elizabeth-smartI had the privilege of listening to Elizabeth Smart yesterday. I was a speaker at the PERS Summit 2013 in Park City, UT and she was a keynote speaker. I spoke about the DNA of a salesperson and discussed how to hire sales superstars.  Smart’s message was much more of a life lesson as she described her experience and she had an incredible impact on the audience. She was the 14 year old who was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City on June 15, 2002 and was held captive for 9 months before being rescued.

Her presentation gave details of her life before the kidnapping and gave details about the kidnapping itself and the subsequent months while held in captivity. It was not a situation that you would wish on anyone. She is only 26 now and she was quite well spoken about the story.

I didn’t expect to hear anything applicable to business in general or sales specifically, but the lesson I heard was relevant to most anyone, but I especially see its relevance to salespeople. There came a time after she had determined that she was damaged goods and that it would be better to die than live like that, that she then realized her family would still love her regardless. She was determined at that point that she WAS going to survive. That switch of her mindset changed everything. It enabled her to have clarity of thought and ultimately enabled her to manipulate her captors into going back to Utah, which ultimately, caused her rescue.

Okay, so you are saying what does this have to do with sales? Well it is all in the mindset.  Elizabeth Smart DECIDED to survive and it changed everything. Salespeople can DECIDE to succeed and it will change everything. Unfortunately, too many salespeople don’t decide to succeed or do anything. They just exist. They let circumstances happen to them. Get your salespeople to decide to have success in sales. They first have to see themselves succeeding, then they can actually live it, but it all starts with a decision. A decision to be the best or be great, or succeed or excel. Whatever it is, it is a decision. Too many times our salespeople decide just to be. Help your salespeople excel by helping them see that they can be great. Get them to own that vision, then encourage them to DECIDE to live the vision.