Driving for sales success? Jim Rohn supplies the fuel


The root of your sales success lies in your sales philosophy. How did you develop yours?

Mine came from a combination of home environment, books, education, mentors, personal development programs, personal experience and observations.

You establish and revise the basic principles of your philosophies by exposure to information, your experiences and listening to the belief of others — especially those you respect. You try to only accept “the good stuff” and then adapt it to (or change) your way of life.

One of the most respected business philosophers was Jim Rohn. Jim passed away nearly 10 years ago but still is considered by many to be America’s foremost business philosopher. Growing up on a farm in Idaho, Jim developed philosophies that were gleaned from his dad and his first employer and mentor, Earl Schoaff.

While you may believe you determine your own philosophy, much of it is pre-determined or influenced by your home environment during childhood. After that, it’s up to you to seek influencers and mentors — people who impact the way you think and create the motivation that drives your actions.

Some people are under the misconception their personal philosophy and making a sale are not connected. Wrong. Your philosophy is the umbilical cord that provides the “essence of life” to your ability to sell.

Here is the essence of the sales success lifecycle according to Rohn:

• Philosophy drives attitude.

• Attitude drives actions.

• Actions drive results.

• Results drive lifestyles.

Frustrated with your lifestyle? Not meeting your goals or expectations? Here’s how Rohn breaks it down:

If you don’t like your lifestyle, look at your results.

If you don’t like your results, look at your actions.

If you don’t like your actions, look at your attitude.

If you don’t like your attitude, look at your philosophy.

Here are some philosophical quotes and concepts that drove Jim Rohn and that may put bucks in your knowledge bank:

Balance. “Life is a combination of ‘want to’ and ‘how to,’ and we need to give equal attention to both.”

Activity. “The few who do are the envy of the many who watch.”

Career growth. “The most important question to ask on the job is not, ‘What am I getting?’ The most important question to ask is, ‘What am I becoming?’”

Goals. “Set the kind of goals that will make something good of you.”

Reality. “You must get good at one of two things. Planting in the spring, or begging in the fall.”

Motive to educate. “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”

Personal development. “Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.”

Hypocrisy. “What we demand from our children, we must demand of ourselves. There must be a standard by which they live — and as parents, we must set it — and live it.”

Motivation the wrong way. “If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.”

The nose on your face. “Success is the study of the obvious.”

Work vs. pay. “If you work at your job, you will make a living. If you work on yourself, you will earn a fortune. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Numbers. “Get your personal numbers in line with your business numbers. Balance sales numbers with education numbers and health numbers.”

Wealth. “I found it easier to get rich than I did to make excuses.”

Time. “We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.”

Pay. “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”

Paid. “My father taught me always to do more than you’re paid for as an investment in your future.”

Customers. “One good customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”

Happiness. “Learn to be happy with what you have while you pursue what you really want.”

Plans. “If you don’t make plans of your own, you will probably fit into someone else’s.”

Jim Rohn was the master of the crafted word. He took the situations of life that are the subtle difference between success, mediocrity and dismal failure and empowered his listeners to understand their own world in a new, better and more powerful way.

Sitting in his audience (as I did 25 times), I (and everyone in the room) was compelled to take copious notes. I have saved them for more than 20 years, and they provide the wealth of wisdom for you to enjoy, benefit from and take to the bank.

Part two of the Jim Rohn philosophy will be presented next week.

Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the April 11, 2016, Business Journal.

GitBit: Want more thought-provoking and inspiring quotes by Jim Rohn? Just go to gitomer.com and enter the words JIM ROHN in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 13 books. His online courses are available at gitomerlearningacademy.com. For information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or gitomercertifiedadvisors.com, or email Jeffrey at salesman@gitomer.com.

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