Avoiding the Easy Way Out Leads to a Far More Meaningful Life

Raised Hand

..one of the people attending the class raised her hand..

My wife, who directs a foster care and adoption agency, recently taught a class to would-be foster parents. She was discussing some of the challenges and difficulties that come with being a foster parent when one of the people attending the class raised her hand and said, “We do not want to have our life be as easy as it can be. We are interested more in having a purpose in life than in being comfortable.” What this person was saying that being comfortable does not add meaning to our life, but having a purpose that we’re committed to does. I know far too many people who opt for comfort and take the easy way out and then wonder why their life is boring and without meaning. This is why one of my mantras has always been, “Never take the easy way out because there’s little or no reward (tangible or otherwise) and you miss out on an opportunity to add meaning to your life.”


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    There’s only one way to become an outstanding success as a salesperson. It’s called repeat and referral sales. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling cars, real estate, insurance, pharmaceuticals, financial services or farm equipment. If you don’t focus your efforts on generating repeat and referral sales, you’re going nowhere as a salesperson.

    Furthermore, there’s only one way in which you can get your customers to provide you with continuing repeat and referral sales and that’s by turning them into long-term friends. Let me give you an example: Joe Girard was a car salesperson for Merolis Chevrolet in Detroit. For 12 straight years Joe was listed in The Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s best new car salesperson. During his final year of selling cars, Joe sold 1,425 new Chevrolet cars and trucks! That’s 1,425 new Chevrolet cars and trucks sold by a single salesperson during one calendar year! How did Joe do it? The answer is simple. 65% of his sales were to repeat customers and the other 35% were to customers who were referred to him by his repeat customers.

    So, the year that Joe Girard got into The Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1,425 cars, how many cars did he actually sell? The answer is NONE! His customers sold them for him. Why? Because Joe took the time to turn each of his customers into a long-term friend. As Joe put it, “I stand in front of my product as well as behind it.” In other words, before you could buy a car from Joe, you first had to buy Joe. He wouldn’t let you buy a car from him until he turned you into a friend. Then, after you bought a car from Joe and you experienced a problem either with the car or someone at the dealership, Joe went to bat for you and personally saw to it that the problem was resolved to your satisfaction. Joe also made it a point to stay in touch with his customers after they bought a car from him; he didn’t forget about them and he made sure they they knew it. Yes, Joe truly loved his customers and they loved him back by providing him with enough repeat and referral sales to make it possible for him to sell more than 13,000 cars in 12 years.

    As Joe said in his book, How to Sell Anything to Anybody, “All of my customers these days are people who ask for me by name. All of them.” You too can enjoy the same level of success as Joe Girard once you stop focusing on making sales and start focusing on turning your customers into long-term friends.

One thought on “Avoiding the Easy Way Out Leads to a Far More Meaningful Life

  1. Ross – thanks for the “easy way out” article. My wife and I are mid sixties, finishing up our 40 year Michigan careers and have a nice home in Venice Florida that we would love to spend more time at. This year we decided to do one more community service project and we are buried in in now (www.adrianarmory.com). We could easily have avoided the chaos of this one last community service project, as we have been very involved all our lives. I needed to hear what you had to say. I can make it work for another week. Thanks!!

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