When I started writing the book last year, in my head, I knew that I wanted to tell a story. The story about how I saw sales and its role in not just business but in society. I had a hunch that the stories and lines I have been using in my keynote speaking had legs and could resonate with the reader. The more I wrote, the more stories I shared, and I began to see page after page move from being a prescriptive book about sales methodologies to a tale that would reach the individual reader right where they are. Soon, the book began taking on a life of its own. As I wrote each chapter, I envisioned you the reader sitting next to me engaging in conversation over a cup of coffee. The discussion was robust and most of all, caused us each to think. At the conclusion of each chapter, we would go our separate ways in a better place because of the conversation we had, and both anxious to meet again.
When I sent the manuscript to my publisher, Tim, at HarperCollins Leadership, he came back to me with an idea to change the name; he and others saw the book as much bigger than I did. Clearly, they saw it as a book full of key messages salespeople, and really everybody, needed to hear. It wasn’t long before they came back with a new name, A Mind for Sales. Tim didn’t have to convince me. When he shared the new title, I quickly responded, “yes, that’s it!” I’ll admit that my “yes” was only because when they used this title in their focus groups to test titles, it came back with the top score.
Some people who read the manuscript a few months ago shared with me how moved they were by what they were reading. They told me that the personal stories, the examples from others, and writing style grabbed them. I took their comments and pushed them aside, thinking that they were just telling me that to make me feel good. Then, COVID-19 happened and suddenly, the intersection of this tragedy and the book converged.
During the past 6 weeks, more and more people have read the advance copy of the book, and their comments rang out with substance. Every single one of the comments were focused around one question for me: How did I know the book I had written would be so appropriate for right now? I didn’t! I didn’t know that at all. The book was simply what I had in my mind, and yes, my heart. If I didn’t hear so many similar comments, I don’t know that I would’ve realized that A Mind For Sales is not a book, but a message and a message needed for everyone right now.
A Mind for Sales does include numerous stories from my personal life, beginning with the strange path I took to get into sales, and those who influenced me as well as those people I had the privilege to learn from. I think my one regret in this project is not sharing more stories about the people who impacted me and how much my personal faith drives my life. Sales is not a job, it’s not a profession, it truly is a lifestyle of making each interaction one where we impact and influence others.
Due to the overwhelming commitments on my time right now, I am writing this post on Sunday, March 29, and it will be published on April 1. Normally, we wouldn’t think at all about a couple days making a difference, but we are not living in normal days. I don’t make this comment to sound negative. Rather, I say it because one, it’s the truth and second, I remain incredibly focused on seeing the opportunities in everything.
A few weeks ago, it became evident that Amazon would not be in a position to ship hardback books on the release date. It also became clear that my launch party with hundreds of guests was not going to happen. Even the media interviews I expected to have were not going to come to fruition. And finally, all of the big events I had planned to launch the book at, like OutBound, were not going to take place. Other than having a brief 10-minute “ugh moment” in my mind, not for one moment did I consider stopping the launch despite the setbacks. I had no doubt that the book launch still needed to happen. A setback is only just that if you allow it to be. I acknowledged that I was stronger than that, and for each door that closed, another would open. As I diligently worked to find other doors, I kept coming back to the biggest door of all which is the relationship I have with you. Honestly, the door with you on the other side and the ability to help you is the best door of all. If I can help you navigate this difficult season and see the opportunities in front of you, regardless of where you find yourself, then I know that I have done my job.
I can’t help but think about the stories I shared in the book. Each story, when it unfolded wasn’t one that moved thousands, they didn’t save a nation, they didn’t solve the world’s woes. No, each story was simply a recounting of two people or at best, a few in a meeting. Some of these events occurred more than 40 years ago, yet they remain fresh in my mind today. The many lessons I’ve learned have shaped my life. Collectively, all of this has taught me to never underestimate the impact of even just the one person you get to talk to today. That one conversation you blow off as being inconsequential may very well become a legacy moment for the other person.
Sales is much more than commissions and quotas; sales is about impacting others. Sales is about making a difference in the lives of each person you meet and potentially building a legacy moment they will never forget. Yes, that’s the reason I wrote A Mind for Sales.
Do stay in touch, and let me know via email, social media, and online reviews your comments about the book. Use this website to send questions and most of all, stay tuned for more information about a new program I will be inviting you to join. Sales is a community, and you will want to be part of this one.
Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter”
PS: I’d like to take a second to express a heartfelt thanks to the person who has helped me much more than she will ever realize – Ann Stritt, THANK YOU! A big thanks also to your family for the many hours I took you away from them to help bring this book to life. When you agreed to join the team just a few months before beginning this new project, I don’t think you realized what you signed up for. I’m sure glad you didn’t, because I suspect you would have told me “no.” Thank you for your countless hours, your amazing attitude, and your deep-rooted faith.
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.