Now I’ll probably get blasted for this… I used to not speak to anyone unless spoken to first. And then you could barely hear me. And then we joined AMWAY. They have the best personal growth information anywhere (and it’s why so many people make fun of AMWAY… they expect you to become a better person, spouse, parent and that requires change… and “tapes, books & functions”). At the conventions, we would hear big time speakers speak for a fraction of the price it would cost for one of their own seminars. I LOVE Zig Ziglar. Buy every one of his books that you can and read them (used book stores are great). They are funny and you will learn some great lessons. Forget that they are not about selling what ever it is that you are selling. The principles are the same no matter what. If you aren’t a reader (like David), just read one page a day. Use a yellow highlighter (yellow make you remember info better than any other colour). Don’t have time to read? Do you use the bathroom at least once a day? Keep a book in there.
David went from installing cabinets in SC to selling home security systems in TN. In 3 months, he was the top salesperson and had his own sale crew that he trained. His group was the highest producing group in the company. It was all thanks to the books that he requested that they read. And it was the books that we read thru AMWAY. We STILL read the books. I still have them and we have been out of AMWAY since 1996.
The other book that I would say to read is Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I firmly believe that schools should use that book as a textbook.
We also listened to LOTS of tapes of others who were at the top of the AMWAY business (and yes we actually knew some of them and they knew us). One of the tapes that I remember sooo well was about fear (and I was very shy… shyness is all about fear)….
“Fear is a 900 lb gorilla, waiting behind the door… just waiting to pounce on you, snarling… you open up the door… and nothing is there…”
The speaker was a guy who had to deal with his shyness and fear. He overcame it. If he could, then I could. I finally learned that I had something to say and it was worth being heard.
But the hardest thing I had to learn was to look a stranger in the eye, I mean really look at them, put my hand out (I hate shaking hands and still need to work on that) and say… Hi My name is Lorna… what is your name? And here it the secret that I finally learned and understood…. They were shy too!
So get some Ziglar books, READ them, put the things you learn in it into active daily practice. Smile and say HI to everyone… not just customers. And listen to what they have to say back at you. It’s hard but it will get easier. Soon you will find that you can talk to anyone about anything (in your case, your business) but you will also be talking to folks and you will learn to listen and find opportunities for your business.