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Best Sellers In History Series - "Harriet Tubman"

 

It’s another episode from the Best Sellers in History series. This month, we will be focusing on African American individuals who have been very persuasive. One such individual was Harriet Tubman, also known as the Black Moses. Harriet was born as a slave but managed to escape and rescue more than 300 slaves. In this episode, we’ll focus on why Harriet was so successful in convincing people to leave the life of slavery, even if getting caught meant death. 

 

Sales on Spotlight - Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born as Emerita Ross in March 1822. The exact date was never known because a slave’s birth date wasn’t recorded. Slaves were considered property and weren’t valued as individuals. She was born in Dorchester County, Maryland and growing up, she was beaten and whipped by her masters.  There was one incident Harriet endured when a slave owner threw a heavy metal object at another slave and hit Harriet instead. This injury caused a scar she would wear the rest of her life and she suffered hypersomnia as a result. 

 

Harriet had a Methodist upbringing and was deeply religious. That faith helped carry her  through the worst times of her life. Harriet escaped to Philadelphia in 1894 and immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. She brought slaves out of Maryland, one group at a time, into a life of freedom in Philadelphia. This is how she got the nickname “Moses” from the other slaves.  They saw her as bringing people out of slavery and leading them to the promised land. She was a modern-day Moses who used the Underground Railroad to save hundreds of people.

 

Drive to help others 

 

When the Fugitive Act was passed in 1850, Harriet could no longer bring escaped slaves to the northern states. This didn’t deter her, however. Instead, she went further north and brought them all the way to Canada. There, she helped them settle as free people and they were able to  experience building their own lives. 

 

During the Civil War, she became an armed scout and spy. She was actually the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. Included in her tasks was to raid a Combahee ferry which liberated over 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to her home in Auburn, New York and cared for her aging parents. 

 

Even after her impressive feats during the Civil War, she kept fighting for rights and this time, it was in women's suffrage. She was an impeccable icon for courage and freedom. When Harriet Tubman made a decision she stuck to her guns. 

 

Harriet Tubman’s persuasiveness made an impact on history. It was the following five traits that made Harriet Tubman a force to be reckoned with. 

  • Vision 
  • Cause and bravery
  • Selfless
  • Passion and strong drive
  • Creative

 

Having the Vision

Like all the other individuals talked about in this series, Harriet Tubman had a vision. Regardless of what your role is in the sales industry, you need a vision of what you want your life to look like. This vision is the hope that pushes you when things get hard.

 

Harriet didn’t always have a vision for a better life. She was just trying to survive from one day to the next and hold onto hope.  Her religious upbringing helped to keep her hope alive. Jesus Christ and God gave them hope that they’d eventually be saved and delivered from slavery, in this life or beyond

 

To fortify one another, the slaves would meet in secret and sing songs to signal one another about where the meeting would be held. At these meetings they started to discuss other slaves who had runaways to the North and were living a free life.  They began to hear about the underground railroad. 

 

The catalyst of Harriet’s change of vision

 

Harriet only knew the life of a slave, not a life of freedom. She didn’t grow up thinking she could own anything or make choices for her own life. Hearing the stories about freed slaves inspired Harriet and it awakened a vision. At the time, Harriet was married to a free man and when their slave master died, her family had the option of running away or getting sold to another master. With the vision of freedom firmly planted in her mind, Harriet talked to her husband about running away. He opposed the idea and even threatened to tell someone about Harriet wanting to run. 

 

Like many people, her husband feared change. Even though he was free, he didn’t feel free. He still had the mindset of a slave.

 

Be the mastermind

 

As a salesperson, you need to protect your mind and only surround yourself with people who are there to elevate your vision. Harriet could have stayed and shut her vision down, but instead, she moved toward people who elevated and encouraged her. She listened to the people who told her stories about freedom in the North.

 

Even when her husband opposed her idea and others told her it was dangerous, she still went. Salespeople need to be the mastermind of their thoughts and actions. Make sure that you have a vision, regardless of what your vision may be. It just has to be something you want to reach for and accomplish. Don’t sign up for easy. Sign up for what you want to accomplish in this life. Create a vision, surround yourself with people who can elevate you, and seek help from people who will take action.Whether that is to create your own organization, build your business, or increase your sales, just keep going. 

 

Having a cause

Harriet Tubman had a cause. She wanted to do something and make an impact.

She reasoned that she had the right to liberty or death and if she couldn’t have one, she would have the other. With liberty being her driving force, she put a plan together and ran with her brothers. On the first day, they got scared and went back, leaving Harriet alone. She pressed forward and made it to the North where she claimed her freedom. Her vision helped push her forward.

 

The same can be true for sales reps. You need to have a vision that will push you forward. This vision will help you overcome the challenges you may face. It’s just reality that deals fall apart but get to a new day where you could close a new deal. Always make sure your why is bigger than the circumstances.

 

Develop bravery

Harriet Tubman was able to be persistent because of her bravery. She didn’t let her fear get in the way of her freedom. Her husband threatened to tell on her, and her life was at risk. She was left on her own the first time she ran; however, all those things didn’t matter because she had a strong purpose and an even stronger belief. She believed that God would empower her when she got into trouble. Her purpose made her powerful. 

 

As a B2B sales rep, you need to be brave. You have to be willing to do things that are scary, including talking to “whales” in your industry. Speaking with executives from a large organization takes more than just confidence, it takes bravery. While it won’t always turn into an opportunity, it is a practice in overcoming fear. 

 

Develop selflessness 

Escaping slavery wasn’t easy. The Underground Railroad wasn’t an actual railroad. It was running, walking, traveling through the night, and battling the elements. They were exposed to potential attacks from animals and they were being chased by people who wanted to kill them. It was a dangerous trip but Harriet did it 19 times and rescued over 300 people. In all those trips, she never lost an individual. She put herself in danger to help other people so they taste freedom as well. 

 

B2B sales reps need a burning desire to care and help others. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to being the pushy salesperson. Instead, be the sales rep who sees things from the buyers’ perspective. Put the interests of your clients above your own.

 

Stephen Covey’s says to seek first to understand and then be understood. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.  Dig deeper, discover, and understand your client before you present your solutions. Closing the deal can’t be your only priority. Just as important is how the client can benefit from what you have to offer. 

 

Have a strong passion 

Harriet kept going back and forth, rescuing people. She had a strong passion for helping people.  She was willing to do whatever it took to save people from slavery.

 

Salespeople need to have the same mindset and have the willingness to go above and beyond if they want to be successful in what they do. You may have to do things outside the norm and make sacrifices.

 

While on the run, Harriet carried a gun to make sure that people stayed committed to the journey. Are you committed to the journey?

 

Creativeness 

Harriet Tubman was also creative. She utilized a variety of disguises every time she made a trip, even dressing as a man when needed. She thought outside the box. 

 

In sales, creativity will set you apart from your competition. 

 

Harriet Tubman had vision, she had a why and bravery, she was selfless, she was passionate and she was super creative. #HarrietTubman

 

Best Sellers In History Series - "Harriet Tubman" episode resources

Harriet Tubman was a great seller because these traits made her a force to be reckoned with. 

  • Vision 
  • Cause and bravery
  • Selfless
  • Passionate and strong drive
  • Creative

Let us answer your sales inquiries. You can also talk to Donald directly via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning on February 14th and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Direct download: TSE_1253.mp3
Category:Best sellers in History -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Best Sellers In History Series 2 - "Abraham Lincoln"

This is the second episode from the Best Sellers in History series. This series talks about some of the most successful people and sellers in history. We’ll talk about who they are and what made them so successful. 

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America and led the nation during some of the most turbulent times in American history, such as the Civil War. It was the bloodiest war and  the greatest constitutional and political crisis faced by the U.S. at that time. President Lincoln persevered and was able to abolish slavery, strengthen the federal government and modernized the U.S. economy. Despite humble beginnings, Abraham Lincoln became one of the greatest statesmen leaders in our nation’s history.

Sales Spotlight - Abraham Lincoln 

A half-hour long episode isn’t enough time to discuss what made Abraham Lincoln persuasive and successful in his career. However, we can highlight The Gettysburg Address to illustrate how President Abraham Lincoln had the power of persuasion. Here are the four points we’ll be looking at in this episode:  

  • He had the ability to tell stories
  • He sought common ground
  • He was empathetic
  • He had the ability to give compelling reasons 

In the era of Abraham Lincoln

In the early 1800s, slavery in the United States was a very common thing. At its height, there were 700,000 individuals who were slaves. The first slaves came into the country as early as 1619 and slavery was finally abolished in the year 1865.  For 246 years slavery was entrenched in the U.S. economy and modern society. It was a fact of life and it brought in so much money that by today’s standards, slavery would account for roughly $6 billion. It’s been 154 years since Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery and still, slavery lasted almost a hundred years longer than we’ve known our country without it!  

Abraham Lincoln was raised in Kentucky and eventually, it became a slave state. His father who was a farmer but they eventually had to leave their smaller farm.  Larger farms had slaves and they couldn’t compete with the manpower. In addition, his father was a Christian and didn’t believe in slavery. Thomas Lincoln took his family and would move several more times before eventually settling in Illinois where Abraham Lincoln grew into adulthood. Lincoln married and his wife’s father had his own slaves. Through this exposure, Lincoln came to know how slavery operated and he didn’t like it.

Changing the system

Slavery was big business and everywhere. It was a system where some of the most influential people were involved. It would be a difficult system to change but Lincoln didn’t believe that people should be property. It became his passionate to reverse slavery.  When he became a president in 1860, many from the southern states weren’t happy about it. They looked at it as the North trying to impose their rights over their way of life and their economy. This eventually led to the bloodiest war in U.S., the Civil War. The nation was divided. Family members who fought on different sides killed each other. This went on from 1861 to 1865. It was a difficult time for the nation. Democracy was hanging by a thread and with the war going on, everything was falling apart. 

Through the need to unify, The Gettysburg Address was written. The four lessons highlighted in today’s episode came from this famous speech. 

Lincoln had the ability to tell stories 

The Gettysburg Address was delivered in an attempt to pull the nation together. Abraham Lincoln wanted people recognize they weren’t just the north and south but one nation. 

Tim David wrote an article about this and he pointed out the lessons from the address,  The first was the power of storytelling. He emphasized that the opening line of the Gettysburg Address was a story about our forefathers and their legacy. From the very first line of his speech, people  wanted to know where Abraham Lincoln was going with his story. 

Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated man. While kids during this time were working in the field, Lincoln was reading books. There were traveling teachers and when they came around, he’d get a formal education, but still, it wasn’t enough on its own. Most of his education stemmed from his desire to learn. He was dedicated to his education and as he read, he learned the power of a story and how it can make an impact when written well. 

As a sales rep, you need to be able to engage your prospect\ with a story that is grounded in reality. Talk to your prospects a successful experience you had with a client. Help your prospects see the positive results that can come from working with you. Instead of just talking about the benefits of your products and services, offering a real scenario can help to illustrate the point better. Talk about how you helped previous clients and their companies. For example, a social media marketer may say, “We helped ____ generate X amount of return with their social media ads. If I could share with you how we did it in just 5 minutes, would you be open to  a conversation with us?”

Like Abraham Lincoln, use a quick story to pique their interest. 

Lincoln sought common ground 

With the war over, Lincoln wanted to make sure his speech would unify a divided nation. The time was ripe for rebuilding the country. Abraham Lincoln looked for common ground to ensure that his message would speak to the hearts of his people. He knew that regardless of where they came from, both Northerners and Southerners loved their nation. They fought together against the English, against the mother empire, and they won. He implored everyone to bring back that feeling of solidarity when the union was founded. Abraham Lincoln used the word Liberty because it was something that would resonate through the hearts of his listeners. 

He capitalized on the American ideal and it made his speech compelling. His writings is persuasive because he knows exactly what topics people are passionate about. 

 

Sales reps can utilize this skill, especially when meeting with prospects. It is your job to make them feel connected and have common ground. Donald Miller’s book uses Joseph Campbell’s idea of The Hero’s Journey. It is the story of a hero who is transformed after the difficulties he faced in war. As the salesperson, your role is the guide.. As the guide, you’re not trying to take over or compete with your client, you’re trying to move your prospect to action. 

Before meeting, do the research to find common ground.  It may be the school attended or other notable experience or hobby. Bring up topics that both you and your prospects love to talk about. Always follow the basics: Build rapport and help them realize you’re coming from common ground.

. Lincoln showed empathy 

Tim David pointed out how Abraham Lincoln used words that made people feel connected to him. He used a lot of personal pronouns like ours to help develop rapport and to create a sense of togetherness. The use of personal pronouns increased Lincoln’s status in the minds of his audience.

 Tim continued to emphasize this point  with James Pennebaker’s studies about how people use functional words such as pronouns. In his book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, he wrote that in any interaction between people, the person with a higher status uses fewer “I” words and instead, use first person plural pronouns such as we, us, and ours.

Abraham Lincoln’s use of personal pronouns early on in his speech allowed the audience to recognize his authority and role as a guide. They were able to classify him as someone they could listen to. Because he established his authority, people were willing to listen.

From a sales perspective, we can do the same thing when talking to prospects. Use inclusive personal pronouns in your conversations as you talk about common ground.

This will make your prospect feel involved in the process and let them know you’re there to help them. Assure them you are committed to their problem and you are there to work with them to come up with a solution. 

Speak as if you are part of their organization. 

Lincoln created a compelling reason

Abraham Lincoln was particularly skilled at offering compelling reasons for people to do something different.

Salespeople want to have influence as well.  We want to give prospects reasons to change and take action. Tim shared a 1970 Harvard Psychology research led by Helen Langer.  In her study she discovered that saying the word because increases your persuasive power from 60% to 92% even when you don’t actually have a compelling reason. 

Tim has a concept called ABT or the Advanced Because Techniques. Abraham Lincoln may not have literally said because in his speech but even without using the word, he made the entire Gettysburg Address a speech that answers the question why.

Lincoln was giving compelling reasons to many Whys

  • Why we need to come together
  • Why we need to to work together
  • Why we need to be one nation

People responded to his speech because he gave compelling reasons. They saw the bigger purpose

Salespeople can’t just state facts about products and services. You need to give them reasons why your products and services will work out to their advantage. Examples are as follows: 

 

  • “When you implement the software, we’re going to make it possible for you to actually get home and have dinner with your kids every night.”
  • “When you implement this solution, we’re going to make sure you never have to pay a late fee to the government again.”

 

When you give them compelling reasons, people will take action.

Best Sellers In History Series 2 - "Abraham Lincoln" episode resources

We are no Abraham Lincoln and we are not facing a divided nation, however, we have daily battles and regardless of the severity, we can still use these principles in overcoming sales difficulties. 

Do you have any stories worth sharing? Sellers in the history that made an impact in your life? Tell Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Direct download: TSE_1232.mp3
Category:Best sellers in History -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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