Some seem to do well in times of financial crisis and others never have been as poor. Some are devastated by forced changes in their job situation, the weight of cumulated debt, consequences of long term sickness or underfinanced retirement or old age. Others quickly adapt or even anticipate the changing paradigms of our time and face without fear what threatens their lifestyle.
Those who thrive in times of crisis surf on the waves of opportunity and there are 7 things they keep
working on, on their to-do list. Here is step 4. Step N°4
Find a mentor!
You need to stick close to the person who can teach you the ‘plus’ that will give you the ‘unfair advantage’ over your competitors. Anybody can learn the 95% of a new type of business but it is the last 5% that makes you a reference in your industry. Everyone will want to buy from you (or hire you).
When I was 50 years old, I was looking to drive less than my 80000 kilometers per year in my sales job. I met a guy who said he represented a Spanish floor tile factory and that he sold the floor tiles in the home. “What! You don’t have a floor tile store? Well I have my samples down in the basement. But when I go to see my clients, I put them in my old Renault 21 (the doors didn’t shut and the suspension was on the ground).
I looked at him with disbelief wondering if he made any money with this activity. When he showed me his (old) warehouse, he showed me at least 50 palettes of floor tiles under plastic with the names of the clients written with a permanent marker. “All this is paid for and I stock their floor tiles for free (even if it’s a year) until they get around to laying them. This service helps me make the sales”. (Oops, I just gave you the secret). I asked him what his profit margin was and how many square meters there were in a palette. I soon was able to determine that he was making a lot of money every month.
I decided that this kind of activity would allow me to work closer to home. I found out that the clients came by word of mouth. They saw beautiful Spanish floor tiles at someone’s home available at factory prices, plus personalized counselling from an interior decorator (me). And I often went to his place, (3 and a half hours drive), to learn how he answered questions, how he closed sales of fairly big amounts (10000$+). Working evenings and weekends the 3-5000 euros (4-7000$) I made part time helped immensely to keep the heads of our family of 7 out of the water for several years.
Don’t be put off by what your mentor looks like! He may not have any teeth (which were his case) and his car wouldn’t impress you for a cent. In fact my floor tile mentor didn’t want his clients (or anybody else) to know he was becoming rich with his secret goldmine.
That said, be curious! Those that know are often surprised that no one ever asks them questions. Most people that are coming to them are telling the mentor their truth instead of listening to him. Take notes, record their sales pitch, if needed, memorize the way they answer the questions of their clients.
Find a mentor! He will be flattered that you want to know what he knows.
After all, how many of you are still doing the job that you studied for at school? If not you have learned something else from someone else, right?
Today you can choose your mentor on Internet. You can study everything without leaving your home: the Stock market, marketing, patchwork, a language, how to build your own house, how to write a book and publish on Kindle, how to build a-money- making- blog, everything! The mentors may sell you the information but can you imagine the time you save studying those who have already gone through the trial and error system?
Discover the step 5 (out of 7) in the next article
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