Old Sales Message is Now a New Sales Message

Xerox Corporation is one of the most widely recognized brands in the world. Most of us tend to use the generic term “xerox” both as a noun and a verb when speaking of the copy or duplicating process. We say “please xerox that and send it to me.” The generic use of their name is as prolific as Kleenex and Band-Aids.

Xerox as a company grew at an extraordinary pace in the 60’s and 70’s. They devised and deployed a remarkable sales training school that would later as the model for every professional sales training program that would follow. It was state of the art. I actually participated in a derivative of this infamous program in the early 80’s. It was quite comprehensive and challenging. Their model was based upon their sales successes and expectations from their productive sales force.

Joe Wilson, the CEO of Xerox in 1960, starred in an early company video that was shown to all new employees as part of their orientation program. His message conveys truths that transcend time and speak to us today as well. He was a cheerleader for embracing change and fostering personal growth. To paraphrase, he demanded consistent outward development of one’s comfort zone if an employee intended upon remaining a Xerox employee.

You will notice that Mr. Wilson carefully chose words and phrases such as imagination, creativity, new ideas and change is a way of life. He advised against “same old way” thinking. These are words and principles that we can still learn from. Their original and intended meanings remain to this day. His ideas were ahead of his time and quite “sticky” to say the least. He obviously was on to something big.

If we are to achieve different and enhanced results from our current sales efforts, we cannot be doing the same old activities that did not work for us last year. They will not work for us this year either. Doing the same old things in the same old way yet expecting different results has been described as insanity! How many of us get stuck in the rut of activity, thinking very little of methods to actually advance? Perhaps a review of our goals and a revised strategy are in order.

Embrace change. Learn new skills. Get uncomfortable. What will you do differently this year to get the results you desire? What is holding you back? Have you begun yet ?

BOLA TANGKAS