Put On Your Bulletproof Underwear

Success in sales means you must put on bulletproof underwear. That means you must be immune to criticism. This article describes why.

There is one quality that has served me well throughout my entire career.  It’s not something I was born with, but over the years I have come to regard it as probably the most valuable characteristic I possess.  There are lots of different names for it.  Some people call it resilience. Some folks call it grit.  Some even regard it as a persistent stubbornness.  Whatever you label it, it has helped me achieve my desired results hundreds of times over.

What do I mean?

Early in my career, I was asked to manage a seedy hotel in the swamps of New Jersey during a renovation.  This hotel was in the shadow of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and across the street were three gentlemen’s entertainment clubs and two depots for long-haul trucking companies.  (The go-go joints were there because of the sporting events, and the truck depots were there because of the proximity to New York City, which was 3 miles away.)  When my company purchased the hotel, the only guests were girls who worked at the clubs and truckers.  There was a certain synergy in the clientele, and it gave new meaning to the term “truck stop” but that aside, my boss, the owner, wanted to make this a respectable hotel with a business clientele and convert it to a Marriott.

Over the course of the next year as the hotel building was renovated, I renovated the guest list.  This was no easy task.  The girls liked walking to work and could afford to pay whatever rate increase we imposed.  The truckers liked the girls, so even after their companies stopped using the hotel, they kept coming around.  And the hotel owner was getting closer and close to his inspection date with Marriott (a very conservative company).  During that time I was threatened, yelled at, offered cash and other enticements and made to feel uncomfortable just about every day.

When both renovations were complete (the girls found a new hotel a few miles away and the truckers followed) the city police chief came to visit me.  He and I had become friendly since his officers were at my place of business so frequently during the renovation process.  During breakfast, he said something to me that has stuck with me my entire career.  He said:

“Son, I have to hand it to you.  You have got yourself some really good bulletproof underwear.  With all the crappy guests you had in this hotel, none of them ever got to you, and you got the job done.”

I think about that quote every time I do something that brings criticism upon me.  If I have to do something I know is right and it is going to be tough, I  put on my bulletproof underwear and get the job done.

The trouble with many people today is that they don’t have bulletproof underwear.  You can’t find it at Wal-Mart. Granny is not giving it to you as a holiday gift. You can’t borrow it from someone else.   You have to make your own.

I am willing to bet there is something you have avoided doing because you were afraid of the criticism of family, friends or even total strangers.   The time has come to face up to that responsibility.  Reach deep down into the dresser drawer in your gut and put on your bulletproof underwear and get going.

Here are three more articles you can use to build your business:

How My Biggest Misconception Can Help Win More Business

Use my mistake to grow sales.

Entrepreneur Reveals His Success Secret at Dinner

This secret blew me away. Can you use it?

Don’t Feel Like Selling?

Read this now!