Sales Training Articles on Influence and Persuasion
By Victor Antonio, BSEE, MBA
It can also be painful and scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. Many years since having graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and an MBA, I’ve come to the conclusion that institutions of higher learning are great at teaching students ‘ABOUT’ money, but they get an “F” when it comes to teaching students ‘HOW’ to make money.
For instance, students graduating from a college or university can probably recite from memory the following about money without missing a beat:
Take these same students and tell them to go out into the real world and make a living for themselves and you'll inevitable find that they are ill equipped or unprepared to ‘KNOW’ how to go about it.
Knowing how to make a living is far different from understanding how money works. This is the most important and pivotal lesson I’ve learned since deciding one day to the leave the comfortable confines of corporate America and go it alone (i.e., become an entrepreneur).
Many years after having made that fateful decision, I now have a deep sense of admiration and respect for entrepreneur who risk it all with no guarantee of success. Now I don’t suggest anyone just go ‘cold turkey’ by simply quitting their job and 'going for it' like I did. That route is littered with risk and uncertainty that only those with the toughest of stomachs and deepest of pockets can handle.
2) If you do find a mentor that is willing to take the time to help, you will most likely have to pay a hefty price for that attention. This is often called ‘coaching’ and can get quite expensive very quickly. We’re talking thousands of dollars for their time. If you have the means to pay for their information and time, good for you; go for it. Having a mentor there to point out the pitfalls of any business is a good business decision with a good chance of a R.O.I. in the long run.
(Note: I’ll explore the pros and cons of hiring a coach in a forthcoming article)
Victor’s Definition: A virtual mentor is a successful person doing what you would like to be doing who is helping you become successful without them being aware of it and you having to pay them.
For example, Zig Ziglar the GREAT sales motivator and trainer is one of my virtual mentors. Zig is so famous that I’m sure he wouldn’t have enough time to sit down with me and layout a master plan for my success. Not because he doesn’t care, but because it wouldn't be feasible given the demands put on him by his adoring public and the business he runs, Zig Ziglar International.
Nonetheless, I don’t let the above facts stop me from adopting him as my ‘virtual mentor’. Whether Zig knows it or not, whether he likes it or not, he is my ‘virtual mentor’.
7 Keys to Adopting the Right Virtual Mentor
1) Find a successful mentor who is doing what you would love to do
2) Make sure the mentor has the same values you have
3) Buy (or consume) all of their products
4) Study their website and literature
5) Understand their business model by studying all their marketing material
6) If you can go see the person live, do so. Study how they conduct their seminars and events; understand the business
7) Study what products or services they are offering to generate revenue
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. I’d like to add a caveat to that statement; never imitate people, only their successful business practices. I will never be a Zig Ziglar because there is only one Zig. The best I can hope for is to learn as much as I can from my virtual mentor Zig and then take what I’ve learned and become Victor Antonio G.
If you find a virtual mentor, consider yourself fortunate that someone else is lighting the way towards your success. Mentors not only show us the way, they also demonstrate that it IS possible to be successful doing what we love to do. Learn from them so that one day you’ll be in their position. They’ve already charted the course so all we need to do is take action. Study, Study, and then Study them some more!
p.s., If you don’t have a virtual mentor, I suggest you start looking for one ASAP. They’ll save you both time, money,…and some of your sanity!
p.p.s., The picture with Zig Ziglar was taken on March 10th, 2009...I finally got to meet my sales hero!
Copyright © 2006 by Victor Antonio. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio.