Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Play #7 Life Is Gonna Give Ya The Bird . . . Now What???

About a year ago, I’m minding my own business at a team dinner when the waiter comes over to me, gives me a Shirley Temple and tells me its compliments of this guy I know. To add insult to injury, he tells me that the gentleman also wanted me to have this and he proceeds to give me the finger!

I feel the need to mention that where I come from (New York) you are legally obligated to return fire when given the bird. Needless to say a Shirley Temple just doesn’t look right on Castain’s table but I digress.

I believe there is a lesson in it should we choose to take it . . .

As we begin 2009, we too will go to the table of life, with good spirit and good intentions. We begin with high hopes, a fresh table setting and somehow, somewhere they are only going to be serving “Bird De Jour”. Most of us can stomach a bird or two, but once we get enough of them, we begin to question ourselves in ineffective ways such as:

· Can I do what I set out to do?
· Why does this always happen to me?
· Do I deserve the success I seek?

The funny thing about the brain is that it gives us what we ask of it!

Perhaps we should consider asking ourselves some different questions in 2009 when the bird arrives compliments of the chef:

What can I learn from this situation?
What’s funny about it? What could be funny about it if your answer is “Nothing!” J
What can I do, right now, to move myself closer to my goals?
Who else has gone through this challenge that I can model?
Where can I get information, counsel, coaching, mentoring so I can serve back a “bird” of my own?

Exercise: Next time you are in a situation that challenges you, consider asking yourself the ultimate brainstorming question:

In what ways can I (fill in the blank)

So if I’m getting too many birds prospecting my brainstorming question will be:

In what ways can I be more effective on the phone?

If I’m struggling with that weight I want to lose this year:

In what ways can I can on track with my weight loss program?

Note: The "In what ways can I" question is a great question for you to use in your next meeting if you want to brainstorm the heck out of something!

The point of this sermon is for us to stop acting so surprised when the undesired outcome shows up. As a matter of fact, I’ve learned to get very excited when I begin to get frustrated. Yes, you heard me correctly . . . EXCITED! I get excited because I know that I am going to find an answer, change something and get closer to cracking the code. You see, when I’m nice and comfy and life gives me what I want, I get complacent and might not look as hard as I should for answers.

Sound familiar?

Today’s Reflection: Anticipate speed bumps on your road to success. Don’t get frustrated . . . get excited. Ask yourself a different question so you get an education in what not to do!

Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgment.
Tony Robbins

So what are you waiting for?

By all means, continue to show up at the table of life with good intentions. Continue to believe this will be your best year ever. Just understand that you can have either a bird in your future or a carrier pigeon of knowledge, experience and inevitable success!

To your inevitable success!

*no birds were harmed in the writing of this blog!

PS Please pass this along to someone you know who needs to build up their anti bird defenses! :)


  1. So funny and yet so true. Love your blog by the way. Nice job!

  2. I am still working on reading all these - but this one - fantastic. How you spun that situation to be one that is reflective on 2009 is a display of either sheer genius or straight-up madness! :) Regardless, I love it.

    I am going to be sending this blog to my sales friends outside the company who I think will get a kick out of it!

    Btw - I put my e-mail in as a member...or subscriber - twice now....what is supposed to happen? Shouldn't i be getting your blog daily update in my inbox?

    This is really catching on! You rock!

    Sally Hiler

  3. And you rock too Sally!

    Appreciate the kind words and think it may have been madness. I channel this ancient sales spirit who gives me my material. Some days he gives me diamonds, other days coal!

    I saw your email on the email list. Let's see if it works on my next post which will be by Monday. If not, I'll ask you to chill for the next few weeks. I am launching a website in 30 days and moving this there.

    Stay tuned and rock on girlfriend!


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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