7 Words to Remove From Your Sales Vocabulary

Will Rogers said, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”  Often salespeople can use one seemingly innocent word that immediately defines a conversation as a sales-pitch and triggers the defensive shields of suspicion in the prospect.  Words have meaning and we want to make sure the words we use as content accurately represent our desired intent.  Just as important, words hold different meanings and significance based on one’s past experiences.  If we use one of these “trigger” words, we could easily insult a prospect and devalue the service we provide.  Here are the 7 in no particular order: [Read more…]

Leaders Never Stop Learning

This time of year there is a buzz with back to school and back to business, like the beginning of a new year.  As you probably know the school year was established around the harvest season, yet it has not changed as our country has evolved into a more industrial age.

Watching successful sales leaders, one of the first questions I ask is “What books have you read recently?”  There is never a hesitation to share a title or author.  Every day delivers an opportunity to learn something new if we have the Wonder.  The Wonder is the first step of change.

We have to ask ourselves, [Read more…]

Taking Off Into the Wind: Creating Lift Out of Life!

Taking Off Into the Wind_Scott PlumThis book is written for the person who is a salesperson – the human being before the human doing. This book is not filled with new techniques and updated procedures. There are plenty of those books on the shelves. And I have many of them.

This book is about creating the inspiration needed to apply the techniques: the beliefs we need to create to support the daily behavior that delivers the desired results we constantly seek. Without this inspiration, we don’t apply what we know.

This hesitation holds us back from a better life. We need the inspiration to turn our face to the wind and take on adversity –every day. Planes take off into the wind to achieve more lift. Trees become stronger with deeper roots because of the wind.

With inspiration, we can become stronger when adversity arises by applying what we know. Smart people don’t fail because they don’t know. They fail because they don’t apply themselves. They lack the commitment and determination needed to overcome adversity.
That is my goal with Taking Off Into the Wind – to create the inspiration in you to take on the adversities of life when you apply yourself. The benefits will strengthen you and you will be able to be more to others in your life. Be the tree with deep roots that holds its ground when the wind blows.

Thank you for letting me make an impact on your life and an influence in the outcome – the future. I, too, am a salesperson.

-Scott P. Plum


Foreward by Thomas J. Winninger

Tom WinningerWhat inspires you? What fuels your energy? What keeps you going? Where do your passions lay?

When Scott shared with me that he was writing a sales book, as a friend, I immediately said, “Oh, how exciting!” But in my mind I was really saying “Oh no, not another book on selling. How many thousands of titles already exist that were written over the last 2000 years on that subject?”

But then Scott shared with me the manuscript and I could not put it down. With each page I said, “This is it! This is THE BOOK that not only needs to be read but needs to be lived!”

I felt lifted up, as Scott would say, in the wind. I felt like I did when I first read the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull about a seagull who just would not quit flying higher. Just keep going Jonathan… fly higher Jonathan… stretch yourself Jonathan, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t… you are not just like everyone else Jonathan for your inspiration alone, Jonathan, lifts you up.

Inspiration is the key ingredient to any effort that is fulfilling and life changing.
And Scott’s book is not just about being inspired; his work itself is inspiring – and so is Scott.

What you read on these pages is not just ideas that Scott teaches but they are truths that he lives. Scott is the essence of this work just as Jonathan Livingston Seagull was the essence of his efforts.

I would suggest that before you pick up another book on the how to’s of selling you spend time internalizing these ideas. Scott helps you understand what it takes to be inspired, committed, and passionate about your life and work.

What Scott shares here will help you make an enduring, positive impact on everyone you encounter whether they are purchasing something from you or not. This book is for everyone! As my father reminded me often: Everyone sells something whether it is a product, a service, an idea, or a belief.

Whether your road is up or down, Scott’s approach will keep you moving forward.
This work flies on the wind, ever higher, Scott.

—Thomas J. Winninger, CSP, CPAE
Speaker Hall of Fame Member
Past National President of the National Speakers Association, and founding member of International Center for Professional Speaking
Author of Price Wars, Full Price, Sell Easy, Bullseye, Hiring Smart and Get Out of the Boat

What Others are saying About Taking Off Into the Wind

“Whether you want to sell a service, product, cause or an idea,Scott shares a tried and true, proven-to-work flight plan for success. Keep this book close and refer to it often. You will be glad you did.”
—Mark LeBlanc, Small Business Success
Author of Never Be the Same and Growing Your Business!

“This book is a reminder of what you want, but have forgotten, because of life’s distractions. It will give you daily direction and deliver immediate “first aid,” so don’t leave home without it.”
—Mike McKinley, CSP, CPAE, Author, Speaker, Business Advocate and Inspirer.
Past President of the National Speakers Association.

Back Cover

Adversity. Every day we face the wind and take another step toward our desired goal. What inspires us to overcome the daily pressures and pitfalls to achieve a better life? First we have to acquire a different way of thinking. Better knowledge. More information. New skills. Then we have to apply them –to use what we know when the opportunities present themselves. There is a difference between “can you?” and “will you?” And lastly, we have to believe we deserve a better life. Better results. A happier life despite the daily adversities we experience.

Taking Off into the Wind is an inspirational book for salespeople. A salesperson is someone who has an impact on an experience and an influence in the outcome of a conversation. If you are like most people, you will acknowledge you are a person who has an impact and influence. We have an obligation to overcome the challenges of the day in order to better serve ourselves with self-respect and to serve others with love and kindness.

Are you ready to take on the wind; to create lift out of life and take off into the wind? It starts with your commitment to yourself. A commitment no one can guarantee but you. Your choice – your commitment to make a difference in your life – is the greatest asset you will ever own.

Order Your Book – TODAY – for $19.95. Includes shipping, handling and tax.

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Self-forgiveness Begins with Others

Jack was playing center outfield during the third game of the season. He’ll be 10 this year and is starting to refine his baseball talents. It’s his favorite sport with football a close second.

In the fifth inning a pop fly was hit in his direction. He got under it, adjusted his stance, focused on the falling ball but couldn’t hold on to it and dropped it. He grabbed the ball and threw it to second base. The batter was safe.

He had a tough time letting that error go. Jack is one of the better players on the team. He commits to keeping his skills sharp with additional practices in the off season and learning by watching professional MLB players on television.
Baseball player jumps high to catch a fly ballDuring the ride home, Jack was silent, though his team won. His father asked him what’s wrong. He just kept repeating he should have caught that pop up in the fifth. He couldn’t forgive himself.

His father reminded him of a last game they played when one of Jack’s teammates, Taylor, missed a pop up, causing the team to lose the game. Jack criticized Taylor all the way home and blamed him for losing the game. “Perhaps the withheld forgiveness that Jack held towards Taylor is the same withheld forgiveness Jack feels towards himself,” his father thought. He shared that thought with his son. Then he thought about it in his own life. [Read more…]

Prospects Define Value by Your Commitment and Persistence

Lately I’m hearing a lot of salespeople say they call prospects, leave messages and they never call them back.  Most times the prospect doesn’t answer the phone.  In an age where every phone has Caller ID it is a split second decision is quickly ignore the interruption.  When this is true most of the time, we want to ask ourselves, “Why?”

Salesperson Phone

The strongest influence in personal behavior is weighing the consequences of any action.  What are the consequences of answering the phone or returning a voice mail message of any unknown person?  Another factor in determining what we do and don’t is fear.  Combine those two and here is what the prospect is thinking; “I don’t know this person; I don’t know why they are calling; I’m busy; I’m afraid if I answer, I’ll never get that time back; and if I avoid it, it will go away.”  And guess what, you do.  You stop calling.  The prospect was right! [Read more…]

Not Everyone is at the Cabin

How many people go to the cabin every week during the summer?  I don’t know the answer and I’m guessing it would be hard to know for sure, but I’m positive not everyone does.  Businesses are still open, people are still working, budgets are being determined and spent, challenges continue to exist and problems need to be solved. [Read more…]

This is a No-Brainer Decision

He walked into my office, sat down and was debriefing the last sales call he went on and expressed some frustration on why they didn’t buy. He explained all the benefits of his product and how low the price is compared to his competitors. He closed his presentation with the statement “this is a no-brainer decision.” Yet he cannot understand why the prospect didn’t buy.

I replied with a simple question, “What are their reasons to buy?” He paused, but couldn’t think of any. He said, “It’s a simple decision. Can’t they see the value?” [Read more…]

Stop and Wonder

Sometimes complacency can be interpreted as comfort or boredom.  This contentment will prevent change (and growth) and inhibit anxiety without exerting much energy.  Some people may welcome the predictability of the day, until something changes around them, outside their control that requires them to act without the skill, knowledge or experience needed to be proactive and able to manage the circumstances that will guarantee a favorable outcome.  Somehow they took a pause on life’s highway while everyone else kept moving.  [Read more…]

When They Say NO!

Most salespeople will admit they don’t like hearing a “No” from prospects during the sales process. There is a small sting of rejection that is hard to accept with a lingering sense of discouragement. This is not uncommon and if you feel this way, you are not alone. [Read more…]

Disappointment and Forgiveness

Last week someone I have a great deal of respect for let me down. Their actions disappointed me. If the feeling had a flavor, it tasted like the color gray. This was hurtful. But the real disappointment came with my belief in this person.

The unfortunate fact is people will disappoint us throughout our life. Our strength will come when we forgive them. And I will grow to forgive them, too. [Read more…]