Joe Girard is a car salesman. But he is not your average car salesman, he is the world’s best. It is not a self-professed title either, it has been awarded to him by the Guinness Book of Records, who have recognised Girard for his amazing record of 13,001 cars sold in just 12 years.
Not that Girard needs a formal certificate to prove his salesmanship. Anyone who has ever met him can tell you that Girard’s a cut above the rest. When he pays his bill at a restaurant, for example, he attaches his business card to the bill (along with a healthy tip) and tells the waiter to call him when he needs a new car.
And that is Girard holding back.
Often he does not even need to meet someone to give them his business card. Like the time Girard went to a football game and took with him a bunch of cards. When someone scored a touchdown, Girard surprised the crowd around him with a confetti shower of his business cards by throwing them into the air.
Beyond Girard’s Eccentric TechniquesYet you would be mistaken if you thought the secret to his success was using bizarre and socially risky marketing techniques like his football game shenanigans. Sure they have worked wonders for Girard but that is only because at the heart of these strange and colourful tactics is a principle that is neither strange nor colourful. In fact it is so banal and commonsensical that it is frequently overlooked and ignored, often to the detriment of otherwise smart and talented salespeople, bloggers and marketers.
How Girard First Learnt of the SecretGirard was 12 when he first learnt of the principle. He was working as a newspaper delivery boy for a local paper. One day the paper announced a contest to see who could solicit the most number of new readers. The prize was a brand new bicycle. For a 12 year old boy from a poor family, a new bike was the stuff of dreams.
Girard jumped at the opportunity and started spending all his spare time pounding the pavement and prospecting for leads. The competition was stiff. There were many talented newsboys competing for the bike. In the end, however, Girard won.
As he stood there with the new bike in hand looking out at the other newsboys, Girard realised something that stayed with him for all his selling career – any one of the other newsboys could have matched his salesmanship and won the competition. Yet they did not. Why? Because they did not want the bike bad enough.
And that is the great secret of the greatest salesman in the world – you can gain an instant advantage over your competitors if you just work a little harder than everyone else.
Why This Matters to Your Blogging and Marketing EffortsThis is an important point because as salespeople, marketers, bloggers and businesspeople we are obsessed with working smarter. We are constantly bombarded with products and advice by gurus who tell us to work smarter. Yet what separates the winners from the losers is not always knowledge and being smart but the effort of putting that knowledge into practice.
So while it is important to find ways to work smarter, it is also important to remember the importance of working harder.
For Girard it meant handing out a whopping 16,000 business cards a month. Compare that to your average car salesperson who hands out a measly 500 cards a year and you quickly realise that it is not his strange and quirky tactics but his strong work ethic that is largely responsible for his stunning success.
Take a lesson out of Girard’s book and start working harder. Write more articles. Submit more guest posts. Read more books. Test your ads more thoroughly. The list is endless and there is no lack of things you can do to become more successful.
If there is a lack, it is a lack of will to go out and do it.
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