In my alter ego state, I am a motivational speaker and an inspiration to others. I possess the ability to get, or keep, people moving in the right direction when they feel they are at the end of the rope. Oh well, back to reality!

For 50 plus years, NCM has enjoyed a special relationship with our bank and its executive team. One member of the team, the community bank president is a major sports fan, as I am.

We often share thoughts regarding team philosophy and performance.

After our hometown major league baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, recorded a number of successive losses, many of which he attended, I sent him a message about taking a leave of absence from his day job to try and get the Royals back on track.

His reply, although specifically dedicated to the Royals, was, in my opinion, so insightful and applicable, I shared it with the employees of NCM as well as others.

He said:

“It appears I have lost all magical powers with respect to the Royals. This losing streak is awful.

“It's not so much that we are losing because we are a young team, but more so because it appears we play with no passion or fire.

“As someone big into sports, that, to me, is inexcusable. A professional athlete (or anyone in a career) should never go through long stretches where they play with no emotion, passion or pride.”

I don't mean this as a slam against other people, but sometimes I wonder how many, if any, members of our team are playing without emotion, passion or pride?

I remember times as a retail sales person when business was slow, such as when there was very little showroom traffic. And if I was able to get a deal or two, I ran into the unpleasant experience of having them turned down by the finance and insurance office.

After going through that a few times, how mentally prepared was I when a qualified customer actually came in?

Not very.

It was tough then and it is tough now. How did I deal with that situation? Fortunately, I had a sales manager who had a way of quickly getting me back on the right mental track when these situations happened.

He would tell us, “Be ready to do business when business is ready to be done.”

He was speaking about the mental aspect of selling something. I ask you the same question.

Are the members of your team ready to do business? Are they mentally prepared to approach a customer, offer him or her a quality experience and ultimately close the deal?

As my friend D. J. Harrington often reminds us:

“It's our disposition, not our position, which leads to success.”

When traffic is down, my experience has shown that sales personnel sometimes like to get together to discuss how bad business is and how miserable they are because of it.

Even when it may not be as slow as they might perceive, they convince themselves it is, and consequently their attitude reflects that perception.

In such cases, it's you the dealer who has to work with your management team to ensure a good attitude exists in your organization.

You must become creative, if necessary, to help the sales personnel. Whatever the case, you need to observe and mold their actions to make sure they are ready to play the game with emotion, passion and pride.

In my alter-alter ego state, that being a musician, I want to share the lyrics of a song from the 1930's written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields:

“Nothing is impossible I have found, for when my chin is on the ground, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.”

So much of our business is mental. Remember the saying: “Attitude isn't everything, it's the only thing.”

Good selling!

Tony Noland is the president and CEO of NCM Associates, Inc. He is at

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