After a decade of self employment, I’ve been told “no” several thousand times. I have records. For the same period, I’ve been told “yes” a few dozen times. Fewer than a hundred. I have records of that, too.
As you can tell, I–like most humans, salesmen, and business owners–experience rejection more than acceptance. Unlike many people, however, I don’t let that discourage me as a proprietor. But I almost did once.
I was recently asked my approach to sales, given that I spend significant time asking people if I can write for them. Here it is in its entirety:
“Hi, human. I sell this thing for a living because I believe in it. It’s benefited myself and others like you. Are you the right person to pitch? If no, do you know someone who is? If yes, is now a good time?”
That’s it. This gentle but persistent approach has served me well, because it respects timing as much as finding and asking the right person.
Me hiking the Inca Trail
Here’s something you might not know about my work as a writer: 30-40% of my time is spent asking people if I can write for them, while the remaining 60-70% is spent on actually writing.
In other words, I’m either a writer who knows how to sell or a salesman who knows how to write. Consequently, I would’t have survived the past 15 years if I hadn’t asked thousands of people each year to let me write for them. I would have wilted long ago had I listened to the few rouge naysayers that rudely tell me to get lost sometimes.
Case in point: of the hundreds of emails I send on a monthly basis, the vast majority are ignored. Continue reading…
As long-time Smooth Harold readers may already know, I’m big on people doing what they love (if sustainable, of course) no matter what the obstacles. As an unaccomplished entrepreneur trying to grow, such examples serve as inspiration and encouragement for me. Enter the story of one Wade Daniels.
Wade is married to my wife’s cousin. He has wanted to become a doctor since a young age. He studied pre-med and worked at a hospital during his undergraduate degree. He took the MCAT and applied to both top- and lower-level medical schools last year. His preferred school of choice, which is also where he got his bachelor’s, was the much acclaimed medical school of the University of Utah. To his disappointment, he was accepted to none. Not even the lesser known schools offered him a spot due to poor MCAT scores. When most people would have gone into something else, Wade–out of a love for medicine– decided to keep working at the hospital and study for the MCAT again for a full year.
Earlier this summer, and after re-taking the medical test to much better results, Wade got accepted to medical school. And wouldn’t you know it, it was his top pick and one of the most difficult to get into (especially as a native of Utah): The School of Medicine at the University of Utah.