The Meaning of Life

When I was in my early twenties, I went through a philosophy kick where I read everything I could get my hands about the meaning of life.  A lot it waxed poetic but didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Until I finally found something I could sink my teeth into.

“The meaning of life is the meaning you give it.”

Sounds simple, right?

Basically, it means you have a choice about what something means to you.  Are you offended?  Do you not care?  Does it make you laugh?

Your reaction to the things going on around you reflects the beliefs you have about it.

The same thing may happen to someone else, and they attach a completely different meaning to it.

Here’s an example of how meaning changes everything from a story told by Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

Imagine yourself relaxing on a train when a father and his three noisy children get on board.  The kids are rambunctious and obnoxious, and the father just ignores them, staring out the window.

You think, “What a lousy father!  How could he let his kids run crazy like that?”

Then someone tells you that his wife just died last night and he’s heading back home from the hospital.

Would that change the meaning of the situation?  Would you cut him some slack?

Sure, and you’d probably feel guilty for judging him.

One of our greatest challenges is when the meaning we attach to something sabotages our business.

Let me give you a prime example that Stephanie and I see every week at Book More Brides.

I’m sure you know by now that we are a training company for the wedding industry.  Which means we sell trainings.  If we don’t sell trainings, we go out of business.

Yet regularly we get emails from wedding pros who write things like this (these are exact quotes):

“I enjoy the free tips every week, but this is why I dislike what you do.  Quit trying to sell me something!  All you care about is money.”

“I am disappointed to receive this email…asking me if I have any questions or concerns. I feel that you have placed everything on automatic pilot to help you make money like this automated email.  As it turns out I did subscribe to your blogging program and the other program that was offered at checkout (great marketing technique to put money on your pocket).”

Here’s what they’re REALLY saying…

“Selling is BAD, sleazy and distasteful.”

Do you think this belief might be impacting sales in their own businesses?

They probably fold up like a deck chair the first time a client gives them a possible objection, if they even ask for the sale in the first place.

We do the same thing with price shoppers.  If we think all brides and grooms care about is price, we’re defensive right from the start and it hurts our business.  We ignore a potential client at a bridal show because, “she looks like a price shopper.”  Is that Walmart perfume I smell?

Many wedding pros have a negative attitude about selling, but if you don’t sell, you go out of business.

Guess what?  I do want your money!  And in exchange, I’m going to give you a kick ass training that’s going to make you money.

My real worry here is that if people feel this way about US selling something in exchange for value, what is their belief about selling their own products or services?

Our preconceived beliefs about selling can be devastating to our business.

Selling isn’t evil and it’s not about pushing people to buy something; it’s about helping them get what they want.

My challenge to you is to NOT accept the status quo of your belief system, especially if you’re struggling in your business.

What beliefs are hampering your success?

“I don’t deserve it.”

        “I’m not smart enough.”

                 “I’m not that good.”

                          “Brides and grooms are cheap.”

I could share all our super secret ninja tips for booking more weddings, but if your beliefs are working against you, it won’t work.  Nothing will work because you’ll sabotage yourself.

What do you think?  Leave a comment. 

photo credit: Spivs selling goods from the ‘back of a lorry’ via photopin (license) Changes made to image: cropped and edited to include wording.

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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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3 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life and Why You Suck at Sales”

  1. Barry Devlin says:

    In my experience, those who fear the selling part of what they do for a living are, to use a fantastic definition by Michael Gerber, technicians – people who are great at and passionate about their craft, in this industry mostly creatives, who have a natural disinclination to ‘sell’, expecting that social proof and product/service quality alone will convince a prospect without the need for exertion.

    Which is why entrepreneurs thrive – those who see the angles and understand a prospect’s wants and needs regardless of the commodity, such that price becomes merely a factor, not a reason.

    If technicians can learn to think and behave like entrepreneurs, without losing their core technical prowess – bingo! Which is where you (and I!) come in…

  2. Money, Money, Money…… No Sales equals No Money, No Money equals No Life… You can survive without money but you can’t live without money.

    Reality verses preconceived beliefs about selling.
    To say Everyone is about the “price” if they weren’t there would be no way to do anything. Couples are not just about the price they are about spending what they can afford.

    As a business owner if I wasn’t about the price I wouldn’t know how much I need to charge in order to cover all expenses. So am I about the price? You bet because the better negotiated price I can get relates to my price for my services and my profit. Profit you bet after all I am in this for the money, income because it is the ticket to Freedom!

    People do not care about how much something costs they care about how much they can afford but ultimately the bottom line is how much are they willing to pay? Look around you and you will see people doing things, driving things, using things they can’t afford however they were willing to pay the price because they wanted to…… They pay it I don’t sell “it” I sell my benefits and results.

    Stop selling ‘it” start believing in your benefits and results. Then sell yourself to yourself. Why should someone use your services verses your competition? Be medicine, people do not buy or believe in medicine. They believe in the benefits and results. They just want the results and they buy the medicine, believing in the benefits and results even if it means they could possibly have terrible side effects.

    Explain your benefits, results and let the couple decide, if you waiver the slightest about price. Then it opens the door to doubt and the hallway into the room of disbelief.

    Never financially profile a customer WM smells Juicy to me. Price shopping fools have more money to pay for the things they want. They price shop for the things they don’t want to spend money on but skip price shopping for the things they want!

    Which are you? Something they need or want? Believe in your benefits, results, Stop selling “it’ and the rest will follow.

    JP Sorry to rant and HJ your post……..

    1. Preach it Brother John!

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