In the world of selling (and in every aspect of our lives) Self-dignity and self-esteem are the greatest needs of every individual. Respect and a belief in oneself are vital if you are going to reach the top ten percent of sales professionals.
Gary Smalley and John Trent tell a wonderful story from the Civil War. One of the greatest heroes for the Union Army was General Chamberlain. He was very brave. He had nine horses shot from under him, was wounded many times, and was awarded the Medal of Honor. President Lincoln and General Grant respected Chamberlain very much so they chose him and his men to be the honor guard for Confederate General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.
When the surrender was complete, General Lee began to ride down the road with Union soldiers standing on either side of him. The Union soldiers began to laugh and make fun of the enemy’s leader. Chamberlain was not going to stand for this. He silenced his men and forced them to stand at attention, present arms, and salute General Lee as he made his way down the road.
Why did General Chamberlain force his men to do this? I believe it is because General Chamberlain understood the power of respect to an individual’s self-esteem. General Lee deserved their respect. General Lee needed their respect. Their show of honor must have put a little joy into what was probably the worst day of General Lee’s life. If we lose our self-respect then we lose who we are and then you will not be successful at selling. General Chamberlain helped General Lee keep his self-respect. My challenge for you and I today is simply this: Let’s go out there and do the same thing for someone in our sales life. It might be a prospect, a customer, or even a fellow sales professional. Who can you build up today?