Walter’s secret of success: Work half a day.

Walter’s secret of success: Work half a day.

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



Walter’s secret of success: Work half a day.

I was flying back from Florida surveying who were my prospects for conversation (next to me and across the aisle), when I saw a guy behind me who looked like a million. Great suit, great tie, great shoes, and great hair (the only part of him I didn’t like).

“What do you sell?” I asked (I didn’t need to know IF only WHAT). “Security.” He said without hesitation. I waited for the rest. “I help business owners and individuals solve problems. I help people keep their success and perpetuate it.” (English translation: I sell life insurance.)

“Walter Putnam’s my name, and you are?…”

“Jeffrey Gitomer.”

“Are you the guy that writes the sales column in the Business Journal?”

“Yes I am.” I said trying to be humble.

Now normally I would have left it at that not wanting to take a chance on getting sold life insurance for the next hour and a half, but this guy was different. There was something genuine about him. He looked professional, but had a warmth you could feel from the first few words.

“What’s your secret of success?” I challenged.

“I have two rules.” He said with a grin that was bigger than his drawl. “First Rule: You get to work 1/2 days the rest of your life. Second Rule: Any 12 hours will do.” My kind of guy.

It seems that Walter works with a particular type of client. Big. Real big. I was intrigued to find out what a “big hitter” thought about sales, and how he made sales.

We talked nonstop for the next 90 minutes, trading sales stories and philosophies. As we spoke, he seemed to have little phrases (aphorisms) that made his thought clear but in a meaningful way. Philosophies like his two rules of success. As he spoke, I wrote.

Here are a collection of Walter Putnam gems. Diamonds and pearls of wisdom you can borrow from his successful sales philosophy:

People do not care how much I know until they know how much I care.

Be proactive I live and work in a “Now” business.

Practice daily on becoming a better listener.

No one will put a higher value on me than I do.

Always promise a lot and deliver even more.

Demonstrate excellence in a world of mediocrity.

There is no right way to do a wrong thing. Always take the high road.

Every day I wake up running. I know I am unemployed until I get face to face with someone.

I always ask permission to be politely persistent until the job gets done; based upon their time frame and their objectives. Wherever we go from here is strictly up to you.

I always begin and end every meeting with, “thank you for your time.”

Six most powerful words that a salesperson has when they end a conversation or phone call is: “when may I call you back”

Wherever you are, be there. Focus on the customer as if they are the only person on the planet

Save out of income and….invest out of savings

Always pay yourself first (i.e. save)….and spend second

Make it a great life….you are going to put the time in anyway

Dream big dreams and quit worrying about waking up,

If you really want to stretch, DREAM BIG DREAMS, and then, add a zero.

Consistency on a daily basis! “Anything” will work if you will.

Return all calls as FAST as you can, and answer correspondence within 24 hours.

Take time off. Treat time off with a great deal of respect. My clients need, deserve, and want a well rested, creative, proactive, energetic, enthusiastic individual to work with and talk with who understands them. I schedule free time “first” as much as a year or two in advance, then work the rest of the time.

There are no unreasonable goals, just unrealistic deadlines.

I have discovered over time I get paid to ask questions, and then to help each prospect think through their answers from a broadbrush standpoint to very specific planning objectives. Simplicity and clarity.

I have a fortypoint questionnaire of information I want to know about the client. When you know more than other advisors, you quietly move up the list to their key advisor.

There are two kinds of facts feeling facts and fact facts. Concentrate on the feeling facts and the fact/facts will flow.

Well done is better than well said.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will fall among the stars

Time has a way of taking away your options.

As we talked about the sales presentation itself, he uttered a gem of gems “To prepare for a meeting I ask myself as many questions as I ask my client.” A classic sales selfdiscipline that separates the good from the great.

Over the last few months I have come to know Walter. He is the essence of professional and personable. And he has character that attracts confidence.

If Mark MacGuire is a role model for today’s youth Walter Putnam is a role model for today’s salespeople.

FREE GitBit… Walter is willing to share more. He has eleven powerful questions he uses to provoke prospect thought. Want them? Just go to click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret word, “WALTER”.

Jeffrey Gitomer, 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

1999 All rights reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document or it’s contents without the written approval of Jeffrey H. Gitomer or Buy Gitomer 704/3331112