Shifts that must occur for you to score in the next century.

Shifts that must occur for you to score in the next century.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Shifts that must occur for you to score in the next century.

You don’t always have to win but you must score to stay in the game. In sales, scoring is getting more difficult. The defense (competition) is getting faster, smarter, shrewder. And the cost of playing the game not to mention the equipment is getting so severe that several teams have dropped out of the league (gone bankrupt).

Enter the millennium. The first day of the 21st century will explode with more new thoughts, concepts, visions, strategies and philosophies, and products than the mind can fathom. Every big company is thinktanking and productcreating like mad to greet the first of January, 2000. It will be an explosion the likes of which the free enterprise system has never seen. And you will either be part of the explosion, or blown up.

How are you preparing? What are you doing? Waiting for the party? Big mistake.

Look around, things are beginning to change from what was the “norm.” All of a sudden, everyone is in everyone else’s business. You can’t tell the phone companies from the computer companies from the cable companies from the longdistance companies they’re all selling each others stuff and going for each others throats. Cool. (Banks, stock brokerage firms and insurance companies are in the same bucket of glue.)

Your company, your products, and your coworkers are all in transition at the same time your competition is trying to bury you meanwhile you are trying to succeed. It ain’t easy.

How are you preparing to blast into the 21st century? How are you developing and keeping the winning edge? Well, if you’ve ever heard someone say “Shift into high gear” you’re close. Shift is the operative word. Transitioning from one way of doing things to another. Transitioning and shifting are very close.

Don’t think of this opportunity as change people hate to change. It’s not a new paradigm. I hate that word. It’s so trendy kind of like Balsalmic Vinaigrette. The word just sort of popped up, and now everyone needs a new paradigm or they’re not in the groove. Be different don’t worry about paradimes (sic) strive for paradollars.

The only thing you need to do is shift. Not new, not change, not paradigm, just shift. Just shift (transition) from one method of operation or philosophy to a better one. Not all at once just identify what needs to be shifted, and go for it little by little day by day.

George Halas of the Chicago Bears was the first professional football coach to employ the “shift” he did it in the championship game against the Redskins and won 620. It started a revolution. It wasn’t a complicated shift just a few steps in unison to the left or right. Just enough to throw off the opponent (the competition, if you get my metaphor). Once one team started shifting successfully, others followed, until soon all kinds of shifts started taking place.

Now, once something starts to work everyone gets on the bandwagon until one day KMart starts to shift and you have to create a whole new standard but it’s still a variation of the shift.

Ten years ago there was a shift from typewriters to personal computers. Everybody had an opinion about what would happen, and there was a big hullabaloo about “this won’t happen,” and “personal computers are for the home” and now it’s ten years later. The “naysayers” are now either power PC users or penniless in the gutter. Or they’re now naysaying the internet.

How do shifts affect you? Well, if you didn’t make the shift to computer, you probably can’t operate your business.

Now, I’m not telling you you gotta employ all these shifts. I am saying others are. You have a choice make the shift, or get the shaft. I have identified the minimum shifts to enter the twentyfirst century flying, rather than dying.

What kind of shifts? All kinds. How many? Lots. Where’s the list? Next week…

OK, OK here’s a few to whet your appetite:

Shift from narrow vision to wide vision.

Shift from complacent to urgent.

Shift from not on the internet to everyone in your company on the internet.

Shift from getting business to giving business.

Shift from traditional to creative.

Shift from competing to positioning.

Shift from technique driven sales to philosophically and relationship driven sales.

Shift from satisfied customers to loyal customers.

Shift from the way YOU perceive you to the way the CUSTOMER perceives you.

Shift from solicited referrals to unsolicited referrals.

Shift from “Have a nice day” to anything that’s sincere.

Stay tuned…

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Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

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