You might be asking what do Johnny and Jay have in common with your sales motivation.

Recently, I stumbled upon Jay’s first appearance on the Tonight Show in 1977, when Johnny Carson was hosting the show.   I watched the video expecting to hear something funny.  What I was met with was a flat out disaster.

Three minutes in length and it wasn’t funny at all.

I finished watching the video and came away thinking, “How did a guy who bombed so bad the first time make it to the point of being the host for 20 years of the same show?”

Answer is simple: He never gave up, he believed in himself and he kept moving forward.

Sales is all about the exact same thing. Never giving up.   Problem is too many salespeople take one stab at a prospect, find themselves being rejected and they then walk away never to return.

Not only does it happen with prospecting, but it also happens with salespeople and their careers.   If success doesn’t come right away, they decide to move on and try something else.

If you want something, you have to be willing to work for it.  Clearly Jay Leno wanted something. He wanted to be successful as a stand-up comedian.   35 Years later Jay Leno is still perfecting his craft.

He’s known for being incredibly gifted because of his hard work.  He is one to make appearances in comedy clubs for the sole sake of testing material.  You would think after all these years, he would essentially be taking it easy.  No, he’s as focused today as he was 30 plus years ago.

Looking at Jay Leno’s first appearance on the Tonight Show, you would have written him off. What’s important is that he didn’t write himself off.  Regardless of what might be happening, don’t write yourself off.

Do what Jay Leno did then and continues to do today — keep pushing forward and striving to perfect your process.

Is success in sales assured if you merely work hard like Jay Leno?  No. But if you don’t work at it, you don’t even have to worry about asking yourself if you’re going to be successful.  You’ll have no shot at success if you don’t even try.

By the way, if you’re interested in seeing the Jay Leno video, here’s the link:


Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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