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Sales people lost a legend in Zig Ziglar

By Christopher Thompson

December 01. 2012 8:29PM

This past Wedensday we lost a legend. Zig Ziglar died at 86 in a hospital in Plano, Texas.

Ziglar was a sales legend. His documented philosophies and approaches have been published since the 1970s. Ziglar wrote numerous books that touched on subjects related to sales, business and personal achievement. He is a household name in the business world, and there's a good chance if you're in sales, you have heard or seen something from Ziglar.

Ziglar created his own company that focused on sales training and employee development. He was a renowned motivational speaker who inspired everyone who had the opportunity to hear him. He was also very witty. Ziglar was well known for crafting motivational quotes that you've likely heard at some point in your career. From "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude" to "Remember that failure is an event, not a person," Ziglar's quotes are permanently ingrained in the minds of business professionals around the world.

I remember landing my first sales job. My boss at the time suggested I become a "student of the profession" and treat my sales job as if it was the only thing I needed to know in my life. He encouraged professional development and recommended I visit the book store to invest in books. Of course, I followed his suggestion.

The first sales book I ever bought and read was "Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale." I remember when I first started reading it, I was fascinated by all of the different types of closes Ziglar described. I didn't know there were so many different names for closing a sale. I was also very impressed with Ziglar's stories. He had a gift of being able to weave legitimate sales lessons into a routine life story. It makes for a very interesting read.

Ziglar's work has not only inspired millions of people, but it has helped people become better at what they do. His teachings helped people improve their performance and helped companies succeed. But I feel his biggest impact was how he motivated people. He showed people that anything is possible. He encouraged people to push past failure. And he did all of this with a unique style that will never be duplicated.

When I heard the news of the death of Ziglar, it made be reflect on a lot of things. It made me think of all the people who I have learned from throughout my career. It made me think of all the books I read that taught me the power of controlling my mental attitude. And it also made me think of the legacy we will all eventually leave behind.

We learn and develop through our interactions with others. We learn from people who share their experiences and knowledge. It's important to recognize that everyone has the ability to teach and inspire. And it's also critical to recognize how important it is to do that.

Use this opportunity to ask yourself a question. What will you be remembered for in your career? And after you answer that, teach someone something. Inspire someone. Motivate someone.

Rest in peace, Zig Ziglar.

Christopher Thompson ( writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.


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