TOOLS OF THE CHAMPIONS

A good carpenter goes to work feeling good because he has an energy level more than enough to fulfill his eight-hour job in order to earn his day’s rte. But is a high energy level enough for one to take to work? No. Apart from his lunch box, he carries with him his toolbox containing the implements of his profession-a saw, a tape measure, a chisel, a hammer, etc.

The same is true with a good physician. He does not make calls without the necessary tools or medical devices and gadgets; otherwise, the very purpose of his rushing to the aid of his patient will be defeated.

But it is not as simple as that with a salesperson. More is required of a good salesperson than the carpenter and the medical doctor. The carpenter is assured of his day’s wage and tenure for as long as he does what is expected of him. The same is true with the doctor. Whether or not his patient gets well, his services are paid for each visit.

Where lies the difference with the salesperson? Consider this carefully. For every client call that a salesperson makes, a sword of Damocles hangs above his head, so to speak. The slightest mistake in his dealing with his clients may mean disasters, rejection or zero sales.

The doctor and the carpenter do not have this to fear. There is no threat that could cause anxiety in their hearts, like a client’s change of heart in a minute or no earnings for a day.

The simple art of getting your clients to say yes is a complex as a mirror maze, if you do not have what it takes. You see mirrors everywhere in the maze, do you not? In all of those mirrors, you see yourself. Sometimes your image is so clear you think you could get through the mirror. But, once you try it, BLAG! You hit the mirror. You bumped into yourself.

The same is true when you make a mistake during a client call. That is why you need to take with you always your own set of tools of the trade.

The requirements for a successful sales call are basic in nature. They are too basic  to be ignored. But sometimes we have to be reminded of the things that we already know in order to keep our wits about us all the time.

My number one reminder is for you to maintain the proper attitude about sellings. This is a profession-yours as well as mine. It is ours. We need to accept it and be proud of it!

“If you’re not identified with your profession or if you’re not proud of it, how can you be committed to excel?’ Dr. Jocano has challenged people from all walks of life again and again.

How true it is! How can you excel, indeed, if you are ashamed of your profession? This brings to mind one young man I have had a conversation with.

“Son, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m only a salesperson, sir.”

“Where?’

“Only at the Waterfront Village Securities, sir.”

“What products are you selling there?”

“Only investment shares, sir.”

“Is that so?’

If I were his client, I would definitely not buy. Imagine, he is selling millions-of-pesos worth of investment shares with that kind of attitude? Only a salesperson? Only investment shares?

This is one of the various attitudes that a sales champion does not possess. It gives a bad impression to prospective clients. This is bad enough considering that most of them believe that ninety-five percent of all salespersons are flatterers, dishonest and always wanting to put one over another. We have to change these bad impressions.

If ninety-five percent of all salespeople are known in a negative light, let us be the five percent. If many of us come across as flatterers, let us show sincerity. Let us make others feel that it is for their own good that we are selling them our products.

Clients can easily detect if you are sincere or not. You can dish out all the flattery you want, but it will get you nowhere. A client has a way of knowing whether you are flattering him or not. If the flattery is explicit, the client will see through the lie or the exaggeration. If it is implicit, it will not escape his gut feeling.

If a salesperson is said to be talkative, he must learn to listen twice as much as he talks. Simply listening creates a magical bridge connecting the salesperson and the client. Sometimes you ask yourself, “Why do I have to listen and listen well? What will happen to all I need to say if I keep quiet and let my client do all the talking? What about my own views? Are they not worth an ear?”

You will be surprised to learn that people generally appreciate being listened to. It is a unique way of making them feel important. You give them the impression that their views and opinions are equally credible. This does not necessarily mean that your views and opinions are not. But it is important that your client feels he is important and that you believe in him.

You can air your views and opinions somewhere else. If you want, you can even engage anyone in a debate-but not with your client. Never! In the first place, you have sought him out in order to fill his needs, not yours. Remember that.

Some people think that whoever talks more steers the flow of the conversation. This is not so. The one listening is actually the one who is in control of the whole thing.

Another impression salespersons make on other people is that they are liars. Let us change this by being honest ourselves. This is not too difficult to do. If your client tells you that what you are selling is expensive, do not waste time arguing with him. Agree with your client right away. But, at the same time, point out to him the unique and special features of your product, which are not found in any other. Explain to him that these add up to the overall value of your product and to the benefits he will derive from it. Clients are quick to understand, if we spend enough time explaining things to them. If we are sincere, they are bound to know.

You may think that Honesty is the best policy is a worn cliché. But being trustworthy is still your key to harmonious relations with your clients (ang pagiging tapat ang siya mo pa ring ipagsasama nang maluwat ng iyong mga kliyente). Nothing in this world can break that.

By now, I hope that I have convinced you to be among the remaining five percent of salespeople who are honest and trustworthy. To those who have decided to be counted among the few, welcome. You have joined the limited population of successful sales champions who never forget the basic tools of their profession.

Do we need to review these basic tools? ” We need to be reminded again and again of these things in order for them to sink deep into our consciousness,” says Dr. Jocano. A timely reminder is an antidote to a person who forgets (Ang paalaala ay gamot sa taong nakalilimot) is a saying we often hear. But how many of us feel grateful whenever someone gives us a reminder? Sad to say, not too many. Some people think they have reached too high a level that they no longer need to review the basics. Even if you have a PHD, you need to keep on learning. If you stagnate, you become PESSIMISTIC, HUMORLESS, and DEPRESSED.

We all know that life is a continuing study. Review is an integral part of it. Physicians, lawyers, engineers and others do just that-review. So should salespersons.

What are the things that we need to review? Has anyone succeeded in any competition who has not prepared well? Has anybody passed an exam without having reviewed at all? What then do we need to go over?

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WHAT CHAMPIONS NEVER DO

What are other barriers that can prevent us from reaching the top of the ladder of success, apart from the opposites of PEAK performance given by Rene and apart from the principles propounded by Dr. Jocano?

There are but seven general obstacles to achieving peak performance, even when you are not under pressure. These are the seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Salesperson. These seven are surefire downers that will plunge you mercilessly into the deepest pit of misfortune, if you nurture them.

You hear these everywhere. Probably, day and night too. It is possible that you yourself may be using these surefire downers without being aware of them. Let me introduce each one of them to you. It is important that you are able to indentify them all, so that eventually you will stop using them. In fact, how about starting TODAY?

Never nurture BAKA (perhaps; maybe; might). Remember that you are a salesperson, not a rancher. In the Philippines,  ranchers take care of a different BAKA (cow). For example, you are scheduled to go to a client, but you choose not to proceed because it might rain (baka umulan) or you might not find your client in his office or house (baka hindi mo abutan ang kliyente mo sa kanyang opisina o bahay). You think, he might not interested or might not have the money ( baka, `ika mo, hindi interesado o walang pera). In case he is in his office, he might not be in the mood to entertain you; or, worse, he might be in a foul mood ( baka naman wala siyang ganang makita ka; o, masahol, baka mainit ang ulo niya). Or, he might have already invested elsewhere (baka napunta na sa iba).

What about your next client? Will you still meet with him? No more, because there is traffic (KASI matrapik); because you do not have a car (kasi wala kang kotse); because you have an LBM [loose bowel movement] attack (kasi sira ang tiyan mo); because you are not proficient in English (kasi hindi ka gaanong marunong mag-Ingles); because you client belongs to the elite (kasi elitista ang kliyente mo); because it will be coffee break when you get there (kasi nag kakape na pagdating mo doon); or because it is hot (kasi mainit)?

How about your third client? Why are you not making a call on him? You assume that he will not make it to his office today (AKALA mo, hindi siya makararating sa opisina ngayon). You assume that he is out-of-town (akala mo, nagbakasyon sa ibang lugar). You assume that he will ignore you because of your appearance (akala mo, iisnabin ka lang niya dahil sa ayos mo). You assume that he will buy from someone else (akala mo, bibili na siya sa iba). You assume that it is true (akala mo, totoo)!

But why are you like that? How can you make a sale with that kind of attitude?

“Yes, I know. If I had a car, I would have an easier time going from one office to another (KUNG me kotse ako, madali nang pumunta sa mga opisina). If I had a decent suit, I would be able to meet with my elite clientele ( kung me amerikana ako, pwede ko ang sugurin ang mga sosyal na kliyente ko).”

Another way of feeling inadequate is through wishful thinking. “I wish I knew the mayor, I’d be OK (SANA kilala ko ang alkalde, OK na ako). I wish I had money, I could buy impressive clothes and shoes (sana may pera ako, makabibili ako ng bonggang damit at sapatos). I wish we weren’t thirteen siblings, I would have gone to school (sana hindi kami labintatlong magkakapatid, nakapag-aral ako).”

There are a lot of other ways to improve your lot. Do you agree? Do you not want to succeed? “I want to, but this is the way I really am (pero TALAGANG ganito na ako); but I am really an engineer, not a doctor (pero talagang inhinyero ako, hindi duktor); but I really easily get tired (pero talagang madali akong mapagod); but I really have no patience talking with clients (pero talagang kulang ako sa tiyaga na makipapag-usap sa mga kliyente).”

Finally, there is this four-lettered defeatist word LANG (only), which is deeply ingrained in the Filipino daily conversations. You often hear it any where.

“Wow, what beautiful shoes you have!”

Mura lang ‘yan (They are only cheap).”

“Is it imported?”

Hindi. Lokal lang! (No. It is only locally made!)”

“Where do you go to school?”

Sa UST lang (Only in UST).”

“What are you taking up?”

“Nursing lang (Only nursing).”

“Will you work abroad?”

Hindi. Dito lang sa Pinas. (No. Only in the Philippines).”

” By the way, where do you live?”

Sa Tondo lang (Only in Tondo).”

“Oh, do you have a house there?”

Wala. Nangungupahan lang. (None. We’re only renting.)”

“What’s your father’s occupation?”

Magsasaka lang (only a farmer), bumbero lang (only a fireman), drayber lang (only a drive), empleyado lang sa City Hall (only a City Hall employee). kartero lang (only post man), ahente lang (only a salesperson)….”

Hold it! I beg to disagree with you. Salesperson only? I am a professional salesperson. There is dignity in what I am doing. This is a decent job. I do not fool anyone. I am proud of what I am, and I am proud of what I do. In the same token, there is also dignity in the other occupations just mentioned as well as the many others not included here. Whatever your calling in life is, as long as it is above reproach, be proud of it.

Lang is the most humiliating and insulting prefix, if I may say so, ever added to decent nouns. Lang is not an expression of humility as some may contend. It is a suggestion of embarrassment and inferiority, as if someone or something is always so insultingly better than what you are and what you have. The word lang divests you of whatever lofty or respectable position you are in because it hints of inferiority or embarrassment.

“What is your car brand, Mr. Tupaz?”

“Mazda lang po.”

Only a Mazda, just because you know that your friend has a Benz?

All of these surefire downers will push you towards the wrong direction away from your dreams.

Are you not interested in at least trying to change your direction in life so that you will become successful?                         “I’m interested. Who wouldn’t want to succeed? But perhaps, this is my fate. If that were so, there’s really nothing I could do, is there?”

Believe me, there is! Listen to a seventeen-year-old farmer with whom Dr. Jocano has had a conversation during one of his intensive research work.

“Do you believe in fate?”

“Yes. It if God who has etched the lines.”

“Where are the lines etched?” asks Dr. Jocano.”In our palms?”

“Why the palms?”

“So that we hold the future. So that we can control our becoming successful or not.”

“Son, do you believe you will succeed? I know you are a tenant here,” probes the doctor.”

“Now, yes. I am a tenant,” answered the young man. “But it won’t be long before all of this will be mine. I will buy it all.  I will study at the CLAC* this coming school year.”

What a healthy self-confidence he has! He knows that he holds his future in his hands that is why he sees to it that he controls it. Real champions are like him. They become champions because they struggle so hard to make themselves so. Losers are losers because they personally designed their lives to be such.

HOW CHAMPIONS WIN

Winners are those who are more than willing to surpass their limitations. They resort to ways that are oftentimes out of the ordinary in order to succeed.

For example, Mr. Fil Barbasa III is not one who confines himself to his circumstances. When he saw a big house with a impressive swimming pool, he said, “I’ll also have those for myself-bigger and more beautiful!” Fil was definite and determined when he uttered this. What is admirable is that he said this when he was still earning sixteen pesos a day.

BIg dreams are they not? What is wrong with having big dreams? Everyone is entitled to his dreams. But some dreams are different. They are not based on hope alone. Like Fil’s dreams, they are statements of decision and conviction.

A dreamer without conviction will simply say, “Sana, magkaroon din ako ng ganitong bahay balang araw. May awa ang diyos! (How I wish that someday I would have this kind of a house to. God is mercyful!)” How easily he invokes the name of God. What if his dreams are not fulfilled because of his own shortcomings? How will that reflect on God? Lacking in mercy?

Fil’s exposure to selling started when he was still in Grade six. He had very humble beginnings, and he is not ashamed to admit it. He has seven siblings; that was why his daily school baon (provisions) at that time was less than meager. Oftentimes, it amounted to nothing.

What he did was pick up guavas in the forest every weekend and exchanged it for paper, which he in turn sold to his classmates during school days. His additional income came from selling sweepstakes tickets.

In 1974, with three long-sleeved shirts and two pairs of pants, he migrated to Manila. He left his hometown in Capiz to look for his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. But he ended up in a Makati prison for jay-walking.

Fil earned eight pesos a day in his first job. He changed jobs several times and sold various goods in between-bangus (milkfish), Reader’s Digest, Life Magazine, as well as other magazines and comics.

The challenge to improve his lot came when he was told that he had no future in comics.
He took the challenge to heart until he succeeded. He built a thirty-million-peso residential mansion, bought a Mercedes Benz and had just about one of almost everything. “If you put your heart and mind into your dreams, your dream will come true,” Fil concluded his story with a smile.
In 1984, a leading sales trainer in the US, accompanied by his three children, aged 14, 12 and 10, visited the Philippines. I went with them to the Manila Zoo. His three children meandered to where the elephants were while we chatted nearby.
In the midst of our conversation, the American noted how low the walls were where the elephants were kept and how thin the rope tied around the hind leg of each was. The stakes where the ropes were tied were small as well.
The American in no time approached the caretaker and reprimanded him for what he thought was standard security in the Manila Zoo. “You may not be able to pay the insurance of my children the moment you elephants go astray.”
“How come? Who are you, sir?” asked the bewildered caretalker.
“I’m the best sales trainer in the entire US.”
“Sir, if you are an expert in training people, I am the best animal trainer here. So you listen to me.”
The American was dumbfounded at the caretaker’s reply. So, he heard him out.
“For your information, sir, these animals,” the caretaker started his discourse, “were still newly born when they were made to roll in the mud. They were stubborn, so they were tied with fat ropes to big stakes in order for them to stay in place.”
“Why?” asked the American.
“We wanted them to learn that they couldn’t free themselves however much they tried, whenever they made any attempts. We did that for six months. Because they knew no better, they grew up thinking that they couldn’t free themselves from being tied, however thin the ropes and small the stakes are.”
The elephants in our story are no different from the eaglet that grew up in a chicken brood. They were given restrictions, and they failed to surmount them.  It is like putting a barrier on every path that leads to glory.
Will you acquiesce to something like this? I think you will not! You are a man. Just as what I have been telling right from the start, you are a winner-a champion. My job is to make you aware of this fact: THAT YOU ARE BETTER OFF THAN THE PERSON YOU THINK YOU ARE.
Mr Fil. Barbasa III did not allow himself to be shackled by his circumstances then, that is why he is successful now. He was not the only one who did this. There were many others. To mention a few, we have Mr. David Loo, a Malaysion; Mrs. Miguelita M. Terrado of the Turkey-Philippines Export-Import Co., Who underwent a lot of trials in Singapore before attaining success; Mr. Norman L. Goss, a trainor of trainors; Ms. Tine Mendez; Ms. Gina G. Manandic; and Ms. Sally M. Bascara.
Why are these sales champions CHAMPIONS? What has catapulted them to where they are now? How have they created that urgent necessity to really reach for success? How has this strange thing called “madness”? pushed them to the fulfillment of their dreams?
His peers insulted Fil because of his comics business. He was hurt, but he did not get angry. Instead, he worked harder. Lita Terrado was disappointed  by her experiences in Singapore, but she did not give up. David Loo was accused of a lot of things, but these did not affect him. Instead, he pushed himself some more. What made all of them succeed? It is simple: THEY DREADED BEING BRANDED AS FAILURES.
As the lyrics of an internationally famous song by the pop group Abba go: the winner takes it all, the loser has to fall. This is true, especially in cockfighting. When you lose, the winner takes your fighting cock home in addition to his winnings. Is this not embarrassing? So, if you are afraid to be taken for a loser, the only thing left to do is WIN!
I have used the fear factor not only once to speed up beyond what is normal the salespeople under me who are just beginning in their careers. I tell them, “If you cannot sell despite all the training and support given you by the management, don’t call yourselves salespersons-persons, yes; but not salespersons. If you cannot close a sales, why, we will close the company for you.”
As expected, we get almost one hundred percent favorable results. Sometimes we even surpass our expectations. At times, I get the impression that they are people of cheap thrills; that they are content only with hundreds of thousands. But, to my surprise, they have needs, and many of them reach millions in earnings.
In one of his recent convention lectures, Mr. Rene A. Espinosa, vice president for a sales and marketing department of a well reputed management corporation, said: “Peak performance can be achieved even when under peak pressure-by your boss, by somebody or something else. By PEAK, I mean, you should exercise POSITIVE THINKING, have ENTHUSIASM, or the science of action.”
This is ture, especially with regard to the aspect of positive thinking. With it, you are able to do everything better than with negative thinking.
Zig Ziglar, before becoming a phenomenal sales motivator, was a negative thinker. When he switched to being a positive thinker, he garnered one of the top positions in their organization and handled seven thousand salespersons as a result thereof.
The same principle is being advocated by Mr. Norman L. Goss, trainor of trainorsm in all his lecture series: STOP WHINING; BE A WINNER SIMPLY BY THINKING POSITIVE.
We all know that negative attitudes, including all its relatives, are definitely detrimental to one’s struggle for success. We need to eliminate them right from the start, because nothing good will come out of nurturing them. In fact, we should not even think about negative influences. Why?
“What we think and how we think are what come to us in whatever form they are. If we think we’re failures, failures we will be. If we think we’re successful, then successful we will be,” opined Dr. Jocano.

WHY CHAMPIONS ARE CHAMPIONS

Many years back, a Jesuit priest in the southern Philippines found an eagle’s nest. This is unusual because most eagle’s nests are located on very tall trees. The priest discovered the nest nestled at the foot of a century-old tree. The tree might have cushioned the fall of the nest because the egg inside was unbroken.

The priest brought the nest home. In the hope of saving what was in the egg, he added the egg to those belonging to a hen in the poultry.

When all the eggs were hatched, six chicks emerged. The seventh was the eaglet. The hen took care of the eaglet as much as she did her chicks, even if the eaglet looked different, because it had become part of her brood.

Whenever the chicks chirped, the eaglet also chirped. He sounded a bit different-but not that different. He was able to blend with the chicks because the imitated them. He had no problems growing up with them.

One day, the little eagle looked up at the sky. He saw a full-grown eagle majustically soaring in the sky.

“What is that? How high it flies!”

“It’s an eagle,” answered one of the chicks.

“How beautiful! How I wish we could fly as high as he does. Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Don’t even think about it, bro. We aren’t made for flying. We’re only chickens.”

“Is that so?” the young eagle sighed. “Too bad. I wish I were an eagle too,” he added.

So, the young eagle lived and died having one fixed idea in his unfortunately conditioned mind. He was just a chicked who could never be an eagle at all. How pathetic!

Some people are like this poor eagle. They have lived and died within the limitations set by their peers and their environment.

You cannot be this; you cannot be that. In our company, nobody earns one hundred thousand pesos a month. You cannot go beyond this; you cannot go beyond that.

If you accepted all these-hook, line and sinker-how on earth will you be able to earn two hundred thousand pesos a month? How will you buy everything you want-house and lot, a car, beautiful clothes?

FIRE UP YOUR ENTHUSIASM

Before anything else, you need to know if you have enthusiasm. Because, if you do not have it, how can we fire up something that is not there? Do you really have even a bit of enthusiasm in your system?

Ms. Maggie dela Riva explains: “Enthusiasm is the high energy level in you. To have it, you’ve got to be very dynamic in the way you look, walk, talk, present (your product), handle objection and close (sale)”

There are two essential factors involved in what Maggie has mentioned: first, the high energy level; second, the dynamism in a lot of things. One of them is being dynamic in  your dating.

Enthusiasm is having a strong excitement of feeling. This is what is meant by “high energy level” The zeal and liveliness you feel is beyond ordinary. It is like having a high, so they say. With this energy, you are able to do things better than when you are disinterested or weak.

For example, we have a foreman, or kapatas, who has ordered his carpenter to cut three pieces of wood as big and as thick as the high of Incredible Hulk. Imagine yourself cutting a piece of wood of that size three times! If you were on a high energy level, you would just laugh at this order.

In a hospital, for instance, a director gave his surgeon three major operations to a perform in a single day. If that surgeon is on high level of energy, you will not hear him grumble.

The same case is true with a salesperson who is given twenty client calls in one day by his unit manager. If he is on high level of energy, he will undertake his assignment wholeheartedly.

In these three samples, we know very well what would happen if the person involved did not posses high energy level or dynamism. Disaster!

How do you fire up your enthusiasm if you have it? It is nolonger difficult to do this once you posses even just a tiny spark. In this case, we will be able to use the three principles I have earlier explained in the preceding chapter. Maggie has mentioned something about being dynamic. Well, you can be dynamic if you can learn how to WALL TALL, TALK RICH, and FELL GOOD!

FEEL GOOD

shaking-of-handsHave you heard of the saying Smile and the world smiles with? Maybe you have also heard it told that It only involves fifteen muscles to smile and seventy-five to frown.

According to the Taoists, there are many people who live harboring anger, sadness, frustration, fear, worry and other negative energies in their hearts. This, they claim further, brings about sickness and deprives our bodies of good health.

A genuine smile radiates a loving feeling. It neutral izes everything that is negative. A genuine smile also breaks down the invisible wall that is always separates the salesperson from his clients.

In ancient China, the Taoist masters accept the power of a sincere smile, because it is said that this is very effective way of fighting the everyday problems of living.

What are the day-to-day problems of salespersons? Is it not their prospective clients? Your arrive at their door-steps-be it in their offices or houses-and they do not know who you are. Some smile immediately because they have had a good night’s rest or have just solved a problem. But a majority of them do not.

So, you smile first in the hope that your client will do the same. The most powerful energy of one’s personality is his genuine smile. Just imagine one single cell of your body emitting a fraction of a millimeter of loving energy, if you smile sincerely. Now think of this. We have approximately 64 trillion cells in our body. Imagine how strong a loving power that would be, if activated by one genuine smile. It is tremendous!

But let us not confuse each other here. By “loving power,” I mean the vibrations emitted by your whole being that says, “I care for you”; “Your welfare is my concern”; “I am truthful and honest in my words and deeds.” In short, you are not bluffing your way around; you are not putting one over your client; and, you are offering him a product that is totally beneficial to him.

If faith can move mountains, so can a smile, in a manner of speaking. It can eventually move pens to sign sales agreements in your favor. Then, you will feel good because of this. After simply feeling good, you will really feel good if it bears fruit.

Frank Irving Fletcher has this to say: ” A smiles costs nothing, but it creates much. It happens in a flash, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. It creates happiness in the home and fosters goodwill in business. It is rest to the weary and daylight to the discourage. It is sunshine to the sad and nature’s best antidote for trouble.”

With all these good words about smile and smiling, are you still feeling grouchy? Cheer up!

TALK RICH

logo_master_salesperson2Please do not be misled. I am not saying here that you talk like a rich man or pretend to be one. What I mean is that your speech must be rich with proper conversation conduct and ethics. Suitability is again the order of the day here. You do not talk useing Pidgin English or Tagalog, or colloquial terminology, to an obviously hard-core academic creep. I mean, academic buff. No, I mean, serious intellectual. See?

Talking rich includes having extensive knowledge of how your products fare with other name brands. Knowing these, you can confidently walk with authority and with registered ease about the whole spectrum of product comparison. Talking rich is also talking with marked convenience about pertinent subject matters surrounding your product or product line. Just make sure that your speech is filled with factual truths because if you are just bluffing your way around, sooner or later, your client will find you out.

Part of enriching your speech is getting right the manner and the timing of injecting humor in your conversation with your client. Believe it or not, humor is an integral part of a wholesome conversation. Some salespersons call on their clients with nothing in their “speech bags” but product knowledge and other hard facts. Not an iota of humor. So, they sometimes end up being the biggest joke of the day. It is not quite funny conversing with a person without the slightest trace of a smile on his face?

“A sense of humor is essential to everyone because it gives a sense of balance, proportion and perspective [to things],” according to former Senator Maria Kalaw-Katigbak.

How will you acquire a sense of balance and proportion if you do not possess a sense of humor? How will you gain a sense of perspective if you do not smile at all? So, if I were you, I would smile right away.