What you listen to can determine your mood and your fate


Everyone has their own time machine. The only question is: how are you using it?

The time machine I’m referring to is music — the music you grew up with and the music you listen to every day. I refer to it as the “music transportation department” because the right song can transport you back to an exact place and time in an instant — and create a great feeling.

Hopefully, a positive place.

Hopefully, a peaceful place.

Hopefully, an inspirational place.

And sometimes, surprisingly, a sales place.

In 1983, I went to an “oldies” concert in Philadelphia. A bunch of doo-wop groups reassembled to sing 25-year-old songs — the music I grew up with. The opening group was The Dubs who started the show singing “Could This Be Magic?” Watch it here.

As I listened and sang along, I started to cry. It was the beginning of my true understanding of music. I’ve been a devout listener of doo-wop since 1955 and considered myself somewhat of an expert. But the memories it brought back were amazing and overwhelming.

The Dubs provided my first recognized musical time machine, and I have been in the time machine warp ever since.

Fast forward to 2008. I started my subscription to a club here in Charlotte, N.C., called Music with Friends. They put on four concerts a year in a small venue (750 people) with great acoustics (actually, an old converted church). I’ve got perfect seats, although there is not a bad seat in the house. And every event is total musical time machine — Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Hall & Oats and Diana Ross, to name a few.

Yes, I go to large arena musical time machine events too —Carole King, Springsteen and the incomparable Leonard Cohen. And as a true music lover, I also see who and what is new — Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Rhianna.

There’s magic in live music.

Important music lesson: Repetition is the mother of mastery. If you hear a song once and you like it, you tap your foot to the music. After you hear that song five times, you can sing along. After you hear that song 10 times, you can sing it on your own.

And if you hear that same song 20 years later, it instantly transports you back to the exact time and place you first heard it.

If I play the right song for you, I can take you back to your first date, first kiss, summer romance, travel, school, riding in a car, first wedding dance — even your first divorce.

In the late ’60s, one of the singer-songwriters I listened to most was Leonard Cohen — compelling, clear, haunting music. In 1993, I was finishing the writing and editing of my book, “The Sales Bible” in Hilton Head. Along with my editor, Rod Smith, and my cat Lito, I listened to Leonard Cohen every day as the book was completed. Twenty years later, I had a chance to see him live in Las Vegas. Sitting in the second row, the floodgates of memories and life opened. An amazing performance.

Last month my partner, Jessica, and I flew to New Orleans to watch Leonard Cohen for the second time in two years. I could sing every song. It wasn’t just a concert; it was an emotional remembrance: the ’60s, “The Sales Bible,” the first concert and this one. Very emotional. Very inspirational. Very impactful. Very life enhancing.

What’s your music?

What were you dancing to?

What are you dancing to?

What’s making your memories?

What’s keeping your memories alive?

What makes you cry with joy?

What makes you sing along (even if you can’t sing)?

What makes you stop and contemplate life?

Sales music: Music can also affect and impact your sales. Upbeat music makes the brain think and act upbeat. I prefer to call it “sales music” because it gets you in a positive mood and can provide that extra passionate push.

Don’t you wish your prospect was thinking, “Bob is going to be here soon; I’d better play some rock music so I’m in a great mood when he arrives.”

Idea: Why not send a few songs to your prospect and ask him or her to listen to them just prior to your arrival. OK, that probably won’t happen, but you get the idea.

Music action plan:

1. Document your music memory makers and get that music onto your music player or phone.

2. Identify the music that makes you wanna dance and puts you in a great mood. Download it all and put it in a separate “sales music” file on your iPod.

2.5 Listen with the intent to be in a great frame of mind — a sales frame of mind.

I don’t know about you, but sales has always been music to my ears.

TELL ME: Got a favorite tune to set your sales mind on fire? Post it on my Facebook page at facebook.com/jeffreygitomer. Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

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