When You Don’t Know, Find Someone Who Does—Like Jack Nadel

Success is the prize. Seeking it gets us to make the effort. 

Sadly, our efforts don’t always deliver the success we’re after. We look around and wonder what we’re doing wrong. Now it’s time talk to someone who’s been through it all. 

Enter Jack Nadel.  

At this writing, Nadel is in his late 80s. He spent 65 years in business, primarily in product sales, as founder of Jack Nadel International. After serving as a decorated combat veteran in WWII, he started his business in a tiny office without money, education, or experience. He became a successful global entrepreneur, author, TV personality, and philanthropist—a source of the guidance we need. 

Starting with nothing and ending with enormous success is inspiring. We want that to be us, initiating a great idea, building know-how, and taking prudent risks that work. Often, when we read success stories and try to replicate the steps, we end up disappointed.

The value of priceless wisdom 

Our flawed or misguide notions often get in our way. It’s not what’s on the surface that gives us an edge: It’s how we interpret, translate, and innovate what’s behind it. Insights are the real keys to success. 

I was treated to that special insight when I was invited to blog about Nadel’s new book,Use What You Have to Get What You Want: 100 Basic Ideas That Mean Business. 

I admit I didn’t know anything about Nadel before the book arrived. But I was immediately taken by the uncluttered, easily absorbed advice he gave. Each of the 100 ideas with a real-life illustration from his experience fits on one page. 

His insights work, no matter whether you’re managing a household, a small business, or a department in a corporation. 

Selling is a success staple.

 Nadel’s expertise is broad: His knowledge of sales and deal-making is laser sharp. There’s selling in everything we do: We sell ideas, products, services, relationships, and opportunities. Whenever we try to get someone to act, we’re closing some kind of transaction. 

Nadel zeroes in on the principle that there’s right-way and wrong-way selling. The right way ensures success that lasts. 

Here are ten Nadel selling ideas that struck a particular chord with me. (The parens are how I intend to apply them.) 

  1. “If you can’t explain your product or service in 30 seconds, you probably can’t sell it.” (Test my elevator speech and revise as needed.)
  2. “Selling…[has]…a built-in scorecard.” (Track revenue and opportunities in the pipeline to measure progress.)
  3. “The best way to learn to sell is to go out and sell.” (Make contacts. Meet with people. Use #1.)
  4. “Features tell and benefits sell.” (Clarify my “what’s in it for the client” message.)
  5. “It’s easy to sell glamor, excitement, hope and feel-good products. It’s tough to sell insurance.” (Understand my service touch points.)
  6. “Perceived value is what sells—real value is what repeats.” (Continue to deliver what’s promised.)
  7. “The road to hell is paved with misrepresentation.” (Make sure there are never any surprises.)
  8. “Honesty is not only the best policy; it’s the most profitable.” (Own up when I goof up. Make things right.)
  9. “After you negotiate the best deal, give a little extra.” (Be counted on to over-deliver.)
  10. “Careful planning is more important than hard work.” (Think first; then act.) 

Life runs on transactions 

There’s a business aspect to almost everything we do. Good business ensures that each transaction feels like a win on both sides. As Nadel says: 

 “If I give you a dollar, and you give me a dollar, we each have a dollar. If I give you an idea, and you give me an idea, we each have two ideas.” 

Our success is achieved on the shoulders of others. Generosity in the way we do business has a way of boosting success. Nadel’s generosity in sharing his immense insights is an example of that. 

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.com.