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The Cameron Method - Newsletter Archive

14 September, 1997 - Sales, Selling Yourself?

Many people who aren't in sales, and even professional salespeople, often have negative feelings about selling. This is too bad, since, for better or worse, each of us is constantly engaged in the activity. We must sell ourselves, our ideas, our needs and plans, as well as our services or products to other people.

Think about those you admire the most. Aren't they likely to be outstanding at "selling" themselves or their cause to others? Isn't the true task of leadership that of persuading others to do what they should do, be the best they can be?

In his timeless book, How To Be Your Own Psychologist, (1980), clinical psychologist Peter G. Cranford put it plainly: "Almost everything you have or will get comes from the knowledge and skills of others. Your existence and your happiness depend largely on relatives, friends, neighbors, and all those who affect your physical and psychological well-being. Since this is true from the moment of your birth, anything that improves your ability to influence others or yourself improves your chances to survive and be happy." In fact, "Everything you desire you must get by influencing yourself or influencing others."

A simple conscious-mind estimate: On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel about being assertive, or selling? Chances are, the more negative you are, the more trouble you may have in getting what you want, and conversely.

From the file of The Cameron Method:

We have worked with many people to free themselves from negative feelings about sales and selling, or being assertive and going after what they want.

One of the reasons for this negative attitude can stem from the basic learning process called Identification. It is especially important during our formative years. We learn such basic things as our language and our mannerisms this way. We (unconsciously) identify with someone important to us and then imitate them in actions as well as feelings.

We can also feel that we did not get what we perceived we wanted growing up, (possibly unconditional love) and as a result, that we are unable to get what we want from other people now. In other words, we forget that we did get at least some percentage of what we wanted since we did survive. We were not likely left to fend for ourselves on the street.

Did someone you knew or admired years ago express a negative attitude about salespeople or the business of selling? Did they consider selling or being assertive demeaning? Did they seem to look down on salespeople?

You could have picked up the elements of a negative mindset amazingly easily. Sometimes it's as simple as just one thing said at a moment when you were impressionable. It could even have been their facial expression when talking about sales or assertive people. There are many different ways we attune to the basic attitudes of our role models.

Similarly, we can "disidentify" with a parent or other influential person in our life who is in a selling occupation. Having a divorced or absentee or alcoholic salesman for a father, for instance, can have a lasting negative impact on how we perceive and react to the sales profession.

Mentally review the people important in your life when you were growing up. Any of them involved in selling? How did you really feel about them? These feelings set the stage for your adult attitudes.

Remember: We always feel justified or even righteous about our negative mindset, even when it's manifestly counterproductive or harmful. And it always costs us, often far more and in far more significant ways than we imagine. The simple rule still applies: Pay attention now, or pay lots more later. Clean up your subconscious mindset, or pay far, far more for not doing so as it leads you through life.

Until next time, the best to you,
Clark and Sharon Cameron

The Cameron Group
Helping People Create Attitudes That Work For Them

(Email) - (Web)
"Attitude makes all the difference!"

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