The Gift - Sales and Marketing Training

As we wind down our final week before the Christmas holiday most of us have a strange brew of emotions. With the events in Newtown, CT last week we were exposed to the unimaginable. Yet as we approach Christmas, we are offered a joyous alternative to the sick pit we have all had in our stomach for almost a week. This mix of emotion leaves us a little confused and in some cases even a bit guilty that others are in such enormous pain, while we are only forced to worry about the meaningless details that often come around the holidays. And even thinking about hitting year-end sales numbers, 2013 quotas, and the state of our businesses in general seems menial in the light of last week’s events.

So how are we supposed to feel? While I am no psychologist, nor do I plan on visiting one to grapple with this sense of conflict I am feeling, this week I decided to sit down and just write my feelings out of me as fast as I could. I wanted to keep my brain out of the way and let the words and emotions find their way on the paper as quickly as possible. After about two minutes of writing I put down my pen and looked at what I wrote. While the list contained groups of words such as FRUSTRATED and SCARED FOR MY KIDS, I was relieved to notice a lot more words projecting an emotion of gratefulness rather than fear. But one word that stood out to me among all the words on that paper was the word:


I then dug deeper and wrote down everything I considered to be a gift in my life. And each time I wrote down a gift, the happier I felt. When I finally finished wracking my brain for the last gift I could think of, I lifted the paper up and stared at it. I then set it down again, grabbed my pen, and wrote down one more gift. It was This Gift List. The list was an inventory of the most valuable things in my life. And I realized that I couldn’t let madmen, fiscal cliffs, or terror take my attention off of that list. Because that list reminded me that I am blessed in so many ways.

While looking at my gift list, I was reminded that we still control our own happiness and can influence the happiness of our closest gifts (those we love). We can’t always protect our gifts, but we can promise to cherish them as long as God allows us to have them.

So this week, gift yourself by grabbing a pen or a keyboard and creating your own list. The exercise will help you remove some of the pain of the last six days and help bring out the good…as it did with me. It will also insure that those gifts get the attention they deserve this holiday season and beyond.

On behalf of the Sullivan family, which includes my gifts named, Leanne, Jake, Shea and Maggie, we wish you a blessed Holiday Season…as we continue to pray for the families of the 27 gifts lost in Connecticut.


Brian Sullivan, CSP, is a member of the National Speakers Association and an internationally known expert on sales and leadership. Brian is one of about 10 percent of speakers worldwide to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation awarded by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. He delivers high-energy, no-nonsense, interactive seminars on his PRECISE Selling Formula to a companies looking to become famous in their indust...

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