peddler can (should!) vision bigger and better deals. Start by looking at your deals in terms of your region. Then, break out. Take them one by one and think, “How can I make this deal bigger? How can I expand it beyond my territory into other areas? Other countries!” Think planet big! At first, it may be hard to do. Keep trying. It gets easier with practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be surprised at how your mind naturally flies.

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